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2015's 50 best ways to generate leads: 1-10

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10. Mix business with pleasure

I have gotten leads from going to mixers and business events. I make sure that I have a goal–to make contact with the people that will be my point of reference to a lead, because they know someone that needs what I do. I do not waste their time and always keep it short and simple so not to seem like a pushy person.—Alejandro Chetto

magic ball9. The magic of the combo policy.

Products that work for clients will provide those clients with a reason to say good things about you when talking with their friends and family. One thing that I’ve seen work: When marketing to clients, discuss with them the option to use money to purchase a single-premium whole life or universal life LI plus LTCI policy.

That way not only does the client get both life and long-term care coverage, they also can earn slightly more interest on their money than if they left it in a CD, for example.

What’s more, if they never need the long-term care coverage, their money stays inside the policy, where ultimately it may be transferred to heirs on a tax-favored basis. Such a combination is gaining appeal among wealthier people in their 60s, who have the liquidity to afford the premium (often $100,000 or more), and who, for estate planning reasons, see merit in protecting their assets from a long-term care event.—Tom Riekse Jr.

boats8. Use a referral strategy that works.

One of the most successful strategies for generating immediate referrals is an event called, “Don’t Miss the Boat.” Advisors begin telling clients about the big event 3 months beforehand through a letter.

For example, we’ll say, “We’re doing this big event on May 15th on the Detroit Star, the dinner boat on the Detroit River. It’s going to be a gala event with music and dinner and dancing. But, don’t miss the boat; because the only people we’re inviting are those that have introduced us to others by the event date.”  

This event gives clients an immediate incentive to think of someone. Yes, it may be a little gimmicky and you may think your wealthy clients may not go for this. But, we’ve never seen this strategy fail. It has consistently produced referrals of 40 or more per event! — Maribeth Kuzmeski, Red Zone Marketing

prospecting7. Spend four hours a day prospecting.

In order to get a sufficient number of leads, you need to spend a significant amount of time prospecting. For most salespeople, spending far too little time prospecting is their primary issue. If you’re wondering where you’ll find four hours in a day, the answer is simple:

First, stop wasting time on unqualified prospects you’ll never convert. You know who these people are; you’ve been calling them for months, maybe even years. Get rid of them immediately, or give them one final call and tell them this is the last time you will contact them. It’s now or never.

Second, stop over-contacting and irritating qualified leads. The reason salespeople keep unqualified prospects in their funnel and harass and over-contact the qualified leads is because they have no one else to call. Spending a lot of time prospecting will give you an abundance of prospects and solve both these issues.

Third, cut out all the busy work you do to avoid the hard work of prospecting. Most of us are very creative at coming up with ways to avoid hard work from cleaning up our desks and doing paperwork in the middle of the day, to scheduling doctor appointments and other personal items during prime calling times. Stop it!

Finally, schedule your prospecting time and stick to the schedule. For example, block off 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for prospecting and don’t allow anything to infringe on that time.  

I realize that if you are doing little or no prospecting, four hours is a big jump. Start with an hour or two and build from there.— John Chapin,

mailer6.  Direct response mailers.

If you have the budget, I would highly recommend doing direct response mailers.

When I started my career, I didn’t have any extra money and I printed some fliers and simply went door-to-door.

As much as I would not do that now, if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t even be in the business.—Anthony A. Saccaro

stand out5. Stand out from the crowd. 

You’ve got to have an idea and presentation that really stands out from the clutter.

To achieve that you’ve got to test it in small numbers and, when you find something that works, send it out more broadly.—Maribeth Kuzmeski, Red Zone Marketing

headline4.  Keep it dynamic.

Dynamic revolving content: simply adding a teaser headline to our content increased our response rate by 0.5 percent.

This may not sound like a lot, but when you send 20,000 pieces of mail a month, it means getting in front of 100 more people.

Adding this concept to your marketing strategies does everything from increasing web traffic and response rate on direct mail pieces to branding yourself as an expert in your community.—Christopher Richter

seniors3. Find the network you need.

Network with individuals who are already doing business with the type of prospect you would like to meet. For example, if you are working in the senior market, what businesses are already catering to seniors? Where will you find seniors congregating or spending their leisure time?

The difference in developing prospects this way is elementary. If the businesses you are targeting are already dealing with 10 seniors a day and you have 10 of those networked partners, you have 100 new prospects.

Make certain you consider privacy laws and that you provide appropriate leads back to your resources. And, keep your networks happy … a simple thank you or a small gift card for lunch is always welcome.—Kevin Wedmore

radio dj2. On the airwaves.

I have a 30-minute radio program on a local talk radio station that airs every Monday morning.

It has opened more doors than I could imagine and was directly responsible for over $100,000 in new commissions over the past two years.—Dee K. Carter

presentation1. Write a referral sales plan.

When you receive a qualified referral, you are pre-sold, have trust and credibility, shorten your sales process, reduce your cost of sales, and gain a new client more than 50 percent of the time.

No other lead-generation strategy comes close to these results.

Write your referral sales plan with weekly referral goals and a tracking process to measure your referral-selling success.—Joanne S. Black

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