Find out how inviting potential customers to a seminar on a specific aspect of financial planning can help Independent Financial Advisers reach and convert new clients.
Seminars, conferences and information events are proving to be a highly effective way of generating new business for Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s) in the UK.
Financial advice and planning seminars usually focus on one key issue, or a group of issues relevant to specific demographic such as those approaching retirement, wealthy investors, small business owners etc.
Often held at an easily accessible hotel, the events may comprise just one keynote speaker or a series of sessions from different advisers from the same partnership or IFA’s who have come together to help build new business. Attendance is usually free, although in some cases a modest attendance fee can help attract more serious and focused attendees. The most common form of promotion is through direct marketing to quality mailing lists.
If you are an IFA, there are many benefits to be derived from speaking at a seminar. You can meet potential clients face to face and allow them to see you in action, which immediately builds confidence and trust that would be hard to gain through any other method. If you are willing to stand in front of an audience and talk with authority on a subject your audience will automatically grant you the kudos of being an expert.
Many attendees, especially older people, may be reluctant to have an IFA visit them in their own home, but are much more comfortable about visiting an event or seminar.
Plus, the fact that the attendee is willing to give up their time to come and listen means they are far more likely to convert into a lead or client.
What topics can be covered in a financial seminar?
The themes of seminars broadly fall into two main areas; events aimed at affluent and often older consumers, and those aimed at small business owners.
Seminars aimed at consumers and wealthy individuals can be used successfully to promote a range of financial products including:
- Retirement planning, especially for those approaching retirement age and looking to maximise on the opportunities available.
- Investments including identifying and assessing new opportunities, learning the secrets of successful investors, and also finding out which investments to avoid.
- Tax reduction and discovering the latest ideas for legitimately reducing you potential tax liability.
- Home Equity Release schemes, including what options are available and what are the pitfalls to avoid.
- Inheritance Tax (IHT) information, including how to limit tax liabilities, plan for the future and protect estates for family members.
Seminars aimed at small business owners can be used to address other important financial planning issues:
- Business Protection including partnership insurance, keyman insurance and shareholder protection.
- Employee pension plans for companies with five or more employees.
- Tax Advice to help stay on top of ever changing legislation and obligations.
- Incentive Schemes to help retain and motivate staff in a tax efficient way.
How to attract delegates to financial seminars
There are numerous way to promote your financial seminar. However care needs to be taken over the targeting of potential attendees, especially if the event is free.
For example you will want to make sure the people invited are the right target market for the topic you are planning to discuss, so that the event is more relevant for them, and also more successful for you in generating enquires. You also need to target potential attendees geographically.
Because of the need for targeting, direct marketing is a particularly powerful companion to seminars. Direct marketing techniques such as direct mail or telemarketing are all highly targeted to specific individuals, about whom much information can be gathered in advance.
Prospective delegates can then be mailed with an introductory letter and invitation to your seminar, and can also be followed up by telephone if appropriate. Provide a response mechanism on your mailer so that it is easy for people to sign up.
High quality direct marketing lists of potential attendees are widely available and can be easily rented for an affordable fee, but you need to ensure you purchase data from a reliable and reputable supplier and that the list is appropriately targeted.
For example, one leading supplier of lists to IFA’s for promoting seminars is Selectabase. They provide many lists suitable for use in this context, and have found proven results from two in particular.
The Silver Prospects list from Selectabase contains the details of mature and affluent UK consumers, who can be selected based on many different criteria such as their life stage and financial situation. The Silver Prospects list is used frequently by IFA’s to identify potential clients in their geographic area.
IFA’s have also used another Selectabase list very successfully to target small business owners who may be interested in attending business financial planning events. The New B2B list from Selectabase provides details of new business start ups and also businesses which have relocated or are under new management, all in a strictly defined geographic area.
Using this combination of direct marketing with financial seminars can prove very successful, even with the cost of hiring a venue and other marketing costs.
For example, a Financial Services adviser in Devon recently used Silver Prospects data to invite consumers to an Inheritance Tax seminar. They reported that “from a list of approximately 2,700 names we had 120 high net worth attendees – this represented a response rate of more than 4.4%, at least double what we had hoped to get”.
An adviser based in London representing a nationally known financial services provider had a good response to a seminar, and an even better follow up , reporting that “there were 85 attendees, and in the first week I have had 5 meetings – I am confident that over time I will gain some excellent clients from this list.”
Other IFA’s have confirmed the positive return on investment which can be achieved from seminars promoted by direct marketing, with one Selectabase client claiming their mailings and events have “provided a return of 20 times capital expenditure!”.
For further information call us on 01304 382211 or visit www.selectabase.co.uk