Can Public Seminars Still Work in 2014?

A fact of life for financial reps who do public seminars – seminars are on the decline as a client generating mechanism. Costs have gone up, attendance is down and the market is saturated with events. Notice however I stressed public seminars, not seminars.

Seminars for the public are great for disturbing people and creating an environment where you can show that you can help them solve their problems. The problem with seminars advertised to the public is that people are just not coming any more. The advertising costs can run into the thousands and in order to get more people you need to spend more money. This model is broken.

There is a much better way. Rather than going after the public, we recommend moving towards the private seminar route.

Many of our reps have taken our advice (and our state-of-the-art training on concepts) and are now working with churches, synagogues or other religious organizations. They are easy to get to, cost almost nothing, and usually get great turnouts. The secret is creating a partnership with the entity so that they not only want to have you speak there, but they understand that if you do it will benefit them as well. Here is how:

  • Call the church and ask to speak to the person in charge of adult education. Sometimes there is such a person, and sometimes they will not know what you are talking about. If they don’t know what you are talking about ask for the person in charge of business affairs.
  • Ask to stop by for a couple of minutes to discuss a free workshop you would like to present on “Charitable Strategies & Tax Planning.” The workshop can benefit both the church and the families who attend the workshop.
  • Once you are there you need to show an outline and sample of the presentation. Be sure to stress that no products or companies will be discussed, just strategies that could help the church get additional contributions.

The person you meet with will almost always have to check with somebody or a board of some kind to get an answer. It is not unusual to have to wait several months to get on the agenda. Sometimes an “expert” on the board will step in and quash the idea. Do not worry. There are many more churches and synagogues to move on to. Keep in mind that very few planners are doing this type of seminar. For most, it is too much work. But once you get on the agenda and deliver on what you promised, you will find it easier and easier to get back into the same church with new ideas as time goes forward.

Getting on the agenda is the 1st and most important step. Having a workshop that delivers is the next piece to the puzzle that can help you succeed in this market place. Give us a call if you have an interest, we can get you started and make 2014 the year you go from public too private seminars in a truly successful way.

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
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