Everything in life goes in cycles. CDs used to be the way we bought music. Leisure suits used to be in style. Mullets were an accepted haircut. There’s a new addition to this ever-growing list of things that used to be cool, but need to be put in the “distant memory” category. That new member to this old-hat club is the annuity “bad chicken dinner seminar.”
This is a sad day when I have to deliver this “seminar eulogy,” because this means that my parents will now have to start buying their breakfast, lunch and dinner outings with their own money. My parents live just south of me in the oldest city in America, St. Augustine, Fla. Seems appropriate that they live in the oldest city in the country, and that area has become a haven and magnet for baby boomers and retirees from across the country.
The state of Florida (and many other states) now monitor these “bad chicken dinner” seminars and send in spies to make sure that nothing fraudulent is being said or promoted. This recent act by the state insurance departments is one of the main reasons that these annuity seminars are not as prevalent as in previous years. No agent wants to walk into that verbal trap, and I don’t blame them. I also think that this strategy has run its course from an effectiveness standpoint as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about ROI (return on investment), and the sales conversions must not be happening because my mom and dad get 10 percent of the seminar mailers they used to receive.
The death of the bad chicken dinner seminar is a good thing for the annuity industry. There is nothing professional, or high end, about having to bribe people with food just so they will listen to what you have to say. Believe me, if you served the food at the beginning of these typical annuity seminars, my mom would eat the food and get up and leave before your PowerPoint hit the screen. There’s a reason that agents serve the food at the end of the meeting, and that reason isn’t a good one.