On Monday, March 5, 2012, Jim Bell, CFP®, Founder and President of Bell Investment Advisors, was a featured speaker on the Top Advisor Panel at the Annual Solutions Conference of the National Financial Planning Association at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame. This year the panelists were asked to speak about unique marketing strategies utilized by their firms.
Mr. Bell talked about how his firm regularly uses client events as part of their business strategy. While “the purpose of marketing,” he reminded the attendees, “is to create the conditions for sales to happen”, he went on to say that these special events work well on many levels in addition to the basic purpose of marketing, by providing opportunities to deepen relationships and build community. Clients appreciate the opportunity to meet one another, network with each other, and interact with the Bell staff.
“I believe that business is itself a medium for self-expression. By hosting events that my wife and I enjoy and are actually passionate about, we are able to express ourselves in our work, and that is very satisfying for us and for our employees . . . We don’t need to subordinate our passions to our careers.”
Some of the special events sponsored by Bell Investment Advisors are:
– monthly in-office Lunch & Learns for 20 guests on a variety of topics concerning investment management, financial planning and/or career and life coaching;
– pre-football game breakfasts or lunches for 12 at the Bell home followed by a walk to the U.C., Berkeley stadium for the Cal game;
– complementary dinner and tickets to the Oakland East Bay Symphony followed by attendance at the invitation-only reception with Maestro Michael Morgan; and
– participation on a team of clients, employees, family members, and friends making house renovations for low-income seniors through Rebuilding Together Oakland.
Of particular interest to the attendees was Jim’s formation of his own advisory circle of 20 professionals, which he named The Momentum Group. This group, which includes educators, attorneys, accountants, business owners, and community leaders, is made up of clients and referral partners who meet quarterly for advisory meetings and special events designed so that members can learn about each other personally; educate each other professionally; refer business to each other, when possible; and support each other’s charitable causes. Special events for this group have included field trips to Arion Press (traditional fine arts printing) in the Presidio in San Francisco; the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology, on the Stanford Campus in Palo Alto; and a group cooking experience at Kitchen on Fire! in Berkeley.
Bell Investment Advisors intentionally expresses the firm’s overriding philosophy of Making a Good Life Happen in the engagement of clients and community in endeavors which enhance and enrich the lives of individuals and the community as a whole.