It amazes me that big insurance companies and securities firms will go to great expense to create ineffective seminar programs to help their reps obtain new clients. These packages have a great focus on the presentation, the appearance of the slides, the handout materials and all other aspects of what will occur in the seminar room. NONE OF THIS MATTERS. The presentation and the handout materials are irrelevant if the seminar room is empty. Filling up the room with qualified candidates must be the absolute priority focus of any seminar program. So if you've wasted money on fancy looking seminar slides only to have a dismal failure, know that there is hope when you put all of your attention on attendance.
Filling up the room is a function of two main factors:
1. Inviting the RIGHT audience
2. Constructing an invitation that is EMOTIONALLY compelling
If you want to do seminar prospecting, you need to select an audience that will come to a seminar. Note that some target markets will not attend a seminar so you cannot prospect everyone with seminars. For example, if your market is baby boomers, forget public seminars. Successful baby boomers are largely 2-income professional couples working 10 hours a day, travelling coast to coast for their job, shuttling their kids to and from ballet, piano and soccer and trying to keep their marriage together. You think they will come to your seminar "How to Plan for a Secure Retirement?" No way. You've selected the wrong audience who has no time to attend seminars and is not sufficiently motivated. (And why do you want to prospect these people anyway—isn’t most of their investable wealth locked up in 401k or stock options?)
The right audience has these features
1. they have the time to attend
2. they have some EMOTIONALLY compelling issues that you can address
3. they have access to their money
Two groups are of immediate fit. Seniors have plenty of time and they are EMOTIONALLY compelled to protect their money.
Business owners have the time--ONLY AT LUNCH--and they are EMOTIONALLY compelled by a number of factors such as keeping their business alive, paying less taxes and having more time with their families.
This means you won't make it work if you want to do a "product" seminar or talk about managed money, stocks, annuities, etc. You will fail because you are focusing on the thing you want to sell, rather than a specific, homogeneous, identifiable target market. So concentrate on who you want as new clients, not on what you want to sell.
Let's discuss the second critical factor--having an emotionally compelling invitation.
For our example, let's continue with the title above "How to Plan for a Secure Retirement." This is a boring, unspecific, non-emotionally compelling title. Let's say the same thing in a way that will move people to learn about becoming better savers and investors:
"Avoid the Two Reasons Why 95% of People Must Cut Their Living Standard When They Retire" or
" Why Your Neighbor's Children Can Afford to Attend Harvard and Your Children Can't"
"Study Says People Between 35 and 50 will Never Be Able To Retire--Except for These 10%"
Do you see that by using powerful, emotional language, you can take the same idea and form it into a tile that hits between the eyes? Below the title, your invitation should have 6 EMOTIONALLY compelling sub titles (bullet points).
The third item regarding your target market is that they must have access to money. Retirees do. They have rolled over their retirement plans into a self directed IRA. Business owners do—they control the investments in their retirement plans as well as their non-qualified assets.
Before choosing any market for seminar marketing, make
sure they meet the 3 criteria listed above.