How I Use Seminars
We do much of our business with law firms, specializing in dealing with the needs of both the partners, and the their employees. This distinguishes us from many other benefit consultants, and also requires that we provide explanations, when requested, to both the partners and employee groups.
We do this with seminars.
No matter what their style, all seminar presentations must contain certain attributes to allow the members of a group, hearing a presentation on one single occasion, to understand why a decision was made and to feel that the result will be the best of the available choices.
The consultant or advisor must always give the bottom line.
The order I use is:
1. Here's the problem.
2. Here's where you were before.
3. Here's what we looked at as options.
4. Here are the choices for improvement, and what they will cost at various income levels.
5. Here's the solution that we decided on.
6. Here's what it will cost you.
Missing any of these elements can mean a delay, or worse, a refusal, of a recommendation that might otherwise be found acceptable. In a seminar there is only one chance to get the attention of the participants.
Our one hour seminars create an educational environment that results in improved relationships with members of the firm.
So my presentation on partial disability coverage, to a law firm that has only total disability, would go like this:
"Here's the problem:"
"You are all in great health and you exercise regularly."
"But what happens if you are disabled for six months?"
"You have 14 sick days and 30 vacation days."
"What happens after you use them up?"
"Do you have enough savings to bridge the gap?"
"Here's where you were before:"
"Your current disability plan pays for total disability."
"But most disabilities are partial and progressive. Half never become total disability."
"Here's what we looked at as options."
"We can leave things as they are."
"Or we can alter the plan to cover partial disability."
"Here are the choices for improvement, and their cost at various income levels."
(For this we would show a chart comparing the options.)
"Here's the solution that we decided on."
"And here's what it will cost you."
This pattern is then adapted for each group in the firm. The partners' seminar focuses on productivity and profitability.
For the employees, the focus is job, and income stability.
In the executive committee, business continuity is stressed.
There is no difference in the facts presented.
We often work long and hard with the finance and HR people to get to a point where these seminars were approved.
And it pays off!
Lawrence Ian Geller is internationally known as an expert on disability insurance, and seminar selling. He has addressed audiences in Canada and the U.S., and his articles have appeared in professional and financial journals in both countries and the U.K. We are lucky to have him contribute to TIP.