From the October 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

The secret to low client acquisition costs (Part II)

In last month's column, we talked about the logistics and costs associated with executing effective worksite seminars. We gave specific tips on getting the most out of marketing dollars that are already stretched thin. This month, we run through the process for scheduling the appointment with HR department heads, and what should be done to ensure the seminar takes place.

Scheduling the appointment -- Successful presenters and marketing professionals understand the significance of the first appointment. When scheduling the appointment, it's important not to go into detail about your seminar system, since your contact will look for any excuse to schedule this meeting over the phone.

During the first appointment the advisor's only goal should be to establish what we have coined as the audit seminar. The audit seminar gives the HR director on the opportunity to test the seminar.

First Appointment Meeting Tips:

1. Ask the contact "What are the corporation's worksite education goals?" (Listen carefully and dovetail your system into their goals.)

2. Ask a follow-up, "Are you (HR contact) familiar with the 404(c) guidelines surrounding financial worksite education?" (The advisor must know the rules -- study carefully)

3. Bring workbook examples

4. Bring an instructor biography

5. Bring sample evaluations

The first appointment is the time to encourage the contact person to take a cross-section of employees from different departments to test the relevance of the seminar program and the intrinsic value it offers the employees. Remember the corporation or employer is trying to understand "What is in it for me?" At this point reiterate the importance of such a program to the corporation. These are:

1. Increase plan participation

2. Increase employee productivity

3. Increase employee retention

4. Comply with 404(c) regulations

Stress that the audit seminar is a no-cost method of finding the suitable worksite seminar system. Further emphasize that the audit seminar is another way to reward employees by including them in the decision making process. The cross-section of employees will have the opportunity to evaluate and chose the best system.

Objections and concerns -- Despite the value of the audit seminar, you will encounter variations of the same concerns with every contact. Common objections include:

1. "Our current plan administrator does worksite seminars." My response to this objection is always "Good -- many of the corporations have had feedback from their employees that the employees wanted more choices as it related to financial education. Additionally, having a third party present on the merits of you current plan offers credibility. This credibility will increase participation and help with your discrimination testing." (Remember, what's in it for them?)

2. "We do not have a budget for additional training." My response to this is, "Not a problem, you're not alone. Many of the corporations we work with have budget constraints as it relates to worksite education. What we have done with most of our corporations is offer the optional session. The optional session is a private one-on-one session where the employee can ask personal questions regarding their financial matters. We do not sell or promote our services during this meeting. If the employee decides at a later date that they would like to meet with us and/or do business with us we will welcome the employee as new clients."

In closing, the last point to keep in mind is "be generic." The HR director will ask if you are going to promote or sell their employees anything during the seminar. "No" is the only answer.

*For further information or to contact this author, please use the forum below.

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