Marketing Corner – 5 Body Language Tips for Keeping a Prospect Interested

Marketing Corner – Thursday October 13th, 2016

5 Body Language Tips for Keeping a Prospect Interested

Body language and non-verbal communication is as important to landing a sale as the persuasive string of words you issue to a prospect. Last week we discussed seven redflags that indicate you are losing your prospect and this week we wanted to discuss key body language tips that advisors should know. While many of these may seem common sense, it’s important to reiterate their simple power.

eyecontactBalance Eye Contact

Eye contact is a signal that you are speaking directly to the prospect or listening closely to the information they are providing. However, too much eye contact can be as bad as too little. This is because the connection can become forced, awkward, and unnatural. Many sales people are taught the importance of eye contact, however, many take this to an extreme. The better approach is to make deliberate eye contact to emphasize or underscore key points.

Balance Gestures

Gestures can be used to physically draw a prospect’s attention into the points you are making. Most people gesture without really thinking too much about it; hands rise when discussing positive movements, hands lower when discussing decreases, etc. Gestures are often used for emphasis or to break up long periods of speaking. As with eye contact, it’s best to have a natural balance. Too many gestures, and you’ll distract the prospect and come across as hesitant. Too little, and your points are denied opportunities for emphasis and you’ll come across as stiff.

positiveKeep Your Body Open, Facing The Prospect As Much As Possible

A hunched-over or closed off posture can signal many things, such as rejection, coldness, or disinterest. Likewise turning away from the prospect, even turning your back for a moment, can take them out of the spell of the appointment.

Maintain a Positive Posture Without Being Intimidating or Too Confident

What’s a positive posture? For advisors with different personalities and presentation styles this will vary. But generally a strong posture will be straight, a little loose, and comfortable. The idea is to project confidence without looming or being too dominant. Confident people sell confidently, but confidence, like eye contact, can be hammered too hard. The trick is to present yourself comfortable, assured, and friendly. You already own your space—you don’t need to assert your power.

nervousDon’t Fiddle

We all do it, even when we aren’t bored or disinterested. But fiddling, like swirling a pen around or playing with a piece of paper, can come across as dismissive and unsympathetic, especially if your audience is a pre-retiree discussing their retirement fears. Likewise, if you are presenting information, fiddling can severely undercut the power of your message.

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Marketing Corner – 7 Non-Verbal Redflags You’re Losing Your Prospect

7 Non-Verbal Redflags You’re Losing Your Prospect

Non-verbal cues like body language, eye-contact, posture, rhythm, and gestures can all signal—despite conscious efforts—how someone really feels about what you are telling them. For an agent giving a presentation that may involve breaking down complex concepts, selling certain solutions, or driving home a key piece of financial education, paying attention to these non-verbal signals can be crucial to converting a prospect into a client. Remember that people generally like to avoid conflict, so they may not tell you why something isn’t resonating with them.

Here are seven non-verbal signs that you are losing your prospect:

They lean back

Generally someone interested in what you are telling him or her will lean forward. This a signal that what is being said is relevant to them, or they want to pay special attention to not miss any words. If a prospect is leaning back in their chair, that’s a pretty big signal they have already made up their mind.

avoideyecontactThey look around the room

It’s natural for someone to look at figurative space when thinking of a response to a question or trying to detail something important to them that may have several components. But if your prospect begins to look around the room, either with their eyes or full swivels of their head, this may indicate that you have lost their interest.

They avoid eye-contact

A prospect doesn’t have to look around the room to avoid contact with you. They may face toward you, but look past you—focusing on what’s behind you.

They have their arms crossed

Crossed arms can signal protection and a closed-offed mindset. While some people may cross their arms just to have something to do with their arms for a bit, a long-duration of crossed arms is definitively a signal you want pay attention to.

facetoughThey cover their mouth/face

A prospect may cover their mouth or face for a couple of reasons. One could be to hide their facial expressions in response to your presentation. Another reason could be because of nervousness or discomfort with the information you are telling them.

They twitch or fiddle

Some people certainly twitch, fiddle, or tap their fingers as way to release tension as they intake information. In many instances, having a release like this helps prospects to dissipate the physical discomfort of a long sit-down meeting, so they more closely focus on you. But often fidgeting, tapping, or playing with a pen, signals disinterest or a lack of focus. The information may be too overwhelming, or your information isn’t resonating, or they made up their mind before they even entered your office.

