As companies merge, downsize and reduce benefits, employers and their human resources departments are looking for ways to supplement benefits to help employees reach their financial objectives. I use worksite seminars as a tool for helping the HR departments inform and educate their employees.
These worksite seminars are informational programs that we provide at the worksite, where we discuss financial topics of interest to the client with their employees. These usually take the form of a lunch-and-learn or an evening seminar where food is provided.
We advertise the seminars in advance with the cooperation of the HR administrator or director. We usually limit the seminars to 40 participants and we encourage participants to bring their spouse or significant other.
To develop a successful practice using worksite seminars, you need to understand the marketplace and find a way to present your firm to potential clients. When you talk with the HR director, you’ll be able to determine quickly if you can supplement the services already offered.
This model will work for any business, but I have focused my practice on underserved state and local agencies. I started with the judges in the New York state courts, which led to other state groups and unions. I also work with publicly traded companies.
Keys to Initiating and Growing Relationships
The best relationship you can have with any organization is to become a resource for them; they, in return, will market you to their employees. Though most of my revenue comes from working with employees, my real “clients” are HR directors and administrators. They are essential to my success and are the key link between my firm and their employees.
When I work with the human resources directors, I need to determine their greatest need and then develop an onsite program that will help solve this need for their employees.
I offer two seminars. The comprehensive financial planning seminars are 6 hours in length and offer information on several financial options. The lunch-and-learn seminars are one hour long and deal with one to two issues, such as asset allocation, domestic partners or long term care.
To be able to present my firm to clients, I must understand their needs, wants, fears and desires. Establishing your target market will allow you to group clients into similar categories.
For example, clients with children will be concerned with college education planning and retirement. Young clients will want to build a sound investment plan. Some target markets include:
o Married/single individuals;
o Families in need of college planning;
o Individuals nearing retirement; and
o Elderly people in need of estate planning.
From Seminar to Participant to Clients
Subsequent to seminars, I try to get HR people to promote my activity within their organizations and I solicit referrals. I also tell employees that when picking a professional, to remember two things: (1) You need to believe that the professional has your best interests at heart; and (2) that you have to trust them.
After cultivating a relationship with the client or organization, I continue to develop a relationship with managers. I assure them that I can provide them with a valuable service and will deliver on my promises.