Seminar marketing

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bumble1's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

Anyone tried using either www.seminarinnovations.com or www.seminarsuccess.com to fill up a seminar?  I was putting 20k inserts into the newspaper to come to a dinner seminar with mediocre success, but the prospects are drying up.

troll's picture
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I'm curious....how many people would show up with 20,000 inserts?

bumble1's picture
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I have done "insert seminars" where I didn't feed people and had it at the library where as many as 30 people showed. I have also had them where 7 people showed up.  A wholesaler told some of his brokers use the companies I mentioned and get between 50-100 every month in a competitve area

troll's picture
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HOw much does it cost for 20,000 inserts?

entrylevelFA's picture
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You'll get a good response rate, but about 90% of them are platelickers and all your competitors are using the same companies.  These people are getting invited to 10 dinners a month.

bumble1's picture
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The inserts cost about $700 to get printed up and $700 for insertion. If I am paying $700 for "insertion" it better make me breakfast!  

troll's picture
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bumble1 wrote:If I am paying $700 for "insertion" it better make me breakfast!  

AllREIT's picture
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entrylevelFA wrote:You'll get a good response rate, but about 90% of
them are platelickers and all your competitors are using the same
companies.  These people are getting invited to 10 dinners a
month.

Not ten, but certainly I get an offer for a seminar maybe 1-2x a month.
I goto most of them, unless its a far drive or the food is really bad.

Memmorable seminars

An indy seminar (for estate/trust services) held at the local Marriot.
This guy/team ran an excellent senior seminar down to a T. Not
slick/canned but very organic and low key. Gave out a very cheesy self
published book

An ML seminar (way too much food was served, brazilian steak house was nice. But how can you talk about retirement income when people are running around with swords full of meat?)

An RBC Dain seminar at a local italian chain. Total disaster. For some reason the broker clicked out of powerpoint so you could see the speakers notes on screen.

Some LPL indies at a local sea food place. The seminar was ok, but they
mentioned way too many topics and were unfocused. Don't reveal that you
just passed the CFP exam by covering it in 45 minute talk.

A Wachovia guy who used Dorsey Wright/Dow theory strategies to give a
talk on the "technical condition of the markets." A disaster as most of
the audience didn't understand and those that did started talking about
very crankish market theories and the price of copper.

I'm really surprised the indy companies LPL/RJ etc don't set up a mail
shop inhouse. Maybe I'm an expert, but I can recognise the RME mailers
from a mile away.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

You're a plate licker.
And a phony.

blarmston's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-26

Its tough to survive on an Assistant Professors salary- he welcomes the free dinners. ALLREIT is that guy who always comes to the seminars- alone- and spends the first twenty minutes thinking how much smarter he is than the person in the front of the room, and the next twenty minutes asking ridiculous questions in the sole attempt to trip up the speakers and make himself look smart to the rest of the attendees...
He's also the guy who sticks around afterwards to chat with the brokers... "It was a very informative speech and I will be looking forward to meeting with you in the near future to discuss my accounts.. I am happy with my ML PBIG account but my Goldman portfolio has been a disappointment... I have about 7MM in cash that I wish to speak with you about..."
All in an attempt to give the FA's a hard on and to stroke his perception that he's important....

entrylevelFA's picture
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blarmston wrote:
Its tough to survive on an Assistant Professors salary- he welcomes the free dinners. ALLREIT is that guy who always comes to the seminars- alone- and spends the first twenty minutes thinking how much smarter he is than the person in the front of the room, and the next twenty minutes asking ridiculous questions in the sole attempt to trip up the speakers and make himself look smart to the rest of the attendees...
He's also the guy who sticks around afterwards to chat with the brokers... "It was a very informative speech and I will be looking forward to meeting with you in the near future to discuss my accounts.. I am happy with my ML PBIG account but my Goldman portfolio has been a disappointment... I have about 7MM in cash that I wish to speak with you about..."
All in an attempt to give the FA's a hard on and to stroke his perception that he's important....

