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Old 10-26-2017, 09:46 AM   #41
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:56 AM   #42
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Our posts crossed and went in the exact same time. Another Ruth's Chris! There's something to this.

And that local radio show I think is only semi-local. That book guy I think is more regional and he either travels or has minions.

There's something bigger in the works behind this, like a franchise concept or something.

Our (SW Florida) guy was Bob Grace with his "Retire with Grace" program.

The free R.C. dinner was the big draw for my neighbor. She wasn't interested in their sales pitch, either.

Yes, this whole thing could easily be scaled and franchised. Boomers are retiring like crazy now.

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Old 10-26-2017, 10:01 AM   #43
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I'm not a restaurant person so these don't appeal to me. What I just realized, though, is that I rarely get them anymore. Two years ago I moved from a tony, shop-till-you-drop suburb with multiples of every major restaurant franchise, to a smaller house in a very nice area of suburb with more blue-collar demographics. Hmmmm. I guess they figure there's less money to be found in this Zip Code. Fine with me.
I’m in a similar situation. Move around so much they can’t find me. Get a lot of “financial junk mail” in Arizona though. Never even open it. Right from the mail box into the bin. Maybe there are invitations in there. Not sure. Have never attended a free anthything. I figure it’s worth what you pay for it.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:25 AM   #44
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Unlike a timeshare presentation, the pitch can't last much more than an hour.
No, it can last for eternity since they now have all your personal contact info and you're considered a hot prospect.

Personally, I try to avoid having commercial interests think I'm a good prospect and sharing my contact info with them. My mailbox, inbox, answering machine, etc., are already stuffed with that crap.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:45 AM   #45
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I get mainly mailings for these. but the free meal isn't much fun listening to a sales pitch. Now, if instead of a meal they offered cash... I might consider it.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:01 AM   #46
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If I need a free retirement meal I'll go to Costco with the rest of the buffet crowd.


I plead guilty.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:26 AM   #47
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Went to one.
The lawyer that gave his pitch won my business.
Might go to another. Missed an offer to go to my favorite restaurant while traveling last month.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:41 AM   #48
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That is definitely part of it.

The problem is "free" is her favorite item on the menu, while I have always subscribed to the saying that "If you're not paying for something, then you're not the customer—you're the product being sold."
Hmmmm - yes for something "free" is a real magnet and their eyes light up.

I guess I never believe the "free" part because I see the costs - my time, the hassle, subjected to a pitch, etc. That's not free in my book.

What can you "pay" her NOT to go?

I'm a food snob. We eat super well at home, and so when we rarely go out it has to be top notch. So offers of food don't interest me - certainly not a chain restaurants that I don't frequent anyway. Specially not steakhouses as we cook primo steaks and sides at home.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:01 PM   #49
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Those on this forum are smart enough to see through these come-ons. Of course they evolve and get more sophisticated and even the most skeptical can be taken in.

I learned this from the book "The Power of Persuasion": The way we're wired, when we're given something, we're expected to give something back. Hence, free meal, I'm now obligated to the person offering the free meal.

A more sophisticated one is this: Little girl girlscout
"Excuse me, would you like to donate $10 to Girlscouts?".
"No thank you".
"OK, thank you. Would you like to buy a candy bar?"

So what happens: An offer is made. Offer is rejected. The rejection is accepted, which is an acceptance of the rejector which becomes an offer within itself.

So now the original offerer makes another offer, but it's cheaper. Since the rejector of the first offer has had his rejected offer accepted, he's now obligated to accept the second offer.

Charlie Munger was so impressed with The Power of Persuasion, he gave the author a share of Berkshire stock.

Please, before I get flamed for being a scrooge and not donating to the Girl Scouts, I'm trying to use an example.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:04 PM   #50
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Please, before I get flamed for being a scrooge and not donating to the Girl Scouts, I'm trying to use an example.
That's OK, they wouldn't offer you a candy bar anyway. Maybe a cookie.

You are right about the "get free, give back" thing. This is the psychology around having people do reviews on websites who are compensated with free product.
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Old 10-26-2017, 01:48 PM   #51
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I'm not a restaurant person so these don't appeal to me. What I just realized, though, is that I rarely get them anymore. Two years ago I moved from a tony, shop-till-you-drop suburb with multiples of every major restaurant franchise, to a smaller house in a very nice area of suburb with more blue-collar demographics. Hmmmm. I guess they figure there's less money to be found in this Zip Code. Fine with me.
That is exactly how it works. My GF moved from an average neighborhood to a high rent one. I did the opposite. I stopped getting these invitations, and she started getting them.

