Recently, I was conducting an implementation call with a new LWP Member who attended the June Practice with Purpose in which Amanda Smith and Dave Zumpano were training. Our call topic was the Workshop, and a question the member asked me was, “Who wouldn’t do workshops?” and my honest response to him was, “Too many members don’t see the value in the workshops.” This brand new member was quite shocked that so many other LWP members weren’t doing workshops, so we detoured a bit to discuss the value of workshops as well as the excuses members give as to why they can’t, won’t, or simply don’t want to do them.
There are instances in which the workshop isn’t the next best step but conducting an Initial Meeting is; however, most prospects and clients are still going to require some education along the way. If the Client Service Coordinator determines the prospect is in crisis Medicaid, Probate, Trust Admin) in which they need to be enrolled in the process ASAP, the Initial Meeting is a better fit, and we can educate them once we’ve found a solution to their current situation.
By setting a standard that workshops are not just part of the process, but also the first key step in the prospect’s journey toward becoming a client, you’ll likely experience less pushback over time as prospects, clients, and professional relationships learn to expect to attend a workshop from the onset. You may even find your clients and professional relationships will promote these events for you!
The primary goal of the workshop is to educate prospects on basic estate planning concepts. Members will find a wide variety of prospects in attendance from those who think they know something, but don’t really grasp the entirety of planning to people who have had elaborate plans throughout the years and understand quite a bit. The goal is to ensure the majority of those prospects who move forward as our clients receive enough education to be able to make an informed decision about what planning options are going to best serve their needs for years to come. This relieves you of the burden of “choosing a plan for your client” and the liability that goes along with that.
A secondary goal of the workshop is to continue to build trust and rapport with your prospects, clients, and professional relationships. The trust we need a client to have in our firm begins during the Initial Contact step of the process during which it was determined that the workshop is the best next action for the prospect. By offering a noncommittal event in which prospects can continue to get to know you, your firm, and your process, you are ensuring that the enrollment process doesn’t feel like a sale. Professional relationships LOVE workshops because they don’t have to sell their own clients as to why they should work with you. The workshop gives an easy-going forum for them to learn estate planning concepts and get to know you!
One of the most important goals of the workshop is saving everyone a little bit of time. If you meet with 30 prospects at one time and those who realize they don’t want or need your service can weed themselves out of the process, you are able to focus on the prospects who are likely closer to being your ideal client. These individuals see the value of your services and WANT to work with you. If you were to meet with each of those 30 prospects individually, how would that affect your calendar, productivity, cash flow, and retention rates – especially if not even half of those prospects decided to move forward? It’s simply a numbers game; the more people with whom you meet at one time vs. individually, the more likely you are to work with those who want to work with you!
Some of our members have indicated they view workshops as a marketing tool, but as indicated above, the workshops are not utilized for marketing purposes. They are a huge component and one of the first steps of our process. You market your business, and the ease of becoming an educated client begins with attending the workshop where the prospect can decide if they s/he would like to move forward or not.