By Terry Jannsen, shareholder, CPA, CFP®, Jannsen + Company
Do you value your clients? Are you doing everything you possibly can on their behalf? Do they view your firm as a leader in the community? If you’re not answering yes to all of these questions, then it’s time to start thinking about hosting a client seminar.
We’ve had great success with client seminars at Jannsen + Company and I cannot overstate the impact these events have had on our business. From attracting and securing new clients, to strengthening our relationship with our strategic partners, client seminars are an integral part of our marketing strategy.
We host roughly 20 seminars a year, eight or nine on wealth management topics alone, and they have become excellent ways for us to position ourselves as thought leaders on a wide range of topics. Our team works hard to schedule our seminars several months in advance so that people can put them on their calendars and plan accordingly.
I try to keep our seminars relatively small in size (between 15-20 people), so the speaker(s) can interact with the audience and encourage questions. We don’t typically follow a script – we know the message we want to deliver and make sure to allow plenty of time to answer the questions that arise throughout the presentation. Our events usually last about an hour, with the presentation component lasting 40-45 minutes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to outline specific goals for your seminars. As with anything you do related to your business, it’s important to map out your goals and come up with a plan to achieve them. When it comes to client seminars, our goals are simple.
- Increase awareness of our firm
- Educate the community on topics that are relevant to them
- Increase business and lead generation
- Form a better bond with our business partners
Increasing Awareness – Client seminars are an excellent way to increase awareness of your firm. If marketed properly, you will not only get the word out about your business and what it has to offer, but you’ll entice people to want to learn more about you and what you can do for them. Once people decide to attend a seminar, you have an excellent opportunity to discuss your services and value proposition in a relatively relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.
Educating the Community – Giving back to the community is important to us and client seminars are an excellent way for us to do just that. We’ve presented on a host of different topics, including investing, Medicare, identity theft protection, estate planning, human resources and much more. Our annual Social Security seminar is extremely popular because we help our clients understand what Social Security looks like and how they can plan for it properly. Through the use of these seminars, people know that they can count on Jannsen + Company as a source of information on many relevant topics that are affecting them every day.
Increase Business and Lead Generation – Client seminars are a big part of our new business and lead generation plans and we’ve had a high frequency of success converting individuals who attend our events into long-term clients. We’ve found that the majority of people who respond when we follow up after the seminar are interested in our services. In fact, at one point last year we added two new clients with a combined total of over $5 million in assets from one seminar alone. If your business is in need of some new leads, client seminars can provide them for you.
Strengthening our Bond with our Business Partners – In addition to providing us with an opportunity to increase our business, we view our seminars as a great way to spotlight our partners’ business as well. We typically bring in subject matter experts from businesses with which we work closely. For example, when we present on Medicare-related topics, we typically bring in an individual from Frett Barrington Ltd, an independent insurance brokerage firm that specializes in employer-sponsored group benefits. Their expertise adds to the value of the presentation and supports our mission to educate the community. Our willingness to give them a forum to present their services leads to a better working relationship, especially when new business leads are a regular part of the equation.
There are many ways to host a successful seminar, but these are the components that have worked for us. Client seminars make a positive impact in the community, grow your business and position your firm as a leader on many important topics. To some, client seminars might seem like a massive undertaking, but we’ve found that they are relatively painless to plan, easy to execute and the results have been tremendous.
Terry Jannsen, CPA/CFP® is shareholder for Jannsen + Company, a full-service accounting firm that assists clients in many areas that are vital to their continued commercial and personal success, including information technology, wealth management, human resources and payroll processing.
1st Global Capital Corp. is a member of FINRA and SIPC and is headquartered at 12750 Merit Drive, Suite 1200 in Dallas, Texas 75251; (214) 294-5000. Additional information about 1st Global is available via the Internet at www.1stGlobal.com.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.