Seminar attendees

or Register to post new content in the forum

15 RepliesJump to last post

 

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Jul 13, 2007 2:51 pm

Hey guys and gals,


I have been planning my first seminar (with little success) and I am wondering what has worked for others in terms of getting people to show up.  I have been using cold calling to fill up my seminar and have sent invitations to prospects who have showed interest over the phone, however, in following up with these people, some of them don't remember our previous conversation, many didn't open the invitaion, throwing it out like junk mail and my list of possible attendees is short.  This is my first seminar, so I am a little discouraged by it, but I have been told that this is not that uncommon and that filling up a seminar in the summer is a little more difficult.  What are some alternative methods people have used to attract seminar attendees?  just looking for alternatives to fill up my next seminar and all advice is appreciated, by the way the seminar is on retirement planning, thanks again mooose

Jul 13, 2007 3:17 pm

Moose,


Isn't the point of the seminar to get people to then schedule individual appointments with you?   If that is the case, why don't you just skip trying to get them to attend the seminar and instead get them to meet with you individually.  You'll have better success and you won't have to plan a seminar.


I'm not anti-seminar.  If you are going to have one, I would suggest shelling out the money to let someone else spend the time filling up the room for you.  I just can't see how it makes sense for you to spend time cold-callling to fill up a seminar when you can use the time more effectively setting up appointments for yourself. 


I hate to say it, but your seminar sounds like sales avoidance behavior.

Jul 13, 2007 4:30 pm

Anonymous, I understand your point and the goal of my cold calls are to get an appoinment, however, sometimes people are a little hesitant to make an appointment, so I use a seminar as an alternative to people who show some interest.  This is generally done with individual HH which I have been having less success with compared to business owners. 


On another note, i have been using wholesalers to fund these seminars, as i can't afford the expenses right now and it is my job to fill out the seats, is this not the norm? 


all part of the learning curve, "those who don't learn from their mistakes are the ones who are stupid"


mooose

Jul 13, 2007 5:05 pm
mooose:

Anonymous, I understand your point and the goal of my cold calls are to get an appoinment, however, sometimes people are a little hesitant to make an appointment, so I use a seminar as an alternative to people who show some interest.  This is generally done with individual HH which I have been having less success with compared to business owners. 


On another note, i have been using wholesalers to fund these seminars, as i can't afford the expenses right now and it is my job to fill out the seats, is this not the norm? 


all part of the learning curve, "those who don't learn from their mistakes are the ones who are stupid"


mooose



all you need to be doing is looking for people who are ready to take action NOW. you will have fewer appointments, but you'll do business with the appointments you have, instead of pissing away your time trying to coerce some dumbass into buying something from you. been there, done that, wish i hadn't.

Jul 13, 2007 5:46 pm

Sorry, but responding to your question would be like trying to answer the chicken or the egg theory. You provide way too little information to come up with anything. Give us more detail and then we can ram something up your oh wait, help you.

Jul 13, 2007 6:00 pm

My post is simple, how have you gotten people to attend seminars you have held?  Is that too confusing for you?


mooose


at least when bobby has a smart ass comment, it is either funny or somewhat relevant (i also like hockey!), in your case, you are a moron!

Jul 13, 2007 6:35 pm

It's all in the details, which you haven't provided:



How many invitations are you sending out?

To warm or cold prospects?

What kind of invitation?

What age (who's your target audience)?

What's your topic/title of the seminar?

Is it a "canned seminar" or one you made up?

Is there a "company name" on it (you indicated you were getting money from a wholesaler) - so does it say Oppenheimer or something on the invitation?

What time of day/day of week?

You serving food or not?



There are so many variables I won't go any further. Seminar marketing can be very profitable or it can be a total waste of everypone's time and money.



Jul 13, 2007 8:15 pm

Moose- Be nice.  No one is under any obligation to respond to your questions.


Yes, I'm being harsh.  Take a look at my 500 day war post.  Seminars, for the most part are time not well spent.  Too much time/effort/cost with little results.  The exception is when you are asked/invited to speak to a qualified group that has already been chosen/assembled at a specific time.  Then you have some leverage.


Get on the phone; talk to people; ask for orders! I spent all day pitching a particular investment to a bunch of clients and prospects.  I was shot down by a number of people, thought got enough "yes's" to make it a very profitable day.  And this is July, one of the months where my biggest trailers hit.  I don't even need to show up to have a huge month.  Nevertheless, I do. 

Jul 13, 2007 8:21 pm
The Judge:

Moose- Be nice.  No one is under any obligation to respond to your questions.


Yes, I'm being harsh.  Take a look at my 500 day war post.  Seminars, for the most part are time not well spent.  Too much time/effort/cost with little results.  The exception is when you are asked/invited to speak to a qualified group that has already been chosen/assembled at a specific time.  Then you have some leverage.


Get on the phone; talk to people; ask for orders! I spent all day pitching a particular investment to a bunch of clients and prospects.  I was shot down by a number of people, thought got enough "yes's" to make it a very profitable day.  And this is July, one of the months where my biggest trailers hit.  I don't even need to show up to have a huge month.  Nevertheless, I do. 



Judge! Your posts are great.  You should set up a PayPal account...I would pay you to provide me with some consulting services

Jul 13, 2007 11:52 pm

Moose, call your best clients and ask them to bring a friend to dinner

(couples). Do an intimite dinner with 12-16 people, half of which are

friends of your clients, and you will make them clients. Do that every

month. No invitations, no thinking, your assistant makes the dinner

reservations, you just show up and entertain. Have a wholesaler come

along and pay for it. Make sure it's a good wholesaler that knows how to

socialize and not "sell". You do this in the eveniing, it doesn't even

conflict with your selling day.



