Having evolved and changed over many years, seminars remain the most effective prospecting method utilized by financial professionals today.
But what makes a successful seminar? The following are some tried-and-true techniques you can try right now to help increase the attendance and turn prospects into clients at your next event.
1.KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
It is important to study your target audience prior to mailing out invitations to your event. The goal being to fill the room with qualified prospects that are most likely to need the services you offer, inviting the right individuals is essential to make sure your valuable time and marketing dollars are not wasted. It is critical that the age and income demographics and content you present are well-suited to fit your audience’s age and needs.
2.TIMING CAN BE EVERYTHING
In selecting the correct time and day to host your event, it is important to keep in mind the following best practices:
- Typically, Tuesdays and Thursdays work best…using alternate weeks as not to eliminate individuals that could be out of town for a particular week.
- Don’t schedule events the day following national holidays such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc…
- Start times can make or break your seminar. Typically, for Senior Seminar events, 4:00-4:30 start times work best. For Boomer Events, 6:00 – 6:30 start times are more appropriate.
3.TO FEED OR NOT TO FEED?
DINNER SEMINARS: Hosting dinner seminar events can be a very effective marketing strategy. Many financial advisors hosting these events feel that paying costs associated with providing meals is a small price to pay to get in front of group of qualified prospects that will potentially need their assistance in making critical decisions they face in their retirement planning efforts,
“NO-FOOD” SEMINARS: An alternative to hosting dinner seminars, educational workshops offered as a class at a local college or library are another effective marketing strategy utilized today by financial professionals. Some advisors feel by offering an educational class where no meal will be provided, they will only attract individuals that are seriously seeking the valuable information that will be presented at the event.
The question of to feed or not to feed can be can only be answered by you as a financial advisor. Click here to learn more about what you need to know about no-food seminars.
4.MAKE SURE YOUR PRESENTATION IS INFORMATIVE
Making sure your presentation is educational and informative for attendees should be a priority. Educating prospects early in the process of client relationships will not only help set proper expectations but also assist in building a better rapport in the long run.
5.KNOW YOUR PRESENTATION
Do your homework! Learning basic public speaking skills and knowing the presentation to a “T” will help project an image of a confident professional worthy of being trusted managing financial assets. It is very important that you are viewed as knowledgeable and an expert as you present the information attendees have come to hear. Constantly looking at your notes as you present your seminar will create the perception that you don’t know the topic as opposed to being an expert in your field.
A seminar is a great opportunity not only to present a strategy or a product, but also to meet prospects face to face, shake hands and establish the personal connection with them. This initial contact additionally provides the ability to gather more information regarding their needs and concerns that is sure to help in closing business as you later meet with them.
7.MAKE IT EASY TO SET APPOINTMENTS
To help ensure your success, it is vital for you as the speaker to set up your appointment setting process at both the beginning and end of your presentation. Begin by calling attention to the seminar form in front of each individual and the importance of them filling the form out completely. Instruct them to jot down any questions they may have regarding any of the topics covered as you move through the presentation which can be answered later in a more private setting.
Appointments can be set either at the end of your event or you can let attendees know that you will be calling them the following morning to set an appointment. Try not schedule appointments for more than two weeks out.
8.FOLLOW UP IS KEY!
For those who are not comfortable beginning booking appointments at the seminar, it is imperative that you follow up with every attendee. Start making follow up calls the morning following the event. Follow up calls made too late will lose the momentum and passion inspired at the event. One suggestion is to offer to offer them the opportunity to answer any questions or clarify any points that the prospect may have thought of after the event.
If you are seeking advice on how to boost the response rates you currently receive on your seminar events, please feel free to call us or contact us today!