They focus too much on you

To humor you or to be polite, a disinterred prospect may over-amplify positive signals. They may maintain unnatural eye-contact, nod repetitively, keep their arms forcefully open, issue too many “mmmhmms,” or withhold fidgets.

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Marketing Corner – CD Replacement

Wednesday September 28th, 2016

A Brief History of CD Replacement Months

October and April are traditionally known as CD replacement months. As an advisor, you might accept this simply as a way to gather new clients by presenting CD alternatives. But the history behind CD replacement months points to an interesting way certain things reverberate throughout the years–how an incident thirty years ago can still have lingering effects for today’s consumers.

In the short presentation above, we discuss how October became a CD replacement month. To help advisors and agents take advantage of CD replacement opportunities, Legacy Financial Partners has prepared an exclusive sales kit that includes:

  • Taxable Equivalent Yield Chart
  • CD vs. Annuity Comparison Chart
  • Split Annuity CD Beater Strategy
  • CD vs. FIA Sales Strategy
  • CD Prospecting Letter
  • Customizable Fact Finder
  • Retirement Pitfalls Presentation
  • Going Broke Safely Presentation

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Marketing Corner – Wednesday September 21st, 2016

There’s Still Time For LIAM Opportunities

clientsJust because we are less than two weeks away from October, doesn’t mean there aren’t’ Life Insurance Awareness Month opportunities for you to take advantage of. Over the past four weeks we’ve presented useful life insurance stats, how to overcome common life insurance objections, and interesting pieces of life insurance trivia. While LIAM puts a focus on life insurance for a specific month, the information and resources available to you are good-year round. So grab our LIAM kit if you haven’t, check out our other LIAM posts, and don’t let September be the only month you focus of life insurance.

To round out our LIAM coverage, we thought we’d end on positive life insurance trends.

Premium and Policy Growth

In the first quarter of 2016, individual life insurance premium rose by four percent, when compared with Q1 of 2015. This continues a trend that has been happening for the past year and half—with seven consecutive quarters of positive growth.

Not only have individual premiums grown, so too have the amount of policies sold. Q1 2016 jumped three percent when compared to Q1 2015. This also represents a continuous growth for the last six quarters (LIMRA).

Hybrid Products

According to this years’ Life Insurance Barometer Study, Millennials are more likely to choose a combo product when shopping for life insurance.

The Rise of Wearables

iwatchWearables refer to pieces of technology that individuals, ahem, wear, on their body. These gadgets track activity like sleep patterns, exercise, heart rate, and so forth. Many of these features are already included in devices like the Apple Watch or any other smart watches. Insurance companies are starting to notice the value of the data these devices capture, offering points or reduced rates for consumers that maintain or improve their health conditions. One notable program is John Hancock’s Vitality program. Other insurance companies are starting to offer similar programs. This has given rise to the idea of continuous underwriting. So how receptive are consumers to programs like this? Well the Life Insurance Barometer Study found that 30 percent of people would consider using wearable devices and share the results with a carrier in exchange for rewards. Across age segments, Millennials are unsurprisingly the most likely to consider an activity tracker for this purpose, with over half surveyed indicating they would be likely to do so.

Life Insurance Sentiments

This year’s Barometer study also found that 66% of people would recommend smallbusinesslife insurance to others—an increase of 11% compared to last year’s survey.

Small Business Opportunities

Although the recovery is not consistent for every sector or population, as a whole the economy is improving. (Hence the Fed Rate increase in December of last year.) What does this mean for the financial advisor fighting the good fight? It means that there are many different kinds of opportunities presented by this improvement. As consumers find more stable work, their focus may turn to things like life insurance. Small businesses looking to hire may want to use group life to attract new employees or reward (and retain) current ones.

