It has become increasingly difficult to market financial services in today’s environment. There are several reasons for this:
S.W.A.C makes it nearly impossible to market
Saturation – The average American is hit with over 3,000 marketing messages a day. It is extremely difficult for any marketing message to stand out or be heard with so much “noise” bombarding our prospects.
We sell a commodity – Anything we offer is also offered by our competitors. That includes better service—our competitors say that too!
Attention Span – American’s attention span has been dropping each and every decade since television entered their homes. It is said that you have less than seven seconds to get someone’s attention on the television before they switch channels and less than three seconds to get their attention while they are surfing the internet.
Compliance & Regulation – Let’s face it, any marketing that is both creative and powerful is likely to be censored by your compliance department.
What to do then… Cold call? Yeah, if you are a rookie and have an up to date “Do Not Call” list. Buy leads from a lead generation company? Sure, then drive across town to see the great lead and have them pull their shades down the moment they see you pull into their driveway. Or better yet, argue with you about whether the signature on the lead card is actually theirs or not. Do seminars? Yeah, if you want to shell out thousands for an ever-decreasing ROI.
Here are 2 simple examples that anyone can use to start generating great prospects like clockwork.
A little elbow grease goes a long way
- Every Monday send out a sales letter to 10 prospects derived from a list filtered for people likely to need your services and the do-not-call list. Any list service can help you find a filtered list. The letter should highlight a few of your best benefits and promise a call the next week.
- On Thursday, send a helpful (non-sales) letter to the 10 prospects with a little hand written sticky note.
- The next Tuesday make a phone call to the prospect to discuss the benefits mentioned in the letter. Your goal is not a sale but just to see if they would actually benefit from what you have to offer. If you cannot reach them, leave a message mentioning the items mailed and leave your phone number so they can contact you.
- If the prospect does not call back, call again on Thursday and leave a short message.
- On Friday, send out a handwritten postcard letting them know that you are sorry you missed them but that you are at their service.
- Add them to your drip list.
- Every Monday, start the process all over again with a list of 10 new names.
By the end of the year you will have 520 more names on your drip list!. 10 names a week X 52 weeks = 520 names per year generated! Remember, the number one reason given by clients who leave their advisor, is lack of contact. When you create this little contact system, you are leveraging the very reason clients leave their advisor.
Another simple process that works like a charm
This system has been utilized for years, by a few smart marketers, with perennial success. You should expect 2 to 6 quality appointments per 100 pieces mailed.
- First decide on the type of client with which you want to build your practice, e.g. IRA roll-over, college planning, long-term care insurance, or any of the other specialties.
- Write a short, informational book about the topic. You can either do this yourself or hire it to be done by a ghostwriter (you can hire a ghost writer many places such as www.guru.com).
- Pick the zip code in which you would like to center your practice.
- Create a 3.5” x 5” postcard that can be sent out by bulk mail. The postcard is for the recipients to request your book.
- You should have the calls go to a voice mail box in which the prospect will leave their name, address and phone number. There are many services that will do this for you, including www.freedomvoice.com.
- You then mail the book out with a brief note wishing them success.
- You follow up a week later with a letter telling them that you’re thinking about rewriting and expanding the book.
Offer them a $25 gift certificate to come in and answer some questions on the topics covered in the book. Your questions should start out general for the first ten minutes such as: What was your overall view? Was it detailed enough?, etc.
Based on the interest shown, your questions can then become more specific to your product and business. During the process, they will see that they have a need and you have the expertise to help them. They are an easy lead to convert into setting an appointment for you to discuss their specific situation. You should get 2 to 5 quality appointments for every 100 pieces mailed by using this technique.
There you have it, two simple proven methods to create terrific ongoing prospects. And now, as Nike says, Just Do It!