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How can I make appointments effectively?

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In my previous company, all of my appointments were made for me. Now that I’m out on my own, where can I go to get prospects that are ready, willing and able to buy? There are many options out there to get in front of prospects, but most are either low-qualifying candidates, or prospects who are not able to pass exams or don’t have the budget to purchase. The programs out there are too costly, too time-consuming or very unproductive.

Most of the lead-generating programs that I have tried are hit and miss; you have to be competing with 5 to 10 other agents on the same lead. So whoever gets the lead first and gets ahold of the client first usually wins. It’s a matter of timing, not a matter of who is the best advisor for the client. 

How does an agent/advisor reach clients that are a natural fit for his or her practice? 

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