That is the funniest thing I've read on this board.  I find the rediculous questions are usually centered around 1 BP movements in treasuries or international currency.  I've had a platelicker tell me he had $20MM, just to find out he was a broke alcoholic.  I hate platelickers!

RULiquid's picture
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what is a platelicker?

snaggletooth's picture
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RULiquid wrote:what is a platelicker?
A platelicker is someone like Allreit, who goes to a seminar for the free food with no intention of EVER being a client.  They consistently do this.  Reasons why they will never invest with you:  Already happy with their advisor, have family in the business, ARE DEAD BROKE, or according to Allreit, ALREADY WORKING IN THE BUSINESS (That could possibly be the worst of them all).  Platelickers are a waste of time.  It would be my suggestion that if you find one, invite them to a future seminar (a fake one) at a restaurant across town, but don't actually show up...I would be curious to know if they did though!

AllREIT's picture
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blarmston wrote:He's also the guy who sticks around afterwards to
chat with the brokers... "It was a very informative speech and I will
be looking forward to meeting with you in the near future to discuss my
accounts.. I am happy with my ML PBIG account but my Goldman portfolio
has been a disappointment... I have about 7MM in cash that I wish to
speak with you about..."

Mien Gott, it's as if you came along with me.

blarmston's picture
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Except for the fact that you probably have about $2100 in a TIAA-Cref 403B account at the state university....

brandnewadvisor's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-23

I'm fairly new to seminars  but have tried RME, the old NF Comm and Advisor Marketing Systems.  Advisor marketing have been the best so far.  The only drawback is you have to buy a 'system' to have them do the seminars that contain the powerpoint and a video of them doing a seminar.  When I bought it the price was only $750 but its over $1k now. http://www.advisormarketingsystems.com/product_detail_full.p hp?id=22
Beware of RME - theres were the worst because tons of people would RSVP the cancel last minute; or worse - they'd show up and talk/sleep/fart during the seminar.  No joke - one lady had gas so bad you could hear it loud and clear in a room with over 50 people in it!

bumble1's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

I have had lots of professional plate lickers show up at events. I did a few dinner sems and one chooch who happened to be an annoying doctor fell asleep within 3 minutes of my presentation starting. HE then woke up when his cell phone started ringing and proceeded to answer his cell phone and talk for about 2 minutes. It took every ounce of my self-control to keep from smashing him over his head with my laptop. To top it off, he annoyed the other guests at his table with lame stories about how great his is (a lady who signed on wth me told me so). The finale was when he wrote," Will consider appointemnt in the future, I will call you" on the evaluation form. My carma came when he attempted to RSVP for my next seminar and I ripped him a new one . . .F*** platelickers. I am a little bitter.
 
THe icing on the cake was when he of

AllREIT's picture
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entrylevelFA wrote:That is the funniest thing I've read on this
board.  I find the rediculous questions are usually centered
around 1 BP movements in treasuries or international currency. 
I've had a platelicker tell me he had $20MM, just to find out he was a
broke alcoholic.  I hate platelickers!

Anytime you have public seminars you are going to have platelickers. I
think its pretty clear that there is no real way to avoid them, short
of charging admission. But the meal is the hook that gets people in the
chairs. Just a cost of doing business.

What I've found is that if you give invited seminars, you have an interested audience, and no "external" platelickers.

As for tricky/disruptive questions. The key thing is to not to take questions during the presentation.
Only take questions at the end of the prepared remarks (which is why you
have ready pens and pads so people can take notes). And know your
material cold, you want to have about 10x more knowledge that what you
are going to cover.

Ideally you have a confederate start off the questioning, since the
first question is critical to establishing positive momentum during the
Q&A. Same thing if the Q&A stops, you want to have someone
pickup the ball.

