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Take the lead and prepare for next seminar

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Roderic Rennison

Roderic Rennison Director The Ideas Lab

It is really encouraging to hear the progress you are making and it is also good to hear that your first seminar has been a success. The main success factors when holding seminars are the organisation of the event itself, getting the right type and number of “bums on seats”, and the subsequent follow-up.

You do not say what follow up you are doing aside from having handed out questionnaires but I assume you held the seminar to win as well as just to retain existing business. If so, it would be interesting to know when you next write what new business has resulted and a breakdown.

In the meantime, make sure every lead is followed up and fully documented and analysed. This will not only make sure you make the most from your investment of both time and money but also help you plan effectively for the next seminar. You already know that your clients want fewer presentations and more time for Q&As. You should also be able to identify which types of client are likely to be the most profitable and what they want to hear about.

Next time, why not also ask each client in your “A” list to bring someone they know who has similar circumstances to themselves? It has been shown to be an effective way to grow the client base.

Workshops can also be successful but it is obviously important to select the right topics to discuss and also to ensure the clients invited are likely to want to participate actively as opposed to just listen. You should be able to use the questionnaires you handed out to inform your decisions.

A further suggestion in relation to seminars is to consider having one speaker who talks on a subject connected with the theme of the seminar but not directly about it, for example, effective gifting or inheritance tax planning. It both can provide a balance to the event and enable you to build professional relationships. It may also provide an opportunity to suggest holding a seminar for the speaker’s clients.

Turning to your back-office and IT infrastructure, you have evidently made good progress in this area too but, as you need to address the issue of recruiting an appropriately Draft a detailed role profile setting out not only the scope of the role but also the benefits to potential candidates of joining Plutusqualified administrator - if that is the role you have in mind.

A good starting point, if you have not already done so, is to draft a detailed role profile setting out not only the scope of the role but also the benefits to potential candidates of joining Plutus. This will ensure that you are focusing on the appropriate skill sets and that you are also highlighting the attractions of the working environment. If you are using agencies, this provides them with specific guidance and it also will help you to pursue more informal recruitment methods - for example, asking your provider and fund manager contacts.

It is evident that you are still in the process of finalising your client proposition, having completed the process of segmentation, wanting to be “open to all” needs to be carefully thought through in terms of the types of client you attract as a consequence and being clear not only what services you are offering but also the cost of accessing them.

You need to be sure that you have satisfied yourselves that any category of client you are proposing to deal with can and will be profitable. That means being able to match the right resource or technology to the right client. What you cannot afford to do, particularly at your present stage of development, is to attract a significant percentage of clients who are unlikely ever to be profitable. They will eat up your finite resources and place a strain on your cashflow.

Recognising that clients want to deal with your firm in different ways and providing choice will increasingly become a prerequisite for success. Be careful in terms of the time and resource that may be involved. That said, you can begin the process of taking the first steps to providing flexibility. For example, you might provide clients with the opportunity to complete and update their fact-finds online.
Finally, good luck with the continuing studies and helping everyone to achieve QCF level 4.

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