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Seminar success: It's a two-part process

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How’s your seminar business going so far this year? If you’re meeting any speed bumps along the way, maybe the problem is with targeting your marketing.

Dave Williams of Brownsburg, Ind.-based RDW Financial Group, and a speaker at this year’s Senior Market Advisor Expo, says there are two parts to really nailing your seminars and making them an integral part of your practice.

“The first is making sure you know who your target market is and then making sure they get invited. I know this sounds easy, but demographics can play an important role. Different areas of my town require different mailing filters and a constant updating of the invite. Let’s face it, you can’t do a seminar if no one is in attendance, so my staff really works on making sure that we are using the right vendors and list.

“The second part is the program itself. I treat each and every seminar as an event. They say that you only get 60 seconds to make a first impression, so we go out of our way to make sure each and every attendee is made welcome and receives the attention they deserve.

“In today’s environment we also want to make sure that they are getting their questions answered. One of the things we do is start out by telling them that this is their hour and my goal is to make sure they get answers to their questions. I then get a whiteboard out and ask ‘Does anyone have a question they would like answered?’ I write down each question and make sure that they get answered. A lot of advisors I share this with worry about the questions that they might receive. Basically they are very general questions and most attendees are amazed that you would take the time to do this.

“In the end, it’s about integrity and differentiating yourself from the competition and finally it’s all about trust. In today’s environment, I spend some time talking about why it’s important to develop a firm relationship with an advisor. I use the three F’s as an example. I explain that for most people, their faith, family and finances are the three cornerstones of their life. I then go on to tell them why we are different and why we believe that our relationship with their finances should complement the other two.”