Charitable events (prospecting)

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Duke's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-07

I've been attending a few charitable events lately.  Obviously, you don't want to introduce yourself as the Invetment Dr or anything clsoe to it.
What is the most effective way to break into this curcle?  How do you suggest I 'work' the room?   Anything to stay away from saying or doing other then the obvious.
Newbie looking for help here.
Thanks,

doberman's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-22

My policy is to never bring up my business, unless the prospect brings it up first. Otherwise, it looks like I'm prospecting (the kiss of death). ALWAYS CARRY BUSINESS CARDS! Here are some things I do to obtain exposure:
- If I have the membership list, I do a few mailings to the members, a few weeks prior to the event. When I introduce myself, at least some of the prospects will recognize my name. They'll say, "Oh yeah, I got your info...." Some prospects will end the conversation right there and some will want to know more. If the prospect asks me an open-ended question, I know I've got the green light to describe what I do and how I help people.
- If I can't do mailings, some events will give me a name tag to wear. Some name tags will give the name of my company under my name. Again, if the prospect doesn't ask, then I don't tell.
- In case the event issues name tags without the name of one's company on them (rare), then I have a company lapel pin placed right above my name tag. Again, if the prospect doesn't ask, I don't tell.
- In my opinion, the absolute best thing you can do to work a room, is to pretend you're a reporter interviewing the attendees. People will give you volumes of details, if they believe they aren't being prospected.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

doberman wrote:
- If I have the membership list, I do a few mailings to the members, a few weeks prior to the event.
You may want to be careful about this. I've been on the board of a few charitable groups over the years and I can tell you some groups react very, very negatively to anyone using their list for business related mailings of any sort.

exEJIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-12

Ask the people you meet about THEM. (their biz, their family, things that interest them)
They will rememeber YOU for that.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Duke wrote:
I've been attending a few charitable events lately.  Obviously, you don't want to introduce yourself as the Invetment Dr or anything clsoe to it.
What is the most effective way to break into this curcle?  How do you suggest I 'work' the room?   Anything to stay away from saying or doing other then the obvious.
Newbie looking for help here.
Thanks,

Have you ever considered looking into who serves on the various boards that run these charities, find one you care about that also has movers and shakers on the board, and simply volunteer your services? They're usually happy to get the help, especially if you can work in fund raising, and that's a great setting to demonstrate your best personal qualities. You'll find that once people there come to admire your efforts (and the fact you haven't tried to use the board as a mailing list) they may well come to you with questions and opportunities.

Duke#1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-06

I believe Mike is absolutely right.  If you really want to harvest opportunities with charities, your church, etc. get directly involved and volunteer to serve.  Pick committees, boards, etc. of interest to you (and those whose members would tend to be more of those you'd like to target).  I think that's the best way to "show your stuff" as a person and develop relationships with potential prospects & centers of influence.
When you're in a situation (charity event or otherwise) to "work the room" don't be obvious by pushing your motive on someone.  You'll naturally have the chance to exchange "what do you do?" types of questions when meeting someone.  And, by the way, I believe telling someone I'm a broker/advisor/etc with XYZ broker-dealer is less effective than giving a description of WHAT you do --  "I help people get financially organized and guide them to meet their financial goals", "I work with high net worth individuals in allocating and managing their investment portfolios", "I specialize in helping retirees and those approaching retirement to achieve a comfortable retirement lifestyle", etc., etc..  Basically use your brief "elevator chat" when meeting anyone.  These descriptions often lead into follow-up questions because they can arouse curiosity and/or you've hit a nerve with them. 
.

gridiron1's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-18

I agree with Duke#1. this is the way I get to meet many people, but don't think its an overnight thing. Building trust and respect in a group can take some time.
Also agree on the asking others about what they do. Listen, ask follow up questions. 99% of the time people after they finish will ask you what you do.

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