So you had an excellent networking meeting with one of your professional connections, and talked about holding an endorsed seminar for their clients. You’re excited about the prospect of a room full of qualified prospects, until they tell you your presentation time will only be 10 minutes long, and there are several other speakers in the lineup. Here’s the big question: Is it worth it?
First of all, kudos to you for networking! Networking is one of those areas of business a lot of people shy away from because it seems difficult and complicated to “schmooze” with other professionals in an effort to build a connection with them. By using a system of connecting with professionals and a clearly defined agenda for that meeting, you have achieved the best possible outcome from that meeting: They want you to talk to their clients about the services you offer! That’s a big win!
Now, let’s make sure we are on the same page. An “endorsed” seminar is different from a public seminar in that attendees are personally invited by a person or organization– these could be clients or members of a group. If it’s endorsed, the person or organization is doing just that – endorsing you as a trusted source. Depending on your state bar rules, you’ll want to decide what language to use (“private” vs. “endorsed”).
Strategically placed endorsed seminars are a great way to diversify your marketing and help provide a steady revenue flow throughout the year while also decreasing your marketing costs. When you find yourself at the starting line of an endorsed seminar opportunity, be sure to ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Are you the only speaker?
- Do you have time to present your entire seminar?
- Can you make appointments in the room?
- Will there be enough people in the audience?
If you answered yes to all of the above, the opportunity is one to jump at! If you can’t answer yes to those questions, don’t give up! Consider setting up an additional seminar with the same person or organization where you can focus on just one topic – and provide a WOW experience for that person’s clients!
For the purpose of making the most out of your time and potential revenue you want to make sure you will be the only presenter. If you make more than one offer to an audience by having multiple speakers, they are much less likely to make an appointment with anyone. If you cannot execute your entire presentation or make appointments, it’s time to discuss a better use of your time with this connection. And lastly, don’t present to an empty room. Ensure this person’s client list is big enough so there are at least 10-15 people in attendance.
As you continue your marketing and are setting up additional endorsed seminar opportunities, here are some other tips for success:
- Keep the ball in your court: You’ll want as much control over the entire process as you can. You supply the invite, send it out (if you can’t get the mailing list- offer to pay for the postage!), take reservations, prepare the room, and be in charge of the follow up to ensure all your systems are followed and the prospects are receiving the best possible experience.
- Increase your retention: The organization or person endorsing you has a lot of clout and trust already established. Make sure they are inviting their favorite clients so you are connecting with qualified prospects during the seminar.
- Repeat quarterly or yearly: If it worked out great, tell them you would love to come back next quarter or the following year. If they have new clients/members join yearly, it’s in their best interest to set something up!
- Broaden your referral base: Let the audience know you are trying to get into the community and help as many people as possible and you also do seminars like these around town. Invite them to give you names of people or groups they think you should be connecting with as well!
May your endorsed seminar opportunities be smashing successes! And remember: it’s okay to pass if the opportunity will not yield the type of results you need. Your time is precious, so make the most of it!
Practice Building Consultant
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128