40. Seek COIs as clients.
Leads vs. referrals? There is a big difference between the two. Only clients can refer you. If you want referrals from centers of influence, the COI must be a client. Provide COIs with information they can use to help their clients and themselves. This encompasses both technical and marketing information, including their business development, business succession, retirement planning, and estate planning.
— Herb Daroff, CFP, estate and business planning specialist, Baystate Financial Planning LLC
39. Enhance IRAs.
Here's an idea to use with CPAs and financial advisors who have affluent clients that need to make Required Minimum Distributions from their Qualified plans, but have no need for the income, and are looking for tax leveraged wealth transfer. In today’s tax environment, an IRA can be one of the worst assets to pass to your heirs because it can be subject to both income tax and estate taxes, which can greatly erode the benefit for your heirs. Giving an IRA to charity at your death is a way to avoid the double taxation of the asset at death, but this option disinherits your heirs. However, purchasing life insurance in an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) for the benefit of your children using IRA withdrawals, while having the balance of your IRA go to charity at your death, is a way to create a legacy for both parties without the IRS getting an “inheritance” as well.
— Marty Dooley, Managing Principal, Highland Capital Brokerage
38. Create a strong call to action.
There are many lead generation techniques available today, from SEO to social, from landing pages to email. All of the approaches have pros and cons and need to be evaluated by the business in relation to the audience to which they market.
Regardless of the technique, one common thread can significantly increase the response rate of a campaign: a strong call to action. Customers are bombarded with marketing messages, so marketers are competing for the “eyes” of their customers to stop and take notice of their message. A strong call to action gets the eyes of the customer. Whether the call to action is a special offer or the ability to download an e-book, it has been proven over the years to be a central theme to great lead generation. Providing value to the customer through good content, supported by a strong call to action will increase the results of every lead generation campaign.
— John McGee, chief executive officer, OptiFiNow
By now, most industry professionals have jumped on the blogging bandwagon. But if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Or in other words, if you’re only posting your blog on your website, is it getting much (if any) traffic? Post your blog where consumers will find it, like on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. And don’t forget to check out blog-sharing sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit.
— Kelly Moser, social media strategist, Disability Insurance Services
36. Make news, get leads.
Tapping into free online press release distribution services is a simple way to create traffic to your website that over time can convert to leads. There is no cost to set up an account on PR.com and free distribution options. Many general agencies and trade associations offer fill-in-the-blanks press releases that you can customize and use to be posting in under 10 minutes.
—Jesse Slome, director, American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
35. Talk to prospects and clients.
One of the best ways for an insurance agent to generate new leads, especially when new to the industry, is to simply ask for them from prospects and clients. You should ask during your sales presentation, throughout the servicing stages of an insurance policy, such as during policy delivery and annual review, and whenever you are following up with a client. Then, take this approach and extend it to social media networks such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Gaining the trust of your clients through continuously exceptional service is a surefire way to generate leads.
— Nicholas Basiaga, managing partner, National Online Insurance School
34. Talk to new homeowners.
The main life agency I work with contracts with a company to solicit new homeowners for mortgage protection to protect their families in case of death or disability. If a homeowner fills in, signs and returns the lead, it is passed to the agency to funnel down to agents working in the homeowner’s area. With the lead in hand, we call the homeowner and quality them over the phone, verifying name, address, birth date, mortgage amount, medications, any illness, height and weight. From that, we can compile quotes of varying face amounts of term, whole life and universal life — depending on the person’s medical condition and which insurance company does the best work with any particular type of medical issue. The idea is to give clients an assortment of choices so they can pick the plan they believe will best meet their needs and budget. That’s key: Meet the client’s needs and budget, not the agent’s. Keeping the client’s needs first will give the agent the best results sooner or later.
—James Katzaman, president, James Katzaman Associates Inc.
Engage your clients in conversations about friends and family and note who they talk about. See who their close friends are on Facebook. Find their connections on LinkedIn and do a little research. Studies have shown that even clients who are reluctant to give referrals welcome the opportunity to exercise their “influence muscle” when you ask about someone specific. Tell a client that you believe you can help his friend Joe and ask him if he’d be comfortable making an introduction. Most likely, he will.
— Sandy Schussel, JD, RFC, sales and marketing coach, Sandy Schussel, LLC
32. Respond to the leads you get promptly.
A study by Harvard Business Review showed that companies who respond to user queries within an hour are seven times more likely able to turn the correspondence into something profitable. Responding within a short time period shows that you are dedicated and interested in providing something to potential customers. When we have a verified lead, we make it a point to provide follow-ups as soon as we can.
—Juan M. Alvarez, insurance agent/manager, Shelly Alvarez Insurance & Financial Services PLLC
31. Spend four hours a day prospecting.
In order to get a sufficient number of leads, you need to spend a significant amount of time prospecting. For most salespeople, spending far too little time prospecting is their primary issue. If you’re wondering where you’ll find four hours in a day, the answer is simple:
First, stop wasting time on unqualified prospects you’ll never convert. You know who these people are; you’ve been calling them for months, maybe even years. Get rid of them immediately, or give them one final call and tell them this is the last time you will contact them. It’s now or never.
Second, stop over-contacting and irritating qualified leads. The reason salespeople keep unqualified prospects in their funnel and harass and over-contact the qualified leads is because they have no one else to call. Spending a lot of time prospecting will give you an abundance of prospects and solve both these issues.
Third, cut out all the busy work you do to avoid the hard work of prospecting. Most of us are very creative at coming up with ways to avoid hard work from cleaning up our desks and doing paperwork in the middle of the day, to scheduling doctor appointments and other personal items during prime calling times. Stop it!
Finally, schedule your prospecting time and stick to the schedule. For example, block off 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for prospecting and don’t allow anything to infringe on that time.
I realize that if you are doing little or no prospecting, four hours is a big jump. Start with an hour or two and build from there.
— John Chapin, award-winning sales speaker, sales trainer, coach, author, www. completeselling.com
For more lead generation tips, visit www.LifeHealthPro.com/50best