When holding a seminar for worksite marketing, try to begin the conversation by explaining how financial education can benefit a small-business owner and his firm. Get the owner to see your service as a value-added benefit. If you position yourself as someone who specializes in financial education, you are more likely to capture the owner’s attention. Employers and employees are interested in education, not products.
Although it’s important to provide full disclosure regarding your financial practice, the language you use is just as critical. Present yourself as someone who provides financial education as the focus of your practice.
While education is important, owners want to know that you can alleviate their fears about employee seminars. At the top of the list is the concern that you will pressure employees to do business with you.
One way to overcome this perception is not to take an aggressive approach. Assure the employer that you will only contact an employee after the seminar if that employee requests you do so. Explain how the employee should make this request, usually by completing an evaluation form or a factfinder. To reassure the employer, offer to put this promise in writing. This will make him feel more comfortable with the idea of your conducting a seminar.
What types of businesses should you solicit? I recommend approaching small to medium-sized organizations, with a minimum of 100 employees. This ensures you get a reasonable audience for your initial presentation, which is crucial if you are to continue your relationship with the employer.
You may feel like going after large companies, but the General Electrics and General Motors of the world are inundated with pitches by financial advisors. The chance of getting in the door of a large employer is small. And even if you are lucky enough to succeed, it usually takes more than a year for you to get approved as a vendor.
Also, try prospecting beyond the private sector. Approach public-sector employers and professional associations. These groups are often underserved by financial advisors, especially in the area of financial education.
Not everyone on the company’s payroll will fit your client profile. Although it is not possible to screen attendees, there are ways to attract the types of people you are interested in. Start by approaching firms that hire the type of client you prefer. Professional associations are a good source. Infiltrating a medical association, for example, may result in your getting the type of client you want.
You can also segment the employee population within one company. For example, conduct a presentation for the rank-and-file employees and a separate, higher-level presentation for management. This will help you provide added value to the people you want as clients.
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