The idea of a seminar is great. Get a large number of people in a room; give one bang up presentation and voilà … you qualify for the grand awards trip. If the idea is so great, then why do so many advisors cringe at the thought? Is it the cost? Is it all the planning? Is it the fear of public speaking? Let me share with you: the secret of a seminar.
Way back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth (and I was a snot-nosed advisor), an old seasoned wholesaler convinced me to do a seminar. He told me, “Sonny, you put me in front of a room full of people and I’ll bring you in $250,000 in investments.” Since I was broke and floundering, that sounded like a great idea.
Invitations were sent, follow-up calls were placed and more importantly … the cookies, snacks and beverages were all set up in the back of the room. Ten minutes before the seminar was to start, the only people in the room were my BOA and myself. Mr. Wholesaler arrived next claiming his flight got in late. I was thankful he showed at all because I was a newbie and had absolutely nothing to say.
A few people trickled in to the empty room right as the seminar was supposed to start. Since I was in charge, I made the management decision to open the cookie bar to the few guests that showed and prayed a few more would trickle in. After about 10 minutes (and three snickerdoodles), 20 or so people (10 buying units) were in the room and I gave the nod for Mr. Wholesaler to begin his magic.
Since PowerPoint wasn’t invented yet, our primary technology in the room was a flip chart and a green magic marker. After about 45 minutes of bad drawings and bad jokes, Mr. Wholesaler ended his shtick. I was excited thinking about how the attendees were going to give me the $250,000. Would it be a check or all in $20s?
When the room emptied it was just me, Mr. Wholesaler and the few remaining cookies that didn’t get stuffed into purses. My moneybag was completely empty. Something had gone horribly wrong!
Mr. W. swigged the remainder of his Scotch and said, “Don’t worry kid, it’ll trickle in over the next week or so.” And then he vanished. Apparently the nightlife in my little Amish town wasn’t to his liking.