Free Dinner Parties?

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Nov 4, 2015 12:47 am

Hello Everyone,

I'm an independent RIA. So I sell no mutual funds, no annuities, no insurance products, etc, etc. Just good Old fashioned money management for a fee (% of AUM). I'm naturally an Introvert (not to be confused with shy). I can talk to people but, cold calling is just something I physically cannot do. Going around houses and knocking at people's door, ditto. But I've tried all the other marketing techniques; the last technique I used was a free dinner at a fancy-schmanzy restaurant. I sent 2,200 invitations from two different list providers, with the title "Investing during uncertain times", and only one person ended up signing up for the dinner. Obviously, I had to cancel the whole thing.

The lists I got had the following criteria:

Income > $75,000

Investable assets > $100,000

Age < 55

Home Value > $200,000

I should also add that my minimum requirements in the invitations was that people had to have at least $50,000 to invest from their combined accounts (IRA + SAVINGS + etc, etc).

I had done a lot of research to figure out what to write in the invitations and many people swear by these dinners; but I've noticed most of my competitors' invitations are directed at senior citizens and they go after $250,000 or higher investments.

Has anybody had similar experience? Does anybody know what I'm doing wrong? I'm literally about to quit and go back to find a normal, low pay, high stress job. I've been doing this for almost a year and I have a whopping $0 AUM when you exclude family members. Many people I talk to and agree to an appointment eventually cancel, stand me up, or flat out ignore me. I'm just not sure what I'm doing wrong. I get along with a lot of people, I don't understand how all of a sudden even people I've known for years try to avoid me like the plague.

Thanks!

Nov 19, 2015 1:27 pm

About To,
Now that is a funny post, its kind of a roadmap of what not to do.
Keep at it and as long as the extended family keeps growing, you'll be fine.
Hammer...Out

Nov 20, 2015 6:10 pm

First, if you put the minimum on your invitation, I think that is going to immediately turn people off because it clearly shows that its a sales presentation by doing that. This is why it is important to have a good list that targets YOUR audience. I personally would look at a list with higher assets but I would definitely not put a "RSVP If you have $50k or more in investments or savings". Turns off people and turns off people with larger assets because your looking for small fish by posting that.

Also, I think you need to consider truly prospecting. No way you can expect to send out a mailer and have the room filled all by itself with nothing else. If you are focused on seminars, good, but you need to follow up on the invites somehow.

Just my 2 cents.

Dec 3, 2015 3:14 am

I would recommend taking away your account minimum. Like "Movingahead" said, it would turn people off. The quality of your list should determine the people you get. I don't want to judge, but it seems like you are coming off as too sales-y.

I work with people just like you every day. I'm interested in knowing why you are so against cold calling. I used to have call reluctance, so I know exactly what you're going through. I will tell you that dinners are a very inefficient way to get clients. It's kind of like someone using a bike over a car - you can get where you want to go, but there's a better way.

I hope you get everything worked out.