This marketing concept began in the 1950s when a Northwestern Mutual agency in Chicago reached exhaustion from their agents asking for leads. That frustration led to an industry breakthrough that allowed their agents to run their business like a business instead of constantly beginning each Monday with the “lead stare.” The system was called the One Card System. It became the chassis for the evolution I created for myself, Retire Village.
What is a lead anyway? Is it a sale? Does the lead want to buy insurance? If you are an informed agent building a brand, you already know. “A lead is only an invitation to a possible relationship!”
Advisors constantly need leads, and many spend more time finding leads than making sales. Just hoping to garner a lead they can talk to and hopefully have a sit-down. The constant drive for leads and the assumed referrals puts the agent looking for the next person to speak with. In reality, the better use of their marketing dollar is to gather the names of anyone who knows you are in financial business and cultivate them. The growing, nurturing, and harvesting of names to prospects can be achieved if the advisor agrees with the concept or marketing.
Why would any advisor continue to buy leads and live on the hope of an occasional sale when marketing to that lead gives the time to build a relationship?
I took the system developed in the 1950s and transformed it into today’s market. For 32 years, this system has done exactly what it was designed to do, grow and harvest relationships — then turn the relationships into sales and referrals. I named the system Retire Village.
How does it work? The secret is your database: Enter the names of people that know you, people who might be interested in future “beneficial” information. Building a quality database of people who know you allows Retire Village to begin the process of converting them into a greater relationship. Never add lists; the secret to Retire Village is the people you add to your list know who you are; they don’t need to know much about you except you are in the financial services business. Absolutely no lists, only people who know who you are.
The future of our business is content and providing content to a database that will find benefits from it. Over time, the relationship will evolve, and the opportunity to convert the relationship to client status will happen.