As a result, and as a business owner, I LOVE networking events and social mixers. Most of the people who attend are in business for themselves, or, if in big business, responsible in some way for building their networks to best benefit their employers. I’ve gone to home-grown mixers, chamber of commerce, consulate events, alma mater brunches, political call campaigns, Canadian expat events, and temple-created business mixers. But I’d never been to a Jewish Chamber of Congress event.
A week or so ago there was a big LA business mixer in downtown Los Angeles and at that event my companion and I happened upon a literal wandering Jew. He had lost his booth! With a little of this, a map of that, he was on his merry way and invited us to stop by as we did our rounds. His booth? The Los Angeles Jewish Chamber of Commerce. Not only had I not heard of it, but, as a Jewish woman, I’m automatically attracted to Jewish community-oriented activities because it feels familiar. Of course we stopped by. Of course we got on the mailing list. And, of course, found out that there was a Jewish LA CC mixer just a few nights later.
We decided to go. And I’m so glad we did! An elegant little affair in the Millenium Biltmore in downtown LA (historic and lovely) and I have to say, I’ve NEVER had such a relaxed and wonderful time at a networking event as this one. Everyone was truly delighted to be there and everyone was open to talking to…well…everyone. The founder, Jeff Gurman, was all smiles and handshakes, welcoming everyone, introducing everyone. He started the LA Jewish CC a couple of years ago and I think he’s onto something. In any event, I’m definitely going to the next event. Here’s a pic of me and Jeff mugging for the camera.
But here’s what I really want to tell you about. I met a gentleman who was very understated and impressed the socks right off me. We had a nice chat, standing at the bar, and I learned that he had left a large brokerage firm about 8 years earlier to start his own company with a partner. Now a thriving asset management company, I was amazed at what he had been able to do in 8 short years. From a tiny office he now had 12 asset managers (brokers) working for him managing a large amount of wealth. He mentioned, in passing, that he had 100% client retention. I was floored. 100%? Over 8 years not ONE client has left him? Not one. The rest of his team was there wearing their power suits. He wasn’t wearing a suit…just a nice shirt…and taking the time to have a chat with an unwealthy stranger.
I don’t know that so many others would fall off their heels at the concept of 100% client retention in an 8-year span. But my whole business life has been about acquisition of new business and retention of old business, marketing and delivering service, and, most importantly, building relationships. His secret? Of course…it was all about the relationships he had with his clients. In 8 years, every single one of his clients got a call, every single day, to bring them up-to-speed on how their portfolio was doing. Through ups and downs. Every single day. I don’t talk to all of my immediate family every single day, but imagine how much more connected we’d feel if we DID touch base every single day.
Imagine how fantastic our business relationships would be if we talked to each of our active clients every single day. Maybe we, too, would have 100% client retention.
That’s what I got out of my first LA Jewish CC mixer. Now, go call someone.