Seminar Tips: Calling

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Seminar Tips: Calling

Not Calling Seminar Attendees

One of the single biggest mistakes that you can make when it comes to making sure that your seminars are poorly attended is to not call your seminar attendees the day before they are to attend your seminar. The difference between a successful seminar and an unsuccessful seminar is taking that one additional step of calling the day before to remind them that they signed up for the following night’s seminar and that you are looking forward to seeing them there.

Most successful dental practices will call you to remind you about your appointment, mail you a post-card reminder, an email reminder and even call you a second time to remind you about your 6-month check-up. For the men and women in our industry who feel that they are above making those reminder calls or that they simply do not have the time and resources to make those calls, they will not be in our industry very long. Making reminder calls is one of the factors that separates MDRT members from the rest of the men and women that make their living in the financial services and insurance industry.

Not Calling Future Clients

Do not lose sight of the fact that before prospects become your clients, you need to first meet with them at one of your seminars. Between them attending your seminar and them meeting with you, you need to take advantage of several additional opportunities to contact them. These opportunities will come in the form of a reminder email, a reminder post-card and most importantly, a phone call reminder the day before their appointment with you.

It will be these simple, value-added steps that you take with them that will win them over and make certain that they attend your seminars and keep the appointments that they’ve set with you after your seminars. At the seminar, they are moved by what they see and hear, picturing their own financial realities and realizing that they need to talk to an expert about everything.

As the time between the seminar and their appointment with you passes, it becomes easy for them to lose their conviction in meeting with you. Your contact with them will often be the only difference between them keeping their appointments with you and forgetting about you altogether as they continue to receive additional seminar mailers from your competition every day between when they attended your seminar and when they are scheduled to meet with you.

For more tools and training for advisors working with Social Security, be sure to visit our resources page.

Seminar Tips: Pitfalls

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Seminar Tips: Pitfalls

Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Many of the people that attend your seminars will be dressed comfortably in jeans and a t-shirt, worn-down sneakers, jacket that’s seen better days and a baseball cap that is missing more material than is left to hold it together.

Underneath those comfortable clothes are your future clients. It is easy to take a look at someone dressed casually verses someone that is dressed in business attire and decides that of the two; the better-dressed person will be the one that you land as a client. Subconsciously or intentionally, you rationalize that the better-dressed of the two is the only one that will have assets.

That line of thinking will cause you to limit your time to just a couple of audience members.

You will be missing out on a huge opportunity with the rest of your audience that do have assets to invest and are looking to work with someone just like you. Do not pre-judge anyone in your audience and you will avoid losing your opportunity with them because you assume they have no assets due to how they are dressed. I have met several doctors, prominent business owners and attorneys in the audiences that I present seminars to that are dressed like they just stepped out of a Sear’s catalogue…from 1987. In fact, one of the best clients that I was able to help one of our agent’s land, was a doctor who had just finished doing yard work and had no time to change before attending our seminar.

Exceeding An Hour

Leave your audience wanting more. For every second that you exceed your one hour presentation, you are removing appointments off your calendar. Leave them wanting more from you and you will be very successful in converting audience members into appointments and ultimately life-long clients.

Using Complex Explanations

Never pass up an opportunity to use a quick story to illustrate a complex concept. People love stories and most importantly, they remember them to the point that they will have forgotten all the details about the concept mentioned in the seminar, but will recall a story for you verbatim. You will never have a majority of your audience who are analytical and detail-oriented. Stick with simple and memorable stories to explain ideas, and when you do meet with analytical clients, you can drill down as much as you’d like beyond the stories.

For more tools and training for advisors working with Social Security, be sure to visit our resources page.

Buying High and Selling Low

Buying High and Selling Low

We all know we’re supposed to do the opposite and buy low and sell high. Why then do we all too often get it backwards? Actually that’s easy. To buy low you have to buy something that has not yet made it to the cover of the magazine or the front page of the newspaper. If it’s already made it there, it’s highly likely it’s already at the top. To buy low you have to buy something that most haven’t discovered yet. All too often that includes you. You have to buy when the news is gloom and doom. It takes tremendous courage to put your life savings in a volatile market when it’s crashing or before it has recovered. To buy low goes against instinct and reason for the common investor. As a result, very few buy low!

