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Prospecting With Seminars—How to Fill Up the Seminar Room Every Time

Third in a series

In the previous two articles, I discussed selecting the right market and developing a winning seminar invitation for the selected market. We are now 70% of the way to filling up the room with qualified attendees. We still need to address invitation delivery.

There are 3 ways you can invite people to a seminar: using callers, using direct mail and using newspaper advertising.

Here are the pros and cons of each:

Using callers consumes a lot of your time in hiring, training and firing. You will also need some office space and additional phones. For each hour of calling, you can expect callers to obtain one attendee that will actually show up (three prospects will say they will attend, but your fallout rate will be 50% to 70%). I paid callers $5 per hour plus $5 per buying unit who attended. The best aspect of using callers is the low cost, the worst aspect is the time you must commit to managing them.

Newspaper advertising is far too expensive and ineffective in most metropolitan areas. I have never gotten a good return from newspaper ads. Inserts however (the newspaper will insert your flyer into the fold of the newspaper) are inexpensive and effective. Additionally, you can focus your insert distribution on selected zip codes. For every 10,000 inserts, I obtain 18 buying units to attend my seminar. I spend a total of $500, which yields a cost per attendee of $27. The negative aspect of inserts is that you may have unqualified attendees since you cannot pre-qualify the attendees by other than zip code.

Direct mail is by far the most effective method to use in metropolitan areas. The cost per attendee is the highest, but the quality of the attendees is the highest and the seminar produces more business and the greatest profits. By sending 3000 invitations to a highly targeted audience, I typically obtain 35 buying units in attendance—a cost of $35 per buying unit. I highly recommend using this more expensive method because it produces the best end-results—more qualified new clients that have money to invest.

The above discussion provides a brief review of the major tradeoffs among invitation methods. There are other tradeoffs and issues to consider if you practice in a less populated or rural area. You can find your way to a more complete discussion of these invitation issues and filling up your seminar at .

Larry Klein, CPA,MBA
Certified Retirement Financial Advisor™

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