I was lonesome before I met her, and I enjoyed meeting the other diners at the few presentations I attended. The presenters are like most of us, just trying to make it. Much more annoying to me were the know-it-all (male) guests who accepted the meals, then wanted to make arguments with the presenters. Their arguments were likely accurate, but IMO in bad taste.

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Old 10-26-2017, 01:51 PM   #52
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I have attended about 2 dozen of these sessions for entertainment purposes only. If you have the time and are hungry for free food, dig in. Just remember, enjoy the meal, but avoid the Kool-Aid.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:47 PM   #53
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Those on this forum are smart enough to see through these come-ons. Of course they evolve and get more sophisticated and even the most skeptical can be taken in.

I learned this from the book "The Power of Persuasion": The way we're wired, when we're given something, we're expected to give something back. Hence, free meal, I'm now obligated to the person offering the free meal.

A more sophisticated one is this: Little girl girlscout
"Excuse me, would you like to donate $10 to Girlscouts?".
"No thank you".
"OK, thank you. Would you like to buy a candy bar?"

So what happens: An offer is made. Offer is rejected. The rejection is accepted, which is an acceptance of the rejector which becomes an offer within itself.

So now the original offerer makes another offer, but it's cheaper. Since the rejector of the first offer has had his rejected offer accepted, he's now obligated to accept the second offer.

Charlie Munger was so impressed with The Power of Persuasion, he gave the author a share of Berkshire stock.

Please, before I get flamed for being a scrooge and not donating to the Girl Scouts, I'm trying to use an example.
Years ago I had a set of cassette tapes of a negotiating seminar by a fellow named Robert Laser.

He went through a lot of these tactics, showed how they worked and how to counter them. I've read books and taken a couple of courses on negotiating, but his was the best and most useful.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:28 PM   #54
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I went once . It was a free lunch by a local lawyer discussing trusts and other end of life issues . It was interesting .
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:36 PM   #55
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I went once . It was a free lunch by a local lawyer discussing trusts and other end of life issues . It was interesting .
I don't think that falls into the same category as the financial advisory salespeople seminars. They want to sell high commission annuities that nobody really needs.

A local attorney specializing in trusts and estate planning provides a valuable and needed service, and may just use the free dinner approach as a means to attract potential new clients. As long as the services they provide are good and the prices they charge are fair, I think it's a reasonable business model and I would have no problems attending something like that. You just have to do the standard due diligence before hiring them, just like you would any attorney.
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:47 PM   #56
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We went to one, once. It was put on by an elder law attorney we were going to see anyway about FIL's legal issues and when I was making an appointment the person I was talking to told me about the free meal. It was at a pretty good restaurant in Frederick, MD that we'd been to before so we went.

The food was good but served buffet style and the talk lasted about an hour.
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:56 PM   #57
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We also get occasional invitations to tour the local old folks homes and sample lunch prepared by the on-site chef. Haven't gone.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:18 PM   #58
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I have been to a few over the years, mostly ones by what I consider reasonably reputable firms (Fidelity, Prudential, etc.). And, I actually enjoyed most of them.

Some in the past were one-on-one, order off the menu affairs at white linen places over lunch. Others were the kind of group thing with a buffet that seems more the norm. (All had wine as an option; otherwise, I would have left on principal.)

This isn’t something I’d want to do every week but would probably still enjoy once or twice a year.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:48 PM   #59
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We went to one, once. It was put on by an elder law attorney we were going to see anyway about FIL's legal issues and when I was making an appointment the person I was talking to told me about the free meal. It was at a pretty good restaurant in Frederick, MD that we'd been to before so we went.

The food was good but served buffet style and the talk lasted about an hour.
Hey Walt, was that at Dutch's Daughter? I get those invites about once a month these days.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:09 PM   #60
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<snip> The presenters are like most of us, just trying to make it. Much more annoying to me were the know-it-all (male) guests who accepted the meals, then wanted to make arguments with the presenters. Their arguments were likely accurate, but IMO in bad taste.

Ha
I went to one of these a few years ago and was underwhelmed. But I just sat there and kept my mouth shut. Presenter's venue, his ball, his game, his food.

Just hearing the know-it-alls talk about their experiences expressing themselves at these events annoys me. The know-it-alls should stay home.
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