Marketing Corner – January 14th, 2015

Supercharge Your Leads!

According to Aberdeen, it can take an average of 10 “touches” to draw a lead through your marketing funnel before a sale occurs. Although the actual amount of marketing touches will vary across industries and target markets, it’s generally true that the best leads take nurturing. Rarely do you snag a sale on the first go; rather it takes serial contact, sometimes months, even years.

What this means is that while playing the long game can pay off hugely, the first stages of contact are especially critical. Many advisors (wisely) have a drip marketing system in place, but how do you supercharge leads before they enter the drip? How do you make it more likely that a lead will convert (and convert early) in your pipeline?

This is where efficient lead nurturing comes in to play. There are many different ideas about what exactly lead nurturing is and various methods to perform it. For our purposes, lead nurturing is any serial contact with a prospect. Your methods can include emails, phone calls, direct mail, social media—really anything you already have in your tool kit to communicate with prospects. It’s the how that’s the secret to efficient nurturing and supercharging your leads.

What methods you use will be specific to you and your target market. You likely will use a variety of methods as you communicate with a prospect, especially if you identify early on they are a type of client you want to work with. That said, this guide is going to focus on phone and email, since that’s what you will use most when you begin to talk with a prospect. We’ve also found, through the advisors we work with, that thirty days is a good timeframe for actively nurturing leads before placing them in a more passive drip campaign. It’s in this thirty day period you should learn enough about your prospect to place them on a targeted track, and they should be able to learn enough about you and your value proposition.

Here’s the how:

Follow Up As Soon As Possible, Be Persistent
Whenever you identify a lead, don’t waste anytime in reaching out to them. Multiple marketing studies have confirmed that the likelihood of contacting a prospect, and their value as a lead, decreases significantly over time. Even a lapse of a few hours can dramatically make connecting with the lead more difficult.

However, the chance of making contact rises with every attempt. One study found that the chance of contact rose to 90% by the sixth call attempt.


Be Succinct and Clear
Unless follow-up emails warrant lengthy explanations, be as succinct and clear as possible, while still having a friendly, professional tone. The financial world can be overwhelming to those without their feet in it, so avoid unnecessary jargon and overexplanation. This does not mean, however, you shouldn’t try to educate—you absolutely should—just be aware of the limitations that come with engaging with someone who may not be familiar with financial concepts through email.

Probe
It sounds simple enough, but it can’t be overstated. Use probing skills to find out the specific needs or inquiry of the prospect. Once a prospect has explained their situation and identified that they aren’t ready to buy, many advisors focus their probing on reasons why the client isn’t ready to purchase. Certainly hesitations and concerns need to be addressed, but asking a lead “what’s preventing you from purchasing today” only goes so far and came across as aggressive.

Balance this question with further probing into the prospect’s specific situation. Use soft skills to build rapport and take the edge off pointed pitches. If you have good interactions and demonstrate you care, the lead will be receptive to further marketing touches.

Personalize
While you should take every effort to personalize every piece of communication with a lead (and certain email systems make this possible to do on drip emails), having an active hand and high personal touch in initial interactions can go a long way to fostering a good relationship and increasing the likelihood of purchase at some point. Lead nurturing emails can get 4-10 times the response rate as compared to regular email blasts. According to Aberdeen, personalized emails increase conversion rates by 10% and click through rates by 14%.


Draw on Relevant Content and Articles
As you go back and forth with a lead, make sure to take note of the areas that concern them. This could be held in your CRM or some other detailed note taking process. When you come across articles that speak to the concerns of your prospect, share them. Better yet, you could create content based on your conversation and interactions. Say a prospect is concerned with Social Security changes—if you had some pieces ready to go, plus a current news article that delves into this topic, plus maybe an infographic, you would a have a bundled package that not only educates them on their concerns, but demonstrates your expertise and specific interest with the prospect.

Don’t Stop Nurturing a Lead
In our marketing funnel framework, we’ve outlined that the first thirty days are a critical period to engage with a lead. This is when you apply your most direct, active, and personal marketing touches with the aim to convert the prospect or leave them with a good impression by the time you drop them into your passive drip marketing process. This structure allows you to provide the most personal marketing touches when it matters most.

However, just because a lead is in your drip funnel, doesn’t mean that you can’t (or shouldn’t) make more direct marketing touches every now and then. Touch base with phone calls, issue targeted offers, and send personalized emails. This will allow you to “rake the coals,” so to speak, and potentially leverage a prospect that is further down your marketing pipeline.

**Need help with Supercharging Your Leads? Legacy Financial Partners has created a helpful sales guide that includes this article, email templates, and a marketing funnel illustration. Submit your information for your free guide.

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About the author

Legacy Financial Partners - Legacy Financial Partners is an independent and full service Life Insurance and Annuity FMO that provides specific marketing solutions to help their clients succeed. Using dynamic tactics, an extensive support network and progressive marketing options, Legacy Financial Partners provides unique and specific development strategies to their business partners.

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