100 best sales & marketing ideas: 11-20
By Nichole Morford
There are a million ways to sell an insurance product, and any one of them may work depending on your target market, your product lineup and your own unique skill set. But there are a few that have been proven to deliver great results time and time again. In our annual poll for your very best sales ideas, these are the standouts, the things that are really working in 2014.
See also: 100 best sales & marketing ideas
20. Avoid email clutter.
Trickle email communication has been by far my most effective marketing tool. I send only four or five emails per year to the clients that have opted in. Enough to stay on their radar, but not enough for them to unsubscribe or feel that I will unleash a marketing fury on their friends and family should they choose to give them my name. Seems to be a perfect number to cultivate a steady stream of referrals.
19. Put your client first.
Listen first and ask questions second ... then verbalize back what you heard. Make sure you are having a conversation rather than making a presentation.
18. Try the reverse close.
Trust me, it works! During the first appointment (the initial fact finding time period) mention three separate times, reworded a little differently each time: "Understand that we are just getting to know each other right now. I am not honestly looking to take on any new clients that do not meet our criteria as I'm sure you are not going to just settle for any ol' financial advisor. Choosing someone to manage your retirement money for the rest of your retirement life (lives) is a huge decision and just as we only want clients that are a good fit for our practice, I am completely sure you only want the best advisor for you and your retirement. You’ll need someone that you would like to welcome into your retirement life, someone you can view as a kind of family member. This is strictly a time for us to see if we might fit together. Over the course of our next couple meetings, we can determine if you are a fit for us, as well as if we are a fit for you. Sound fair?"
—Travis A. Morrow
17. Lead with Social Security planning.
I have done retirement dinner seminars, direct mail, newspaper advertisements; they all can work, but no guarantees on any. Recently, I have been doing Social Security Timing for Married Couples at the public library. No dinner, not expensive. Prospects come because they want/need to learn about Social Security timing. I will give clients a free analysis of their Social Security benefits, if they make an appointment to come to my office. I am a fee-based advisor; if they want more information without moving their money over to me, I charge them a fee. So far, it has been much better than dinner seminars.
16. Publish a high-value newsletter.
Quality content establishes you as an authority in your field. No matter what your practice type, your credibility is everything. Newsletters reinforce your expertise and industry leadership with news, trends and the latest findings that will benefit your patients or clients. Newsletters communicate trust, not a blatant advertisement. By being the source of quality content, you further build trust. This sets you apart from simply looking as if you’re going for a sale. It’s an entirely different, much more professional impression.
Also, newsletters are repeatable. Many practices have the best of intentions, but with limited internal resources, have difficulty executing their marketing plans. An ongoing newsletter program provides a continuous, repeatable communication with clients or patients in a way that is meaningful to them. Good newsletters are anticipated by recipients. According to our survey data, whether it’s referring health care providers, clients, or patients, quality newsletters are appreciated and anticipated. This is another reason why consistency is so important.
— Bonita Bell-Andersen, CLU
15. Get interactive.
Host a workshop with a cooking class that also gives tips on how to save money shopping and ideas for wealth accumulation with those savings. Classes are fun and they can get both spouses involved. Guys learn about cooking. Women love that! Plus, it gives them greater appreciation for the meals that are prepared at home. To get more guy involvement, you can pair your theme to Super Bowl parties or barbeque. To get more gal involvement, you can do easy meals that involve crock-pots or 30 minute meals like Rachel Ray. Each cooking theme is coupled with some aspect of financial planning.
14. Grow your referral network.
Be careful to keep referral sources informed about how you are following up on their help. This communicates that you value their insight and advice. When someone gives you a referral, there are three things you must do to keep the referrals coming from that source: a) Follow up on every referral you get as soon as possible; b) let your source know that you are following up on their help; c) thank your referral source with a handwritten note and a small gift.
— Bill Cates
13. Really know your clients.
As salespeople, we’re supposed to connect with our customers on a regular basis. But top salespeople don’t just “check in” with their clients. They develop strong relationships with customers during the sales process, which means they know what’s going on with their clients, both personally and professionally. Top salespeople provide insights and guidance, which make them valuable, trusted business resources. When you have a relationship with your client like the one described above, he’ll always take your calls. He wants to talk to you, looks forward to it even. And he’ll refer you to other great clients, because he has seen for himself the value you bring to the table.
— Joanne Black
12. Solve a problem.
Make a few "squeeze" videos — short, 2-minute how-to or why videos that highlight a problem, then offer two bullet points to address the problem. Use them in email marketing, drip marketing and as social media posts.
11. Identify an unmet need.
I began with soliciting Medicare enrollments using four major Medicare providers. The process began by doing workshops within a 50 mile radius of the office. This went so well I've since enlisted a telemarketer calling a list of income-based 64- to 65-year-olds. So far, so good. It's a great way to get your foot in the door to where the "serious money" is.
Originally published on LifeHealthPro.com