In any marketing plan, there are ways to maintain client relationships, but there should also be a system for prospects to help you increase your brand over time. Develop a plan for those prospects that could be short, mid- and long-term opportunities. This creates connectivity solutions for your prospects and your clients.
One of the biggest challenges is actually making sure that there is a mechanism to keep track of everyone you meet. The most effective, and simple, ways you can do this are with technology and a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. Following are some simple, yet effective ways you can turn your prospect in to a client.
Make Conversations Personal and Unique
When you meet people it can be difficult to stay connected and easily fall in to a relationship that’s not personal. Any time I meet with a new prospect, I connect with them on LinkedIn and enter a note of where we met. This becomes even more important in your personal CRM database; I also enter something unique about that person. Something that will make you actually remember who they are as opposed to just a picture and a profile.
After the initial outreach, assuming there not a hot prospect then set up an automatic email to them to start building that relationship. Be systematic about this and don’t let any interested parties fall through the cracks, even if they don’t develop in to a prospect for years to come.
Maintaining and Building a Pipeline
Make sure your pipeline is always full of pending and future business; activity should be consistent and make sure it never goes dry. You can do this through a lot of existing client marketing with events, lunches with clients, general conversations about business and personal observations, etc. At each of these personal touch points you can ask to meet people who they are talking about that are doing cool things, this works as a passive referral method.
A great way to meet new prospects and network with existing clients is charitable events for organizations you believe in and are actively involved. If you’re involved in the organization it’s a lot easier to develop genuine relationships there that turn in to business.
Turn Prospects into Clients
I use a passive approach in my sales techniques and my goal is to have prospects ask me about helping them versus me trying to sell them. An easy way to start the conversation this way is when people ask what I do, I tell them in the way of stories as opposed to simply saying, “I sell insurance.”
These casual conversations can happen during lunch telling stories and in casual conversation at events. Then, when it comes to getting them to engage I ask, “When was the last time you have had an insurance audit?” This is a way that you can engage a prospect to learn about what they currently have, rather than trying to get them more coverage.
Now that you’ve got the clients, how do you keep them?
There are multiple automated marketing efforts that you can take advantage of for simple and effective touch points with your clients. A lot of business comes from repeat business, referrals and a systematic approach to stay in touch. Larger companies may offer these automated benefits to you, but there’s ways you can set up automations yourself as well. Here are a few examples:
- Birthday cards
- Automated emails a couple times a year
- Automatic review checklist emailed
- Set up a recurring call for bigger clients throughout the year
- For smaller, transactional clients set up another form of automated contact
In developing your short, mid- and long-term plans to stay in touch, have a clear focus on your daily habits and what you need to be successful in your business as well.
* The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, is recognized globally as the standard of excellence for life insurance sales performance in the insurance and financial services industry
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- How to Turn a Prospect Into a Client [MDRT Article] - February 16, 2017