Seminar Marketing On A Budget
Generate virtually free leads with this approach
If you want to fill a room with qualified prospects for your senior services oriented business, seminar marketing is a true and tried way to do it. But seminar marketing on a budget is not always realistic. With costs running several thousand dollars for a seminar marketing promotion, you can’t afford not to close. Also consider, if you are not adept at public speaking or are new to seminar marketing, you may not want to practice with so much invested.
This aside, seminar marketing can be a great way to attract senior clients and grow your business. But the goal is to lower your cost per sale. To get a lower cost per sale you need to do one of two things or both. Either lower your costs or close a much greater percentage of the seminar attendees. You could fore go the marketing company and try to fill the room on your own, either by inviting clients and requiring them to bring a guest or by running advertisements promoting your event. It has been my experience that both of these methods may result in a less than full room or many seniors looking for a free meal.
Churches and Community Senior Centers
Most all churches and community senior centers have monthly meetings and are always looking for speakers. Seminars held for senior church groups give you a captive audience, a free venue, no list or mailing costs and reduced costs for refreshments and door prizes. As an invited guest speaker you will generally encounter less resistance and a greater level of trust than if you engaged in a marketing campaign to attract seminar attendees.
Here are some simple steps to have a successful seminar:
- Don’t spend money on a list of churches and don’t pay for postage. Go to yellowpages.com or a similar website and search for churches in a specific region or zip code.
- Call the churches on your list and ask to speak to the individual who coordinates the senior group at the church. Let them know that you often speak to seniors and would like the opportunity to speak to the church group. Be prepared to describe the value that your topic will bring to the membership. Let them know that no selling will take place at the church.
- Make an appointment to meet the coordinator and see the venue prior to your seminar. Determine if you need to bring refreshments and if so, for how many. Inquire about advertising costs in the church bulletin. Also offer to bring fliers for the bulletin boards and common areas.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. Even though you have little invested this is not the time to wing it. Be entertaining and if appropriate offer door prizes.
- Have a free offer or gift as a follow up. As an example, several years ago, I did seminars on the topic of funeral expenses with a goal to set final expense appointments. Instead of offering a free insurance quote, I offered their choice of a free living will or a memorial guide.
- Have printed forms that seniors can complete if they have an interest in your offer.
- Attempt to set appointments on the spot if they complete your printed form.
- Ask the coordinator if you can reference them when you contact other churches. A referral from a group coordinator at a church builds trust.
Measure your results
Remember, the goal is to attract senior clients and lower your cost per sale. If you track your results, I believe that you will find that having seminars at churches and community senior centers as part of your strategy, will lower your cost per sale and result in some referrals and networking opportunities that may not otherwise exist.
If you decide to pursue seminars at churches, you will save yourself some greif if you accept that all attendees may not qualify. Unlike a seminar marketing campaign that you purchase, you do not have control over the demographics of the attendees, other than knowing that you are addressing a senior group. To narrow your focus and get closer to your target demographic, be selective in which churches you approach.