Many advisors who hold seminars declare victory when the curtain descends. That’s a mistake, because all their efforts will go to waste without effective follow-ups.
Rule #1: Know your audience
You gathered phone numbers and email addresses through registration cards. Ideally, you also have physical mailing addresses.
Rule #2: Call the next day
You’re fresh in their minds and they have a positive impression. Call before you fade into the background.
How: “We met last night when I spoke at (hotel)…”
Rule #3: Call everyone
Some stayed to shake your hand after the seminar. Others ducked out early. They may be shy or late for another commitment.
How: “Thank you for taking time to attend last night’s talk. I realize you have other commitments.”
Rule #4: Whom to call first
Several guests smiled and said: “I really enjoyed your presentation. You made me think about….” Call them first.
How: “Thank you for taking time to seek me out and talk afterwards. I enjoyed meeting you….”
Rule #5: Aim for an appointment
Getting a one-on-one appointment increases the chances they’ll become clients.
How: “Everyone’s situation is different and requires personalized attention. I would like the opportunity to visit with you…”
Rule #6: Get account statements
They may not agree to an appointment. Will they share copies of their account statements?
How: “You asked questions about call features on bonds. If you share copies of your statements, I would be glad to do some research and answer your questions….”
Rule #7: Learn about their interests
They won’t agree to an appointment or share statements. Many people are rightly protective of personal data. Will they discuss their situations, previous investment experiences, preferred investments, issues they be facing, etc.?
How: “What’s the best security you’ve ever owned?”
Rule #8: Invite them to future seminars
They won’t meet, share statements or talk about themselves. What next? From the registration card you may have clues they’re wealthy and have lots of connections. Should you keep them on the list and invite them to the next seminar? They may belong to various organizations. Can you speak there?
How: “You enjoyed the seminar on identity theft. Do you know another group that might like to learn about it?”
Rule #9: Call no-shows
Veteran advisors understand the no-show rate can reach 40%. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. Other times traffic puts people off. They may still be interested, so call them. Recap the seminar.
How: “Several attendees have scheduled appointments to learn how (topic) applies to their personal situations. Can I plan a short visit with you?”
Rule #10: Send thank-you notes
You called the next day. A few days pass and you send a short, personalized note. Most people only receive bills and advertising when they open their mailboxes. Personal notes carry weight. Likely your firm has tasteful hard cardstock for this purpose.
How: “Thanks for taking time to attend (title) on (date)…”
When following up you’ll use some of your standard business development strategies:
- Make it timely: Why is action necessary now?
- Polite persistence: It might take more than one follow-up call to reach them. People take vacations and travel on business.
- Focus on planning: You don’t know them. You’ve made the point everyone’s situation is different. You need to learn about them before offering advice.
- Plan’s value: It’s aligned to their situation. Treat it as a valuable object.
- Face-to-face plan review: If their spouses are involved in investment decisions, invite them to the meeting. Treat spouses as equals.