The future of lead generation, Pt. 2Article added by Ben Anderson on September 7, 2011
Joined: August 21, 2010
Ranked: #390 (155 pts)
In part one of this series, we looked at how marketing pieces you use (seminar invites, lead mailers, newspaper ads, etc.) and the message you convey control the quality and quantity of the responses. In part two of this series, we will explore some basic and effective things, which you can start working on today, that will help you turn more prospective prospects into clients.
Effective lead generation is a two-step process:
First and foremost, you need to understand your market. Every neighborhood is made up of a diverse group of people. Although there are usually patterns, each area has people in different age ranges and people with different ethnicities or backgrounds.
- Step 1 — get a consumer to show interest
- Step 2 — turn that interest into an appointment
One way people differ that we usually don’t think about is how they respond. When people want more information on a topic, they don’t always behave the same way — one person may pick up the phone and call someone, while another person prefers to go online and do research.
When we are marketing ourselves, we can increase our results in any given neighborhood by increasing the number of “responder types” we target. In the following paragraphs, we will look at some specific things that can be done to help us appeal to a broader range of consumers.
Let me do my research first
Many consumers, including pretty much everyone under 70, use the Internet as their primary source of information. It’s also used to assess the credibility or quality of an individual or organization. Whether the consumer received a seminar invitation, listened to a radio spot or read a newspaper ad, the first inclination of many people is to see what else they can find out about you.
The key with this consumer group is to make sure we limit the potential reasons why someone wouldn’t respond to us. For example, not having a website (or having a poorly made one) can make your company seem less legitimate. Here are a few easy and free things you can do to help your cause:
I want some more information
- Use a professional email address — BoozinBen@email.com or AndersonFinancial@email.com — which one instills more confidence?
- Create a LinkedIn page — this is a free way to establish yourself online. You can also join networking groups to meet new prospects.
- Google yourself — make sure you know what is out there. You may be able to correct a potential issue before someone else finds it.
Many of us were taught that this is an objection and not a legitimate concern, but having professional material to give to someone at an event, after an appointment or even at the grocery store clearly gives us a better chance of turning that person into a client. Besides marketing material, handing a prospect third-party print material is also a great way to establish credibility.
Here are some specific things you can do:
Let me talk to someone first
- A picture is worth a thousand words — Make sure you have a professional picture or company logo that you can use when marketing your business.
- Utilize local/online publications — Articles or editorials are great ways to gain exposure and establish credibility with prospective clients.
- Have a business brochure — For the price a steak dinner, you can create a high quality brochure that lists your mission statement, bio, services offered, contact information and a call to action.
Many groups of consumers prefer to make their financial decisions through a trusted center of influence — for example, CPAs, attorneys or realtors. These individuals may have access to large lists of prospective clients you can market to, and they can become a great source of ongoing (high-quality) referrals.
Let’s walk through some specific steps you can take to initiate these relationships.
For many financial professionals, marketing is looked at more like a burden than an opportunity. The reality, though, is the top producers in our industry aren’t necessarily better at positioning a product or a financial solution to a consumer compared with one of their peers. They are better at positioning their value to their neighbors, their communities and the market at large.
- Make your introductions and take the first step — Get a list of local business and make a simple introduction call or office visit. While there, present them with some professional looking information on you and your business and simply offer your services (not products) as a potential solution for their clients’ needs.
- Get creative – A CPA or attorney is much more likely to sit down with you if you tell them that as a favor to some of your business owner clients, you want to partner with a few high quality professionals who you can refer them to.
- Present an alliance — Be direct and honest and let them know what you’re trying to accomplish. You are looking for a mutually beneficial alliance where you can leverage each others' services to provide the greatest benefit for your respective clients.
Conducting seminars and educational events, hosting radio and television shows, even writing a book are all great ideas and can turn anyone into a franchise. The first step, though — as it often is — is to make sure you take care of the basics.
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