AllREIT's picture
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bumble1 wrote:I have had lots of professional plate lickers show
up at events. I did a few dinner sems and one chooch who happened to be
an annoying doctor fell asleep within 3 minutes of my presentation
starting. HE then woke up when his cell phone started ringing
and proceeded to answer his cell phone and talk for about 2
minutes. It took every ounce of my self-control to keep from smashing
him over his head with my laptop.

To top it off, he annoyed the other guests at his table with lame
stories about how great his is (a lady who signed on wth me told me
so). The finale was when he wrote," Will consider appointemnt in the
future, I will call you" on the evaluation form. My carma came when he
attempted to RSVP for my next seminar and I ripped him a new one . .
.F*** platelickers. I am a little bitter.

THe icing on the cake was when he of

You just stop the show, and then ask the guy to leave the room. If you
want to be super slick, have an assitant ask him to leave the seminar
after he's out of earshot. Be very cool and collected. The whole room
will agree with you.

In general seminars are going to attract boring people who having
nothing better to do than attend free seminars. But the platelickers
are a minor nuisance relative to the value of the real meat which is
the 20% of the audience that are not there just for the food.

deekay's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-15

So, when you show up for your free meal at one of these things, how do the advisors tell you to eff off?

snaggletooth's picture
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deekay wrote:
So, when you show up for your free meal at one of these things, how do the advisors tell you to eff off?

"Hey you!  You asking all the questions about TIPS.  Yeah you!  Get the hell out of here...and take your textbooks with you". 
That's my guess...

AllREIT's picture
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snaggletooth wrote:deekay wrote:
So, when you show up for your free meal at one of these things, how do the advisors tell you to eff off?

"Hey you!  You asking all the questions about TIPS.  Yeah
you!  Get the hell out of here...and take your textbooks with
you". 
That's my guess...

LOL,

I'm usually the only person paying attention to the talk, taking good notes, and I usually go along with my business partner so we can compare notes.

I've found that attened a bunch of other people's seminars has improved
mine immensely. For example I took to video taping myself, keeping
track of good/bad Q&A's, seminar practices, topics, themes etc.

E.g I've seen presentations thrown when someone asked why the presenter
wasn't a CFP. Also bad was when I saw a bus from the local Jewish
Senior Living center show up since so many residents decided to attend .

I see seminars as basicly two things. A "dinner theatre test" where
prospects want to see that you are smart (not stupid) enough to screw
up a public talk and then an attempt to get in touch for followup
meetings.

The really bad seminars have failed at both.

coolshoos's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-20

Hey, Bobby Hull, I probably missed it, how do you get your new prospects?

coolshoos's picture
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AllREIT wrote: snaggletooth wrote:deekay wrote:
So, when you show up for your free meal at one of these things, how do the advisors tell you to eff off?

"Hey you!  You asking all the questions about TIPS.  Yeah you!  Get the hell out of here...and take your textbooks with you". 
That's my guess...
LOL, I'm usually the only person paying attention to the talk, taking good notes, and I usually go along with my business partner so we can compare notes.I've found that attened a bunch of other people's seminars has improved mine immensely. For example I took to video taping myself, keeping track of good/bad Q&A's, seminar practices, topics, themes etc.E.g I've seen presentations thrown when someone asked why the presenter wasn't a CFP. Also bad was when I saw a bus from the local Jewish Senior Living center show up since so many residents decided to attend . I see seminars as basicly two things. A "dinner theatre test" where prospects want to see that you are smart (not stupid) enough to screw up a public talk and then an attempt to get in touch for followup meetings. The really bad seminars have failed at both.
If Allreit showed up, I'd just respectfully crack a joke about there's always a know it all that shows up for the free food, and say that the CFP is one of many possible licenses, and a good one,  but some CFPs are criminals, so it always comes down to knowing, liking and trusting the person who is handling your money, so congratulations for attending tonight to get some ideas and a better sense of who I am. (I am a CFP, but I make people figure that out for themselves.)
Allreit, at what kinds of venues do you run your seminars, sorry if I missed an earlier post?

troll's picture
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coolshoos wrote:Hey, Bobby Hull, I probably missed it, how do you get your new prospects?
I drag dollar bills through the trailer park. That's how I met your mom.

coolshoos's picture
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It was a real climax.

