Community Education Is the Glue That Holds Your Local Council Team Together
How Our Approach Holds Your Group Together and Proves to Be Effective
From our experience with both failure and success in organizing and maintaining local planning councils, there has to be a common interest that glues the planning group together. Most practitioners who form local councils think the common binding interest – the glue – is networking through leads between members. That doesn't work. We have found that this form of networking does not occur and if a local planning council bases its entire existence on sharing leads between members, the group eventually fizzles out.
The most successful way to tie the planning team together, to keep interest high and to generate new business for the team is through the planning council members arranging community educational encounters. Working together to do presentations that focus on education attracts a large and diverse group of sponsors for presentations, it results in more attendees and eventually it results in much more business for council members than the typical workshop educational marketing approach that is so prevalent across this country.
Marketing through educational presentations is often called "seminar marketing." Our planning councils use a form of seminar marketing to offer their services to the community but we do not do it in the traditional manner. The typical seminar marketer will send direct mail pieces inviting a targeted group of individuals to a presentation in a hotel or restaurant while offering a free meal as an inducement to attend. Those individuals responding to this invitation know full well that the purpose of the presentation is to induce attendees to purchase some sort of product such as an annuity, an insurance policy, a timeshare or perhaps a living trust.
Some people respond and attend because of the free meal and others have a curiosity about the topic being discussed. Most attendees come prepared to resist the sales approach and the sophisticated closing techniques that will be used against them. We do not use disguised sales approach seminars for promoting our services in the community.
Here is how we differ. First, we do not use direct mail. It is expensive and becoming very ineffective. Instead, we use our council members to network with potential sponsors for educational presentations and we also use direct placement brochures to advertise our workshops. These brochures are very detailed, they focus on educational topics and they do not leave an impression of commercialism. Second, we do not offer free meals as an inducement and third, we do not use educational encounters to sell products.
The purpose of our workshops is to truly educate attendees on various issues concerning aging seniors. If attendees need additional help, we invite these attendees to meet with us to answer their questions, to provide advice or to provide formal planning. The formal planning approach often uncovers the need for the products or services of our local council members. Attendees are not threatened with presentations disguised to sell products as is so common with the seminar marketing currently being offered across the country. Our strategy has proven to be an effective way to keep council members active, involved and rewarded through new business opportunities.
How Our Approach Opens Many More Doors for New Business for Council Members
Our non-threatening and non-commercial approach to seminar marketing results in our being able to persuade organizations, groups and employers to sponsor our workshops to their members or employees. Once these sponsors understand that we are not selling anything and that we are truly educating, they will readily help us to promote our services to their members. We use our council team to go into the community, find sponsors, disseminate promotional material and council members directly participate in the educational workshops. Believe it or not, this strategy for serving the community through education results in more new business for our council members than if we were using the traditional seminar marketing approach. And it is a lot less expensive than the traditional method.
Our unique approach to promoting our groups through educational encounters requires a local council to operate under a name that denotes public service. For example, "Dallas County Elder Planning Council," or "Central Florida Senior Planning Alliance." Our presentations do not
mention specific products or services but focus entirely on educating and providing useful information.
To make our system work, we have to have a large selection of pertinent subjects to choose from. Our council groups have a huge repertoire of aging senior issues around which presentations can be constructed. At least 30 or more presentations of varying lengths on various aging senior subjects are available through our marketing package that supports our local council planning groups. Here are some examples of titles for these presentations:
- "Financial Strategies for Aging Seniors"
- "Legal Issues for Aging Seniors"
- "Solving Family Disputes through Caregiving Agreements"
- "Understanding Community Aging Services"
- "Strategies for Successful Aging"
- "Planning for Eldercare"
- "Planning for End-Of-Life"
- "Veterans Benefits for Seniors"
- "Protecting Assets from Medicaid"
- "Transferring Assets to the Next Generation"
- "Understanding Insurance for Medicare and Long Term Care"
- "The Plight of Informal Family Caregivers"
- "Finding the Appropriate Place to Live for Aging Seniors"
- "Dealing with Reduced Spending Power in Retirement"
- "Evaluating Savings and Investments for Aging Seniors"
- "Converting Assets to Income for the Final Years of Life"
- "Transferring Assets to the Next Generation"
- "Understanding Medicare Advantage and Supplement Plans"
- "Strategies for Aging Seniors to Maintain Good Personal Health"
- "Understanding Living Arrangements for Aging Seniors"
- "Support Services for Aging Seniors"
- "Planning for Long Term Care"
- "The Plight of Informal Family Caregivers"
- "The Family Care Plan and Caregiving Agreement"
- "Medicare Temporary Care Services"
- "Understanding Medicaid Long Term Care"
- "Government Benefits for Senior Veterans"
- "Understanding Long Term Care Insurance and Short Term Care Insurance"
- "Important Legal Issues When Planning for the Final Years of Life"
- "Planning for the Death of an Aging Loved One"
- "Preparing for the Final Arrangements after the Death of a Loved One"
- "Estate Planning, Finances and Asset Preservation"
- "Legal Issues for Aging Seniors"
- "Strategies to Deal with the Aging Process"
- "Planning Imperatives for the Final Years of Aging Seniors"
- "Government Aid and Insurance Support for Aging Seniors"
- "Private Services to Support Seniors in the Community"
- "Dealing with Eldercare and Finding the Right Place to Live for Aging Seniors"
- "How to Obtain Veterans Financial Support from the Government"
- "How to Protect Assets from the Devastating Cost of Long Term Care"
- "How to Keep Aging Loved Ones at Home"
- "How to Maintain Aging Loved Ones Safe and Happy in Their Own Homes"
