Seminars offer you the unique opportunity, over an extended period of time, to give a captive audience four pieces of information that are vital for them to have in order to want to work with you. Do they like you? Do they trust you? Do they believe that you are competent? Do they think that you have their best interests at heart? No other single marketing technique offers the opportunity for a room full of people to come to those conclusions about you in an informed matter all in one evening.
There is perhaps no single method for gathering assets that rivals financial services seminars, yet this method is most often misunderstood, and therefore, misused. Sadly, many financial advisors abandon their seminar marketing efforts when results fail to live up to expectations. When seminars disappoint, financial advisors are quick to blame anyone but themselves. The most common excuse: "My local area is oversaturated with seminars." This excuse, like many others, is rarely the cause of the problem. The Seminar Pros at Touch Marketing Group have worked with literally hundreds of financial services professionals in the arena of seminars – from building content to building audiences to building appointment setting and follow up processes.
Our experience is that with seminars, there are many possible critical failure points, and most financial professionals neither understand how seminars work at a granular level, nor do they implement them in ways that take into account the many possible failure points. In working with a number of top producing shops around the country, we have identified what we believe is the most comprehensive list of these possible failure points and have crafted field tested and proven solutions for each; thereby making our approach to doing financial seminars amongst the best in the industry. We are not in the business of selling seminars, invitations or 'selling systems' – we are in the business of growing our clients' shops through effective marketing planning and implementation. We have no axe to grind in the seminar arena – our success or failure does not depend upon you buying our 'system' – the seminar system that we have developed is only for use with clients who have already chosen to work with us because of our abilities to help grow their shops through marketing.
The advice that we give in the arena of seminar delivery and marketing has been developed on the heels of having literally unfettered access to the techniques, reports, results and mistakes of hundreds of the top shops in the country. Forget the hype, and what the 'gurus' say to get you to buy their book or their system. The techniques and strategies developed by the Marketing Pros at Touch Marketing Group spring forth from an understanding of what hundreds of shops have done right, and conversely, what they have done wrong. The result to our clients is sound strategic advice on whether or not to integrate seminars into their comprehensive marketing plans and, if so, how to achieve solid implementation and execution, given the particular shop's resources.
When it comes to successful seminar execution, we don't want to leave anything to chance. We offer our clients the very best in industry research, logistical implementation, presentation materials, support materials (workbooks, evaluation forms, follow up communications, etc.), coaching in presentation, appointment-setting techniques and follow up marketing strategies anywhere. But we never ask our clients to merely follow our advice blindly. Instead, we have developed a process that allows our clients to be as involved in the process as they want to be, and the communication flows as freely as the client requests at every step along the way. While we are not proponents of a shop using only one marketing strategy, we are advocates of integrating the use of seminars and educational workshops into a shop's overall marketing plan.
When clients let us help them to nail down all the details associated with marketing to and running a successful seminar, using a method we've developed over time that pinpoints all possible failure points, we generally see the type of results that can actually help a shop greatly in terms of meeting its growth goals. On the other hand, since there are so many details, any one of which can begin to 'throttle down' results, we have seen failure and resulting frustration when a shop does not a) pay close attention to the details, and b) keep a proper perspective concerning the proper 'job' of the seminar. Here are some keys points of understanding that can help give you a proper perspective on how seminars work:
Understanding the simple marketing techniques associated with successful seminars: The critical success factor for financial advisors is neither brains nor good looks; it's marketing. It might be cold calling, direct mail, networking, referrals or whatever. Whichever strategy is chosen, it must be learned, refined and mastered. Yet, it never ceases to amaze us that financial advisors expect results in seminar selling without devoting a modest effort studying the seminar-selling process.
The point of a seminar is to initiate and establish multiple, mutually profitable long-term relationships. But don't just invite guests, get to know them. There is a variety of ideal opportunities to establish and build relationships. Call prospects during registration. Confirm the appointment, too. During the half-hour before and after the seminar, make contact with your guests in an informal, personal way. Do not squander the time by talking to an assistant or guest speaker. It's easier to convert a lead by this kind of contact than letting potential clients slip in and slip out of the seminar. Remember, if you give the greatest presentation in the world and your potential clients leave out of there feeling educated, but they do not schedule an appointment, then ultimately your seminar was not a success.
Setting the appointment is the whole point of the seminar: Getting people to a seminar is a 'lead' – but we all know that a lead must be converted into an appointment. You actually have to do this work yourself. Although it helps, excellent public speaking skills and quality information are not enough to get seminar guests to set appointments. Closing strategies for seminars are abundant. Feedback forms asking for an appointment can be filled out before the seminar begins. Appointments can be solicited in an appropriately worded opening presentation. Your assistant can work the audience too, politely soliciting complimentary appointments. The Marketing Pros at Touch Marketing Group have seen them ALL. We have literally attended hundreds of seminars around the country, and have witnessed, FIRST HAND, what works and what doesn't. And while there are several methods, the successful ones focus the effort on one goal: to set appointments. We suggest appointment setting techniques based upon what we know works and the human resources our clients have available to them. But the devil is definitely in the details, here – and no appointment ultimately means that the method has failed.
You have to put qualified prospects in the seats: Sales keeps you in business, and marketing keeps you in sales. Most financial advisors have heard this sales axiom from the day that they were licensed. And it's true, to an extent. The success of your seminar partly depends on the number of bodies in the room, but you need real, qualified prospects. There are measures that you can put in place that will give you the best shot at getting in front of those who you are most interested in working with. We can help with that.
You have to have a solid follow-up process: This is critical. Correct follow-up is not about making one call to participants who attended the seminar. Persistence is, of course, required. Closing ratios can be increased 20 percent to 40 percent if you do it right. For example, no-shows should be called and asked to come in for an individual appointment and invited to future events. Management software can be used to make sure you don't forget. Many participants will become "seminar angels" and invite friends and associates to future events. Implementing follow-up strategies such as these will result in lots of new business opportunities.
The prospecting pros at Touch Marketing Group can help you to strip away all the hype, the claims, and the salesmanship to put your firm into the right lead programs - forging a better, more efficient fit with the balance of your marketing efforts.
We have thoroughly researched dozens of mainline prospecting programs and have developed partnerships with some of the most effective vendors in the country to shore up that aspect of our clients' game. So call the prospecting pros at Touch Marketing Group today and let us find the right fit for your shop.Read more
The pros at Touch Marketing Group know how to develop drip marketing campaigns to maximize the outcomes of your other marketing strategies - both toward your prospective clients and those who have already chosen your shop.