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100 best sales & marketing ideas: 21-30

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Editor’s Note: This is the eighth article in a ten-part series identifying the best sales techniques for 2015. To view the rest of the series, click here.

30. Thank your advocate clients.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, thank your advocate clients for their business by sending a postcard offering a free pumpkin pie. If they don’t need a pumpkin pie, clients can opt to have the advisor donate the proceeds to charity. We have seen response rates of between 11–35 percent with extraordinary feedback. It’s a Win – Win – Win for the client and the advisor!

Robert Pascual

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29. Look at the big picture.

I show people what three meals a day for two people would cost times 20 and 25 years. That will usually get their attention. I then discuss the cost of medical out of pocket for the same period and then hopefully see the writing on the wall. They will then begin putting more into retirement savings.

Gary Ruchin

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28. Become a Social Security expert.

Becoming a trusted resource with regard to Social Security has allowed my AUM to double in 2014 and I expect the same in 2015. This requires a commitment to ongoing education with regard to Social Security, Medicare, conversion of qualified plans and every other issue for which I can provide guidance to Boomers.

Nan Lesnick

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27. Make a goal of pursuing “Centers Of Influence” as referral sources.

When I deliver a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy, I have a delivery agenda. One of the agenda items is asking the buyer, “To whom who do you want me to send a copy of your schedule page and sample policy?” Suggestions may include a financial planner, a CPA, an attorney and family members. When I get the names of clients’ Centers of Influence, I then follow up to explain that I have worked with those individuals’ client and think that it’s important that the client’s long-term care plan information be part of the client’s file. And then I ask for an appointment to meet each Center of Influence. 

— Margie Barrie, long-term care solutions specialist, ACSI Partners

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26. Four keys to a successful seminar

Seminars offer a golden opportunity, unlike any other form of marketing or advertising. By hosting seminars, you have a captive audience of qualified prospects for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. During this invaluable period of time, you have the unique ability to provide every attendee with four key answers they need to know before they consider working with you: 

  1. Do they like you? Yes, first impressions are important. However, quality relationships happen over time. Most people can usually determine after a reasonable period of time whether they like you or not. By “like” I mean they can answer certain key questions such as: Can they see themselves enjoying spending more time with you? Do they connect with you on a professional and/or personal level? Can they see themselves inviting you to their home or to a party?
  2. Do they trust you? In addition to the ability to determine your “likeability” factor, seminars also offer the ability to develop a level of trust. After spending a reasonable period of time with you, most people can determine if they view you as a credible and trustworthy professional. They are able to decide if they feel comfortable opening up their financial lives to you, and whether they can trust your professional advice and services.
  3. Do they think you are competent? Throughout the course of a seminar, you have an extended period of time in which to present your abilities, skills, knowledge, expertise and overall competency. People are able to come to a decision as to whether you know what you are talking about, if you are a qualified and trusted professional, and if they believe your advice and services can be of value to them.
  4. Do they think you have their best interests at heart? Seminars provide you the ability to not only present your likeability, trustworthiness, and competency, but they also allow the attendees to learn and understand the kind of work you do and how you work with your clients. They get to see how you talk, educate, and interact. Most importantly, they become familiar with important factors such as how you work with you clients, how much time and effort is required on their part, what they can expect when you meet, any costs or fees, and how you are compensated.

Christopher P. Hill, RFC®, President, Wealth and Income Group LLC

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25. Diversify your marketing.

There is no one silver bullet when it comes to creating new opportunities for your business. You need to have a variety of different branding, marketing and lead generation activities running simultaneously in order to be most effective with your marketing dollars.  

— Alana Kohl, AdvisorPR

 

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24. Always remember that you’re not in the business of selling, you’re in the business of building relationships.

In order to best service your clients you need to truly understand their needs. To know their needs you need to know them and develop genuine relationships. Learn about their family, occupation, hobbies and dreams. While we want to impress so much, you build relationships by listening, probing about them and what’s important to them.  Even if you are just listening, you are building a strong relationship with them because most people are not patient enough to listen! 

— John Richard Pierce, Jr., author of ‘Sell More and Sleep at Night’

 

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23. Make your sale message clear. 

Pick out one or two benefits of your products and state those clearly in your sales headline. Make it clear to your customers exactly what your product or service is going to do for them. Be specific. If there are multiple benefits, create sales messages to appeal to different customers. 

Brian Tracey, CEO, Brian Tracey International

 

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22. Ask (and listen) and ye shall receive

I find it useful to keep in mind that when I’m proposing a product, it’s never the product that the prospect buys. It’s what the product will do. This is especially true in annuity sales. The buyer of a life-contingent SPIA buys an income that is certain and that will last for her lifetime, no matter how long that is. The buyer of an index annuity, by contrast, is buying a safe place for some of her money to GROW.

I like to confirm the prospect’s expressed goals and needs. “How important is the guarantee that you cannot lose any of the money you contributed (your principal)? What would you be willing to give up in your other investments to get that guarantee?” If you could get weaker guarantees for more potential reward, would you prefer that?”

And then I LISTEN!

This conversation is not about the product I’m proposing (if, indeed, I’ve gotten to that stage); it’s about “if you could design the perfect solution to your own personal financial needs, what would it look like?”  

— John L. Olsen, CLU, ChFC, AEP, President, Olsen Financial Group

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21. Demonstrate your dedication to client confidentiality.

Life and health insurance advisors/solutions providers face the challenge of having to protect sensitive client data while still being able to confidentially access this data while on the go. Clearly, data loss or accidental exposure could have disastrous consequences. While public cloud service offerings may sound like all the rage, the fact is that they present serious data protection and security risks. Today’s life and health insurance professionals need to deploy private file sync and share appliance, which eliminates these risks, and provides enhanced data control on local and mobile devices. This provides the marketing and sales professionals with another success because they are demonstrating how to combine their dedication to innovation, with an uncompromised approach to data security, confidentiality, mobility and customer satisfaction.

— Tony Hampel, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Connected Data

Editor’s Note: This is the eighth article in a ten-part series identifying the best sales techniques for 2015. To view the rest of the series, click here.