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Oct 3, 2009 8:43 pm

I have signed up for a local town community business fair arranged by the Chamber of Commerce. I am new to the town and took a table to help get name recognition. Of course, getting some contacts via the fair would be nice. I was wondering what type of ideas people may have about attracting people to the table and getting them to fill out the ‘index’ card of information.

I have heard of the money tree idea and also having a raffle of lottery tickets. Any other ideas people may have that sound different, interesting and may attract people to the table?   Thanks
Oct 3, 2009 9:28 pm

1)  Go to every other booth and introduce yourself.  Use the index card as a way for people to “preview” the kind of work you do.  The questions show what you do and the answers help determine if you can be of assistance to that person.  (Of course, that depends on the questions on your card.)

  2)  Do NOT "raffle" a consultation with you.  It's really stupid, vain and pathetic.  I would make it a gift card for one of the other booths that are already there.   3)  Most people who go by your table will be "lookie-loos".  You need to be able to attract people and then engage them in a conversation.  Try a quiz of some kind to let people "test" their knowledge.  (Include this as part of the index card?)  Have a prize for the top 5 scorers that will be notified by phone?   4)  Ask people as they pass by what they do for a living.  Get them involved in a coversation about them, what they do, how long they've lived here, etc.  You're looking for QUALITY contacts, NOT quantity.  5 great on-profile contacts are worth MUCH more than 25 people who completed a survey.   If the person already has a financial advisor of some kind, simply ask:  "Do you trust your current advisor enough to get a second opinion?"   I don't do trade-shows or chamber of commerce booths.  (I did one once, and I vowed to never do it again because I didn't know what I was doing.)  If I were to do one again, I'd implement the ideas above.   Let me know how these ideas work for you.
Oct 3, 2009 10:32 pm

Great thoughts. The quiz is an interesting way to incorporate financial knowledge/concerns and personal info to correlate with the prize something like a Starbucks gift card, gas card, etc? Does that sound feasible?

Oct 3, 2009 10:49 pm

The prize is so they can expect to be contacted (if they win).  This is your way of contacting them WITH THEIR PERMISSION.

  So, make sure you have a check box next to their contact information if you can contact them or to contact them ONLY if they're a winner.   Most people like free stuff.   I would encourage you to use a prize that can be done with another business in your community that would be there at the event.  You can ask the winner what they thought of that business and call that business back to give them the feedback and schedule a meeting with them.   If you use gift cards and you're a registered rep, you had better double check that with your compliance dept.  Also, anything you produce on your own for sales literature (anything you would show to more than 1 person) had better be approved.  Plan in advance for those hurdles.   I would ask your wholesalers if they have a quiz that you can either copy or adapt for your use.  They might even have something on their website.  The less you create yourself, the easier it will be for compliance to approve.
Oct 4, 2009 10:29 am

good point about compliance, thanks

Oct 4, 2009 2:50 pm

I did a chamber of commerce business expo in the spring and got about 2 decent leads.  had a bout 50 bad ones… Call the wholesalers you do business with and have them send you trinkets.  I had plastic Hartford cups, mini sharpie markers, pens, key chains, and crap like that from a few other companies.  Just had it all laying out and people would come grab like vulchers.  I also had our company ‘Who We Are" brochure with my business card that I handed to anyone that grabbed junk or just walked by.  I also had some fund sponser literature like American Funds 529 Plan brochure, an annuity company’s living income benefit brochure and a few others.  I don’t think anyone took any of those the whole day except one 529 Plan brochure so I wouldn’t stress over having sh*tloads of that stuff cluttering up your table. 

Then whoever looked like a normal human I’d just start asking them how their IRA was doing and get a conversation started.  All in all, I find these events to be a waste of time but it only cost me $100 and half a saturday of my time.   Don’t hide behind your table.  Get out in front and draw people to your booth.  I raffled off a bunch of gift cards for local business’ and restaurants.   I made notes on the back on the index card if I spoke about investments with them and those were the lucky winners.  

Oct 4, 2009 3:22 pm

Remember:  we get paid to GET information, not give it away.

  Your booth will NOT sell for you.  You need to do it.   If you have give-aways, try to get some that will fit the theme of the event.  When they come to get one, that's when you try to get into a conversation - as long as they look like they'll fit your target profile.   So, if you're targeting retirees & pre-retirees, you will probably not spend too much time with the 30 year old with 2 kids.  You'll want to find the more "seasoned" people who go by and ask them.  The last thing you want is to be stuck in a conversation with someone who isn't "on profile" and end up NOT speaking to those who ARE "on profile" because you were talking to someone else.
Oct 4, 2009 8:05 pm

I agree and that is why the investment quiz may be a good conversation starter as it keeps the focus on their needs, not the give-away

Oct 8, 2009 2:03 am

have a big bowl of the best candy you can get!