Generating Leads is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

When you own and operate a business, generating leads is critical and understanding that not all leads will immediately by willing or able to buy your product or service is perhaps even more important.  These leads can come from a variety of sources such as seminars, advertisements, social media posts, emails, or Google searches. It’s encouraging to generate leads, but often frustrating when those leads don’t turn into clients.  Rather than labeling leads as “bad” when they don’t convert, consider a fresh approach.

So how do you get better results turning leads into closed business?  Remember, even a “bad lead” could turn into a “good referral” if it is nurtured properly.

There are two ways to address this question:

First, how do you define “results”? 

Second, after the lead is generated, what steps do you take to nurture the lead? 

Many business owners would define “results” as “sales”. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and that is indeed the end goal. But today’s sales funnel is far more complex and typically requires more work than a simple stimulus and response. In most cases, one touch (or even 2 or 3) won’t convert a prospect into a client.  Expecting that to happen is probably a case of wishful thinking.

Remember, attracting and converting prospects is much like marriage.  It rarely happens on the first date. It requires a courting period that may range from a few months to a few years.  Depending on the product or service you sell, your business model may require more relationship nurturing than others.  Clearly, buying a pair of tennis shoes will require less of a decision making process than retirement planning or health insurance coverage.  Most people need time to gather information and weigh their options before making a decision.

Marketing works in very much the same way. Since marketing is about forming relationships – with increased sales as a natural end result of good relationships – it can be helpful to reframe your expectations. With relationships as your expected result, now you can begin to understand marketing as a process. After all, no one forms an instant relationship. But in time, after you’ve nurtured a lead, they will be ready to commit to you.

So that brings us to our second point: What should you do to nurture those leads? 

Seek to understand your leads. A lead will make the decision to buy only when they are ready. And as you might have experienced yourself, most people will be scared off when they feel pushed into a commitment before they are ready. They need time to gather information, weigh their options, and develop trust in you. Therefore, it is important for you to gauge your leads and understand where they are in the buying cycle.

Educate your leads. Did you know that 96 percent of visitors who land on your website are not ready to buy yet? That’s because they’re at the beginning of the buying cycle, and they’re still gathering information. This isn’t the time to push for a sale, but it is an opportunity to begin the relationship. This is why blog content matters and contact forms are vital. If your visitors fill out a contact form, you can continue to nurture the relationship via email.

Social media works in a similar fashion. Most people checking out your Facebook page are not ready to buy, but they might be enticed to click the “follow” button. Then you can continue educating them and forming a relationship. You will do this by posting helpful content and answering their questions.

Stay top of mind.  An initial lead generation won’t usually go anywhere if the relationship is not continued. You want to keep blogging regularly, posting on social media, and sending emails. Consistency is key.

Social media has become one of our primary modes of accomplishing that goal. You should be asking all clients and prospects to follow you on social media. But first, do your research on your target demographic, so that you will use the social media platform most relevant to that group. Facebook is great for the above-forty crowd, while Instagram is essential if you’re targeting twenty-somethings. Business-to-business marketing is appropriately geared for LinkedIn.

Email is more direct and personal, and will deliver your messages straight to your leads. Make sure you always ask every client and prospect for their email address. If you seek to understand their position in the buying cycle, you can create more personalized messages to nurture them along.

Bottom line: Keep in touch. You want to be the first name that comes to mind, when they decide they’re ready for your product or service.

When can you close the deal? Yes, at some point after you have established a solid relationship, you naturally want to ask for the sale. But when?

In order to answer that question, let’s evaluate your marketing practices so far. We will analyze the steps you’ve taken to generate leads, determine how to nurture those leads, and help you understand your prospects’ position in the buying cycle. We’ll show you ways to deepen those relationships, so that they feel ready to commit.

3 Reasons Why Advisors, Attorneys, and Insurance Professionals Should Use Google Alerts

Social media marketing, online marketing, digital marketing… Whatever term you use, all of these forms of marketing have one thing in common: Content. When you create great content, your customer base will find you relevant, helpful, and approachable. That’s the first step to forging relationships that are mutually satisfying and profitable.

