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Where's a COP when you need one?

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I know you’ve heard the saying, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Although that statement is generally true, we are still faced with the fact that people judge us based in part on appearance. I sometimes enjoy just watching people, perhaps at the mall or while waiting at the airport. Inevitably, I start to form my own opinions about the person I’m watching, even though I haven’t spoken a word to them.

Have you ever talked to someone on the phone and imagined what they look like? If you ever meet that person, you usually find they don’t match up to the image you formed in your mind. Whether you like it or not, prospects at your seminars are also forming opinions about the kind of person you are. That’s why you need to be a “COP.”

Whenever someone meets us or maybe just sees or hears us for the first time, we make an impression about who we are. You are responsible for determining if that first impression is good or bad. If you want to make it a good one, then you have to play an active role.

If you sit in a corner while your prospects come in for your presentation, they’re going to see you and form an impression about the kind of person you are. Unless you’re a supermodel, that might not be a good thing. That’s why I always greet people when they first arrive. It’s important to look them in the eye, introduce yourself, and welcome them to your seminar with a firm handshake. You have now communicated that you are confident, approachable, and the person in control.

You and your staff need to be prepared. If you’re unable to manage your own seminar efficiently, why should you expect anyone to turn over their life’s savings to you? My staff always arrives one hour before the seminar begins. They make sure all materials and handouts are in their proper place. They also make sure the atmosphere of the room is conducive for learning by having the restaurant staff turn up the lighting and turn off any background music.
By preparing for the seminar in this way, we ensure that every guest has the handouts they need and that they’re able to hear and see everything without distractions. If just one person doesn’t have a pen, then everyone is disrupted, and everyone in attendance will see that you and your staff are not well organized.

Most of the people attending your seminar have never heard of you and definitely don’t know you. If you’ve won awards or appeared in magazines or newspapers, have posters on display to commemorate these achievements. If you haven’t yet established those types of credentials, you might want to display posters of you and your family or maybe your office.

Your handouts should look nice, and your company logo should be displayed prominently on all materials. I like to arrive early so I have time to turn off the appointments and events of the day and focus on the presentation I’m about to deliver. Give yourself time to relax and make sure you look like a professional.

Just like an officer on patrol, the seminar is your “beat.” You and you alone are responsible for making it a success. Confidence, organization, and professionalism make up your uniform. Revolver and handcuffs are optional.

Don’t miss Richard Berry at Senior Market Advisor Expo, Aug. 20-22. Visit for more information.


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