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Marketing Corner – September 12th, 2016

Marketing Corner – Friday September 12th, 2016

5 Interesting Pieces of Life Insurance Trivia

We are smack in the middle of Life Insurance Awareness Month—your chance to take advantage of programs, materials, and guides from a variety of industry sources to promote (and sell) the value of life insurance. Legacy Financial Partners began our LIAM coverage a few weeks ago, with posts on a comprehensive (and complimentary) sales kit, key life insurance stats, and how to handle common life insurance objections. This week we wanted to offer some unusual or interesting life insurance trivia.

catYou Can Use Life Insurance To Give Whiskers The Good Life After You’re Gone

While most insurance carriers won’t allow you to directly name your cat or dog beneficiary since states generally consider pets to be property, you can use life insurance to fund a pet trust. This will make sure that your beloved animal lives out the remainder of its life in style. Since other family members (and even courts) may find this arrangement distasteful, a pet trust will need to be properly structured. Trouble Helmsley, the Maltesse recipient of $12 Million from Leona Helmsley, famously had his inheritance reduced to a mere $2 million after the hotelier’s grandchildren contested.

The Apollo Astronauts’ Unusual Life Insurance Policyspaceship

Certain occupations and hobbies can incur high-risk ratings or preclude life insurance coverage altogether. But what if your job is
an astronaut and your mission is to go to the moon? This is what the astronauts of Apollo 11 faced. With prohibitively high coverage options, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins resorted to a creative solution—autographed “covers,” signed envelopes post-marked on significant days. In the event of their death, the astronauts knew their autographs would fetch a great sum.

The Largest Life Insurance Policy Ever

According to Guinness World Records, an anonymous, but “well-known,” Silicon Valley billionaire purchased the most valuable life policy ever in 2014. The coverage amount? $201 million. This doubles the previous record of $100 million set in 1990. The most valuable policy was unsurprisingly complex, involving 19 different insurance companies for the underwriting.

Unclaimed Benefits Amount

According to Consumer Reports in 2013, the amount of unclaimed life insurance benefits is “at least” $1 billion. How can this happen? There are a few reasons. For one, consumers may be unaware of their beneficiary status. Policy owners may have poor record keeping. Insurance companies recently got themselves in trouble by failing to be more proactive in seeking out beneficiaries once policyholders died.

weddingLife Insurance Ownership and Marriage Rates

Comparing data from the U.S Census and the American Council of Life Insurers Factbook, Bankrate found that states with a higher marriage rate generally had a lower life insurance ratio and vice versa. As the article postulates, this could be because the states with the highest marriage rates also have the youngest median ages for marriage, and life insurance may not be a priority for young newlyweds. Southern states had high policies-to-population ratios, with Alabama topping the list for life insurance ownership.

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Marketing Corner – Overcoming 5 Common Life Insurance Objections

Marketing Corner – Wednesday August 30th, 2016

Overcoming 5 Common Life Insurance Objections

**this post is the third entry into Legacy Financial Partner’s coverage of Life Insurance Awareness Month. Check out the first two posts here, and request our complimentary LIAM kit here.

Even with a greater amount of consumer education than in previous decades, selling is still an important aspect of connecting prospects to an appropriate insurance solution. A big part of selling is dealing with objections. Here are five common life insurance objections you’ll likely face from consumers and what you can do to overcome these objections.

“Life insurance is too expensive!”

This is probably the most common objection you’ll hear from consumers. It’s true that life insurance premiums can initially be jarring, but remember that expensive is a relative term. Plus, consumers often overestimate the cost of insurance. The latest Insurance Barometer Study found that the median estimated yearly cost for a 250,000 term policy for a 30 year-old non-smoker was more than double the actual cost.
Ask/tell the consumer:
“When was the last time you looked at insurance prices?”
“Do you know that there are many types of life insurance to meet a variety of needs?”

“Did you know that most people overestimate the cost of life insurance?”
“The best way to get a true picture of the cost of life insurance is to use the latest software quoting tools based on your specific situation and needs.”

“I don’t need life insurance.”

This objection can be the result of many factors. The consumer may not be properly educated on the utility of life insurance or may have some misconceptions about how life insurance works. Perhaps they are young and would rather use money that could be used for insurance premiums on more immediate needs. It’s possible they only think of life insurance in terms of the death benefit.

Ask/tell the consumer:

“What would happen to your household if you died today?”
“Who would take care of your debt, pay the mortgage, or cover your child’s college tuition?”
“Are you aware that many life insurance policies have living benefits—things that can help in the case of a disability or chronic condition? Some even have cash you can use throughout your life.”

