20-point Checklist for Seminar Selling
Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

20-point Checklist for Seminar Selling

May 10, 2013

by Tony Vidler

seminar selling for financial advisorsMany advisers feel that seminars are so last-year as a method of prospecting for new clients, and yet, so many advisers continue to do fantastically well with them.

As with most things in sales and marketing of professional services you can take a short-cut to success by learning the lessons of others – and then applying them.

Here is a quick checklist for running successful seminars as a method of attracting potential new clients:

  1. Focused on a specific group of potential clients with common needs or interests, or a single “problem” theme
  2. Well promoted in advance, with personalised invitations (as far as possible) to invitees.
  3. Actively promote the ability to provide invites for your prospects peers or friends
  4. Pre-seminar personal contact apart from the initial invitation (a phone call; social media or SMS follow up; etc).  HINT: sending a calendar appointment by email can be very effective.
  5. Professional premises or location for seminar, with comfortable seating, good lighting and drinks.  Room size for anticipated audience is critical.  Best to have too big a room rather than too small, but too big can be just as deadly.
  6. For initial set up put out seating for two-thirds of your expected audience.  Have more seats on standby able to put out easily, as required.  Generally there will be less actually turn up than you expected, and empty seats are a confidence sapper…but having to put out more seats because there are extra people gives the seminar a buzz to begin with.
  7. Strong and confident openings that clearly lay out what will be covered, what people will get, and what you expect them to do make a difference.
  8. Subject matter educates and provides SOME solutions and answers.
  9. Content is tailored to the target group, and made to feel personal and relevant for them.
  10. Ideal seminar length today is about 45-60 minutes.  People are time poor and generally impatient, but you have to provide enough depth and valuable content to make it worth their while coming.
  11. No pressure selling, or dramatic “do it now” appeals.
  12. Creates question in their minds and positively disturb the audience, so your follow up is natural and compelling.
  13. Manage the agenda and the timing to ensure you stick to the planned times. Do not allow audience distractions or an abundance of questions during the seminar, but defer them to a one on one conversation on completion.  Respect the audiences time.
  14. Give them an opportunity for feedback, and also to opt out of any follow up. Then respect any “opt out” requests.
  15. Get specific suggestions in your feedback on content, presentation style, venue/logistics, timing, etc…then use it to refine your process.
  16. Provide a “thank you” in addition to the seminar content.  Often very simple tools like checklists for them to take home and use in their own time, or information guides, are highly valued.  A real benefit of guides and checklists is that it continues to engage the audience after the event, linking to the next point: the follow up.
  17. Follow up with every individual after the event.  The optimum time for follow up is about 48 hours.  Follow up too soon and it seems pushy.  Follow up too late and they have lost the impetus.  Offer to answer any questions or clarify any points that the prospect may have thought of after the event.  Engage them….
  18. Qualify the prospects in terms of their degree of interest and level of ongoing engagement.  Determine who has a desire or need to follow through in the short, medium or long term. Or never. Get that information into your prospect database.
  19. Have a clearly defined ongoing engagement strategy that keeps you in contact with prospects until the time or circumstances are right for them to follow through.
  20. Be patient.  The majority of attendees will be potential clients for your firm at some point in time if your content is relevant, your delivery is professional, your follow through is appropriate and you continue to engage in a meaningful way afterwards.

The key thing with the seminar itself is that some value must be delivered that showcases your expertise and knowledge, and Tony Vidler Seminar Sellingleaves the audience thinking that their time was well spent.  But it does not provide all the answers and help that they need.

Done well, it highlights the adviser’s ability to do valuable work for clients and establishes initial trust and confidence in a non-threatening environment.

© 2013 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved. All materials contained on this web site not otherwise subject to copyright of other parties are subject to the ownership rights of Tony Vidler.  Tony Vidler authorises you to make a single copy of the content herein for your own personal, non-commercial, use while visiting the site. You agree that any copy made must include the Tony Vidler copyright notice in full. No other permission is granted to you to print, copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, upload, download, store, display in public, alter, or modify the content contained on this web site.

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