How to Convert Financial Planning Seminar Attendees to Clients
Lauren Laferla, PR & Content Marketing Manager
April 25, 2019
Seminar Success! Now What?
You’ve successfully attracted people to attend your educational seminar on taxes in retirement, the next question is naturally, “what’s next?”
Your follow-up and follow-through are critical to converting these prospects into clients. If you cannot demonstrate your value clearly in these initial interactions following the seminar, you risk losing your hard work and investment into the financial planning seminar. These would-be clients won’t even make it to your office. Or worse — after meeting with you, they could be disappointed and spread a negative opinion of you, soiling your reputation.
But you can earn their business for years to come, if you follow-up and follow-through correctly.
Add Value at Every Step
You must provide even more insightful information on the topics that attracted prospects to your seminar in the first place, and tailor the information to their individual situations so they can see real evidence of the unique value you can deliver.
As a business dedicated to helping advisors grow their practice, Covisum® does not simply provide seminar content and leave you to your own devices. Our Tax Clarity® software visually illustrates the value of a good tax-related retirement income decision and we give you an entire support team to help answer client and software questions. Covisum is here to help you along the entire journey, not just the seminar.
Rather than asking seminar attendees to sign in, consider distributing evaluation cards that includes a space for questions and a note offering a free consultation. Following your seminar, you’ll already have a list of qualified leads to follow-up with.
Follow-up through their preferred method of communication: phone, email, or otherwise. If you don't get in touch, commit to following up twice, and only twice, being conscientious about coming across as a trusted professional advisor and not a sales person.
When you call, try to gracefully navigate the conversation through three phases:
Answer their specific question. Open the conversation by answering their question from the evaluation card.
Transition to a conversation about the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on retirement income streams.
Schedule an appointment if they seem like a qualified prospect. Suggest that they come to your office to discuss their situation further, there are simply too many interactions between assets to discuss via telephone.
We've found that advisors using this method have about a 25 percent conversion from seminar attendee to client. For those who don’t set-up appointments, add them to your newsletter list or drip campaign to stay top-of-mind with prospects.
Next, make sure you are ready for a meeting with your potential new client.
Preparing for Your First Meeting with a Prospect
Two weeks before the meeting
Much of the work that needs to be done for your first meeting with a client happens before they step foot through your door. Consider sending a packet two weeks prior to your in-person meeting, including:
An initial consultation letter on letterhead and addressed to the specific client
A confidential profile questionnaire
A budget worksheet
A document checklist that includes everything they need to bring — especially their 1040 — in order for you to prepare their retirement financial plan.
Two days before the meeting
In advance of the in-person meeting with your prospective client, make sure that your materials are ready. Consider preparing a packet with:
A customized letter to the client outlining your financial planning philosophy
Privacy notice information
Your business brochure
Financial planning agreement
Investment advisory agreement
Authorization to furnish information
The day of the meeting
This is one of the most important points in on-boarding a prospective client. No matter how prepared you are with your "stuff," you need to make a connection with the client. They need to trust you. Clients may be skeptical of how much value you can offer, or they may already have ideas about what's best for their financial plan. You have an opportunity to listen more and talk less at this first meeting. Get to know your client, and start building a relationship. Discover their goals, successes, and challenges. Let them ask questions and answer them honestly.
Because your financial planning seminar topic initially attracted them to your services, make sure you address how you can help them with tax-efficiency in retirement planning. Reiterate that even with the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, middle income retirees can face federal tax rates as high as 49.95% on each additional withdrawal from a retirement account.
Visually demonstrate your value
Login to Tax Clarity using the login credentials that you used to access the PowerPoint for your seminar and enter the information from their 1040 into the software — it takes less than five minutes.
The easy-to-understand Tax Map graphic will clearly show clients how ordinary and capital incomes interact and how your software and expertise can help them make better decisions about which income streams to use at which points in retirement.
Run a customized report in Tax Clarity. The report will help you quickly and easily identify places where you can add money to their retirement. Simply click the PDF tab above the Tax Map and generate a customized PDF. Show the potential client their customized report during the meeting or set up another meeting to do so. The report helps you demonstrate very clear ways that you can add immense value to your client’s retirement plan.
Lauren is a content marketing enthusiast with a love for storytelling - on camera, in writing, and through others. She has a robust communications background that includes: public relations, content creation, internal communications, digital marketing, and copy editing. Driven and motivated, Lauren holds a bachelor's degree in English and is an avid reader.