It was a great lesson for me to learn, but it took a soaking on a wet and windy February morning in London to discover just how powerful seminars can be…
In fact, it shocked me just how effective this was...
It was the early 1990s and I was working as a Broker Consultant for Zurich Life in London. I had a panel of IFAs to call on, but because it was a City patch, I never got to use my shiny company car. I walked everywhere, and in the winter it wasn’t a lot of fun.
Like most Broker Consultants, my target was to meet with twenty IFAs a week. It had to be by appointment, but for most of us, our IFA contacts kept us at arm’s length as much as possible - we might see ten if we were lucky…
I remember standing on the corner of Bank and Cornhill one morning as the rain lashed down. My shoes were soaked through and I wasn’t enjoying it at all.
It crossed my mind that there ought to be a better way of reaching out to my IFA contacts.
And that’s when a lightbulb came on…
What if I switched things round and could get the IFAs to come and see me instead?!
It was a worth a try and I headed back to the comfort of our Leadenhall Street office to make plans.
As I looked round the fourth floor, I realised that we had a lot of expertise in the office. We had an underwriter, an actuary, fund manager and the CEO – and we had a fantastic boardroom with great views of the City.
My sales training had always stressed the importance of adding value to my prospects, and it occurred to me that I could wheel these people out if I hosted a small seminar for my IFA contacts.
It didn’t take me long to discover the power of the bacon roll to get ‘bums on seats’.
Soon after, I was hosting small and intimate seminars and workshops for my IFA contacts. We put the focus on four things:
- Adding value through sales ideas
- Training on how underwriters assess Protection applications
- Giving IFAs a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our company, its people and its values
- Giving our IFA attendees an additional opportunity to network and engage with each other
And yes, it worked…
Usually I would host short breakfast meetings, but mixed it up with lunch workshops and the occasional full or half day training event.
Almost overnight I went from seeing between ten and twenty IFAs a week, through to often seeing twenty or more a day.
My sales figures spoke for themselves and it wasn’t long before I was given a major promotion.
This simple strategy of moving from ‘speaking to one’ to ‘speaking to many’ had an immediate impact on my sales.
But not only that, there were other benefits too:
- Perception of our company as experts in our field was increased significantly
- Trust in us as a company grew instantly
- IFAs instinctively expressed interest in what other products we offered
- I stood out from the crowd in the Broker Consultant community because I was doing something different
- Overnight, I was able to gain face-to-face appointments with anyone who had attended our seminar
Now, this isn’t unusual.
It’s a fact that Seminars and workshops have proved themselves time and time again over decades as a proven way to attract new clients.
In many industries, those who use seminars and live presentations as part of their proposition are consistently amongst the most successful amongst their peers. It is particularly true within Financial Services. Most of the top financial advisers around the world have used seminars and workshops as part of their proposition.
As a financial adviser, you may be aware of some advice firms whose entire proposition is based around seminars, and if you’re like me, you’ll have received invitations to their events in the post.
Just a few years later, I went on to write a book about how to use seminars and workshops to attract new clients and it was a best-seller in the Sales and Marketing category.
But here’s the thing…
For IFAs and Financial Planners who took seminars seriously, it didn’t take them long to realise that there was another key benefit that they hadn’t seen coming…
Whilst most business people use seminars and workshops as a lead generation tool, it can do a lot more than that.
You see, when done properly, conversion rates can be incredibly high…
One IFA told me that he would run a seminar every three months in a local hotel. He said that out of a room of about forty people, 90%+ would want to make an appointment to see him.
"Sometimes the conversion rate was 100%" he told me.
Now that’s great, but this IFA went on to tell me that in due course he started charging people to attend his events.
It was exactly the same event, but instead of offering attendance for free, he would charge £147 – with a discount to £97.
What do you think happened when he started charging for exactly the same seminar?
Initially he was concerned that this would put off people from attending, but quite the opposite happened…
Because the perceived value had increased; charging a sensible but ‘professional’ entrance fee made his seminar even more desirable.
Now, you do the math: £97 X 40 = £3,880
That’s £3,880 that people pay him in advance of the seminar. That's before he even meets them.
Doesn’t that sound good?!
And even if just 50% of attendees wanted an appointment afterwards, that strikes me as a fantastic business model!
Now let’s bring this right up to date, because in a world of fee-based financial advice it’s critical that you not only offer value, but are SEEN to be offering value.
