by Casey Fuerst
I once had a client, a financial advisor, who believed that seminars were a great way to attract new businesses. She put 20 to 30 people in a room, walked them through some basics of investing or retirement planning, and then made an appointment for follow-up care. That was her entrance to win her as a customer. It's a solid plan and works for many finance managers. But it didn't work for her. She brought people into the room, but they didn't book any appointments.
So she hired us to shape her message. We worked with her to create a simple message and a visually appealing presentation. BUT when we got to the end of our time together, she kept coming back to us to request changes. Basically, the message was too simple for her.
Guided questions brought us to their core belief: "If I don't overwhelm and confuse them, they will think they can do it themselves and they won't need me."
I wish I could say we turned her over and helped her understand that people are running away from confusion and being drawn to clarity, but we didn't. She wasn't convinced. We signed the contract and moved on.
Maybe she figured it out herself, or maybe she's still struggling to get these customers. Either way, we are now crystal clear in our work: Confusion kills new business.
Donald Miller, the author of Building a StoryBrand, says, "What if the problem wasn't the product? What if the problem was the way we talked about the product?" He adds adds: "If we pay a design agency a lot of money without first clarifying our message, we might as well hold a megaphone up to a monkey. The only thing a potential customer will hear is noise."
For this client, it was exactly what she did – add noise to already overwhelmed people. She mistakenly believed that she had to be the smartest person in the room to build her business. It's just not true. She had to be the most knowledgeable in her area. Above all, however, she had to help her guests feel smart, heard and understood. She had to give them value to grow out of, regardless of their role in that growth. She had to help them solve a problem.
Other items from AllBusiness.com:
For any type of advisor, consultant, or business owner, hosting seminars or online webinars is a great way to get new business. It is an opportunity for potential customers to connect with an expert. It is a chance for the speaker to build confidence in the prospect.
Once we understand this, it's much easier to put together an event that converts.
To create a high-conversion seminar or webinar, you need the following components:
Keep it simple. Pick a challenge. Your content should focus on what you want to be known for.
For example, if you want to be known for your work with high quality customers, create a seminar for that audience. Make it clear who it is for and who it is not for. A title like "The lifeline of a $ 10 million investment" instead of "How long does it take to double your investment?" Clarifies the customer base you are working with.
Remember, the goal of your seminar is to build trust with your guests. Give them valuable content that they can use whether they collaborate with you or not. To do this, you need to help them solve a problem and understand that you are the expert.
Your structure could look like this:
1. Name the problem
a. What are the symptoms of the problem?
b. What are the consequences of having the problem and not solving it?
2. Tell them about yourself (without going through your résumé)
a. Show empathy – show them that you know how this problem can affect them. Maybe tell a personal story.
b. What are 2-4 simple statistics that will help you determine that you are the expert (worked with X people in the last X years, etc.).
c. Share a testimonial from a happy customer.
3. Solve the problem
a. Give them a simple process to solve the problem.
b. Offer them tools to do it themselves.
4. Show them success
a. Once this problem is resolved, tell them what their life will be like.
5. Questions and answers
6. Call for action
Do you have a simple action that you want participants to take so that you can continue the conversation? Here are some options to consider:
Do not underestimate the professionalism of your presentation. Hire a professional to create simple, attractive slides and handouts. If you want to do it yourself, buy a template and fill in your content.
See these sites for templates:
And pay attention to the room you are in. Is it sending the correct message? If you're virtual, test your technology ahead of time and have a tech support representative on-site to speak to guests who may be having problems.
It must be easy for your guests to take the next step. Even if they're not ready, if they are ready to stay on top of things and keep adding value, you'll make an easy choice.
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Contribution by: Casey Fuerst
Casey Fuerst is a suburban marketing professional from Minneapolis. She helps coaches, consultants, and financial advisors fill their sales funnels and do business with smart, crystal clear marketing. Download a three month marketing plan from www.tictactoemarketing.com.
Company: Tic Tac Toe Marketing
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