Offer a free seminar describing your services that gives value and important information to your prospects. Many insurance and investment companies use this technique to bring people into their business. It can work for any kind of organization. If you can get some space at your church, synagogue, service club or community building, more often than not, you will not have to pay for the use of this space. You can market your seminar through flyers at all of the aforementioned places as well as through your postcards or mailings.
A seminar CANNOT be an hour-long commercial for your products or services. People have to get something of value for their time. Information is always a valuable commodity. You could even offer cookies and juice or milk. This creates goodwill, educates people about your business and gives you excellent referrals.
You could give talks at service clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, Civitan and Lions, give a free public seminar through the chamber of commerce or volunteer to teach a class at your local church or synagogue. These methods give you free publicity. If you can invest a little money in the event, you could even take it one step further. Many financial planning firms offer complimentary public seminars to prospects where the company will actually supply a nice dinner in addition to an informative presentation.
This creates a tremendous amount of goodwill with people. They know they are getting something free with no obligation at all. It prompts people to be much more open to your business. If you decide to sponsor an informative talk or “open house” to promote your business, even if you do not have a whole dinner, offer your guests hors d’oevres, doughnuts or some kind of refreshments. It has been proven time and time again that people will more readily show up for something if they are going to be fed. You do not have to spend much money but just make sure your attendees are treated “special”. This helps to create the most powerful marketing tool in any business, word-of-mouth advertising.
In addition to sponsoring your own seminars, service clubs like Rotary, Lions, Civitan and Kiwanis are always looking for speakers at their breakfasts and luncheons. You just have to ask if you can speak at one of their meetings. It is surprising how many things you can receive if you just ask.