Why is it so easy to buy high? That’s easy, too. Buying high happens when the news is positive. The market is up and many are making money, probably including you. The temptation is to enjoy the ride a while longer or even buy more.

To do it right by buying low and selling high requires you to buy a lesser known stock or mutual fund, one that has never made headlines. You may also have to take a position in this investment when the news is bad and the market is low. The market is either still declining or not yet in much of a recovery.

Selling high means you are getting out of a particular position higher than you bought. The key here is that you are actually selling while you are still higher than you bought in at. People do funny things. They fall in love with their investments, unwilling to sell them. If you hold a position in the market long enough, it will always become a loser. There is no such thing as a permanently excellent company or a permanently excellent industry. Everything is cyclical. Greed also discourages us from selling while we are still winning. It feels so good to be making money on paper that we want to linger awhile longer, and then often we give back much, and sometimes all, of what we had made. Brokers often tell their clients not to worry since it was just paper gains, so now it is also just paper losses. This leads me to ask, “has the last decade been a paper decade?” This time around I want to make it count and realize my gains.

We know the people that get it right are called contrarian investors. Their decisions go against the flow. They swim upstream, seemingly all alone. That’s because most of the time they are.

A winning strategy is to sell, capturing the market’s gains on auto pilot. It would also buy on auto pilot. This effective strategy would take the emotion out of investing, allowing us to realize our gains without having to make difficult decisions. It would do one other thing for us also. It would capture the gain without triggering a taxable event until you decide to spend the money by pulling it out of the account.

Now that would be a winning strategy! I know of a strategy that does all this. Give me the opportunity to show you exactly how it works by answering all your questions. You should learn more so you too can benefit from just how effectively it solves the above problems.

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Believing You Have to Take Risks to Make A Good Return

Believing You Have to Take Risks to Make A Good Return

Warren Buffet says that he doesn’t take risks. His moves are so thoroughly researched that he always buys at a deep discount, which protects him from a decline in the value of the company stock he has just bought.

Many investors who have gone back and done the math have concluded they would have done better if they had placed all their money in T-bills and just left it there.

The market is volatile enough that if you position yourself to fully benefit from the upside, the downside risk becomes so great that inevitably
the market will take back much, if not all, of the up and reduce your principal as well.

Warren Buffet says rule #1 is to not lose what you already have. Taking risk means you will have significant losses from time to time. The average Bear market lasts just 18 months but requires 5.2 years just to get even again. If you never experienced the loss, then you won’t be wasting 5 years just to break even again. A steady, positive return all the time will compete very favorably with at-risk positions that experience volatility on a regular basis.

Those that do well in the market spend extensive time researching opportunities before buying. They have an entry strategy, and just as important, they have an exit strategy. They also tend to do just the opposite of the masses and would seldom, if ever, find their buying opportunities listed on the cover or front page of any publication. If it’s in the paper, it’s in the price. In other words it’s already had its run up.

The key to successful investing is not managing risk; it’s avoiding it all together. When you become aware of any strategy that allows you to participate in the stock market without any market risk, fully protecting your principal and the newfound gains each year, you should seize the opportunity.

Today over $200 billion annually flow into these strategies, offering the account holders market opportunities without any of the risk inherent in the market.

 

 
What’s Holding You Back?

What’s Holding You Back?

Fact: Financial seminars are profitable.

There is simply no way to deny this. Our firm has been holding seminars on a variety of topics in the same general area for the past 15 years. Even after all this time, we still consistently write millions of dollars of business off of these seminars. The new business more than offsets our cost and brings in a handsome profit. Recently, I attended a conference of a large, well-known carrier who had their top ten producers participate in a round table discussion. When asked how many of those agents did seminars on a regular basis, ten out of ten hands went up. If this is the case, why isn’t every advisor doing seminars all of the time?
Off the top of my head, I can probably list a dozen reasons why agents don’t hold seminars. I believe the chief reasons advisors don’t hold seminars are cost, effectiveness, advisor inexperience and fear. The good news is the topic of Social Security has been a game-changer for how seminars are conducted. Some of the biggest reasons that keep advisors from doing seminars have now been eliminated.

