Of all the lead-generation marketing types available to factoring and commercial finance brokers, holding workshops and seminars is, by far, the most productive. Not only is this type of marketing effective, it is modest in cost to employ comparatively and it answers the all important question…”What is the fastest method for me to attract new, quality, commission-generating clients?” While using this method of marketing and holding seminars and workshops is something you may be not currently accustomed with, this is a truly “sure fire” method of building your business.
If you decide to focus on marketing with seminars and workshops, there are certain things you will need. Not only will you need to choose the type of facility you will reserve for your presentation, but you will also need to purchase marketing materials (mailers) as well as to make an investment in technology. Many brokers and consultants may already have some of the more expensive items. Others will not.
Tools You Will Need
To begin utilizing face-to-face seminars and workshops to generate business, your will need to make certain investments. These will typically require an investment of around $1,000. You may have some of these already, but you will need…
- LAP TOP COMPUTER: No short cuts here and you’ll need one. The good news here is that you do not need an expensive model. If you already have a desktop and need the laptop for seminars, this will be a “back up” unit and will be basically inexpensive and probably around $300.00
- PORTABLE PROJECTOR: You will need a decent portable projector. In some cases, you will find a restaurant with a room that offers the projector with the screen…but when it comes to the projector, this is the most important item on the list. Dell will always have a reasonable selection in the $600 range or less and Amazon as well. Make sure it’s portable with a good case and is reasonably bright.
- PORTABLE SCREEN: Most restaurants or facilities you rent from will be able to provide you with a good screen. But occasionally…not. Plenty of options are here and check out availability on Amazon in the $100 range.
- SOFTWARE: Microsoft PowerPoint is the necessary product here but if you already have a desktop or laptop, you likely already have a Microsoft 365 subscription or similar that includes PowerPoint.
- MARKETING MATERIALS: You will need marketing materials and / or invitations. You will be making cold calls to invite business owners but you will be “warming up” these calls with a good direct mail “stuffer” and a short cover letter. You will mail these out about 10-12 days in advance and begin cold calling three days after the mailing has been received or about 7-9 days before your presentation. We recommend any of the four (4) Universal Mail Stuffers available in the Factoring 202 Annex. To get 30 to 40 initial attendees, you will need to plan on a mailing of around 500 mailers with envelopes, stamps and cover letters.
Marketing for Attendees
Creating a list that you will invite to your seminar / workshop is basically all about common sense and you will learn as you go to become an experts in this marketing type. here are some tips.
Time and Schedule
- DAYS OF THE WEEK: Always hold your events during the middle of the week. Mondays canbe too hectic and attendance will be poor. By Friday, most small business entrepreneurs will only have the weekend on their minds. Always schedule your workshops and seminars for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
- ATTENDEES MAY BE BASED ON OCCUPATION: The available time that an individual has to attend your event may well based on their profession.
- Example: Commercial Cleaning Services: If you are going to give a presentation and include a group of janitorial services providers, do NOT schedule an after hours workshop. Commercial janitorial companies clean their customer’s buildings after the day is over. They will not be able to attend your after hours event. Invite them to a luncheon seminar.
- Example: Sub-Contractor: If you are going to hold a workshop that includes sub-contractors, it must be held after hours. Most go to work way too early to attend a breakfast meeting and are likely a bit too dirty to be comfortable for a lunch event. An evening workshop is perfect for this group.
- Example: Distributors and Manufacturers The time of the workday for manufacturers and distributors is lunch. By noon, they are looking for a little relief from their hectic day and your workshop gives them the perfect informative break.
Where to Hold Your Event
- RESTAURANTS vs. HOTELS / MOTELS: Holding a workshop event in a restaurant can be expensive and to keep costs under control, you’ll need to do some research and shopping. Some facilities will provide the meeting room for free, as long as you spend a minimum amount for food. Hotels and standard motels are usually identical. Many major hotel chains and motels now have “lite” versions for travelers. They are typically featured as “Suites” or “Inns”. Such properties have good meeting rooms and economical meeting room rental prices. They will supply water and coffee but often do not have restaurants. This means you can supply the food, such as inexpensive sub-sandwiches, as well as the liquid refreshments.
- LOCATING COMMERCIAL HIGH-DENSITY AREAS: When you start researching areas in your community to held your first workshops, look first to map out and look for those sections of town where the most businesses reside due to zoning. Where are the most “strip mall” locations that may house service companies? Where are the warehouse districts? Where are industrial parks? When you locate those areas, then look for a good prospect for room rental in that area. If it a modest restaurant, locating your room in that location may mean you are providing them a chance to get a FREE lunch on you exactly where the go anyway.
- IMPORTANCE OF ZIP CODES: When you start to put together your list, pay attention to ZIP Codes. Where is your event going to be held and if its centrally located in a single ZIP Code, make sure you only send invitations to those prospective client in that ZIP Code if you want to maximize attendance. With todays internet capabilities, it’s very easy to locate a quality option or two for a presentation room by ZIP Code and then start creating a list of businesses to send invitations to from Pipedrive CRM. As you can see, your list is very important and we cannot overemphasize the value of lists and your ability to build them correctly.
Order a List
One of the quickest ways to build a quality list and segment it by ZIP codes is to simply buy a list from a list broker. For example, you can purchase a list that includes commercial service companies, distributors, manufacturers, etc. by a specific ZIP code and by the owner for very low cost and this is often the best way to build a good mailing list if you are pressed for time. Just do a Google or Duck Duck Search for List Brokers and you will find hundred.