- "Planning Strategies for Aging Seniors – Vital Information Seniors and Their Families Need to Know to Plan for the Challenges of Growing Older"
- "Powerful Remedies to Improve the Health of Aging Seniors"
- "Important Principles for Preserving Your Retirement Savings"
- "Making Sure Your Death Doesn't Place Legal Burdens on Your Family"
- "6 Vital Strategies for Delaying the Aging Process"
- "How to Avoid Running Out Of Money in Retirement"
- "Why Traditional Death Services May Not Be Right for Your Family"
- "How to Identify the Best Living Environments for Aging Seniors"
- "How the Government Will Pay Families of Senior Veterans to Provide Eldercare"
- "10 Common Mistakes When Planning for Eldercare"
- "How to Avoid the Devastating Pitfalls of the Final Years of Life"
- "Learn the Secrets of Protecting Your Assets from Medicaid"
- "How to Use 3 Simple Ideas to Make Your Retirement Income Last Longer"
- "How to Avoid Family Disputes Caused by the Demand of Family Caregiving"
- "Critical Information to Preserve Your Assets for the Next Generation"
- "Discover Why Older Americans Typically Lose Everything Because of the Failure to Plan for Long Term Care"
- "6 Valuable Strategies to Slow down the Aging Process for Seniors"
- "3 Important Steps to Being Prepared for Your Funeral and Burial"
- "How to Become a More Effective Caregiver for Your Aging Loved One"
- "Why Medicare Will Not Cover You When You Are Most in Need of Its Services"
- "How to Be a Family Caregiver in Shining Armor"
- "How to Pay Eldercare Costs and Still Keep Your Assets"
- "Learn Where to Find the Senior Support Services You Need"
- "Why Medicare Will Not Pay for Long Term Care and What Other Alternatives Are Available"
- "Learn from an Expert How to Find and Contact the 5 Sources of Community Aging Services"
Our Approach Requires Your Offering a Planning Service
Our approach requires your offering a planning service for attendees. We have designed a formalized planning service for you if you use our seminar system. We call this service "Life Resource Planning." We will also help you identify sources of informal planning if you do not provide this yourself. Our approach lends itself to working with a team of experts who can provide services or advice that you may not provide. In return, you will provide your piece of expertise that the others on the team do not have. We call this team a "life resource planning council." This team synergy results in your being able to reach out to individuals whom you have not been able to reach in the past through your traditional marketing activities.
Having an educational purpose for your seminar marketing in mind, allows you to identify strategies that would induce people to attend your presentations based on planning. Instead of dwelling on how to sell products and services and persuade people to buy, your focus is now on what groups of people would be interested in being educated about the issues of aging seniors. By concentrating on those groups that have a need for education, you will be able to determine those organizations you approach to sponsor your presentations. This, in turn, allows you to identify the strategies you will employ to reach potential sponsors or attendees.
With our approach, you do not have to twist arms or use sophisticated closing techniques to get people to buy your products or services. If they like you, if you are sincere, knowledgeable and honest, they will buy you and what you offer them in the form of your guidance and expertise. Products and services will flow as a natural result of this relationship.
Our Approach Opens the Door for a Diverse Group of Community Sponsors
In our instruction manual that comes with the marketing system for integrating our seminar marketing approach, there are detailed instructions on how to approach potential sponsors in the community. Here is a list of these potential sponsoring entities:
- Presentations for Existing Clients
- Presentations for Employees of Companies
- Presentations for Federal, State, County and City Governments and School District Employers
- Presentations through Insurance Providers to Large Employers
- Presentations through Employee Benefit Programs
- Various Organizations as Sponsors:
- Alumnus Associations
- Credit Union or Bank Members
- Credit Union or Bank Employees
- Senior Centers
- Clubs – men’s clubs, women’s clubs, University clubs
- Senior Living Communities
- Church Groups
- Self Sponsored Presentations in a Nonthreatening Community Setting – absolutely not a restaurant or hotel
- Self sponsored Presentations in Educational Settings – college or university campuses
- Presentations for Home Care, Independent Living, Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
- Presentations Specifically for Veterans – 33% of all seniors
- Continuing Education Courses to Acquire Email Lists and Referrers:
- CE for insurance agents (through the state insurance department)
- CE for CPAs (through the state association)
- CE Society of Human Resource Managers (contact the national organization)
- CE for school teachers (through the district)
- Luncheon Presentations for Organizations in Order to Acquire Referrals and Sponsors:
- A Local Estate Planning Council
- World at Work
- Chamber Of Commerce
- Realtor Associations
- Nursing Home Associations
- Assisted Living Associations
- Home Care Provider Associations
- Gerontological Society
- Attorneys Associations
- State Nurses Association
- Alzheimer’s Association
- ALS Association
- MS Association
- Heart Association
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Other Appropriate Health Support Associations
- Local AARP Chapters
- Service Clubs Such As Rotary, Lions and so on
- National Association of Professional Financial Advisors
- Financial Planning Association
- National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
- National Association of Health Underwriters
The Value of Our System for Ongoing Contact and for Referrals and Future Sales
By creating clients instead of buyers, you are creating a loyalty with these clients that you might not otherwise have. You can continue to contact them with relevant information through email. These emails could contain a monthly newsletter or it could send your clients to a blog service that you maintain. You will find over time that this loyalty – if it is deserved on your part – will result in referrals for your services.
As part of your marketing process you will also obtain the names and emails of individuals who may never actually attend a presentation. Or, you will find it is common for people who say they will attend not to show up. These people should remain on your mail list. At some point in the future they will either respond or refer someone else to you. We have experienced this reaction from potential attendees over and over through our experience with seminar marketing.
Sometimes, two years after we have done a presentation, people have contacted us as a result of a brochure from that previous presentation needing help or wanting to attend a current presentation. People often retain brochures in their possession for years if these brochures are advertising the true purpose of our seminars – education.