AllREIT's picture
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coolshoos wrote:Allreit, at what kinds of venues do you run your seminars, sorry if I missed an earlier post?

Thesedays mostly invited talks, I do a few bring-a-friend events. Those
are usually good since people tend to bring friends of similar social
status.

Social status is IMHO a very underlooked aspect in doing seminars. Most
of the mailers etc, don't look as professional as they should.
Platelickers open every piece of mail, wealthy prospects do not.

bumble1's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

I just nutted up an went with www.seminarinnovations.com for my next sem. I will keep you posted. . .

madabroker's picture
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brandnew, I sent you a pm.

By the way, I just got an e-mail today from another Larry Klein floozy at Javelin Marketing.

You've got to admit, Larry Klein just will not stop!!!!

bumble1's picture
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The results are in for the seminar I did using seminarinnovations.com. I did Tues & Thurssday dinners and sent out 7,500 invites which cost me $2700 and got 87 people so about 1.1% response rate. Plenty of platelickers were there but I was still able to set 22 appointments for the next 2 weeks.

AllREIT's picture
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bumble1 wrote:The results are in for the seminar I did using
seminarinnovations.com. I did Tues & Thurssday dinners and
sent out 7,500 invites which cost me $2700 and got 87 people so about
1.1% response rate. Plenty of platelickers were there but I was still
able to set 22 appointments for the next 2 weeks.

1 What was the seminar topic(s)

2 What was the demographics of the attendee's, platelickers, and respondents?

3 How was the Q&A? And good/bad/hard/interesting questions?

bumble1's picture
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I did a general retirement seminar talking about the usual: asset allocation, inflation,  longevity, thinking for the long term, how cd's won't cut it, the + and - about annuities and the importance of working with an advisor.
As I mentioned I definitely had some platelickers (it seems thereally old folks are exclusively platelickers) but I had enough interested folks who made appointments right at the seminar who were in the 60-70 age range.
Q&A was fine. I have heard horror stories from other reps but I always seem to get the typical, "What do you charge." "Why did you blast Vanguard/Fidelity?" "Where is your office" 
 

AllREIT's picture
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bumble1 wrote:I did a general retirement seminar talking about the
usual: asset allocation, inflation,  longevity, thinking for
the long term, how cd's won't cut it, the + and - about annuities and
the importance of working with an advisor.
As I mentioned I definitely had some platelickers (it seems
thereally old folks are exclusively platelickers) but I had enough
interested folks who made appointments right at the seminar who were in
the 60-70 age range.
Q&A was fine. I have heard horror stories from other reps
but I always seem to get the typical, "What do you charge." "Why
did you blast Vanguard/Fidelity?" "Where is your office" 

Was this a canned seminar from a fund company, or something you rolled yourself?

I wonder if there is a good way to screen out really old people when
you do the mailing. Was there anything else the plate lickers had in
common?

I've seen a fair number of cases where a mid-50s adult will bring their parent out for free dinner.

So why did you blast Vanguard/Fidelity?

bumble1's picture
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The presentation is something that I developed myself using about 20 different presentations from fund and VA companies. I basically just cherry picked the best slides and ideas from their presentation then packaged it up. I will say that it took a lot of time but dare I say well worth it considering the positive feedback from almost all of the attendees.
Regarding minimizing the platelickers, I am pretty sure it was an option to have the list scrubbed by age. This may sound mean, but as I was calling all of the attendees the night before to remind them about the seminar there was 2 people that when I got them on the phone and heard their voice I told them the seminar was cancelled. THe first guy barely spoke English and the second sounded like he was 134 y/o!

maybeeeeeeee's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-24

good info bumble and you sound very honest.  let us know what you close.  this is the kind of information this board was created for.

