Seminars: Where should you spend your time?

Zoom events are fine, but people still want to engage in person, including at seminars. As much as people want to step away from Zoom and go to in-person events, though, seminars not done well could yield disappointing results and be an inefficient use of your marketing and prospecting time as a financial advisor.

To make the most of seminars, avoid these three mistakes and mindsets:

  • Invitations alone aren’t enough. “If people want to come, they will.”
  • Little effort into delivering the presentation. “I have a wholesaler helping with the expenses, so I’ll just let them do all the talking.”
  • No follow-up is done. “If people are interested, they will call me.”

Planning for seminar success

Wisely allocating your time will help you avoid the three mistakes above. These are my suggestions for making the best use of your time:

  1. Attracting the audience. This should take about 80% of your time. You need to cast your net with marketing, tally responses and recontact attendees at least once before the event.
  2. Choosing the topic. This should be 1% or less of your time. Ideally, your topic should be timely and a topic people want to learn about but would cost them money if they were to try learning about it on their own. Consider topics that could work well in a series over a period of several months.
  3. Preparing the logistics. This should consume 5% of your time. Don’t get too bogged down in details, but you will need signage and extra hands to get people checked in. Furthermore, it helps to anticipate reasons people might not attend, such as parking concerns. If you’re serving food, confirming their order is a good reason to be in touch.
  4. Planning the follow-up. This should account for 15% of your time. Try to meet as many attendees as possible during the event. Be in touch the next day. If they are busy people, they might forget you if you wait a week. You will need contact information. A good way is to have attendees complete a registration form. A good motivator is to give something away through a prize drawing.

Resetting the clock, outreach and cultivating clients

A financial advisor shared this experience: “If a seminar attendee does not do business within the four weeks after the seminar, they will never do business.” This advisor used the following strategy. They called attendees the next day, offering several methods of outreach and engagement.

  1. Will they agree to setting up an appointment and meeting?
  2. If not, will they talk with you about their interests?
  3. If not, but you think they are good prospects, invite them to the next seminar.

If you invite them to next month’s seminar and they attend, you have reset the clock, gaining another four weeks to cultivate them.

There should be at least one agent or advisor in your office who is great at building business through seminars. Find an opportunity to learn best practices from them.

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” is available on Amazon.

For more ideas and tips to hold effective events:

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