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.

Seminar Tips: Venue

Seminar Tips: Venue

The most common way that you can single-handedly sabotage your seminar is by booking the wrong venue. These are the most common mistakes that you can easily avoid when it comes to booking the right venue for your seminar. If you overlook any one of these when booking your venue; Congratulations! You have just successfully sabotaged your seminar.

1. Booking a Cheap Venue

If you book a venue that is inexpensive, it is generally a run-down facility in a questionable part of town that will serve to undue any incentive that the recipients of your mailer had in attending your seminar.

2. Booking an Extravagant Venue

If your venue is considered by many people in your community to be extravagant, this will also serve to turn people off from attending because they are convinced that there must be some kind of catch. For example, how can there be a free seminar about social security at the country club without them wanting something in return?

SOLUTION: Book a venue that is just right.

It should be clean, in a nice part of town, centrally located with respect to the zip codes you have mailed to, relatively well-known, easy to get to and have enough free parking in close proximity to the venue to accommodate everyone that will be attending your seminar.

3. Booking a Venue with Problematic Parking

The parking should always be FREE. NO VALET PARKING. NO PARKING METERS. If it is in a parking garage, how easy is it to get to the meeting room? Is the parking garage FREE? Is it well-lit? You should strongly consider having someone at the entrance of the building that comes in from the parking garage to meet attendees and tell them how to get to the location of your seminar or better yet, personally walk them to the room.

4. Booking a Venue that is Under Construction

Is there construction on any of the major streets and expressways or in and around the venue or at the venue itself that will ensure that your seminar will be a failure?

SOLUTION: Drive to the venue BEFORE you book it.

You must personally drive to the venue and ask yourself what your new clients will be thinking about as they drive to your seminar and walk through the facility to get to the room in which your seminar will be held. Keep the aforementioned list above as your guideline.

5. Booking a Venue that Lacks Professionalism from its Employees

If the folks that you interact with at the venue you are inquiring to book are not professional in appearance, demeanor, over the phone and most importantly, are lacking professionalism to return your phone calls, faxes and emails in a timely-fashion, you now know what to expect from them during your seminars.

You also know how your seminar attendees will be “welcomed” to the seminar. A negative first impression from the venue’s staff will destroy any opportunity that you will have to get an appointment from each attendee who is looking for reasons not to book an appointment with you.

SOLUTION: Book a venue that provides you outstanding customer service every time you work with them.

6. Booking a Venue without Noticing the Details of that Venue

Go to each of the meeting rooms to see what they look like, how the sound resonates as you speak and if the meeting rooms are well-lit. Are the tables, chairs, linens, walls, windows and carpets clean and aesthetically pleasing or will they serve as a distraction?

Is the screen large enough to display the slide show in order for all of your attendees to view it clearly? Is the screen clean, held together without duct tape and in one piece i.e. free of holes, scratches and markings or would it serve as a distraction for your audience?

SOLUTION: No detail is too small.

If your attendees’ first impressions are skewed in any direction, you need to control all of the variables that you can to skew them in the direction of booking an appointment with you and ultimately becoming your client.

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Seminar Tips: Audience

Seminar Tips: Audience

1. Pre-Judging Attendees in Your Seminar

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.

2. Your Audience Does Not Owe You a Thing

Our sales force is very passionate when it comes to their thoughts on seminars. There is no gray area, either you love them or you hate them. In exploring the reasons that many men and women we work with hate them, they reveal horror stories of poor turn-out and the fact that they were not able to turn a profit and that they flat-out do not work. What you need to never lose sight of is the fact that the people that attend your seminars do not owe you a thing. You need to create a value-proposition by capturing the hearts and minds of your audience. Unless they see their lives being more than what they were before your seminar, they will not book an appointment with you.

There are so many variables that you cannot control that will impact the success of your seminars; weather, the number of other seminars that are taking place in the weeks leading up to, during and after your seminar; and how strong of a closer you are. Most agents can close about 15% of their appointments while the members of MDRT can close 30%. Often times, the men and women in our business who try seminars one time, the seminars did not provide them with the magic bullet they were expecting and never explore the power of seminars again. Karlan Tucker has built his personal practice, his in-house sales’ teams’ practice and his FMO on a foundation of capitalizing on the success of his seminars. We also run into variables that are out of our control, the same way that you do but that should never cause you to think that seminars are not effectively one of the most viable, lucrative ,profit-margin-rich means of acquiring new clients available to all of us.

Control everything that you can and realize that weather and what your competitors are doing are generally beyond your control. You must understand that people who attend your seminars are indifferent to you and that it falls entirely on you to make them want to learn more about what you can do to make their lives better. Ultimately, you must continually sharpen your sales skills so that after you have won them over, you can and will close them.

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