When it comes to event registration, most people default to online registration. Let’s say you have a registration page (landing page) online where they can register for the event itself. As an aside, I’d always suggest giving them an option of calling or encouraging that directly, i.e. offline registration. A trained person on the phone that pre-qualifies, builds rapport, and schedules follow-up immediately can’t be easily replaced by a web page, no matter how well designed.
Here are some considerations with regards to online registration:
- Do you have an “alternative path” where highly qualified prospects can essentially skip the line and get through to a discovery meeting without going through all of the other steps?
- Do you have a multi-step online registration page that collects their contact information prior to completing registration? A huge percentage of shopping carts are abandoned online before completing the sale. A registration page has a similar dynamic where many may bail out before confirming the registration. This shows, in part, the value of “retargeting” online, but if you already have a name, email, phone number—perhaps more, you can follow-up regardless of whether they completed the registration or not.
Have a “Success Page” for Online Registration
What do you do with the “success page?” I might suggest:
- Alternative paths depending up their assets or other qualifiers.
- An encouragement to set an appointment with a scheduling link to add a time to your office’s calendar as well as explicit instructions on contacting your office directly (who, when, how with direct phone number.)
- Additional information about your upcoming event including a pre-event work-book, questionnaire to be submitted to your office as soon as possible, valuable information that could include a digital download of your book, various reports, a pre-event video presentation, etc.
Qualify the Attendees During the Registration Process
Again, with the online registration, and perhaps with follow-up steps gain as much relevant information as possible. The assets they have available to invest, their current occupation, their current income, their time until retirement, and more. If you’re taking offline registrations by phone, be sure your team follow the same process to pre-qualify attendees.
While you could fill a room with unqualified people, you could also take these extra steps and qualify them at an early stage. If you get someone who is completely unqualified, you could put them on a different path rather than spending a lot of time and money on them. Perhaps sharing digital information and pointing them in a different direction for solving their problems.
Filter the Highly Qualified into Robust Follow-up Automations
However, those who are highly qualified should be separately categorized and have a more robust follow-up system. I’ve designed follow-up campaigns for myself and others where highly qualified prospects get an immediate package by FedEx, Cookies with a note sent by Mrs. Fields, my “shock and awe” package, and then a series of personalized notes and, more.
A prospect with $50,000,000.00 to invest certainly shouldn’t be thrown into the same barrel as someone who doesn’t even meet your firm’s minimum. And, always differentiate your budget for follow-up by likely “life-time value.”
At the end of the registration, you should then inform the prospect that they should come and take part in the live event where they can set up an individual meeting to go over their specific information individually and privately. This adds extra value to them actually showing up.
Get the Appointment
Although, the ideal scenario is getting them to sign up for that follow-up appointment before they set foot at the live event, preferably while registering. However, if they chose to register and not set up an appointment, you should not stop there. Build a new sequence to remind them of the appointment and the attendance of the live event itself. Put a live person on the phone early (preferably while they are still looking at the registration page) Never be afraid to keep following up.
A quick aside: an example that I’ve brought up before is that of an advisor who diligently follows up with all prospects for 30 days, and then drops them. The reality is always that just because they don’t respond right away doesn’t mean that in three months, nine months, or in a couple of years that they won’t. Keep “dripping on them” essentially forever.
Set the Follow Up Before They Leave
Moving on to the live event itself, a common problem is with getting attendees to set up the follow-up appointment. Let’s say you stand up and give the best presentation they have ever seen. They are applauding you! You’ve even gotten a few laughs. The audience seems engaged. So, prompt people and tell them: “Oh, by the way, if I said anything that you think would be interesting, go see Marg at the back desk and she’ll set a time for us to meet personally.”
You might get some people who do just that and go schedule a follow-up one-on-one appointment. However, many or at least some will think they have your information, and they can contact you later. Often in that moment, they really look forward to reaching out to you tomorrow. Perhaps they are late for another event. Maybe they don’t want to wait in line to schedule. Whatever the case, many will leave with the intention of contacting you, most never will. Life gets in the way, and by tomorrow morning you are far from “top of mind.”
If you don’t have them set up for a follow-up appointment yet, you may have missed your chance. This is exactly why I always say that you want to make sure that you work HARD to get the follow-up appointment, for qualified prospects, at the time of registration, if not then, as soon as possible thereafter.
Once you get to the day of the event, screen all attendees at the front door and, confirm that each have a follow-up step and schedule appointments for anyone who doesn’t have one already.
Overcoming Scheduling Objections
Just make sure to have the person at the front door or front desk on your script because people will come up with all kinds of excuses. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to do that. I have to check with the wife/husband. You need to make sure your staff is fully trained to get the appointment regardless of those excuses.
The ‘pencil in’ tentative conversation is king here. That’s how people go from 25% ratios to 90% ratios. Find a date they have free and ‘pencil in’ an appointment. It gets their name down and takes the pressure off. Happy to share with you our full scripting. Feel free to give my office a call with those questions.
However, as I said before, the very, very best situation is having them set up an appointment before they even arrive. That way, your front desk team can simply confirm the appointment with them on the day, rather than have to talk them into making one on the spot. The script becomes a lot easier then:
“Good, I see that we’re scheduled on Wednesday at 2:30, we’re looking forward to seeing you then, don’t forget. We’re going to be…” Then remind them whatever other information they need to complete and any free information that they should review ahead of that meeting.
By the way, we use a simple app that reminds them of the appointment 4 X by email and by text. It lets them reschedule that appointment and gives them the available options if they chose to do that. All of that happens automatically.