A veteran I talked with from MS told me she started out renting a booth at the mall on the weekends and had tons of success… granted that was back in the 80s. Anyone know of people who have done this with success in recent history? We have some pretty high end malls in my area… not sure how I would feel being next to the cell phone/pretzel/hair straightener stands though. A realtor in town does this though and seems to get a lot of leads this way.
I know someone who did the samething at MS in the late 1990’s. It worked for him.
I personally did it with a couple other noobs at AGE in '99 and the next 2 or 3 years after that. Spring and fall worked the best, summer was dead and the holiday season was crazy expensive and packed with all the Hickory Farms guys.We would lease the space just off center court for a 30 day run, and rotate who was there. No point in being there before lunch on a weekday, but rainy days and weekends were productive. PM me if you want more details and info. It always worked for us.
When I was at MS, the rookies had to do “booth duty”. We all hated it and felt like it was a chore. Nobody got any good leads.
A broker in our office who was in the biz about 5 years at the time decided he wanted to man the booth also. We all thought he was a loser.
He owned it. He brought in a good amount of new accounts from the booth. The difference was he wanted to be in the booth and actively tried to engage people. the rest of us thought of it as a chore.
If you do it, make sure you are at the booth and not some intern.
I agree. Its all about enthusiasm in those settings. What do you consider some good accounts? The booths out here rent for 2000 a month and I’m not sure if there are ways just to have one set up for weekends only or whatnot. I just want to make sure there’s hope at netting much more than that.
Wow, I got a ton of PMs wanting more info on when we did the mall booth, so I’ll lay it out here in more detail.
We usually had a group of 2-3 of us newbies go together on this, and we’d do it in 30 day runs, usually in March before tax season, and October. Most malls have a “specialty leasing” dept. that handles the carts and kiosks and such, so that’s who you’ll probably have to talk with. Our mall charged $1200± for a spot just off center court, and we found that worked pretty well. Do NOT lease an actual cart or kiosk, because you’ll blend in with the sunglass and cell phone wankers. You need to order the big trade show booth from your corporate HQ and set that up. If the mall won’t let you, then I wouldn’t even bother. You need to stand out and be set apart a little bit. Also, don’t let the mall put you down at the end of one of the wings. You need to be at, or just off of, center court for it to work effectively. AGE used to dink us for about $200 on the booth “rental,” if I remember correctly.
Once put together, we would man the booth weekdays from 11ish to 1 or 2pm, to catch the lunch food court coming and going. Not the most productive time, but I picked up a few during that stretch. Back to the office until about 4 or 5, and then come back to the booth and hang out until the only people left in the mall were the same Goth lesbo couple walking around holding each other’s chains. On weekends we’d run a split shift, 10-3, 3-9, and swap out. Weekends were generally the most productive time. I’d have people waiting off the side for me to get done talking with someone so they could come up to the table and ask me their question next.
I would always have a portable flip chart with the wide-lined paper off to one side of the booth with a local utility bond or muni issue written up in big, bold letters with the biggest Sharpie you can get, with the yield highlighted. That would always stop the cd buyers, and started tons of conversations. In addition, just some basic info brochures in 4 or 5 fanned out stacks on the table in front of the booth. Never do any give away stuff, because it’s a waste of time and money. The mall walker version of seminar plate lickers will magically appear when they hear the siren jingle of a free keychain.
The whole aim here is to have that 5-10 minute conversation that makes them want to come to the office and discuss their specific situation in more detail. When we first did it, we were coming out of '99 into the spring of '00, so you had some froth there to deal with, but into '01 and '02 everybody was looking for answers and direction. Had a couple instances in which people actually had rollover checks in their pockets that they had taken away from their previous broker because he wasn’t talking with them, and a couple more situations where people filled out ACATs at the table with me. That only happened a couple of times, but we might be in a similar environment now, given the levels of angst out there.
If they didn’t immediately set an appointment with me, and if they seemed decent to work with, I would ALWAYS ALWAYS have something “back at the office that I’d love to drop in the mail” that pertained to whatever topic we were discussing, thus making the name, address and phone info naturally easy to get.
Some debate on whether to wear the jacket and tie, but I always did. You want to set yourself apart as much as possible from the Footlocker manager.
Couple of final notes…We’re in a medium sized market, and our mall is the only one in about a 75 mile radius, so it pulls pretty well. Lots of people from my AGE training class started doing the booth thing after we had success with it and shared the info at a “Successful FC” segment of our followup training. What we found out is that small to medium markets seemed to enjoy similar, or even greater, success than we did, but the large metro markets fell flat with it. Don’t know why, but that seemed to be the way it worked out.