“I don’t qualify because of health issues.”

This objection arises because consumers are aware that many life insurance policies require medical underwriting. But like other aspects of life insurance, they may have misconceptions on how this process works or impacts their options.

Ask/tell the consumer:

“Did you know there are certain types of insurance that are guarantee issue?”
“Just about anybody can qualify for a life insurance policy—there are many different types that account for many different situations.”

“I have money saved up.”

It’s possible that a consumer feels that they have enough money accumulated through savings and other assets that they don’t need life insurance. Maybe once they give you a peak at their financials they do—but this presents an opportunity to discuss efficient wealth transfer and estate planning options. If they don’t, explain what the average cost of retirement is. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the average household will use nearly 41,000 per year in retirement. So if a household retires at 65 and expects to live another twenty years, the retirement amount used for this time period will be $820,000. Converting a large sum of savings into a cash value life insurance policy can help clients achieve a robust source of retirement income on top of a death benefit.

Ask/tell the consumer:
“Are you aware that you can use life insurance to transfer wealth in a more tax-efficient manner? This can be true if you want to endow a charity or transfer to family members.
“Given what we know about life expectancies and inflation, are you confident that your savings of _______ will give you the retirement you desire?”

“I already have life insurance.”

This should be an easy objection to overcome. If a consumer already has a policy, find out when they purchased it, what type it is, and if they have been any significant life events. A good financial plan, whether it involves a life insurance product or other solution, should be reviewed periodically to make sure it still matches the consumer’s needs and objectives, and to see if there are other opportunities.

Ask/tell the consumer:
“When was the last time you had a policy review?”
“Have you have had a new child since you purchased it?”
“Do you know if your policy still meets your needs?”
“According to a recent survey, nearly half of those who stated they have life insurance may be underinsured.

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Marketing Corner – 16 Interesting Stats for LIAM

16 Interesting Stats You Can Use During
Life Insurance Awareness Month

In last week’s Marketing Corner, we discussed the value of life insurance awareness month and how consumers greatly underestimate the cost of life insurance. This week we wanted to present interesting statistics that you can use as you discuss life insurance with your prospects. These stats give you insight on a variety of area, including the cost of college, mortgages, and long-term care. These details are important because life insurance can be used to cover many of these expenses, especially in the case of blended products with regards to long-term care.

Check them out below. Don’t forget to request your complimentary copy of Legacy Financial Partner’s 2016 Life Insurance Awareness Kit, which includes:

  • Marketing Guide For Leveraging Social Media
  • Customizable Fact Finders
  • Customizable Prospecting Letters
  • Customizable Marketing Flyers
  • Life Insurance Prospecting Ideas
  • Client Presentations
  • Over 15 FINRA Approved Concept and Presentation Pieces
  • Life Insurance Powerpoint Seminar Presentations
  • Customizable Press Releases

Life Insurance

According to the latest Insurance Barometer study from Life Happens:

One out of three households indicated they would have immediate trouble handling living expenses with the loss a primary breadwinner.

The majority of people prefer to buy life insurance in person. Only 1 in 5 prefer to apply online.

The median estimate for a 250,000 term life policy was more than twice the actual cost.

The top three financial concerns for consumers is having enough money for a comfortable retirement, paying for long-term care, and paying for medical expenses.

A 2016 Gallup poll finds that the top concern is not being able to pay medical costs of a serious accident or illness. All concerns addressed by the poll have risen since it was conducted in 2015.

A 2015 Bankrate Money Pulse survey found the while around 6 in 10 individuals reported having some form of life insurance, nearly half may be underinsured.

Banks often use life insurance on key personnel to fund employee benefits and as a tax shelter for assets. More than half of U.S. banks hold some form of bank-owned life insurance assets, according to a review of FDIC data from 2013.

College

According to the College Board, the average published yearly tuition and fees for a public four-year university is $9,410. Assuming a student graduates on time, the base cost will be $37,640. This doesn’t account for other expenses like housing, food, and books. And, according to a 2014 report by Complete College America, most students don’t graduate in four years.

