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Life Health > Annuities

What’s the most creative marketing technique ever?

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Consumers recently chimed in to tell us what have been the most creative marketing techniques they’ve ever encountered when being sold insurance and annuities. Some of these are certainly outside the box. If you have a unique marketing tip you’d like to share, please leave us a comment below.

Believe it or not, I was once propositioned in a locker room! Let me clarify that: I was complaining to my buddy about the crappy returns I was getting on my bonds and other investments, and I noticed there was this young guy listening in on our conversation. It was pretty uncomfortable, and neither of us knew what to make of it. Next thing we knew, he introduced himself as an advisor, and I thought, “OK, now it makes sense what he was up to.” He was real nice about it, and my buddy and I had to admire his guts.

Art, 70

Laramie, Wyo.We went to a seminar at a Mexican restaurant once years ago. It was one of those dinner-and-we-try-to-sell-you-insurance things. The restaurant was full, and they served us all margaritas to get things going. At some point, a mariachi band came out and started going around to the tables and singing. They sang a song in Spanish that mentioned the name of the guy’s company. We had no idea what they were saying. They could’ve been saying he was the worst advisor in the world for all we knew.

Gretl, 76

Bartlesville, Okla.

Hmmm. I saw a picture of a guy on the side of a bus once. At least I think he was a financial advisor. Then again, he might’ve been a lawyer. I’m not sure.

Glenn, 82

Bloomington, Ind.

My husband and I went to a seminar where they talked about home care for the elderly. My husband was getting on in years and was starting to need help doing certain things, so we were advised to attend. They brought along a nurse who went over all the things she had to do for her patients. It really brought it home for us the kind of help he would need.

May, 83

Corpus Christi, Texas

A group of friends, we meet up for golf when we’re all in town. One of these guys brought along an acquaintance who happened to be an advisor. He was telling us all what he does for his clients, and we were listening. He asked me if I was working with anyone, and I said no, not really. He said, “If I make this put, will you come in for a meeting?” I said, “Sure” — there was no way he was going to make that put. But he was such a good sport about it, I ended up meeting with him anyway.

Jim, 64

Hemet, Calif.

Years ago — maybe 15 years ago — I belonged to a monthly book club. One of the girls — she joined the group real late — at the end of the discussion, she stood up and passed out business cards for her nephew, who sold annuities or something. Honestly, I was pretty turned off by the whole thing, and I don’t think I was the only one. But she just acted like it was a totally normal thing to do.

Lisa, 56

St. Michael’s, Md.

Oh, by far the most “creative” marketing approach I’ve ever heard of happened to a friend of mine. This lady, my friend, had been through an awful divorce — her husband cheated on her and then ran up her credit cards. What a loser! Anyway, she met this man on a dating website, and after about three or four dates, he tried to convince her to invest her savings with him. Kicker was she was broke. He was barking up the wrong tree entirely.

Marilyn, 61

Roseville, Calif.

My girlfriend dragged me to a seminar once. I didn’t want to go, but she said, “Hey, it’s a free meal!” So we went and they were running this contest to win a Hawaiian vacation. But you could only enter if you signed up for a one-on-one meeting with the firm by a certain date. It seemed to work: We saw lots of people signing up.

Leann, 57

Ocala, Fla.

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