Financial Seminars – A how-NOT-to guide …

Hosting financial seminars can be an excellent way to create new (and potentially profitable) client relationships. But missteps along the way can keep you from realizing the true power of the seminar. Here are some things to avoid.

1) Mis-Marketing.
Who do you want in the seats for this seminar? Qualified prospects. So before you begin marketing, you need to consider who you’re marketing to. What’s your target? Are you marketing in a way that will reach them primarily as opposed to, say, just anyone? Think of each chair as prime real estate. You want to fill those chairs, sure. But filling them with people who are unlikely to become “A” clients is counter-productive.

2) No contact.
When a prospect registers for your seminar – don’t just plan to meet them on the day of the event. CALL THEM. Confirm their attendance with an informal call, and use that as the first step in building a relationship. You want them to feel comfortable walking in. They should enter the room feeling like they would be welcome to come up to you and say “hi, we spoke on the phone” … not like a number in a crowd. Make them feel welcome from that first call, and solidify that in the time prior to the seminar. Get your ducks in a row ahead of time so you can spend those pre-seminar moments greeting your guests. The more you do to build a relationship and degree of comfort from the get-go, the more likely it becomes that you will be able to convert the lead later.

3) No closure.
We all need closure – even at a seminar. Just waving goodbye and hoping for the best won’t do you much good. These are leads – CLOSE THEM. Ask people to stay after to speak with you or your assistant(s) and be sure to pass out feedback forms requesting an appointment. Be polite, but be sure to firmly ask for that appointment. If you’ve called them previously, greeted them on the day of, and given a compelling seminar … this should not be a difficult task. At the very least you should be able to get a dialogue going that may lead to a future appointment, if not right now. Be sure to let them know you’re there for them when they’re ready – even if they’re not ready yet. Give them your business card and invite them to call you if they have any questions. Remember – the best relationships are built for the long-term.

4) No follow-through.
EVERY attendee should receive a follow-up call. (The only exception to this is if you have been specifically asked NOT to contact them.) This is an important step, and one that should not be overlooked. You may find that someone who was not interested in setting up a meeting on the day of the seminar has, after letting the information marinade, become more open to the idea. Also important – contact anyone who registered but did not show up.

Avoiding these four key missteps can help you greatly increase the value and effectiveness of financial seminars.

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