Zombies are back to terrifying viewers with the return of AMC’s The Walking Dead. But unlike the sight of flesh-eating ghouls, there are few things better than reviving an old lead and watching it become a new client.

Over the years, I have turned numerous leads that many would deem dead into clients. This practice can create a powerful new sales pipeline, especially for advisors or agents with a database of old leads.

A lead is generally “old” if it has been lifeless or unresponsive for more than 30 days. But if you have roughly 20,000 old leads, and you can turn even 5% of those into clients, it can be a game changer from a revenue standpoint.

Nurturing Dead Leads

It’s amazing to get an out-of-the-blue call from a lead you thought was closed; for most it’s a rare occurrence, if it happens at all. Bringing the dead back to life will typically require a regular system of subtle nurturing.

To be successful at this approach, you should demonstrate to the lapsed prospects that you are invested and available to meet their needs — even long after the first conversation or contact point. This approach involves implementing the following:

  • CRM System — Having a good, reliable customer relationship management (CRM) system can make or break you. This is because if you have a system that allows you to “set it and forget it,” your system can be sending out messages and other time-consuming tasks that should be delegated while you’re concentrating on other profitable activities, like meeting with clients and prospects.
  • Contextual Marketing — In its most basic sense, contextual marketing refers to marketing that is targeted specifically to user information. In the case of turning dead leads into clients, this means hitting potential clients with the right message at the right time. As an example, several months prior, you may have had a conversation with a prospect who was preparing to start a family. Today that old prospect could be a great candidate to discuss life insurance and college planning with. The old lead needs to be brought back to life – which will frequently require adding an element of emotion to the overall marketing mix.
  • Call to Action — As with most selling situations, nothing will happen without a clear call to action. With that in mind, it is essential to let the “zombie” know exactly what they need to do — and then walk them through the steps on how to do it. 

Don’t Dig Yourself a Grave

It’s a zombie-eat-human world out there, so when implementing your plan of attack, it can be easy to overdo it. But with that said, it’s often a subtle, sophisticated approach that successfully resurrects dead leads rather than an aggressive, in-your-face strategy. Here are some rules to keep in mind:

  • No Spamming — It goes without saying that even when contacting those who have consented to give you their names, there comes a point when over-nurturing can become a bit too much. This also goes for keeping a proper and balanced frequency of your messaging.
  • Irrelevance Doesn’t Sell — You also want to be sure that your messages have relevance. For example, if your lead is starting a family, contacting them with a message about long-term care insurance isn’t going to cut it and will often get you sliced from their subscriber list.
  • Get to the Point — Droning on and on with your message may also tend to have the same affect as watching The Walking Dead: cause some screams in the night. Rather, get right to the point followed by your call to action.

In summary, you should never give up on a potential client. As a financial professional, you’re likely sitting on potential goldmine of revivable leads, and you should take a critical look at your current zombie approach or risk missing out on a tremendous amount of new business opportunity.