After doing seminars for 15 years and teaching over 2,000 producers to do them, I’ve found six of the most important items that bring success.
Invite A Very Focused Audience
Theres no way to pack a room with a diverse crowd. The success of your invitation will depend on how focused it is. A title such as “Estate Planning for Apartment Owners” that is sent to apartment owners will get better attendance than a seminar titled “Estate Planning” sent to everyone over age 55.
To develop a winning invitation, you need to know how your audience thinks. Therefore, the invitees must be a homogenous group. You cannot assume that your market thinks like you do. If you are 40-years-old, you probably want to know about opportunities to make money, but people over 60 (in most cases) are not motivated to make more money. They care about preserving capital. Their biggest concern is fear of losing principal (this is their “hot button”).
So, is it any wonder that your opportunity-oriented seminar, titled “How to Maximize Profits with the Right Mutual Funds,” doesnt get much of a response from seniors?
Whichever target market you choose, you really need to know their most significant emotional concern. If you can title a seminar addressing that concern, youre half way home. If youre not sure, dont make assumptions. Simply talk to 10 people from your target market and see what concerns they have in common.
Direct Mail To Attract Affluent Prospects
Direct mail is, by far, the most effective method to use in metropolitan areas. The cost per attendee is the highest, but the quality of the attendees is the highest and the seminar produces more business and the greatest profits.
By sending 3,000 invitations to a highly targeted audience, you can attract and obtain 35 buying unitsa mail cost of $42 per buying unit. I highly recommend using this more expensive method because it produces the best end-resultsmore qualified new clients that have money to invest.
Location Is Important
Select a seminar location that is well known, convenient and in neutral territory. Some financial professionals attempt to hold seminars in their office buildings. Bad idea. This is not neutral territory and some prospective attendees will not come for fear of being trapped in a high-pressure sales situation. Think about buying a carwhose turf are you onis it comfortable for you?
Therefore, never use your office as a seminar location. Rather, use a local restaurant that has existed for 20+ years–a place that everyone in town knows and likes. Its familiar, neutral and well located.
You do not need to feed your audience just because you use a restaurant for your location. Many restaurants are happy to rent an extra room or even open for your seminar at a time when they are normally closed.
Never Do A Product Seminar
If you are seeking to develop a high-end audience with substantial assets who are looking to bond with an advisor, you cannot give product seminars. Such prospects will leave the seminar with little or no respect for you because in most cases:
A. They already understand the basic features of many investments;
B. They do not want to be sold a product; and
C. They understand basic concepts, such as tax deferral, and will feel patronized.
To this group, you must present a concept seminar. Present ideas such as asset allocation, estate planning, providing for grandchildren, ways to reduce income taxes, socially conscious investing, using debt to create wealth, ways to dispose of real estate without tax, etc.