Tip #1: Charge a reasonable fee.
Contrary to popular belief, free seminars are not necessarily the golden-brick road of generating quality leads. In fact, the offer of a free seminar can often conjure up images of pushy salespeople and shoddy products — neither of which lead to quality relationships with clients.
Instead, consider charging a small fee to attend. In many cases, seminar leaders have found that a $15 to $25 charge dramatically increases the quality of prospects. Furthermore, consider donating the charge, or a portion of it, to a charity — an act which promotes the positive free-seminar feeling, without supporting the negative sales-pitch aura.
Tip #2: Cut down on “plate-lickers.”
According to Kerry Johnson, 25 percent of seminar attendees are “plate-lickers”–people who are looking for a free meal and a night out. To ward off these unhelpful seat-fillers, Johnson encourages contacting the RSVPs with the following questions:
- What about the seminar invitation attracted you?
- What do you want to gain as a result of attending?
- Do you have an advisor? Are you happy with them?
- Would you say that your retirement account has more than $100,000 or less?
In general, the people you want at your seminar will have serious answers to these questions. Reaching out before the event can help you target some of their main needs as well as keep free-loaders at bay.