It's much more impressive to clients and prospects than going to a chew-

and-screw seminar.

Jul 13, 2007 11:57 pm
madabroker:


There are so many variables I won't go any
further. Seminar marketing can be very profitable or it can be a total
waste of everypone's time and money.






You really have to decide what your target from the seminar is going to
be. Going after gullable seniors is different than going after younger
savvier HNW prospects.



Doing a really cheap seminar is going to be different than a really fancy seminar.



I'd say that if you are starting out you are better off using a
mailing  house like RME, to fill the seats for you. And you are
better off working on your presentation skills so you can do the talk
yourself vs having a wholesaler give it. What good is it if the
wholesaler makes a positive impression and you do not?






Jul 14, 2007 12:11 am
mooose:

Hey guys and gals,


I have been planning my first seminar (with little success) and I am wondering what has worked for others in terms of getting people to show up.  I have been using cold calling to fill up my seminar and have sent invitations to prospects who have showed interest over the phone, however, in following up with these people, some of them don't remember our previous conversation, many didn't open the invitaion, throwing it out like junk mail and my list of possible attendees is short.  This is my first seminar, so I am a little discouraged by it, but I have been told that this is not that uncommon and that filling up a seminar in the summer is a little more difficult.  What are some alternative methods people have used to attract seminar attendees?  just looking for alternatives to fill up my next seminar and all advice is appreciated, by the way the seminar is on retirement planning, thanks again mooose



I will be the first to say that I am not a seminar expert.  I have seen some good ones and some bad ones.  If you're having problems filling it or getting people to rsvp, it would be my guess your subject sucks and isn't attracting them.  You say retirement planning, but that's what everyone else is talking to them about, and their other advisor is talking to them about.  I would bet more people would be interested to go to a seminar about "How to differentiate between altzheimers and normal memory loss" because that's what their parents are dealing with.  No one else is talking to them about that.  Bring in someone from AARP to talk.  You can always work in retirement planning into it, but people will go for a specific reason, not necessarily plain old fashioned retirement planning. 

Jul 15, 2007 9:48 pm

Seminars don't work.  Actually, that's not true.  Seminars are a great way to get to know new prospects but getting new prospects to the seminar is challenging.

I will admit that my experience is limited but there has to be a better way.  I hosted a seminar where I send out over 10,000 inserts, almost 2000 invitations and about 1500 follow-up phone calls.  From that I netted only about 3 new prospects.  It was hardly worth the effort.

I did however luck into a helping with a seminar where my branch invited prospects (not common, but a long story) and I had a great conversation with four new potential relationships.  Out of those four relationships two were not qualified to work with me (I really mean unqualified) one was an employee of my company and the other was a real prospect (not closed yet, but close)

I will definitely continue to do seminars but I will avoid having to invite people on my own and instead get invited to speak in front of a group that may be interested in the education.  In my opinion, that's about the only way to successfully get people to listen to you.  Have them invite you instead of you inviting them.  Good luck in finding those opportunities but if you do you will get a lot more bang for your buck.

--WM

Jul 15, 2007 10:34 pm


I will definitely continue to do seminars but I will avoid having to invite people on my own and instead get invited to speak in front of a group that may be interested in the education.  In my opinion, that's about the only way to successfully get people to listen to you.  Have them invite you instead of you inviting them.  Good luck in finding those opportunities but if you do you will get a lot more bang for your buck.

--WM

[/quote]

Agree with WM.  With my business owner/CPA/Attorney prospects and clients I offer them the opportunity to have me talk with their employees as a group for investor education. 

It works well for 2 reasons.  1st) If they go with it, obvious reasons of little effort, more qualified group, known setting, introduction, and you wanted to talk in front of a group.  2nd) this is my favorite.  It eventually gives you more credibility by offering and even if you don't get in front of their employees you are much closer to getting in front of the owner directly. With multiple drips they eventually believe that you talk in front of groups all the time (even if you don't) and as such you must be an expert, so they should talk to you too when a need comes up. 

Either way, IMO promote investor education at their location for the prospects you've already talked with.  Way cheaper and more effective. 

Jul 20, 2007 4:42 pm

if you want to learn more about seminar marketing just go to google and type in "financial advisor seminar marketing".  The people who hang here obviously do not do many seminars.  The google search will find articles from magazines as well as sites of companies that do mailings and sell seminar systems.  Spend a Saturday afternoon devouring all the information you can.  Send your questions to the companies that sell seminar services and then use your judgement as to whether or not they know what they're talking about.


There are hundreds of advisors who do no other prospecting then seminars and make very, very good livings doing it.  Nearly all the million dollar producers I know do at least a few seminars every year.  None of them cold call to fill the room.  Direct mail, radio ads, newspaper inserts and ads all can work if done correctly.  My own experience has been that I've never gotten a ROI less than 1000% from the dollars I've spent on seminars and have had a blast doing them.


Good luck and pay no attention to the naysayers.  Seminars do work, just ask the people who make millions doing them not the peopel who've tried one or two and failed.  The first fifty cold-calls I made all resulted in nothing; but that doesn't mean it doesn't work.  Like anything, the more you do it the better you get.