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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Social Security: Maximizing Your Client’s Retirement

social-security-asset-protection

Social Security: Maximizing Your Client’s Retirement

If you want to maximize your Social Security, you need to protect your assets.

There many reasons to consider indexed annuities as part of your clients’ portfolios. Research shows that if we can capture a modest portion of the market’s upside movement while still protecting against losses, there is a strong chance we can outperform the market over time. Not only does this bode well for the performance of the portfolio, but it is nice to do so while sleeping well at night. Warren Buffett famously said that the best way to hedge against inflation is to not lose any of your money. But where does the indexing conversation fit into Social Security planning?

When planning for retirement, it usually makes sense to defer as long as possible. Yes, there are benefits that may be available to a person early, but these typically only provide a small benefit before taking the maximum amount, which almost always comes at age 70. As people elect to wait to draw their Social Security, they typically either continue to work or live (to some extent) off of their savings and investments.

Retirement Scenario

Consider this: In traditional portfolio management during retirement years, a retiree typically lives on a fixed withdrawal percentage from their investments. In other words, if a person has a $1 million portfolio, they will pull 4% out of their portfolio every year to live on, giving them a $40,000 annual income. What happens if, during the course of a market downturn, the retiree loses a significant portion of their portfolio to market losses? Either one of two things will probably take place:

The retiree will continue with the same standard of living and will have to pull a larger percentage from their portfolio to ensure the same monthly income. This can have devastating effects on the portfolio if the losses are not recuperated in a timely fashion.

Due to a reduced amount of income from a fixed percentage rate within the portfolio, other sources of income need to be considered in order to prevent further damage to the portfolio. The most common areas to turn to are to get a job (less than ideal), deplete emergency funds (bad idea), use credit (worse idea), or take Social Security early.

Usually for a retiree not currently on Social Security, the most common choice (of the above options) is to take Social Security early. This is unfortunate because it reduces the person’s monthly income from Social Security for the rest of their life. Due to the inability to sustain their income level because of losses in their portfolio, they compound their income difficulties by shorting their guaranteed income stream for Social Security for the rest of their life.

Indexed Annuities

Enter the indexing solution! By not exposing your clients’ portfolios to losses in the market, you not only guarantee that they will continue with an uninterrupted income stream, but you also ensure that the Social Security plan you put together will be attainable. This will help you eliminate the need to tap into Social Security early due to unforeseen income reductions. This is just another reason to consider indexing as a strategy for your clients nearing, or in, retirement.

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

Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

PERFECT YOUR PRESENTATION

I have noticed that when I come up with a new idea – whether it is a sales presentation, radio ad or seminar—I usually include too many thoughts.

For example, I will write my new idea for a radio ad. Then, when I go to record it in the one-minute time allotment, there’s just no way to fit in all the information. It might take two minutes to communicate all the ideas I want to include. That is when I start cutting some of the material. My final edit of a one-minute ad is often quite revealing. The ad is clear, concise and focused. Doesn’t it have to be? I only have one minute!

Winston Churchill once said, “If you want me to speak for an hour— give me a moment’s notice; if you want me to speak for half an hour, give me a day’s notice; if you want me to speak for five minutes—give me a week.” Some of the most memorable and famous speeches ever presented can be recited in ten minutes or less. In other words, I don’t have to be concise if I have an hour. Could you clearly get your sales message delivered in ten minutes? Try it—the exercise will be valuable for you.

How long is your sales presentation? Thirty minutes? One hour? Two hours?

When I create a new seminar presentation for the first time – for example, our new Social Security seminar—I have a tendency to put in every detail I know on the topic. It may start out with as many as 50 slides. Then, I review what I have created and on every slide I ask myself, “What is the point of this slide? Can the presentation be effective, and more focused, if I remove it?”

Now, let’s apply this thinking to your presentation. Do you plant the following seeds in every presentation?

