August 1, 2011 Blog by: Academy Guest Blogger, Jorge Villar, President of Response Mail Express+
Survey Shows 43% of Past Seminar Producers Quit Seminar Marketing Due to Poor Conversion Skills
I recently reviewed results from outbound survey calls to financial professionals who conducted seminars in the past 4 years – but who have since stopped using seminars – and identified “Conversion” (converting seminar attendees to appointments) to be the biggest single reason for discontinuing the use of Seminars for Prospecting.
From the very first seminar campaign in 1992, I told financial professionals that seminar attendees were a different kind of prospect than those who replied to a typical direct mail letter or yellow page ad. Back then, the social seminar concept – what we now call the SeminarSuccess Program – was so new to both the financial world and consumers that conversion wasn’t a big challenge.
Over the past 10-plus years, consumers by the millions have filled private dining rooms and hotel conference rooms across the country to meet and listen to financial professionals talk about every facet of financial, estate and tax planning. But, as with any industry, competition turned the “social event” concept from an opportunity for an advisor to talk with and meet and set appointments their ideal prospects to the consumer seizing the opportunity to ‘shop’ for a new financial professional – or at least look for a second opinion.
This change in the perception and behavior of the seminar-attending public, coupled with the results of the producer survey, was the primary motivation we created SeminarSuccess University (SSU). This 2 ½ day program in Tampa, FL, is taught by long-time seminar producer, author and instructor, Frank Maselli. SSU has already made a big difference in the lives of past graduates.
In preparation for this month’s blog, I called Frank to get his thoughts on why SSU has been so successful. He said, “In my follow-up calls with SSU students, I’m hearing one success story after another. It’s not saturation or competition or even compliance that was the big obstacle to being a successful seminar marketer – it was conversion.”
The key to conversion is understanding your audience – and that’s what Frank teaches at SSU – how to leverage the emotional dynamic that occurs in every seminar to make an attendee WANT to sit down with you for a consultation.
No one converts one-hundred percent of their attendees, but at SSU, Frank (with over 5,000 public seminars under his belt himself) teaches financial professionals how to increase the percentage of those who will set appointments and how to convert their post-seminar prospects to clients.
Think about the top athletes in almost every sport. They ALL still search out help from trainers and coaches to help improve their game and skill set. To be honest, I don’t care where you go to get the extra training necessary to help improve your conversion skills – just do it!
For more information about SeminarSuccess University and Frank Maselli, go to: www.seminarsuccessuniversity.com
Jorge Villar is President of Response Mail Express (RME), with more than 26 years of direct marketing experience, he is known in several industries for his ability to create mail packages that garner the highest response rates. He is responsible for the Seminar Success program that, for the last 17 years has accounted for more than 65% of the events being held in the nation with over 14 million individuals making reservations. Mr. Villar has also been very successful marketing to physicians and business owners regarding Success Planning and Asset Protection. Response Mail Express, and parent company DME, is a $100+ million marketing powerhouse, housing over 600 employees in their 2 state-of-the-art facilities in Florida. Their marketing ideas are presently being utilized by over 10,000 clients, including: top producing advisors, estate planning attorneys, large financial organizations, health care organizations, universities and many other industries. Mr. Villar is a frequent key note speaker at national financial symposium and training conferences.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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San Diego, CA 92123