How can you generate leads without cold calling? You’ve come to the right place…
Is cold calling dead? I still think it’s one of the best ways to build a business, but I’m not naive. I completely acknowledge that industries across the board have been getting diminishing returns from cold calling over the years.
Here are some statistics on cold calling:
- According to the Keller Research Center at Baylor University, 28% of those cold called engage in conversations.
- 1% of cold calls ultimately convert into appointments (also from Keller Research).
- 42% of sales reps feel they do not have the right information before making a sales call. (Lattice Engines, 2013)
- According to Telenet and Ovation Sales Group, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect in 2007. Today it takes 8 attempts.
The good news is that if you are cold calling and know your statistics, you can develop a relatively predictable revenue stream. But if the results are slowly diminishing, you need to be prepared to do something else.
So what can you do? Here’s how to generate leads WITHOUT cold calling…
1. Use social media.
Thanks to the internet, email, and social media, we now have a new way to do business. I think it’s so cool that you can speak directly to your leads at any time of the day, and they can read/respond at their leisure. Your leads can respond to a message with less effort or ignore it easily if it’s not applicable. You can send out 20 messages way faster than you can make 20 phone calls. Everyone’s happy.
However, make sure that you’re smart about using social media sites like LinkedIn to get new prospects and clients. Make sure that your online presence is tailored to a particular niche and that you personalize everything you send.
I recently read an article about LinkedIn that said, “Every new connection you make is an addition to your email list”. Wrong! Please don’t add people to your mailing list if they haven’t opted in. I can’t begin to tell you how many advisors have added me to their little monthly newsletters. It’s annoying and they’ve damaged my perception of them from the get-go.
2. Send direct mail.
I think direct mail is incredibly underrated. I have personally built a business on the back of direct mail, and plan on building a few more.
In most cases, direct mail won’t work for selling a low-dollar product or selling to people with a small customer lifetime value. But for financial services, there is a large lifetime value per client, which means that more often than not, it makes sense to be using the heck out of direct mail.
For all of you who want to target millennials and think direct-mail is old-school, think again. 36% of people under 30 look forward to checking the mail every day, and since people are receiving less mail than ever before, your mail pieces will stand out.
If you do it correctly, you should be getting a 1-2% average response rate from your direct mail campaign. The problem is that most financial services companies completely fail at direct mail. In The Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Getting More Clients, I tell the story of how I kept getting letters to insure my teenage driver…. but I’m not a teen, I have no children, and no teens live in my household. What a complete waste. I’ve also heard stories of people in young, upscale neighborhoods getting postcards talking about Social Security with an elderly couple’s picture on it. What a waste!
If you want to learn how to target your direct mail with laser-like focus and get the best return on your direct mail investment, I strongly recommend that you get the guide on TheAdvisorCoach.com. It has a section on direct mail that spells out exactly what you need to do to be successful.
Related: Why Money Shouldn’t Be Your Goal
3. Get speaking engagements.
Another way to generate leads without cold calling is to book speaking engagements. There are so many clubs and associations that are looking for speakers on a regular basis. It’s just up to you to make sure you’re the one speaking. I mean, these are great opportunities to get in front of a room of dozens of prospects at the same time. As long as you speak about a topic that interests the audience and don’t solicit like crazy, you might even be invited back!
There are so many opportunities for you to get in front of people, and it’s easier than ever before. You can use the internet to find:
- Service clubs – Kiwanis, Lions, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc.
- Colleges and universities.
- Business networking groups.
- Special interest clubs.
- Conference directories.
- Trade associations.
- Large companies.
All of these are prime opportunities to get the word out! Pick one or two of these ideas to get speaking engagements and go after them. Simply make contact, ask if the group accepts speakers, and present your credentials and proposed topics.
4. Get referrals from current clients.
Your current clients probably know far more prospects than you think they do. After all, they work with them, hang out with them, and spend time in the same social circles. Your clients also know better than anyone else the real value of what you do – not just your investment advice or wealth management approach, but the impact that you have on their lives. Make sure that you’re using the relationship you’ve established with your current clients, and thanking them for the referrals they send your way.
5. Use your website.
If your website isn’t bringing you in a steady stream of inbound leads, you’re doing it wrong. There are so many different ways that you can get people to your website, with the end goal of filling out a “contact me” form.
- Optimize your website for SEO. At the very minimum, you should make sure that your website is optimized for the keywords of your name, title, and location. The whole idea is to place strategic keywords into key areas of your website to effectively communicate your page’s message to the search engine. For example, my website is currently optimized for “financial advisor marketing” and “how do financial advisors get clients”.
- Make it easy for people to contact you once they reach your website. People aren’t going to spend that much time on your site. Even if you are exactly who they’re searching for, if they can’t immediately see a way to get in touch with you, they’re going to bounce. Make your contact form, direct email, phone number, etc. as prominent as possible. On my own site, I have a “Call me at 937-REVENUE” at the very top.
- Develop an off-site strategy to drive traffic. Do whatever you can to make sure people know about your website – after all, it is working for you 24/7. One of the best ways that I’ve found for financial advisors to drive traffic to their site and capture inbound leads is by blogging, specifically publishing on LinkedIn.
So there you have it… that’s how you generate leads without cold calling.
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