Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Perfect Annuity Prospecting: Why Seven Times?

Many financial advisors try a prospecting method once or twice, determine that the results did not meet expectations and stop using it. That seems to make good business sense. After all, why would you want to spend good money after bad? But insurance marketing experts say repetition is key, even if the initial results seem disheartening.

Brian D. Mann is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Partners Advantage Insurance Services and a multimillion-dollar producer. He finds that repeat mailings usually yield good results for his organization and for his personal practice.

“You have to stay in front of your annuity prospects in order to build credibility and to position yourself as having the expertise they need,” Mann says. “When a need arises or when something finally captures their attention, they will call you. You have to be committed and consistent in your marketing practices.”

If you think about it, driving just a few miles on a major commercial street presents you with hundreds of commercial messages from the businesses you pass. Plus, reading a magazine, listening to the radio, watching television and surfing the Web present you with hundreds more every day. The reality is that you are constantly bombarded with such commercial messages, so you are accustomed to mentally blocking out most of them.

That is why repetition is so important. Each time your message is repeated to the customer, whether it is in the same form or a slightly different form, it moves your target audience a little closer to responding to you, because they see a reason to become more familiar with you.

For more, read our first blog post: Hit the Jackpot with the Power of Seven. Our next post will discuss prospecting Seven Times with the Same Method.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Perfect Annuity Prospecting: Hit the Jackpot with the Power of Seven

Many a financial advisor has tried a wide variety of annuity prospecting methods without success. Open any industry publication and you will see advertisements touting the benefits of using direct mail, holding seminars, running newspaper advertisements or creating a Web site. Recently, more elaborate business strategies such as starting an income tax preparation service have become popular.

But many exasperated insurance professionals exclaim, “I’ve tried a bunch of those things, and none of them work!” And even many annuity marketing organizations seem to struggle to find an annuity lead generation system that works reliably for their agents.

So, what is the answer? Why do some agents have incredible success with annuity prospecting while others have none? Are all these vendors that claim to have effective annuity lead generation methods lying to us?

The answer, according to industry marketing experts, is that they all have the potential to work well.

For a prospecting method to work for you, it needs to fit your strengths and be properly executed. For example, there is no point holding annuity seminars if you are not a dynamic public speaker or you have difficulty befriending people quickly. It is fruitless running newspaper advertisements if you are often unavailable to answer the phone when clients respond. You will be frustrated by direct mail if your mailer is not compelling or your mailing list is not up-to-date and properly segmented.

But what if you feel you have been doing everything right yet still see poor results? Successful insurance marketing relies on several factors being aligned, including targeting the right market, having the right message and getting your audience’s attention. But if you ask industry marketing experts, many of them will tell you that a lack of repetition is a common reason why otherwise well-planned annuity prospecting campaigns fail.

Too many insurance professionals simply give up on a prospecting method too soon. They disobey one of the most basic rules of marketing: Your target audience needs to see your message three to seven times before they will take any action to respond. Our next four blog posts will explain this further.

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