Most agents have heard and live by the Standard 10-3-1 Rule (10 leads, 3 appointments, 1 sale). As long as you can achieve that level of performance and closing ratios, you will earn a decent living. Of course, the main goal of each lead campaign is to set appointments and make a sale. However, one of the most important aspects of lead campaigns is often overlooked… leads are fundamental towards building a database of prospects with on-going sales opportunities.
It’s easy for all of us to forget that purchasing an annuity is a HUGE financial decision that takes a lot of time and care to consider. People have worked their entire lives to build up their retirement savings so they can enjoy their golden years. Therefore, they are (and should be) ultra protective of those assets. This leads me to my next point, that most leads will not become sales and clients within 30 days. Simply put, that’s really not enough time for most people to make a larger financial decision, especially for many, the last major one that affects their entire retirement moving forward.
Most advisors in the field tend to operate on a “hunting prospecting sales strategy” versus a “farming prospecting sales strategy”.
Hunting type of sales approach means one only tries reaching the leads for a short time, such as 2 weeks. If the agent doesn’t connect with that person after XX of attempts within 14 days, they simply stop contacting them and move on. These agents assume if they can’t connect to the lead within that time frame, that a sale is unlikely. However, some of the most successful advisors beg to differ.
One of our most successful producers increased his annual production tremendously (30% or more in the first year) after he went from a “hunting” prospecting sales method to a “farming” strategy. His system helped him go from a $8-$10M Producer to a $20+M producer. What he found was there were a lot of “low hanging fruit” in his database of his older leads. So, by creating a long-term drip system, he was able to stay in contact and top of mind with those leads as they become closer to the buying stage of the sales cycle. And the best thing, his ROI improved because he was no longer just throwing away money by tossing away the lead after 30 days… he now had a lead until the person says “stop calling”. This is one example of why building a database of prospects is just as important as the immediate sale. It creates scalable growth by having a pool of future sales opportunities.
Since we run a successful lead program, we’ve seen it ourselves first-hand. We’ve had leads reconvert through our system 6 months later, even 12 months later, and at that point, will become a sale. With our lead program, we have the ability to notify the agent who is tied to that lead exclusively, and they have made sales from those leads in the past. For us, this ongoing lead system is a long-term marketing strategy that resembles a farming sales and marketing strategy.
So… what is a “farming prospecting sales strategy” and how do you create one?
This strategy means the agent has created a long-term drip marketing process built around a database of prospects of potential sales. Basically, agents have some sort of system in place to keep the sale alive for longer. Some agents simply have a CRM where they automate follow-up reminder tasks. For example, they set the CRM to remind them to manually send emails and call people periodically… like 2X per month. Other advisors have a full-on automated drip marketing system that sends out emails frequently, text messages periodically, and reminder tasks to regularly make phone calls. Regardless if you’re a tech guru or not… the main thing to develop a “farming prospecting sales method” is to create a long-term drip process. This could literally be something as simple as having email templates written up in Microsoft Word and a spreadsheet in Excel that helps you stay organized on your follow-ups.
Next time you run a lead campaign, please try to keep in mind, you may have a lot more sales opportunities than what presents itself within 30 days. It’s important to put yourself in your client’s shoes. I would encourage you to ask yourself, “How much time would you need to research the product solution, the advisor, and reflect on whether purchasing a $250k annuity is a good decision?” Would you need more than 2 weeks to make that decision? I don’t know about you, but I’d spend more than 30 days researching a car purchase, much less an annuity! Many people simply need more time to make that decision. They may be nearing retirement but are still working and are preparing to retire 90 days or even 6 months to a year later. So, it’s important to stay in consistent communication with one another.
Want to learn more on our specific annuity lead program, or would like some general tips? Give us a call today or schedule an appointment with one of our senior marketers.