  • Optimize Social Security Income
  • Recommend Annuities for Safety, Growth and Income
  • Life Insurance for Death Benefit Protection and Tax-Free Retirement Income
  • Prudent Money Management
  • Consideration of Reverse Mortgages
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage and
  • Estate Planning

Hopefully, you just responded with the answer, “No.” These diverse and complex topics encompass entirely too much information to cover in a single presentation. Unless your prospect is uniquely focused and very intelligent you will likely only confuse them and lose the sale.

What if you remove the estate-planning topic? Are you now focused with an easily understood plan? The answer, once again, is “No.” You are still covering too many ideas.

What if you talked about only Social Security? Social Security is a great “door opener” and facilitates the broader conversation concerning maximization of income in retirement. This topic may be used as a foundation to spring board into additional topics like annuity or life insurance sales. I have learned to keep things simple and focused, and present the least amount of information necessary to make a prospect confident that their buying decision is a good idea. Once you have established a relationship based on trust and confidence there will be opportunities to cover the additional topics and create a plan that meets your client’s needs and provides you with a continuing source of new business.

PERFECT YOUR CLOSING STRATEGY

Picture this: You are 90 minutes into your presentation, and your prospect tells you, “You had me about an hour ago.” Has that ever happened to you? This begs the question: Why do we try to provide so much information and offer so many different strategies all at once?

The answer: A lack of confidence.

We are not convinced that what we say is good enough to close the sale. Instead of asking for the sale early on, we give more information, and then more and even more.

In the sales process, I ask closing questions in the first 5 minutes of the presentation.

You’ve heard it before, and it’s as simple as ABC—Always Be Closing. I have closed hundreds of sales so quickly (within 30-45 minutes) that I usually spend another 30-60 minutes after the sale is completed to reinforce what we just did.

I am not advocating you switch to a “one-call-close” if you currently do a “2-3 call-close,” but I encourage you to be deliberate in the information and strategies you share. Have the end in mind. What are you trying to accomplish and what can you accomplish in a first-sale scenario? Once you have a client, you can keep selling to them for the rest of their lives if you continue to add value.

A leading grocery store chain created a display with over 100 different jams, jellies and preserves. They utilized a hidden camera to observe the buyer’s behavior. Only 17% of the shoppers who stopped at the display actually purchased a jar.

Then the store changed the selection to just two choices: Strawberry Jam and Grape Jelly. The result was that 47% of the shoppers purchased.

Can you imagine how much money you would make if you made a sale to almost half of your prospects?

Well, let’s figure it out—here are some numbers to illustrate this point (Keep in mind that, on average, one Social Security seminar mailer will provide you with 100 prospects.):

  • 1 Mailer to 7,500 – 10,000 Potential Prospects
  • 100 Prospects Attend the Seminars
  • 60 Households
  • 30 Set Appointments
  • 25 Keep the Appointment

You Close 47%—so that equals 11.75. Now, keep in mind the average annuity sale is $100,000 and the average commission is 6% or $6,000 in this illustration.

  • 11.75 X $6,000 = $70,000
  • 12 months X $70,000 = $840,000

Congratulations—you now earn more than 98% of the American population! And why are you now earning so much?

It’s simple, you kept it simple!

PERFECT YOUR PRODUCT

There isn’t any question or objection you can throw at me about the product I am presenting that I can’t answer. Having the answers builds confidence —first in me, and then in my prospect. This makes them comfortable when making the buying decision.

Keep it simple and remain focused. Know the product and company that you are selling. If you concentrate your efforts on one or two products, then you can study those until you answer every question and objection that comes your way.

Remember:

  • Keep it Simple. When it comes to presenting: Less is more.
  • Shorten your presentation and deliver your most compelling information clearly and concisely.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale early and often—and with confidence.
  • Know the product you are selling. Know the answers to your prospects’ objections before they even ask.
  • If you can deliver on these four things, I am confident that you will see your sales increase dramatically.

I wish you great selling,

Karlan Tucker

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