I write this post from the experience of conducting over 200 seminars as a financial advisor, reaching the point where 65% of attendees would make appointments and I was raising over $1 million per seminar. Much of what I write your will be new to you because I rarely see these issues covered in other posts about seminar marketing.
Fill the Seminar Room
Filling the room is not about serving food. Filling the room that is about a compelling invitation. Consider the fact that Hitler was able to move all whole nation to commit horrific acts using only one tool–words. It is the words on your invitation that fill the room or have you speaking to three lonely souls. Few financial advisors understand this because they have no training in the use of language to motivate people to action. There is a science for this; it is called copy writing. Your choice is to either teach yourself how to write copy (I spent five years training myself to do this) or hire a copy writer to compose a compelling invitation for you. A properly worded invitation will make all the difference.
Until you understand consumer psychology, what motivates your potential clients and the words that will reach into their psyche and emotions, you will have anemic attendance at your seminars. Invest the $5000 you would otherwise spend on food for your next couple seminars and hire really good copy writer.
Get Seminar Appointments
You may think getting appointments is about the showing people how smart you are. Wrong. You already know plenty of advisors in this business who are not very bright and earn a lot of money. You don't have to be smart to be financially successful. What nobody told you is that people who attend your seminars choose to make an appointment based on one issue – do they like you. And in our culture, if you want people to like you, make them feel good when they're with you. How you do that? You entertain them.
That's right. Make your seminar an entertaining event. The method you use almost doesn't matter. I did it by telling jokes. I had six really good jokes that I interspersed throughout my seminar that got really good laughs. By the end of my seminar, attendees were in a very good mood, had enjoyed themselves and were very happy to set an appointment with me when I offered (by the way, you must close the appointment at the seminar, not by calling afterwards).
There are unlimited ways to entertain people:
- bring your guitar and sing silly songs that have to do with financial issues
- tell entertaining stories
- intersperse your Powerpoint with entertaining cartoons
- do magic tricks that illustrate your financial points
- create clever poems about financial topics and recite them from memory through your presentation
- play audio clips of existing songs that shed a humorous light on the points you're making about your rather dull financial topics
Your attendees are actually bored by your talk about global diversification and tactical asset allocation. They don't understand 50% of what you tell them. But if you entertain them and they like you, they will be happy to meet with you. That is not to say that your seminar can be devoid of content, it's just that the content alone will not get you any appointments. As I have said many times, if you educate prospects, you'll never earn more than a school teacher.
Make Seminar Appointments Stick
You will have a lot of people cancel their appointment or not show unless you do the following step. You must call and confirm those people who made an appointment the very next morning at 8 a.m. You cannot delegate this. You must do this step yourself. If you delegate it, prospects will cancel. If you do it, they won't cancel because they have an emotional bond with you, the seminar presenter and person they like.
Incorporate these steps to have a breakthrough in your seminar results.