You’ve been approached by a local Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter to sponsor one or more meetings.
If you’re like me, part of the thought process is:
- How many sponsors are there?
- How will I get to participate?
- Will I get a list of participants to market to?
- How do I know that the money is not a giant waste of resources?
Fortunately we have an inside connection to help you maximize your time and money if you should choose to sponsor this group.
Peggy Mengel is the 2013 Director of Sponsorships for the San Diego chapter and she offers these “12 Ways for a Wholesaler to Succeed at FPA Meetings”.
• Have something different at your booth/table to show uniqueness. Examples: Flowers, theme decorations (if it’s close to Valentines Day, bring candy hearts)…best to have the theme be non-financial services related.
• Join a committee. Local chapters are always looking for volunteers and you’ll get to know advisors (and the board) on a more personal level.
• At the lunch table, come prepared with an interesting question to get the entire table talking with each other. Something as simple as, “What did you get most from the last speaker?” or, “What’s the one thing you are going to do differently this year in your marketing?” People will remember you more for adding value to the table by involving everyone with good ideas.
• Get to know the other wholesalers and their products and cross- refer advisors.
• Get to know the board members and ask for their suggestions on which advisors to contact for your unique “target market”. They are usually very knowledgeable of the members. Better yet, have them introduce you.
• When you get a business card from an advisor, be sure to follow-up within two business days. Or at least have your internal wholesaler place a call to schedule a phone appointment for you or to advise of the status of the deliverable promised (brochure, hypothetical, etc.)
• Whether you have 5 minutes or 55 minutes to give a presentation, be sure it is a value-add sales idea, not a product advertisement. The advisors know your company or can certainly find out by coming to your booth or going online.
• While on the topic of presentations, engage the audience! Ask a question, get them to talk, use an advisor as a testimonial for your product….be creative. And yes, you can do that in 5 minutes.
• If the local chapter does not have an annual meeting with all the sponsors, suggest that they do so before one of the meetings. You can always get lots of new ideas on how best to succeed at the local chapter when there is more than one wholesaler in the room!
• Sit in on new member orientation sessions. You will be able to introduce yourself and be a friendly face to an advisor who is just joining the chapter.
• Be more curious about advisors than they are about you. Always have a few questions to start the conversation. Ask, “how can I help you?”
• Smile and show your enthusiasm for what you do. People buy good feelings first; advisors are no exception.
While these insights are specially designed for an FPA meeting, many of the ideas are transferable to your next interaction at any advisor gathering/event.
When not serving the FPA, Peggy is Vice President/Business Development at DNA Behavior International. Prior to joining DNA Behavior, Peggy spent over 25 years in our business and has carried the bag!
Now there are TWO books for wholesalers. Check out Brotherhood of the Bag.