I have been encouraging all advisors to increase their face-to-face marketing in our challenging phone culture. The idea of exhibiting often comes up.
Much like phoning, the way you approach exhibiting has to modernize. If you’re still doing it the same way you did it years ago, you may be working harder and not smarter — and not creating new clients.
Recently, I spoke to several advisors who were going to targeted shows for the clients they wanted to meet. In two cases, female advisors were going to women-oriented events. We discussed how to approach people who seem to be “grazing by” your booth. One woman told me she would blatantly ask people who were looking, but not really engaging, if she could “give them her two-minute speech.”
My answer was a horrified “Oh no!”
The goal of any show or event is the same as a networking event. You want to engage people — one at a time — in a meaningful conversation. Find out what they care about and present who you are and what you do in the context of what they reveal. Start out with questions, not speeches.
Don’t give out brochures randomly. Engage other human beings in a face-to-face, truly listening conversation. What happens is you get a better end result. Your goal, before they leave your booth, is to get into their phones. If possible, set a phone date or even an appointment.
In past years, we’ve all advocated doing a raffle and putting lead cards all over your booth. In the past, I’ve edited lead cards and helped people follow up on these events. Now I’ll tell you, STOP DOING RAFFLES.
Just like your other prospecting strategies, the way you approach exhibiting has to modernize. (Photo: iStock)
I am being blasphemous, I know. Raffles have always gotten us “lots of names” and I’m telling you to stop. You don’t WANT lots of names. You want people who will remember you after the show and accept your follow up phone call.
If you can engage in a truly individualized conversation, your follow up phone call will allow you to pick up that same conversation where you left off. You’ve created a memorable exchange, which will give you a higher chance of getting a face-to-face appointment.
Raffles defy this whole philosophy. First problem I have with raffles is that it clutters your list of people to call with people who aren’t interested in what you do. Why would you want to make those calls? If you are giving something away of value, such as a new high-def TV, don’t you want to talk to people who can buy one for themselves?
There are several types of events,such as fairs, where you do not have a “qualified” group of people attending. The raffle attracts the exact wrong people for financial advisors.