Lots of ways to make the whole endeavor successful, and I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface, but that’s how it worked for us. Be approachable, professional and informative, and they’ll probably want to spend more time with you at the office in more detail.
Go thou and do likewise.
Beemer, absolutely excellent writeup. It’s saved and will be getting printed for future reference.
Thanks! I can get into my mall for 800 bucks a month doing Sat. & Sunday. Seems like an excellent way to do some extra prospecting on the weekend and worse case you check out the girls going into Victoria’s Secret. Going to seriously consider it since I hate door knocking Saturdays.
wow. I can't even imagine not working it on Saturdays. Well, there's millions of paths to success, and none of them are easy. FYI - on the same trajectory, I'd recommend looking into county fairs. These booths are incredibly cost effective (around $200 a week) but require the strength of a bull to sustain. Not to mention, you have to deal with the heat. But again, you'll be surprised. Like the man said above, it's about "owning" the booth.
…since I hate door knocking Saturdays.
I was looking at the fair/trade show things as well since it seems all I could find on joneslink to use to stand out from the other booths at the mall were much better suited for outdoor or trade show settings than they were for a mall booth. Just another thing to consider since the standard mall kiosks won’t set you apart at all and I can’t see being productive much. Maybe a combination of some jones trade show stuff with a kiosk rental from the mall would work. Anyone jones guys done this before? Also any chance it would qualify for partial reimbursement?
wow. I can't even imagine not working it on Saturdays. Well, there's millions of paths to success, and none of them are easy. FYI - on the same trajectory, I'd recommend looking into county fairs. These booths are incredibly cost effective (around $200 a week) but require the strength of a bull to sustain. Not to mention, you have to deal with the heat. But again, you'll be surprised. Like the man said above, it's about "owning" the booth. [/quote]
[quote=voltmoie] …since I hate door knocking Saturdays.
I work on Saturdays, just don't like it. Except for today, today was a good day!
[quote=fa09]I was looking at the fair/trade show things as well since it seems all I could find on joneslink to use to stand out from the other booths at the mall were much better suited for outdoor or trade show settings than they were for a mall booth. Just another thing to consider since the standard mall kiosks won’t set you apart at all and I can’t see being productive much. Maybe a combination of some jones trade show stuff with a kiosk rental from the mall would work. Anyone jones guys done this before? Also any chance it would qualify for partial reimbursement?[/quote]
I think Wheel covered that in his post. You need to set up the trade show set up for the mall … not the kiosk that they sell watches off of. Jones does have an 8ft table skirt and a 4 ft. table top piece. Ask your mall if you can run a 1 time event to help financial awareness - even talk up the “money smart kid” crap, they might eat that up.
[quote=BioFreeze]Why don’t you guys just tie a dollar bill to a long string and drag it through a trailer park. I’m sure someone will take the bait.
How long of a string do you suggest?
I did a county fair many years ago.They where long hot day's in the midwest. I think I picked up one account that week. I would not do it again.
I try not to offer any discouraging input on ‘what’s working now’ discussions, but I will share this personal observation from having done a county fair type event one (1) time…Unless you’re offering your own personal ‘79 Chrysler LeBaron station wagon with the fake woody vinyl applique halfway peeled off, one hubcap, and the passenger’s side window taped up with a black garbage bag, to be used as a mobile meth lab to each interested prospective investor, who can then count upon you to personally launder cash deposits $84 dollars at a time into a SEP which you’ve opened for each eligible employee of No Mo’ Teef Independent Pharmaceutical Sales and Distribution, L.L.C., then you’d probably be better off fishing the fried dough shrapnel out of the funnel cake oil with your bare hands.But maybe that's just a rash generalization which I've visited upon too small a random sample...
Very funny. To each his own. My personal experience:"Fair business" has resulted, directly or indirectly, in 80% of my business. Example: I recruit from the other vendors. One such contact led to a SBO, who himself never turned into much of a contact. However, I secured the rollover of someone he knew, which led to other business ... A year ago, my booth couldn't have been more simple. A board on a tripod, asking walker's by if they could earn 5.50% completely tax free on their CD's. It resulted in five high net worth clients that automatically understood that I had municipal bonds available. Worked for me, maybe it wouldn't work for you. Personally, I could never do a mall - I'd feel like one of those Sprint booths. But a fair ... well, I'm game for that. After all, people that walk through the Pavillions want to be pursued.
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