Written by Willa Silver on May 01, 2018
I wish I could tell you there was a brilliant strategy that will fill seats with very little effort. Like most of you, I have been on the hunt for something like that for a very long time. I have invested time and too much money looking for that strategy. What I do know to be true is that there are some fundamental activities that substantially increase the odds of filling your room and, even better, generating meetings before you even hold the seminar!
Instead of telling you about the easy activities, let’s go right to the biggest challenge…picking up the phone and personally inviting prospects.
Getting past the gatekeeper
One of the hardest things about calling prospects is getting past gatekeepers. Like you, I experience gatekeepers when I call prospects. I make it my first job is to enlist the gatekeepers help in getting my call through. My attitude towards them is to treat them as if they are my biggest and most valuable client.
Here’s how it works. Recently I conducted Turn Seminars Into Assets exclusively for women Advisors with bank owned firms in Toronto. Believe it or not, there are only 155 women Advisors in Toronto. Along with the other activities that I utilized to fill my seats, I blocked off 3 hours per week and hit the phones. It took over 2 months, but I spoke to 147 of them. Personally I don’t leave messages (that’s another topic) but this is an example of what happened. I called one of the top Advisors in Toronto several times, being kind and courteous to her Associate, always remembering her name but letting her know that I was just calling about an upcoming event. On one call the Associate said “Hold on!” went into the Advisor’s office and told her that the nice woman who wouldn’t leave a message was on the phone. The Advisor took the call. Ultimately, after speaking to all those Advisors, I sold out all fifteen spots I had available for the workshop. Most of the participants told me that they never would have come if I hadn’t called.
The keys to making your call a success
There are several activities that you need to do to warm up that call, but let’s dive into what you can say.
The biggest mistake I see Advisors make is hiding behind the invitation. Many Advisors are more comfortable making the call if they are just extending an invite. Problem is, they often don’t have very much success. "Hello this is Mr/Ms Advisor, wanna come to a seminar?" No. Next dial..."Hello, wanna come to a seminar?" The issue is—that kind of a call is a low-level marketing activity. So the first impression your prospect gets of you is that you operate at the level of a marketing assistant. This is not to your advantage.
The best phone conversations start with an engaging introduction from you and a request to meet (…shameless plug, if you don’t know what to say or are not producing results when you make calls, I have an 8-week program that produces breakthrough results….) Then after they decline your request to meet, that’s the time to invite them to your seminar. Ask to email the invitation. Most will agree just to get you off the phone. You are now on your way to creating a permission based email database! One of my clients has been doing this for 20+ years and has a database of over 1700 prospects. He conducts small round table seminars every 6 weeks, just sends out an email and 5-10 people come. Using this approach, he signs significant new business every month.
The three little words that will make your seminars produce these kinds of results are...consistency, consistency, consistency. That Advisor with the database of 1700 prospects was successful because he consistently invested his time and energy into conducting seminars every 6 weeks—and over time it paid off in spades.
Watch our webinar with Willa Silver and Ray Adamson: Turn Seminars into Assets.