The tips I am about to share with you require commitment, investment and the courage to believe. While I have counseled dozens of agents, managers and business owners, the basic concepts to move your practice upstream by at least 25% over the next three months are in this presentation.
Tip 1: Hold seminars at places where attendees are comfortable. Most advisors situate their events at hotels and country clubs. Some choose expensive restaurants where folks aren’t comfortable. This is overkill and you can’t keep it up long term.
We’ve discovered that when we go to a nice neighborhood restaurant, close to where prospects live, our attendance and believability picks up at least two notches and our cost is reduced. Many restaurants have meeting rooms that go unused most evenings. Owners are often happy to rent out these rooms and work with you.
Tip 2: Leave the big city behind. Small town folks are largely underserved. Get a map of your area and go to towns and villages 20 or more miles outside of town. Your conversions of invitations to attendees will more than double. This will allow you to reduce the number of invitations. On average, we triple the number of attendees when we go to virgin territory.
What Your Peers Are Reading
What day works best for seminars? We prefer Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings. As to Mondays, even if the restaurant is open, most people are still mentally getting over the weekend. We start at 6 p.m., early enough to finish by 8:15 p.m. and return home at a reasonable hour.
Size does matter. Big crowds are hard to handle. We prefer groups under 25 people. Our statistics point out something strange: No matter how many attendees we have, we typically average five appointments. So, I recommend small groups. You’ll spend less and get similar results.
Tip 3: Keep it simple. Some advisors feed attendees first; others serve courses as they cover different topics. This can be disruptive and confusing. I speak before dinner and do not serve alcohol or soft drinks. Beverages are limited to water, coffee and tea. Rarely do I get a complaint.
If they are waiting for dinner, the audience, in general, is polite. After I talk, I take questions (the wait for “chow” helps minimize these), attendees complete evaluation sheets and one of my staff begins the “visitation process.”
While attendees are eating, my staff person asks whether they enjoyed the presentation and if they want an appointment. It’s that simple. I’ve told them what to expect before I talk. When we do what we promise, they are more apt to tell us “yes” or “no” and be honest.
If they say they want us to call, we say we will, but only twice. After two weeks we’ll be too busy with other folks. We get 70% of our appointments booked at the dinner; the rest are arranged within two weeks. In total, from 25% to 40% of attendees agree to appointments.
Tip 4: Create Value. During my seven years as a Strategic Coach class member, I learned about several things, none more important than “value creation.” However, before you can create value, you must get prospects’ attention and interest.
To that end, I ask participants questions about estate planning issues of concern to them. Next, I discuss how estate assets can be passed–will, title, beneficiary, gift, in trust. I also talk about the expense of probate. Then I discuss mortality and the possibility of running out of money.
Thereafter, I’ll talk about a document we call “the survivor’s guide” or what attorneys refer to as an “ethical will.” This is not a legal document but a labor of love transcribed by Mom and Dad while they are alive.
Created with or without the kids’ involvement, the guide has the power to keep the family peace, avoid hard feelings, shorten the probate process and reduce the cost of estate settlement.
You need not be an attorney or an estate planning expert to use this document. The guide can create clients, bind clients to you and, in the end, make the client love you and recommend you to friends and family.