Friday, July 27, 2007

Todd V. Is An OVER ACHIEVER!

Todd V. does it all! (and he had a bad experience with NF COMMUNICATIONS?? No way!!)



ToddV said... (writing about the recent demise of Postmark.com)

Tammy,

This story underlines why I decided to do all of my own postcard mailings for seminars, client appreciation, client info, etc...

I originally decided to take this on myself after having a fairly bad mailing with the former NFCom's seminar mailing service (fortunately, I was able to convince them to give me my money back)

I have my own bulk mail certificate, I use a 3rd party to print the postcards and mail them to me, and I get the names for mailing from a company in Florida that uses someone other than InfoUSA for leads (I also contract directly with TeleDirect so that they handle all of the inbound reservation calls)...

When it is all said and done, I am able to get this done for under 28 cents per invitation... Could I have someone else do it for me? Sure... Would it cost more?? You bet...

However, the main reason that I decided to take this on myself is that I never wanted to be in a position where I wasn't going to be able to do a seminar mailing simply because I was getting shafted by a vendor (or a vendor went out of business).

Todd V

Todd:

You are a SUPERMAN in the financial services arena! I think it is great that you are able to take on such a monumental task without compromising the time you have for other things.

However, a lot of advisors complain to me that they are overwhelmed, frustrated, and not able to put one more thing on their plate for fear of total meltdown.

For these folks (who I think comprise the vast majority of advisors) outsourcing to a reliable, reputable third party is simply the only way to go.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to find and highlight vendors who I feel have done right by their customers. This doesn't mean they never make mistakes or have off days, it means that whatever they break- they move heaven and earth to fix.

That is why I always tout SEMINAR DIRECT. I have gotten to know Tina and Doug Dixon and think they are honest, hard-working folks who really WANT their clients to succeed. Plus, they have been around a loooooooooooooooooong time (no offense, Tina LOL!) compared to most of the other seminar prep companies. They want to take those of you who have been burned by the NF's and Postmark's of the world and make it right.

In fact, Tina says for ANYONE who reads the blog and wants to try Seminar Direct, she will offer extra-special pricing and support. (1-888-629-1919) Just mention Financial Advisor Netzone and she will take you into the fold and make your presentations sp.arkle

Sometimes it is better to pay a bit more and spend your time on something better- like MAKING MONEY!








2 comments:

Todd V said...

Tammy,

I couldn't agree more (other than the part about me being a "superman")... Financial Advisors should spend their time on things that only they can do... Everything else should be offloaded to an assistant or a 3rd party...

However, in my case, I was able to learn from my experiences with NFCom, Dean Cipriano, Seminar Crowds, and SeminarsForLess and apply all that I'd learned toward creating a process that takes very little time/effort...

Does everyone have the time/energy to do what I did?? Probably not, but the benefit of what I've learned is that I am now able to mail to more people for the same money as the mail order houses... Instead of spending approx $3000 to mail to 7,000 people per month (at 39 cents each), my costs are under $3000 to mail to 10,000... 3000 more invitation means more attendees, which means more appointments and, ultimately, more clients...

So, how much "effort" does this really take every month?? Here's the breakdown:

- Mailing List (you only order this once every 3 or 4 months)
- Postcard Design (once you have 4 or 5 designs, the only thing that needs to change is the date and location for the event and that only takes a few minutes)
- Upload the mailing list to the printing company (again, a few minutes)
- Place the order (...minutes)
- When the invitations arrive, place them in USPS postage trays (about 1 hour)
- Take the trays to the post office and pay for the bulk mail postage (1 hour)
- Teledirect takes all of the inbound calls for reservations, so this takes no effort on our part

...I think you get my point. Is there "effort" involved? Sure. Is it worth it? You bet... I'm the one that figured out how to make all of this work in such a streamlined manner, but now that it runs so smoothly, my assistant only spends a few hours per month and it saves me tens of thousands of dollars every year (money that I invest back into my business)...

So, I'm not a "superman"... More like a control freak ;-)

Hey, here's a thought... Give me a call and I will show you how to do all of this and you can offer it to your clients and make a few extra bucks!

ToddV said...

Tammy,

One last thought... You wrote: "a lot of advisors complain to me that they are overwhelmed, frustrated, and not able to put one more thing on their plate for fear of total meltdown"...

How about doing a little informal survey of these people to get them to articulate their top 5 issues so that we can all comment on ways in which we might be avoiding those issues...

I too know many advisors that are concerned about putting one more thing on their plates, but when I stop by their office for a visit, I find that most of them are still doing things as if we were in the 1970s... Paper everywhere, small, slow and inefficient printers, no Customer Relationship Management system, archaic marketing approaches, inefficient utilization of their assistant, etc, etc, etc...

If you were to add one more thing to these plates, they would certainly break! In these cases, they would never be able to take on the responsibility of seminar mailings themselves... They would be perfect candidates for SeminarDirect... In fact, I don't recommend that anyone take on seminar mailings before they've paid someone else to do it for them. That way, you can see how it is done to come up with an approach that works for them (or just keep using the mail house because they are doing a good job). I started down my own path primarily because of the issues that I had with NFCom...

One final reason that I do it myself... Let's say that I order a seminar mailing from someone... The first thing that happens is that they charge my credit card $3000... If anything happens to me between that date and the seminar that would cause me to not be able to do the seminar, I'm out $3000. Doing it my way, I change my mind right up until I actually mail the invitations and my worst case loss is the cost of printing the cards (approx $650).

I bring this up because this recently happened to me... I fell off a ladder and broke my foot/tore all of the tendons, etc and just wasn't going to be able to do a seminar... At that point, I was able to take the invitations and put them in the recycle bin without having to worry about being out $3000...