A private four-year university will of course be more expensive. The College Board averages $32,410 a year for private colleges. Assuming a four-year graduation period, this amounts $129,640, or a little over half the total cost of raising a kid.

Mortgage / Home

80% of Americans have some form of debt. Of these, 44% have mortgage debt.

The median home loan balance is just over $100,000.

Long Term Care

According to longtermcare.gov, in 2010 the average cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home was $6235 per month, care in an assisted living facility was $3,293 per month, and $21 per hour for a home health aide.

Genworth, in a study conducted with CareScout of April of 2016 finds that the national medians for monthly care have risen since the government stats of 2010. For instance:

care in an assisted living facility is $3,628

care in a semi-private room is $6,844.

Consumers underestimate the cost of home healthcare by nearly fifty percent.

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Marketing Corner – Life Insurance Awareness Month

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month


handshakeliamSeptember is Life Insurance Awareness Month. This is a great opportunity for advisors to discuss life insurance solutions with prospects and clients. Many consumers, and even some advisors themselves, are unaware of the variety of needs life insurance can meet.

The modern life insurance landscape goes far beyond securing a death benefit. With accessible cash value policies, life insurance can be used to protect an investable sum from market volatility, to generate an alternative source of retirement income, to help a business survive the death of a key partner, and so forth.

Consumers consistently overestimate the cost of life insurance. The 2016 Insurance Barometer Study conducted by Life Happens and LIMRA—the main organizations behind LIAM—found that the median estimated yearly cost for a 250,000 term policy for a 30 year-old non-smoker was more that double the actual cost. Other key barriers include other financial priorities, consumers feeling they have as much as they need, or confusion on what types of insurance to buy. These are all barriers that can be broken, through education and care.

Life insurance awareness month is your chance to refresh or learn creative uses of life insurance that can help you bring in a stream of clients. With many programs from carriers and trade groups, you have access to a wealth of resources to do this.

In fact Legacy Financial Partners has a comprehensive LIAM package available for agents and advisors. This complimentary kit includes:

  • Marketing Guide of Leveraging Social Media
  • Customizable Fact Finders
  • Customizable Prospecting Letters
  • Customizable Marketing Flyers
  • Life Insurance Prospecting Ideas
  • Over 15 FINRA Approved Concept and Presentation Pieces
  • Life insurance Powerpoint Seminar Presentations
  • Much more.

Request your complimentary kit below or by simply filling out the form to the right.

Visit our dedicated page: https://legacy-financial-partners.com/LIAM/

Complimentary Life Insurance Awareness Kit

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Marketing Corner – More Tips For Content Marketing

Marketing Corner – Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

More Tips for Content Marketing 

Advisors, especially older ones, often struggle with making heads or tails of content marketing. With so many platforms and channels, each with their own style of engagement, it can seem daunting. While there can be advanced technical strategies, the core of content marketing is pretty simple. Used in an efficient manner, content marketing can be a valuable strategy that doesn’t take too much of your time to maintain.

Here are seven simple tips for developing your content marketing strategy:

businessmancompBe Consistent

One of the key ways advisors fail with content marketing is consistency. It will generally be better to have regular posts spread over a larger time period than a short burst of content. Advisors that do the latter often find that they don’t have enough topics or material to maintain a consistent flow. If you wait to be inspired, you’ll find that you won’t be able to engage with your audience regularly. This can kill any momentum with the audience you have built or prevent your audience from growing further.

Have A Mix of Styles and Formats

Your content can be a simple update, a short summary of a relevant article, an in-depth piece explaining a solution, or a list of things your audience needs to know. While having a few standard styles can be helpful to plan your content strategy and let consumers know what to expect, mixing in posts that are shorter, longer, or composed in a different style, helps to ration your content. It also may help to reach a wider variety of consumers—those that like longer articles, those that like lists, or those that like short status updates, etc.

Demonstrate Your Expertise and Experience

Your content should reflect your skills and knowledge, with consistency. You don’t know what might trigger a reader to call you for an appointment, so discuss a variety of topics with competency and meaning. Even if a topic isn’t relevant to one type of consumer, the fact that you write about it truthfully and can relate it to those consumers for which it does matter, demonstrates the breadth of your knowledge.

businesstieDon’t Be Afraid of Personality

Obviously you want to present content that is professional and compliance friendly. But within these guidelines there is a way to write in your voice. Personality goes a long way to making complicated topics go down smooth. People relate to you more, because you are not just a robot churning out boring copy, but rather a human being composing relatable content.

