Whenever I send out invitations to one of my seminars, I always market it as an educational workshop. The purpose of an education is to learn things you don’t already know; therefore, your role as the speaker is to teach people things they need to know about their investments. Most people are not going to meet with you just for the fun of it. If a person agrees to meet with you, it should be because they believe you’re able to meet their financial need. It is your responsibility to present information that assists your “students” in recognizing that they have a need and that you have a solution for it.

At my seminars, we use a response sheet to generate appointments. While I am being introduced, the attendees are asked to take out the green sheet and begin filling it out. I also ask people to take it out during the middle of my presentation. It is at that time that I provide greater detail on the items they receive for meeting with me. At the end of the presentation, I once again ask everyone to take out their green response sheets so that my staff can come by and take them up. Why do I refer to this sheet so often? People are better able to process information if they’re actively involved in the learning process. This is one way to get people involved. It also encourages people to take immediate action rather than procrastinating about a problem that needs to be corrected.

Remember, your goal is to generate interest by assisting people in identifying their needs. An effective presentation arouses a hunger to learn more. Once a need is identified by the listener, it is human nature to seek a solution to that need. You have the solution — but be careful. You don’t want to tell too much. The details of the solution can only be learned by meeting with you. Your presentation contains specific information about investment options, but private consultations are necessary for identifying specific needs and then tailoring a solution for the individual investor.

We try to set as many appointments as we can at the seminar. If you wait a day, the interest may have cooled, and the recollection of information has diminished dramatically. Setting appointments at the seminar is crucial to your success.

Richard Berry is the president and owner of Berry Financial Group Inc. in Dillon, S.C. He was one of the five finalists for Senior Market Advisor’s 2007 Advisor of the Year award. For more information, call 888-774-6181.