It was date night and I took my wife to a Financial Education Workshop (seminar that promised a free steak and shrimp dinner)…..Hey don’t judge me, we are on babystep #2 and it was a free steak and shrimp dinner. Let he who has never crashed a sales presentation for a free giveaway, cast the first shrimp.
It was actually a great learning experience (given my profession) and would have made for a nice tax deductable business dinner, except for the fact that…oh yes….we didn’t have to pay.
I did learn a few things not to do. As well as confirmed some things that I would never do.
1. Never talk for an hour plus, without getting food in front of your audience. I learned this years ago from Hollywood Improv (two drink minimum and some hot wings always seems to loosen up the audience and get more laughs).
2. Avoid using certain words like, “seminar,” “annuity,” life insurance.”
3. Do use certain words and phrases that people like to hear, even if misleading half-truths such as; “principal guarantee,” “no commissions or sales charge,” “guaranteed annual increase.”
4. Never be pushy and have your assistant go around the room after listening for an hour and 15 minutes with stomaches growling at dinner time and make every person schedule an appointment with you before they are allowed to get their food.
5. Very important, do not mislead people. When the flyer states that “no products will be sold,” do not pitch the crowd on a fixed index annuity and make them meet with you when you told them no products would be sold. And for Pete’s sake (whoever this Peter is) do not advertise gourmet steak and shrimp dinner and give us dried chicken and a small slice of roast beef.
Guess that’s what I get for being cheap and crashing a sales presentation. The bright spot is that it was an excuse to take my wife out on a date (not that that is the only way I would ever take my wife out…although I do confess that I am guilty of not taking her out enough), wife was a great sport during the riveting evening and I do believe that it did make me a better more transparent advisor to my clients.