Use Clear Photos and Branding

You will likely use a variety of platforms to distribute content and build an audience base. This is your website, LinkedIn (great for advisors), Twitter, email distros, and even Facebook (becoming more and more relevant for advisors). Ensure that supporting elements such as profile photos, headers, and logos, are sized correctly. Have a decent headshot. Be honest with yourself. If the profile photo you use on LinkedIn makes you look like vampire, get a better shot. If the photo you use is great, but shows up pixelated, use a higher resolution.

Don’t Be Too Aggressive With Those That Engage With Your Content

So you’ve been using a content marketing strategy for a while, getting engagements such as likes or comments. Your instinct is probably to turn these consumers into clients. This is, after all, the ultimate goal. But being too aggressive can turn off a consumer. The difficulty with engaging people through your content marketing channels is knowing when you cross the line from business to personal. With Facebook and Twitter, you generally shouldn’t send an inbox message to a consumer that responds to a public post. In LinkedIn, it may be appropriate. The difference is that LinkedIn is primarily used for building business relations, while Facebook and Twitter have large user bases that are personal. Engage consumers where they engage you and be satisfied that people are responding to the content you are putting out.

Manage Expectations

Content marketing won’t likely give you immediate results. It takes time to build and maintain an audience. This can be very frustrating for advisors because it may seem like your efforts aren’t being rewarded. Understand that using content to promote yourself will take a while to pay off. But the benefits are there. You never know what will inspire a consumer to call you. With constant, fresh content, you are helping your SEO appearance.

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Marketing Corner – Business Valuation

The Value of Business Valuations

businessv3Financial advisors all know that a good business owner presents many planning opportunities. Not only is there opportunity for the business as an entity, but for the owner’s individual needs, as well as any staff. A financial advisor is not only useful to protect a small business owner’s assets; they can encourage growth through any number of strategies. But, like many client types, business owners often only seek out financial services when there’s a need. This is why building relationships with owners early can lead to a lifetime planning of opportunities.

Business valuations can be a meaningful way to connect with business owners before there’s a need and to be there when a need arises. This is because a business valuation comes into play in many situations, such as:

• Estate Planning
• Succession Planning
• Selling The Business
• Securing Loans
• Asset Protection
• Scaling Up/Down
• Key Man Insurance

Owners often underestimate the importance (and, ahem, value) of a business valuation. When you are dealing with the everyday concerns of running a company, longer goals tend to be sidelined and business valuation is typically seen as something done before the company is sold or transferred.

But business valuations can be helpful to chart progress and inform short-term decisions, which may lead to long-term growth or mitigate poor business choices. Knowing what your business is worth on any given day is important for managing risks and understanding how you track with your vision.

Here are three ideas for targeting businesses and using business valuations:

Target Bellwether Businesses

Every community has those classic businesses that have been around for a while and are beloved by many in the area. This could be a restaurant, coffeeshop, bookstore, manufacturing plant, what-have-you. businessv1Businesses that have been around more than five years have proven their viability and are likely entering into other phases of their life, bringing more complexity and weightier decisions to be made. Many small businesses aren’t equipped to handle rapid success or to maximize their opportunities. They may not even be aware of opportunities. In truth, many small businesses–even popular ones–don’t have long-term planning goals outlined, let alone know what their business is worth.

Connect with the owners of these businesses and offer a free or reduced business valuation. Ask them when the last time they had their business valuated. These businesses could be places you already visit in your day-to-day. Do a little research, meet the owners, and explain what you do.

businessv2Target New Businesses

While new businesses have a high-folding rate, getting in early and proving your skills can lead to a lifetime client. When a new business catches your eye, one you think has viability, or one you believe can provide sustained value to your community, don’t be shy. Introduce yourself and what you can do for them.

Organize a Business Owner Specific Seminar

Rather than go after specific business owners, let them come to you with a business owner specific seminar. Just like you would with any other audience in a seminar setting, address common concerns and important concepts that your target market needs to know. Offer a business valuation at the end of the workshop and start booking appointments.

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