Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Christopher Hensley.
About the interviewee
Christopher Hensley is the President of the Houston Midtown Chapter of the Society for Financial Awareness. He has been in the financial services industry for 14 Years and is the owner of Houston First Financial Group.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
The Houston Midtown Chapter of the Society for Financial Awareness is a nonprofit 501 C 3 educational speaker’s bureau. Our mission is to fight financial literacy one community at a time. Locally we are comprised of a handful of volunteers and a virtual staff. Nationally, we are the largest financial literacy organization in the country and have members across the US. We are always seeking new members for the local chapter in the professions of CPAs, Attorneys, Realtors, Loan Officers and Health Care Professionals. We provide free financial education seminars at any company, professional organization or religious organization who ask for our help. We require a minimum of 10 participants for a workshop. Our chapter specifically focuses on large to medium size companies in the Houston Gulf Coast area with a minimum of 50 employees.
Tell us about why it is important for your firm to reach the C-level executives as potential clients.
In order for SOFA to go out and speak at a company we must have an advocate and/or a nominator at the company. This starts with the Human Resources Director but can also be the CFO or CEO depending on the way that the company is structured. It is super important that the company be on board and promote the events internally so that they are successful.
Why are those below C-level not as effective to reach to promote your company?
If you knew the cure for cancer would you share it? Financial Education seminars are the cure for a sickness that plagues millions of Americans every day. Whether its sales or promoting a nonprofit you always start with the biggest person in the room. You should focus on the company or individual who is going to help fulfill your mission. As a nonprofit our mission is to end financial literacy one community at a time. The only way that we can achieve this mission it to get in front of as many individuals as we possibly can. The C- Suite Executive is the person that can provide us access to their employees, members, constituents, congregation, ETC…
What techniques have you deployed to reach those C-level executives?
When I reach out to a HR Executive I promise to only take about 10 minutes of their time. My goal is to get a packet of information in front of them and introduce myself in person. HR representatives are some of the busiest people in most companies. They spend the day putting out fires and dealing with personnel issues. When I meet with them I honor there time by only taking longer if they have questions are request it. I am not there to “Close the Deal”. We exchange business cards and often by the time I get back to the office I have a tentative time for a future talk at the company waiting for me in my in box. This non sales approach separates me from my competition and leaves the HR Executive feeling very open and non-threatened.