Seminars have been a very popular way to attract and retain clients. Call
them workshops, luncheons, or meetings, or whatever, seminars can be very
profitable for both new and existing clients.
Who is your target audience? What is your target audience interested in?
What is the desired result you want to achieve from the seminar. For
example, if you do a seminar on tax planning, do the clients feel
motivated to take any action during or after the seminar? Or are they just
going to file the information away and see their accountant later.
giving a tax seminar, mention a case study where a client (similar to
your target audience) saved thousands on tax using several different
investment strategies recommended by the advisor. It is a sample of
solutions which fit your target audience.
Here are some tips to successful seminars:
Plan your overall objectives
Plan your marketing mix of the seminar
Plan your invitations and approach
Plan your target group
Plan you target list of attendees
Plan your date and location
Plan your type of seminar- large or small
Plan your speakers and topics
Plan your venue and details
Plan your staff time and resources
Plan your budget
Plan your handouts and questionnaires
Plan your equipment
Plan your talk and time
Review all details over and over
Plan your follow up
Repeat and improve
Grant’s tip: The great debate. Some advisors say that seminars and
meetings don’t work anymore. Clients and prospects see it as a sales push.
These are the same advisors who are experts at seminars after holding two
or three and finding out that they didn’t work for them. They are the same
people that held public seminars.
Today’s advisor needs to hold targeted
seminars. Let me give you an example. What if you sent out a wedding style
invitation to people of a certain community and invited them to the local
club about a topic that was important to them. For example take any
affluent neighborhood in North America, get the mailing information (through post offices or directories) and mailed an exclusive invitation
for residents of ABC Estates to discuss (a topic specific to their
communities needs or concerns such as Ensuring your estate is taxed at the
lowest possible rate through estate trusts.)
The invitation includes
possibly a lunch or dinner and is at their local club. The club should
help you with the meeting also so they can possibly attract new members
and meet people as well. This is an example of targeted seminars and not
just public seminars. How many exclusive communities are in your area?
Four keys to making your seminar work.
Don’t educate- disturb
Don’t inform, define problems
Don’t offer solutions, provide a taste of solutions
Don’t sell products, sell yourself
( courtesy of Deena Katz book)
Ask your board of directors or top clients what type of seminars or
information that they might be interested in. Find top advisors who have
completed successful seminars. I once had a representative say that
seminars don’t work. When I asked him how many seminars he had done, his
response was two seminars with little or no results. So now you’re an
expert on seminars, I said. You need to practice, practice, practice and
copy from the best to make seminars work. He delivered the seminar. Maybe
next time if he brought in a well known speaker, his results might be
I have done several different seminars and after doing a dozen
or so, I fund a formula that works. Have daytime seminars in a top notch
venue with a targeted list of clients, and follow up with them until we
get them into a seminar or two.
Some of the top representatives in the country have been doing the same
seminar every month for ten years. They have a seminar so fine tuned that
year in and year out, the representative doesn’t ever worry how they will
grow their business from one year to the next.
A couple of ideas that work are client workshops, where you ask your
clients to invite a friend. Birds of a feather flock together. You can mix
your audience with clients and prospects, so that if they were to ask one
of your clients after the meeting about you, a strong endorsement after
your presentation makes the call to you much more inviting.
Second are conference calls. You can do a luncheon conference call with
top managers for clients or prospects. A discussion after the conference
call is why you should invest now. Make sure there is a sense of urgency
created during the seminar and a recommended implementation schedule.
You can get creative with topics and speakers. Remember two things people
remember. Picture and stories. Paint the picture for them by telling them
a great story.
If you do a superb job at providing worthwhile information during the
45 minutes, the 15 minutes at the end should be a breeze – because you’ve
already established trust with your audience. Some of my clients report
percent of attendees will end up becoming customers. And it will happen
because you invested money in marketing, but because you invested your
energy, imagination, and expertise.
Some business owners improve upon that one-third closing ratio by doing
one of three additional things:
They have a different person take the stage during the final 15 minutes,
someone with a knack for motivating groups of people.
They have salespeople
in the doorways exiting the venue, thanking people as they depart, and
selling to them at the same time.
They make a very special offer that’s
available that day only.
Hold your free seminar at your own place of business, if possible. Market
your seminars in online newsgroups and forums, in chat rooms, and in
e-mailings. You might post signs in appropriate locations and announce your
session at community groups or in community newsletters. Since you won’t
be charging for it, perhaps you can enlist the aid of the media.
Experiment by offering the seminar at two different times – something like
twelve noon and seven in the evening. Experiment by offering it on
Saturdays or weekdays. You can determine the best times and days based
upon the attendance.
Copyright 2003 By: Jay Conrad Levinson and Grant W. Hicks, C.I.M.,FCSI - Co-author of "Guerrilla
Marketing For Financial Advisors
", Trafford Publishing 2003.
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