Seminar marketing: What works best now

By Jacques Werth

High Probability Selling

Knowing which people you want to attend your seminars is extremely important. The most successful financial services pros that we know limit the attendees to their seminars. They close some quickly and close more after the seminar.

Attendees you do not want:
  • Eaters, people who want an excellent meal in a nice restaurant -- free. These people are the worst kind of attendees. They will often poison your well. Eaters tend to have considerable disdain for their hosts. They often bad-mouth the offerings of the presenter to other attendees. They indicate their opinions with negative reactions. They may annoy or turn off other attendees.

  • People who want to justify or validate their current program. They have no intention or making any changes. Thus, they may argue with or one-up the presenter.

  • People who sincerely want more knowledge of what you are offering but do not have the means and intention to do business with you.
The best way to deal with the above types of attendees is to screen them by phone and take them off your invitation list. Do not provide meals at your seminars. The most you should provide is coffee, tea, water, soft-drinks and some good bakery cookies.

Attendees you do want:
  • People who have the targeted demographics (i.e., net worth, income, occupation, age range, etc.) of your best niche market.

  • People who know they need to do something about their finances, but do not know what.

  • People who have a pretty good idea of what they want to do; may have already done some of it and may be ready to turn it all over to an expert.

  • People who are willing and able to do business. They may, or may not, be ready now. They may be sophisticated about finance or not.
Limit your attendance to the above types.

The purpose of your seminars

Provide the attendees with specific learning opportunities about a subject that provides them with knowledge about how to get what they want. They will judge you, your expertise, your personality and your character by how well you gave them what they want. You must neither turn your presentation into a sales pitch nor a push for appointments.

Appointments: A quick yes or no. You should offer to meet only with those who are ready to do something about their finances now. Have your assistant available to schedule appointments. If you know how to do business without persuading and convincing, most of them will become your clients.

People do business in their own time, for their own reasons. All of the attendees that do not make appointments at the seminar should be added to your prospecting list -- with their written permission. That is where most of your future clients will come from.

Prospecting after the seminar. Call your entire prospecting list every three to four weeks. Present differently worded prospecting offers each time you call. When prospects are ready to do business with you they will say "Yes." The key to this type of prospecting is your willingness to take "No," for an answer, and end the discussion within thirty seconds. A relatively small percentage will ask you to take them off your list. Remove them; it will improve the quality of your list.

Combine seminars with a drip-marketing campaign. You can alternate direct mail and prospecting calls every three to four weeks. If people give you permission to e-mail them, do it no more frequently than every three weeks.

Favorable front-of-the-mind awareness. Every seminar should result in some new clients immediately and will also grow your prospecting list. With a relatively small amount of time, effort and expense, your prospecting list should be your major source of new clients. Thirty-second prospecting offers create favorable front-of-the-mind awareness of you. Your prospects will think of you when ever they are reminded, by any source, of their financial services needs.

More business in less time. Prospects who are ready, willing and able to do business are a pleasure. They make up their minds quickly and seldom want to fully understand how to do what you do. Financial services pros who implement this seminar system often double their closing rates. Remember, learn how to quickly develop deep relationships of mutual trust and respect and maximize your closing rates.