A marketing plan is like the cylinders of a car. All eight cylinders must work equally well for optimal performance. (Photo: iStock)

Any marketing method relies on all of its parts to be successful. Like the ingredients of a recipe, leave anything out and what you get is a failure. Oh, it may be edible, but it loses its highest quality.

A marketing plan can also be likened to the cylinders of a car. All eight cylinders must work equally well for optimal automobile performance. Any cylinder that falls short of its potential weakens the entire machine. Enough cylinder failures will shut down an engine, rendering the car useless.

See also: Why mobile insurance marketing is a must

With this premise in mind, let’s examine one of the elements of a routine sales seminar: the venue. If a prospect were invited to two different seminars on the same subject by different presenters, which would they attend? One is held at a library with water to refresh the attendees. The other is held in the country club with a nice meal included. The answer is obvious.

The venue is an integral part of the presentation. The meal also allows the presenter several additional advantages. He or she will be able to interact privately with the attendees as they dine. This facilitates a bonding that cannot be attained from a lectern.

Additionally, the presenter’s clients should be encouraged to attend the event. They could bring referred friends. But more importantly, they can be advocates for the presenter.

Proper seating arrangements also insure that each attendee is exposed to a satisfied and advocating client.

All marketing methods are affected the same way. Dismissing elements as inconsequential could lead to poor overall performance.

There is a great push toward electronic marketing of all kinds. Some are using automated email, Facebook ads, Google ads and other various methods. A key element of any internet methodology is conversion to appointment. Keep in mind that those prospects who are responding to online marketing methods like space between them and salespeople. They are naturally averse to face-to-face meetings. This makes for difficult transitions. If you are selling products that require face-to-face interaction, online marketing may present a real problem. There are no magic formulas to overcome this issue just yet. These methods may require a trial-and-error approach to see what works for you. That means investing time and money to get your own formula to work well.

See also: The time is now to start prospecting life insurance online

Let’s put everything into perspective. A cold call on a referred lead can be difficult or easy depending on how it’s approached. The details of making this call are very important. When a prospect answers the phone you must know exactly what you’re going to say. You must also be careful to be natural and appear to have known this person for some time. A good referral has a familiar go-between. It helps you, as the caller, to be friendly and conversational. You can try something like this: “Hello John, this is Kim Magdalein.”

A mutual friend of ours, Fred Smith, suggested that I give you a call. I am a financial advisor and, according to Fred, my work with him has been very helpful. Do you have a couple of minutes to talk now or would there be a better time for me to call again? Great, I’ll only take a moment. Fred told me that you have been working together for several years and was highly complimentary of your work ethic and accomplishments. Fred has done quite well also and felt that additional advice on financial issues could be helpful. May I extend an invitation to spend a few minutes discussing what I do and how it might be helpful to you? Terrific, is this a good week for us to meet or would next week be better? Thank you, John. I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday.”

This type of approach has been used many times over many years by successful advisors. You can be sure that it still works well today and will always work well in the future. Its elements are simple and important. This approach may seem elementary, but many advisors have abandoned the simple processes long ago. What a shame. I personally continue to use a very similar approach to any prospective client or referral source. Take time to re-evaluate the small things that could make a marketing method work more effectively.

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