- If you are looking for new clients – seminars and workshops are an option for you to consider because they are proven to work
- If you are looking for a new way to add value to existing clients – seminars and workshops are a MUST
- If you are looking for a new way to deliver and share your financial planning expertise, seminars and workshops should be on your list
- If you are looking for a proven new income stream – seminars and workshops will work for you
- If you are looking to enhance the perception of your expertise, professionalism and credibility – seminars and workshops are proven to work, just as they did for me…
- If you want more professional connections to refer business to you – seminars are a proven way to fast-forward those key relationships
- If you want to raise your profile locally, build relationships with local journalists and strengthen your personal brand – you must embrace seminars and workshops
Does this sound good?
I’ve only scratched the surface with this article, but are you starting to see the possibilities this offers you?
And I haven’t even mentioned the incredible value you can give when you run your own weekend retreats and ‘bootcamps’…!
But I know you have questions like these...
- How do I fill the seats?
- How many people should I invite?
- Where do I get a mailing list?
- How do I attract the RIGHT type of attendees?
- What topics should I talk about during my seminar?
- What are the best days of the week for seminars?
- Can I outsource the planning?
- How do I write a mailing letter?
- Should I get a guest speaker?
- Have you any examples of best practice?
- What if I’m nervous about public speaking?
- How long should I take to market and promote my event?
- And many others…
Take immediate action...
It's not for everyone, but here’s what you should do if you think that seminars and workshops could have a part to play in how you attract more of the right type of clients…
On 12th September I’m hosting a three hour webinar on How To Attract High End Clients Through Seminars, Workshops and Retreats.
It’s a no-nonsense webinar which could be worth many thousands of pounds in revenue for you. It starts prompt at 10am, but don’t worry if you can’t make it at that time and day, because when you register, you’ll have guaranteed access to the recording so that you can go through it again at your leisure.
When you join our webinar, you’re going to learn:
- The key benefits of using seminars and workshops (some of them will surprise you)
- How to plan and promote your seminar – online and through traditional marketing methods
- Key influence techniques which will attract the people who you really want to attend your event
- How to present your message at your seminar in the most professional way possible so that attendees are eager to meet you
- Proven tips and techniques that will ‘wow’ attendees at your events
- How my financial adviser friend got conversion rates of up to 100%
- And much, much more…
What IFAs say
Here’s what one IFA in the North West of England said after we helped them with his new event:
“I am a man of few words - I'm sure 'thank you' will suffice. We ran our first seminar last night. The room capacity was for 50, and 61 turned up. [only] 250 invitations were sent out - we therefore believe the return rate is pretty good. The mixture was roughly 60% new people and 40% existing clients.”
Bill Hofstetter, Inspirational Financial Management Ltd.
"Nobody I have heard comes close to Phil's practical knowledge of using seminars and the internet (in all its varied forms) to get one's message out there."
David Crozier CFP, Navigator Financial Planning
Seminars are a long-established system for communicating financial products and financial services...
And whilst professional financial advisers have moved on from selling financial 'products', there couldn’t be a better way to sell your financial planning expertise. Seminars give high quality prospects an amazing opportunity to see the 'whites of your eyes'; to 'try before they buy' and to build a relationships with you based on trust.
It enables you to effortlessly establish trust and credibility and to create lucrative new relationships.
Establishing relationships is one of the biggest opportunities that hosting seminars can bring financial advisers, but often the most overlooked.
Many advisers say that they don’t actually want to increase their client base, preferring to focus on existing client relationships, but again, seminars are an outstanding and proven way to add value to existing client relationships and to cement recently new relationships.
Unlike the vast majority of webinars, we guarantee that this will not be a drawn-out sales pitch! We promise that when you join us at 10am on 12th September, we’ll get straight into the training, so you’ll need to be ready to start taking notes right from the start.
The training lasts for three hours and we guarantee that you’ll be able to get straight to work on planning your event.
Free bonuses: When you sign up today, we'll include a PDF copy of Philip Calvert's acclaimed book Successful Seminar Selling - PLUS we'll give you access to our private marketing group for financial advisers on Facebook.
You should sign up now…
Your investment is £167, but when you sign up immediately this is discounted to just £57. This price is for a limited period only.
If you have already booked on our forthcoming Internet Marketing webinar, you will receive a discount to just £47. Select this option when you sign up below.
Pay safely and securely - click the button at this link (bottom of the page) to pay with PayPal or your credit/debit card. Satisfaction guaranteed and full refund if not completely satisfied.
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