Cost

Traditional seminars are more expensive, and there are two factors that contribute to the bulk of the cost: mailers and meals. Most financial seminar invites will pull less than 1% on average, no matter how elaborate the mailer. Many of these invitations can cost around 60 cents. However, the interest in Social Security is so great and the demand for information so high, that less expensive mailers in lower quantity can pull the same results as traditional mailers. This not only saves money on your cost-per mailer price, but it also reduces the number you have to send out to fill a room.

In addition to mailers being less expensive, most of the invitations can draw a crowd without offering a meal. People, typically, want something to drink or snack on at an hour-long presentation, and we have found that cookies, coffee, and water work just fine. This, as opposed to dinner ranging from $40-$80 per person, is a significant decrease in your overall cost.

Effectiveness

The materials and the content of the Social Security seminar used by Tucker Advisors is extremely powerful. The HD videos, the flow of the content and the call to action is highly effective. It has been used to close over 80% of prospective clients into appointments on many occasions. In addition to good closing ratios, the seminar also builds a need for the information and the services of the advisor. The client needs to meet to discuss how to draw their Social Security. In the process, they realize that their entire portfolio may affect their Social Security and are often willing to share their personal finances in greater detail.

Inexperience

Not only is our seminar the best Social Security presentation on the market, but the seminar training that we offer is second to none. For many, learning how to deliver a seminar is intimidating and time-consuming. From memorizing, practicing, and delivering the presentation to handling the open, close, and appointment setting process is just too much for many agents. It is for precisely this reason that we have spent countless hours perfecting this process, making it simple, streamlined and efficient, even if you have never delivered a seminar before.

Fear

After all is said and done, some people are just terrified of public speaking. They would rather get a root canal than have to give a speech in front of a room of strangers! Does this sound like you? Maybe you aren’t as afraid of public speaking as you are paralyzed by the fear of what will happen if you simply just commit to doing a seminar. Will you be able to actually pull it off? What if you have a technological meltdown? What if you get asked a question publicly and you don’t know the answer? Not to fear! Our experienced seminar coaches will come to you and provide you all of the help and coaching you need – including actually performing the seminar for you. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Regardless of your reasons for not doing seminars, the Social Security seminar needs to be a part of your marketing arsenal immediately. Call us today to book a seminar of to discuss having a seminar coach come to your hometown to present your seminar for you.

Top 10 Seminar Tips

Top 10 Seminar Tips

1. Show conviction when you present a seminar

The fastest way to lose an audience of any size is to not believe in what you’re talking about. Unless you believe in yourself and what you are saying, why in the world should anyone else? Conviction, passion and enthusiasm can win over even the most skeptical audience.

2. Make your audience smile

Nothing will build a bridge to each member of an audience faster than by getting them to smile. You do not have to be a stand-up comedian to make this happen. Instead, tell a quick anecdote, some personal story or a cute, non-offensive joke that takes no longer than a couple of minutes to tell. I’ve found that if I can share a story about my family or myself, it endears people to me, and it will do the same for you. Once you can get an audience laughing, you’ve got their attention and have their hearts and minds for the remainder of your seminar.

3. Keep it simple

Seminar speakers often fall into the trap of trying to win audiences over with their intellect and credentials regarding the subject matter that they are presenting. Essentially, we try to “wow” them with how much we know. We feel like that should easily lead to success in the form of appointments booked. If this is the philosophy you subscribe to, you are wrong. People make purchases from an emotion that they experienced and not just the reasoning as to why they should make the purchase. This even includes folks that are, by nature, more detail-oriented such as engineers and accountants.

4. Life’s not all sunshine and rainbows

Life mirrors the economy; we are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or heading into our next crisis. In our Social Security Seminar, there are a lot of unsettling hard-truths that must be shared with our audiences. Do not take the approach of not wanting to upset your audience by what you say for fear they may not like what they hear and thus won’t book appointments with you. You need to stir up the audience’s emotions. It’s easy to shine a light on someone else’s portfolio but when the spotlight is focused on our economic reality, it’s a watershed moment that can cause a lot of heartache. However this will ultimately be the reason that audience members turn into clients.

