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Dinner Seminars are Dead

There was a time when the free Dinner Seminar was the “go to” marketing idea for a financial advisor trying to attract new clients. You’d find a nice but reasonably priced restaurant, plan a date and set a menu, send out a slick postcard, then wait for the event to roll around. At the dinner, you would have the new prospect’s attention for a solid hour. They would hear you present and hopefully be impressed by your knowledge and your investing process. On average, about 60% of these attendees would set an appointment, and the show up rate for these appointments was very high. After meeting you one-on-one in your office, chances are you would close them as a new client. And so, the free dinner seminar worked… until it didn’t.

Market Saturation

As the dinner seminar gained popularity, the market became saturated with these events. More and more advisors began offering these enticements. Investors might receive invites to half a dozen dinner seminars a year from as many advisors. They became wise, and realized that there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or dinner). They knew that these dinners were a way to sell them, and they became immune to their charms. Investors began coming to the free dinners for the meal, with no intention of becoming a client. In fact, they probably paid very little attention to the information presented to them. Dinner seminars had become the timeshare presentations of investing.

To add insult to injury, appointments booked at these seminars had a low show up rate. Support staff wasted a large amount of time chasing appointments who really had no intention of meeting with you in the first place. The return on investment for these seminars plummeted. You spent time and money planning the event, planning a presentation for the event, creating marketing material and delivering your pitch; but the number of valid appointments you set was low.

Low Return on Your Investment

And that is why I maintain that the dinner seminar is dead. They cost time, money and mental capital for a minimal return on your investment. Investors do not want to be sold. They want to be educated. They want to know “why”, not just “what”. Perhaps most importantly, they want to know “how” this applies to their personal situation. And this simply can not be addressed at a dinner seminar.

Investors want an advisor who can connect the dots between their financial problems and the solutions that will fix them. They want a professional who will take the time to show them not only what works, but what doesn’t work – and why. The Simplicitree© Planning Made Simple process does exactly that, no dinner seminar required.

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Posted by Kimberly Townsend
4 years ago | May 26, 2020