This week in our training webinar we discussed a hot subject with agents: how to conduct Social Security seminars. There is a lot of buzz about this approach to lead generation and we are big fans, but there is a process to seminars and a commitment required that many agents don’t take as seriously as they should.
So let’s dive in…
What is a Social Security seminar?
It’s a simple concept that can generate significant activity. Our seminars are typically short and to the point; no more than an hour including questions. Sometimes a few attendees will keep you longer, but that’s usually good news.
The seminar is designed to educate individuals—typically in the 56-62 age range—on their choices and the impacts of those choices in determining when they elect to take benefits from Social Security. For example, many individuals do not know they have access to delayed credits from the full retirement age (FRA) of 66 to age 70 which increases their benefits by 8% each year (eligibility must be confirmed with recent changes). Conversely, many are unaware their benefits can be reduced by as much as 25% if they choose to take benefits between the ages of 62 and 66.
Despite the recession, Baby Boomers are still retiring at a rate of about 10,000 per day. These seminars will provide you a platform to inform and position yourself as a trusted resource.
What type of sales come from Social Security seminars and how quickly do they happen?
The short answer: typically larger deals that take longer to close.
That’s why I tell agents that if you’re looking for a quick hit then you’ve probably come to the wrong place.
The sales cycle for Social Security seminars is typically long because the discussions that come as a result of what they heard in the seminar often involve issues with their retirement age. No matter how unhappy someone is, 95% will take their time to evaluate the options and speak with friends and family before they will move their hard-earned savings to another vehicle, like fixed annuities.
So, our advice to agents is to commit to at least 5-6 social security seminars over a few months and allow the sales cycle to catch up with your prospecting efforts.
How do I get started doing Social Security Seminars?
There are a lot of moving parts in planning a social security seminar; none of them particularly difficult but all important. The good news is we have a turn-key system that will get you off to a fast start!
GET ACCESS OUR TURN KEY SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM
The first step is making the commitment. As I stated earlier, too many times we see an insurance producer conduct one or two seminars and stop because the results aren’t happening fast enough. Conducting Social Security benefits workshop—or any seminar with a complex subject—are designed for serious producers who want a targeted, long-term marketing plan that generates leads and new business for many years.
Also, folks come to the seminar expecting to hear an expert. While getting up to speed on the ins and outs of Social Security is very doable, it is a complex topic, so you need to be prepared to commit to the education. Below are some details you will need to consider before planning your first seminar.
What type of people attend Social Security seminars?
Pre-retirees ages 57-65 are the prime target for seminars. Depending on your market and the focus of your business, you may want to test different demographics like income, marital status, home ownership and others to see what generates the best target audience for you. At this age range you will hit the folks just starting to think about Social Security as well as the ones who may have already delayed their benefits and lack the guidance from a professional.
What are the best locations for Social Security Seminars?
This is a very important part of the process: You need to make sure you have enough prospects in your sales territory to consistently invite to your social security benefits workshops.
We suggest starting in areas near your office, making sure there is a minimum of 10,000 prospects within a three- to five-mile radius of your office. Having enough prospects will allow you to re-mail every other month with the end goal of building awareness of your ongoing seminars. Remember, establishing yourself as a local social security expert takes time, so you need to be consistent with your seminars.
Below is a list of the best places to conduct social security seminars.
- Community Centers
- Event Halls
- Rental Conference Rooms
We suggest using the same location every month, allowing people to see your name consistently associated with educational seminars.
How do I generate social security seminar leads?
We have found traditional direct mail works best.
A simple self-mailer card with a postage-paid return card is all you need. Getting the mailings set up is very simple.
Let us know your target area and we’ll help you pull together the lists of consumers. We have some great resources to ensure the data is accurate, which ultimately leads to better response rates and increased attendance.
You will need a Post Office box so the return cards will come directly to you, which cuts down the processing time and lets you connect with your prospect faster!
How much does it cost to put on a Social Security Seminar?
Seminar selling for insurance agents can cost anywhere from $500 – $5,000 per seminar.
Why is there such a big difference in price?
Well you need to consider what it takes to leads and attendees for your seminars. Depending how good you are at filling seats will impact the cost to put on the seminar.
Some agents will use direct mail and send out roughly 5,000 mailers to try and generate roughly 50 responses. Based on current direct mail costs, $5,000 mailers is easily around $2,500. If you add in the rental costs, print materials, drinks, food, and technology, you can easily get upwards of $5,000 pretty easily.
The other way to do it to keep your costs down would be to team up with a local business such as an estate planning attorney or CPA. There are plenty of these folks around that would relish the opportunity to team up with a social security expert to educate their clients. If you do it this way, you can not only eliminate 90% of your direct mail costs, but you can also drastically reduce the costs of food and drink.
Teaming up with someone allows you to have a smaller and more engaged audience because they already know and trust their local CPA or Estate Planner. All in all, you can easily conduct seminars with a strategic partner for around $500.
What types of sales come from Social Security Seminars?
Seminars provide a great platform for you to educate your prospects on the things they need to begin thinking about as they approach retirement. You’ll find that when you are laser focused on problem solving for your prospects, you’ll uncover a lot of sales opportunities.
- Medicare Supplements
- Fixed and Indexed Annuities
- Indexed Universal Life Insurance (IULs)
- Final Expense Burial Insurance
- Mortgage Protection Insurance
Required supplies for Social Security seminar selling
Now it is game time. Let’s review everything you need for the day of the big event:
- Client folders: Folders have relevant information for the clients to take after the seminar has ended (we have everything you need).
- Snacks: We suggest light snacks such as fruit, crackers, bottled water, and a few carbonated options.
- Pens: It’s always nice to provide pens in case they do not have their own.
- Business Cards: Always have plenty of business cards on hand.
- Projector: Make sure you have a working projector or enough hard copies of your presentation. For groups larger than 10-12 we strongly suggest using a projector.
Hopefully this has provided some assistance in making the decision to start conducting Social Security seminars. We have gone through this process many times with agents and know exactly how to do it.
We are ready to help you get started! Contact us today and we’ll get you set up with our turn key Social Security seminar program.