Creating the right content is always a learning process. Ideally, you will first research topics of interest to your target audience, and then continue to evolve that content as trends shift. Google Alerts has emerged as one of the most effective tools to help you do exactly that. Read more

The Advertising Secret Google Doesn’t Want You to Know

For years, perhaps even decades, Google has been the gold standard for Internet marketing. Small business owners have spent tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing strategies such as AdWords and organic search engine optimization hoping to achieve to page placement and capture clicks. Read more

The Marketing Blunder that Costs Business Owners Thou$and$

Driving new traffic to your website and lead acquisition are necessary elements of any online marketing campaign, but if you are expecting a prospect to make a purchase, contact you, or opt-in for your offer solely as a result of visiting your website the first time, you may be leaving significant money on the table. Read more

6 Ways to Convert LinkedIn into Business Growth

You probably have a LinkedIn profile, but do you know what to do with it?

Did you know that over 65 million business professionals have profiles on LinkedIn? If you are looking for a place where you can connect with potential financial or insurance clients or referral partners online, then LinkedIn is a great option to consider. People join this social media site because they are interested in networking and business opportunities.

Perfect Your Profile

It can feel uncomfortable for some people to share business information with their warm market. But, there are a few strategies that you can use to connect with people who are interested in the products and services that you are offering.

As you learn more about LinkedIn marketing, you will see that this strategy doesn’t have to be “salesy.” Instead, you are sharing information that is interesting and helpful to the people in your network. Building these relationships can help you to form bonds that can lead to business opportunities down the road.

Make sure that your LinkedIn profile highlights your skills as well as the products that you are offering. This profile is your opportunity to set the right impression for the people who are viewing your information. Create a profile page that is catchy and interesting, so that your network is intrigued to know more.

If you choose a more passive approach to LinkedIn, it means having a profile that naturally attracts people to your products and services. Add keyword phrases on your profile page. Highlight information that might draw people in if your profile shows up in the search results. This passive approach relies on people organically finding you if/when they have an interest in your products or services.

Be an Active Participant

An even better strategy is to be more proactive on LinkedIn, which means taking steps to put yourself in front of a larger LinkedIn audience.  Consider these techniques:

  • Share interesting status updates.  Perhaps mention an interesting case or scenario that would be common for people in your target demographic.
  • Spend some money on paid advertising.  This is a pretty inexpensive way to get in front of new potential prospects.
  • Join the discussions in local groups. Joining groups related to your field and contributing to those groups shows leadership and knowledge within your industry and builds your credibility.
  • Send private messages to people in your network.  Don’t spam people, but reach out to those with whom you have something in common or where the connection could be mutually beneficial.
  • Try the features available from an upgraded membership. This gives you added features and the opportunity to connect with more people.

Sharing high-quality information is one of the best ways that you can establish authority on LinkedIn. Do you have questions about promoting your business through social media? Talk to our experts.

Are Internet Leads Good or Bad?

Rich, a financial advisor, wants to generate more leads online. So he starts blogging, his page views increase, and quite a few web visitors are even downloading his free guide on Social Security. And yet, Rich’s phone isn’t ringing off the hook. It has been five months since he started blogging, and although he has added some leads and followers to his list, it hasn’t turned into any new business. What happened? Read more

Why Retirement is Like Coaching Football

When you meet with clients to put together a retirement strategy, do you notice that most of them tend to view financial planning as a race? Often they become so focused on reaching the finish line as quickly as possible that they overlook other important aspects of their strategy! Read more

Blogging for Dollars – Part Two

Hopefully, you’re beginning to realize that blogging can be a valuable marketing tool, but you probably want to know exactly how your blog turns online visitors into clients. We heard your questions, and we prepared this series of articles to help you better understand how the process should work.

In our first article of this series, we outlined the first two steps in the process. In this second part of the article, we’ll delve deeper into the blogging process and give you more information on how to turn blog readers into clients.

Read more

Blogging for Business

As a financial advisor you want to grow your practice and increase sales using all of the tools at your disposal. But one very powerful tool is right under your nose, and chances are you aren’t even using it! If you aren’t blogging, you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to build credibility for yourself and your business – and credibility translates into profits.

Read more

Modernize Your Approach: 5 Ways for Advisors to Get With the Times

Modern commerce is very much a two-way street. Products and sellers influence consumers, and consumers influence products and sellers. Therefore, any successful marketing campaign will seek to analyze customer needs and preferences, and adapt the business model to meet those needs.

The explosion of internet commerce means that giants like Ebay and Amazon are influencing customer expectations. And likewise, customer expectations should shape the way you do business. If you want to appeal to today’s digital customers, modernize your approach in the following five ways.

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