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Successful Annuity Seminars Part II

Published on November 7, 2008 in annuity marketing, annuity seminars by Bob Richards

Annuity seminars are the most effective ways to tap into the lucrative retiree market.  Many other marketing methods that work well with younger investors, such as cold-calling are considerably less effective because mature investors are skeptical.  They want to get to know you first before meeting with your one-on-one trusting you with funds.  And what better way to “check you out” than by sitting in your annuity seminar and listening to you.

The reason that retirees are perfect for annuity seminar prospecting is that they meet the three criteria for the perfect seminar attendee:

1. They have money in their control.  Unlike younger people, their assets are not locked up in an employer 401k plan or in stock options.
2. They have the time to attend.  Unlike successful working people and business owners, they have the luxury of determining their own schedule and can attend your annuity seminar
3. They are the most motivated audience.  Living with the constant insecurity of no paycheck, retirees are motivated to alleviate the financial fear that haunts them.  They have interest in learning everything possible to avoid making an irreversible financial mistake.

In order to achieve good results from annuity seminars with retirees, understand how they think and make buying decisions, and design your annuity seminar to address their special needs.   The formula for successful annuity seminars includes these considerations:

Location, location, location

Just like in real estate, your choice of location can make or break the success of your annuity seminar.  Keep in mind that most retirees living in a metropolitan area will not drive more than 20 minutes from home.  In addition, you should select a seminar location that is well known, convenient and in neutral territory.  Some annuity agents attempt to hold seminars in their office buildings.  Bad idea.  This is not neutral territory and some prospective attendees will not come for fear of being trapped in a high-pressure sales situation.  Think about buying a car.  Are you comfortable when you’re on the salesman’s turf?

Therefore, never use your office as a seminar location.  Rather, use a local restaurant that has existed for 20+ years -- a place which everyone in town knows and likes.  It’s familiar, neutral and well located.  .  Many restaurants are happy to rent an extra room or even open for your annuity seminar at a time when they are normally closed.

You do not need to feed your audience just because you use a restaurant for your location. There is nothing wrong with feeding attendees, but it increases your cost and is unnecessary.  In fact, in my experience, serving food lowers the percentage of serious buyers you will have in the audience.  When you feed attendees, half of your audience will be “eaters”—people that came for the food.  Expect to get appointments with 30% of attendees. When you do not use a meal as bait, those investors who are serious about hearing what you have to say will come with or without a meal. You will get appointments with 50% to 80% of these serious attendees. (The exception to this rule is Florida, where the meal is necessary to attract attendance).

What about hotels?  Some prospects perceive hotels as a place for transients and may associate you with the salesman who is here today, gone tomorrow.  Additionally, some hotels place their conference rooms in a location requiring your prospect to negotiate a maze of hallways.  Do you want your prospect to enter your annuity seminar frustrated?  Only use hotels when a restaurant is absolutely not available.

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