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

I'm curious to see what you closed.  I did something similar, 5,000 invites, 65 seminar attendees, 3 appointments, 1 will close so far.  I got hosed by platelickers.  Like serious, professional platelickers.

troll's picture
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AllREIT wrote:
I wonder if there is a good way to screen out really old people when
you do the mailing. Was there anything else the plate lickers had in
common?

Several ways to accomplish that....Don't serve food, or at least serve snack but not a full meal...say desserts and coffee for an evening program.Have the seminar in an upstairs room that requires attendees to climb at least 1/2 flight of stairs.Set the meeting time so that it ends after sunset.

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

or qualify EVERY prospect before you give them reservation.  Qualified investors only.  Tell them its full, and can they meet in the office.

AllREIT's picture
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joedabrkr wrote: AllREIT wrote:I wonder if there is a good way to screen out really old people when you do the mailing. Was there anything else the plate lickers had in common?Several ways to accomplish that....Don't serve food, or at least serve snack but not a full meal...say desserts and coffee for an evening program.Have the seminar in an upstairs room that requires attendees to climb at least 1/2 flight of stairs.Set the meeting time so that it ends after sunset.
How do you include that  in invitation though?
"A financial seminar for the physically fit only, no geezers! no fatties!"

vbrainy's picture
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"Guests are welcome, but seating is limited to qualified investors only."

bumble1's picture
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For those of you who were interested. I was able to land a couple of nice fee based accounts from the seminar I did. 730k @1% and a 80k annuity at 3.5% w 1% trailer.

yoda115's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-27

I'm about to pull the trigger with RME and saw your post. What can you share?
Some guys in my office are using another firm with good success. They are looking for something new because the current operation is a printer and there have been some mailing snafus.

yoda115's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-27

I would love to hear how that seminar worked out. I am looking to use RME, but some folks here say to avoid them.

bumble1's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-18

I looked at RME but was put off because it seems that they have a pretty hefty mark up compared to other vendors that I researched such as ww.smeinarcrowds.com or www.seminarinnovations.com.  Since my first go 'round I have been having good success using the latter, but beware seminar marketing isn't what it used to be. There are a lot of platelickers looking to take advantage of your hospitality. it is amazing how many losers there are out there, but for every 10-15  turds you can usually find a diamond.

yoda115's picture
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I was planning on doing hors douvres, seminar, then desert afterwards. Hopefully it will weed out some of the plate lickers. too.
Someone mentioned calling to confirm/qualify the people and if they sound like octagenerians tell them the seminar has been cancelled.

vbrainy's picture
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AllREIT wrote:entrylevelFA wrote:You'll get a good response rate, but about 90% of them are platelickers and all your competitors are using the same companies.  These people are getting invited to 10 dinners a month.Not ten, but certainly I get an offer for a seminar maybe 1-2x a month. I goto most of them, unless its a far drive or the food is really bad. Memmorable seminarsAn indy seminar (for estate/trust services) held at the local Marriot. This guy/team ran an excellent senior seminar down to a T. Not slick/canned but very organic and low key. Gave out a very cheesy self published bookAn ML seminar (way too much food was served, brazilian steak house was nice. But how can you talk about retirement income when people are running around with swords full of meat?)An RBC Dain seminar at a local italian chain. Total disaster. For some reason the broker clicked out of powerpoint so you could see the speakers notes on screen. Some LPL indies at a local sea food place. The seminar was ok, but they mentioned way too many topics and were unfocused. Don't reveal that you just passed the CFP exam by covering it in 45 minute talk.A Wachovia guy who used Dorsey Wright/Dow theory strategies to give a talk on the "technical condition of the markets." A disaster as most of the audience didn't understand and those that did started talking about very crankish market theories and the price of copper.I'm really surprised the indy companies LPL/RJ etc don't set up a mail shop inhouse. Maybe I'm an expert, but I can recognise the RME mailers from a mile away.
 
Truly funny.  I got an invitation from some Merrill tools.  I was thinking about going, but decided against it.

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