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Retirement Planning > Social Security

Are Social Security seminars in your future?

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In the past 20 years, retirement dinner seminars have been the rage. Oftentimes, advisors are able to book 50 percent of the attendees. However, the problems with these dinner seminars are many. The response rate is only 0.05 percent, and a quarter of the attendees are plate-lickers only there for the free meal. And an additional 15 percent are not qualified. No matter what the mailing house tells you about their demographic reach, there is a 10 percent to 20 percent error ratio in every seminar. What this all means is that every closed appointment costs you $600. In addition, there is a 25 percent cancellation rate on most seminars. The reason for this high level of postponements, no shows or cancellations is all emotional. The people who book appointments with you often forget why they took the appointment. When they can’t remember the reason, they decide that taking their dog for a shampoo is more urgent than keeping an appointment with you. But Social Security seminars may be the answer to all your dinner seminar dilemmas. 

Few no-shows

Social Security seminars are often held in libraries or civic centers. Some of my clients conduct these seminars in hotels for less than $200 a night. The mailing response rate is 1 percent to 2 percent, with a very low no-show rate. But a surprising aspect of these new seminars is the number of qualified buying prospects. Most of my coaching clients who are doing Social Security seminars discover that 80 percent of the attendees have more than $100,000 in investable assets. Most of the attendees are also very focused on retiring at a certain age, maximizing their benefits, and avoiding losing assets in their qualified and nonqualified portfolio.

Avoid the plate-lickers

The real beauty of Social Security seminars is the avoidance of professional plate-lickers. Since you have taken away the motivation to get a free meal, the attendees are left with solving retirement problems. This is your retirement planning sweet spot.

When my client Brian held a Social Security seminar in Dallas last month, there were 25 buying prospects in the library where he held the meeting. He booked 21 appointments out of 25. So far he has held appointments with 12 and two were qualified. Brian is ecstatic that he has such a great new pipeline of prospects. The best news is the average booked appointment cost has gone down from $600 to $135.

So unless you really want to provide free dinners to seniors who never intended to book appointments with you, Social Security seminars may be the answer.

For more from Kerry Johnson, see:

11 key hiring questions you should ask

The DIP program: How to gain control of your business

How to sell the way people want to buy


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