5. Tell your audience what you’re going to say. tell them. then tell them what you told them

Most people will only remember the “bread” of the “sandwich” portion of your seminar – the beginning and the end. They will not be able to retain most the “meat” of your seminar. If you do not have the strongest presentation during the middle of your seminar, but you have a memorable and emotional open and close, you should have a better response rate than the industry average. Open with something that gets people to smile, provide them with the evening’s agenda, including how long they can expect to be there. Tell them what you’re going to say. Tell them. Then, tell them what you told them, which will culminate in a call-to-action.

6. Do not hide the fact that you are looking to book appointments with each audience member

If you go to the doctor and provide only one reason why you are visiting, what are the odds that they will be able to provide you with a thorough and accurate assessment? Why would you not be “up-front” with your audiences about why you are all gathered together for your Social Security seminar? Tucker Advisors has found that the faster you introduce this to your audience and are able to bring it back up a few more times during your hour together, the higher the booking ratio you will have. Tell them that you are only able to cover the tip of the iceberg regarding their specific questions and scenarios. Take it one step further and tell them when, not if, but when they schedule their free, no-obligation consultation with you, they will be able to get a personalized prescription that accurately diagnoses exactly where their portfolios are versus where they want to be. They will happily meet with you and bring their entire portfolio to obtain your invaluable expertise and recommendations.

7. Create camaraderie between audience members

You can do this in a variety of ways I suggest setting up the room with round tables. Round tables should have only enough chairs so that each table’s seats are in a half-moon with the audience always focused on the presenter. This eliminates the guests having their backs to you, and more importantly, forces complete strangers to talk to one another and build rapport. This opportunity is lost if you have long tables that prevent people from making eye-contact or interacting with one another. When you ask for the yellow appointment sheet to be completed, the process of turning in the appointment sheet turns into a feeding frenzy. Once one person sees the value that others perceive by setting an appointment, you are well on your way to being busier with appointments than you have ever been before.

8. Do not give away everything that you know

You want to provide your audience with enough information to wet their appetites and leave them wanting more (in the form of booking an appointment with you.) If you answer all of their questions, there is no incentive for them to come to you for an additional consultation. In fact, I begin every seminar by saying, “While each of you have several questions about Social Security and your specific scenarios, if I answered everyone’s questions, we would be here for a week. You committed one hour of your time tonight, so out of respect to everyone else, please write your questions down. If it is not answered throughout the course of the seminar, bring it with you when you and I meet for an additional consultation.” I’m often asked how I handle it when an audience member raises their hand or blurts out a question during my presentation. I simply reference the statement I made at the beginning of the seminar. I do not answer the question and respectfully move on.

9. Position yourself as, “The Income Expert”

What is an, “Income Expert”? This is the exact response that each member in the audience will have amongst themselves and others. You just created a fantastic opportunity for multiple ice-breaking conversations with your future clients that you would not have had if you told them you were a CFP, Stock Broker, Accountant, Insurance or Annuity Specialist. Using the title of, “Income Specialist”, you have placed distance between yourself and all of the people in your town with titles that everyone can identify.

10. Address a common OBJECTION in the room – “I already work with a stockbroker”

We have all heard this one, right? To make it more complicated, often times, the stockbroker is a relative or family friend. Take this objection head-on. I usually say something like this, “You are an outlier, Mr. and Mrs. Client. Many of my clients do not have the acumen to work with a financial professional, and I am glad to hear that you both do. Let me ask you this, if the stock market has had two “bear” runs in 2000 and 2008, what has your stockbroker done differently with your portfolio to protect you against the next bear market? What if the next bear market took place while you are retired and are counting on the nest egg you’ve built to provide you with the lifestyle that you have worked a lifetime to enjoy? If you and your stockbroker have done nothing differently, then your portfolio will undoubtedly experience the same dramatic downturns or worse than you experienced in 2000 and 2008 at a time when you have no earnings to help alleviate the pressure on your investments. Don’t you think you deserve a free, no-obligation second opinion?”

I wish you great selling,

George Hametis

Seminar Coach

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