Table at Mall or Shopping Center?

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series7taxguy's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-16

I called a few local malls and shopping centers and found one that rents table space (single card table size unit) for $300 per weekend. (Saturday/Sunday, all open hours that I wish to be present 10am - 10pm.) and am considering this as a mid-year business development strategy at least once during my slow time. What has your experience been with doing a table sitting at a mall or other area for lead harvesting and product sales?Did you use an "anchor product" and then cross sell from there or offer something general?Did any particular wholesaler provide assistance or marketing materials you found useful? What was your return on the activity? Thanks in advance for any stories/experiences.

gethardgetraw's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-22

Are you kidding? No really. 10am-10pm Sat & Sun = 24 hours + $300. With those 2 resources, do you really think setting up a kiosk at the mall is your most efficient use of those resources? TWENTY FOUR HOURS. THATS 24 1-HOUR BLOCKS._  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  - that many time blocks.  THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. THATS 6 ROUNDS OF GOLF WITH YOUR BEST CLIENTS. THATS A LIST OF __00 PROSPECTS.  I know an ex-broker who set up a table at the mall. Spent $75 on a massage for a drawing for those who submitted their names. Here's what came of that:                . 24 hours and $300 bucks. Gotta be at least something else out there which will yield better results...

Times7's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-26

THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. THATS 6 ROUNDS OF GOLF WITH YOUR BEST CLIENTS. Good idea. I have been reminded recently how hard it is to get good customer service over the phone. What we provide is valuable and unique - how can you communicate that value through random encounters at the mall? As for getting those first clients, at least with the phone you can demonstrate proactivity, persistency, leadership ( repeated contacts to get the appointment). Things that have value to the prospect. ( Like, listening, remembering, prioritizing):" Mr. Prospect, you remember the last time we talked, you said the most important thing to you is to be able to stop working in a few years and take care of your health and enjoy your retirement. That's why I'm calling you today, to set an appointment at my office to sit down and talk about the things that you said are important to you. "The process of relationship building and the financial planning process of moving toward action require multiple contacts, by definition. ( It is a process.) After you have clients, it is more important and valuable to focus on referrals, by servicing the heck out of what clients you have (word of mouth). Just be sure you are focusing on clients who can refer profitable clients. People with money tend to refer people with money, and v v .

series7taxguy's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-16

That sounds a bit unproductive... I wouldn't be collectiing passive names. I was hoping to have one product that's quick and easy to sell on the spot and then set up full financial planning appointments from there. (Health insurance, or maybe life/disability.) I agree that the other methods you mentioned are productive as well, but one can not do all things at all times. I'm thinking of doing this once a year, harding eating into my overall productivity if it doesn't work. All prospecting methods work to some degree, I'm just looking for th emost efficient way to go about it.

SuperMan's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-18

I say go for it.  The worst that can happen is you waste 300 bucks .. big deal, we've all blown that in a bar before.  FWIW, I've worked expos and community events and had great results.  I don't offer a product.  Just show up, have an attractive table with a money tree as a give away and let people come to me.  I'm sure there are some parallels.

BigFirepower's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-09

There are some threads like this in the archives, you might get some ideas there too if you can find them. I've done the mall thingy, and it was a miserable failure. But, others have done well with them, and the risk is limited. Who knows, maybe you get lucky and get one or two decent prospects out of it. But, for sure, you have got to be engaging and outgoing in a big way at these things, folks aren't going to just walk up to you. Having done this now for almost 20 yrs, I'm a big believer that being indy is good, then finding strategic partners is the way of the future, along with networking, and buying books of business. Oh, and by golly, getting referrals from clients!!

series7taxguy's picture
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Joined: 2010-07-16

Agreed BFP. I always laugh when I see people arguing about which prospecting technique to use, as if only one should be employed. I know a guy who started at NY Life in 2004 and had a large rollover into an annuity his first day after being cleared to sell (!) that netted 40k from sitting in a mall in NY. This ended up being beginners luck since the guy only lasted a year after, but still, it planted an idea for an occasional tool when I heard this. I know what you're saying about engagement... I have a couple colleagues who will be at opposite ends of the mall with clipboards directing people to me throughout the day... I think if nothing else it should be a fun weekend with friends, limited max downside.

dashover's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-07

May as well get a table at a RV or Boat show ; Lotsa retirees to try out your putting game to win money tree or iPAD ETC. vs kids at the mall."Can we put you on our newsletter list", BTW do you want the newsletter for retirees or those still working?Ok, Who do you work for btw, How've you been doing with your investments, lately?Should we be showing you a program we use that's has a 40 year track record of returns > 12% ( see sgenx) ?Nice talking...Everything Works a bit...Dashover www.growsavings.com       

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Jones gets a booth at almost every event around town.  We've done the art fair, baby shows, working women shows, Cardinals Winter warm up (my favorite - you get in for free and then get to walk around and immerse yourself in Cardinals memoribilia), local fairs, etc.  They have local FAs man the tables for an hour at a time and then we split the names gathered.  I've done a half dozen or so of them, but never got anything out of it.  I do know that several of the other folks got some decent accounts out of it.  I just wasn't that fortunate.  I agree with dash that your money would be better spent at a boat show or a car show, but for $300 even if you only get one mediocre client out of the deal, you've at least broken even.  I think you have to give something away that is interesting and visual.  A money tree is great.  If you want to spend $500 on an iPad, you'll get lots of responses, but you up the ante on how much it costs you substantially.  Overall, I think it's a decent way to get yourself noticed and add some names to your marketing list.  I don't think trying it out once or twice is a horrible idea. 

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