Author and speaker Kerry Johnson was recently asked a few key questions on the best … key questions to ask seminar attendees. Here are some of his best responses.

Q. Many producers promote senior dinner seminars to gain leads. In industry speeches, you mention four key questions to ask potential attendees about why they want to attend a seminar. What are those questions?

A. According to a lot of research we have gained from our coaching clients and industry statistics, those who respond to mailings for dinner/lunch seminars fall into three groups. 15 percent have no money at all. In fact the average retiree in the U.S. only has $29,000 of assets at retirement age. 25 percent only come for the free meal and the balance want to hear about they can retire more with more financial confidence.

When an individual calls in response to your invitation, the first question is

1) “What about the invitation interested you?”
“Plate lickers” those who only come to your seminar only for the meal won’t know why they are attending.

The next question is more of a ‘check’ question.

2) “What do you hope to gain by attending?”
Someone just looking for an evening out isn’t the best candidate to fill your seats.

A third question is:

3) “Do you currently have a financial advisor?”
Find out if they are happy with that person. When did they last speak to that person? If they have spoken to their advisor in the last 90 days, it is unlikely that you will be able to make the sale. The last thing you want to do is provide a potential client with a great retirement idea for their retirement only to watch them later take that idea to another professional to implement.

Finally, you need to qualify the potential attendee for assets. I generally ask for a range of asset value instead of exactly how much they have. This range makes the answer come a lot easier.

4) “Would you say you retirement account is more than $100,000 or less?”
Another great technique is to ask them if they have lost money in the market in the last year. If they haven’t, they possibly are in fixed instruments like CDs. Ask them about their retirement assets. If they don’t have any, again, they won’t be good candidates to fill your seats. They may just come to eat the food and distract people around them. Prescreening in this manner, with this type of question may help you in setting up follow-up appointments.