April 19th, 2013
If you have been running financial planning lead generation campaigns for a long time, there is tendency for your business to feel the equivalent to old bones. As you generate more and more sales leads for your financial planning firm, you realize that the gap between how you view money and how younger businesses view it is getting wider. A new lead generation approach could be required to bridge that gap.
April 16th, 2013
Many like their lead generation campaigns easy (even among those who know the more sober truth that it is not). More than that, many prospects might even agree with you. Who does not want cheaper financial services or a faster qualification process every time they subject themselves to the lead generation process?
September 26th, 2012
Despite what the title says, many people find it almost impossible to separate financial planning from talking politics. Then how can you avoid the subject in b2b appointment setting? How much more when your target market is anticipating an incoming election where ideological tensions run high?
Well first off, some might actually contest the idea of refraining from politics in terms of both marketing, appointment setting, and business in general. The reasons go from sheer personal conviction to the belief that it is their right to express their values.
Well, just because you can do something does not mean you really should. You may not face a penalty as grave as getting arrested but there are other consequences that can bother any business. This article from NPR demonstrates a few examples of how dipping into politics can be a double edged sword. To summarize, the consequences can either be:
- Success – Your views are aligned with your target market and are within your scope.
- Failure – You alienate others purely on the grounds of differences that might have nothing to do with business.
In its conclusion, the article cites Cindy Kam, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University:
“And these days, that question of ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’ is somewhat easier for businesses to answer — because the electorate has become more polarized, she says.
‘Now you have Democrats who sort into going to particular places, buying particular cars, belonging to particular organizations. The same on the Republican side. There isn’t as much crossover as there used to be,’ Kam says.”
Take a step back and read this again for a moment. Would you want this type of division, this segregation? As a financial planning firm, your job is to segregate and manage money, not people! It seems more logical to stay neutral because then, you’ll have both sides comprise a wider market for financial leads. Why limit yourself purely on the grounds of political ideologies?
And don’t forget, you need to weigh the successes and failures in the long-term, not just the short term:
- Views can change – Your target market won’t always sing the same political tune. Higher management can change, work cultures can change etc.
- Lesser relevance to business core – B2B appointment setting implies a long discussion. Take your pick. Would you rather have your marketers and salespeople talk politics or financial planning?
Isn’t it your goal as a financial planner to help simplify the complexities of managing money? Why do you want to complicate it further with political factors?
And speaking of which, this other article from CNNMoney just goes to show hazy the ties between financial subjects like the stock market and that of presidential terms:
“Tempting as it is to tweak my more conservative friends with this fact, it would be wrong to attribute the Clinton and Obama returns to their policies and presidencies. Clinton inherited a great economy (and no, I don’t attribute it to Reagan’s policies as supply-side types do, and neither should you) and left office after the Internet stock bubble burst, but well before it bottomed. Bush inherited a tanking stock market and left amid a financial panic. Does Clinton deserve full credit for everything good during his tenure? Does Bush deserve full blame for everything bad? Yes, if you’re an ideologue. No, if you’re intellectually honest.”
So again, despite all the support you’ve seen, there’s still no denying that jumping on the bandwagon is a double-edged sword. Be more objective and less political.
June 7th, 2012
Two weeks ago, CNNMoney published this brief article on the global economic shift, indicating that money is moving in Asia’s favor. With a primary focus on Singapore, Peter Pham writes:
“If traders would stop and look beyond the U.S. and Europe, they would see what legendary investor (and current Singapore resident) Jim Rogers sees: money is fleeing the West and heading East.”
For insurance companies (and all other B2B organizations), this obviously means that there is a growing market over there and the potential for success is high. On the other hand, with these insurance prospects located nearly half the world away, attempts to contact them would require only the latest in communications technology.
First, you have websites. In the old days, exploration and expeditions shrunk the world by filling up the blank places on the map. Today, the world has shrunk even further as the online realm bridges gaps between nations.
Following websites, you also have email. Not only is it less intrusive compared to previous methods, communication through it can allow enough space and time to fully write out the complex concerns that usually arise from insurance.
Thirdly (and speaking of previous methods), telemarketing is still also viable because while you might have to adjust to a difference in time zone, telemarketing in Singapore can reach a busy prospect during moments when internet-based attempts aren’t faring so well.
You also have a bit of advertising on your side. Web banners that are attractive but at the same time can provoke further inquiry could be all you need to start qualifying B2B sales leads. On that note though, it’s important to always emphasize on that: further inquiry.
If there’s one thing a time zone can indicate, it’s that time itself is scarce in business. It still doesn’t matter how fast your message gets sent or how accessible your website is during any part of the day. The actual time that a foreign prospect will encounter you either way is when you’re fast asleep at home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the one contacting them or you’ve outsourced lead generation companies to represent you. Time must not be wasted during the entire exchange. When you’re trying to attract foreign attention, it must be the type that sparks further inquiry and not keep them hanging about when they still have other things to do.
You can’t afford to waste time yourself so it’s only right that you don’t try and take up too much of other people’s time. Regardless of how you reach out, engaging a prospect musn’t demand too much of their busy day. This goes from the moment you first try to connect with them, all the way to setting an appointment.
Expanding your market beyond national borders has always been a big step. But with a wider market, that only means you have more targets that will divide your attention many more times than when you were still catering to local businesses. Still, with the way the market is now shifting, it might be your only chance of keeping business afloat. Don’t wait until the economic environment around you dries up. Expand your horizons and use what you can to reach out across the world as quickly as possible.
May 24th, 2012
There’s a reason why there’s ‘social’ in social media. Unfortunately, there are still those in the marketing world who assume that investing in social media only means putting advertisements on it. If your insurance company targets consumers, you have already done this yourself.
However, does it really work? Is that all there is to using social media? What about if you’re targeting whole businesses instead of consumers? What if you want insurance appointments with a business owner instead of just a car owner? These people are even harder to reach with anything done by regular advertising. How does doing it on social media improve its chances?
Chances are, it might not which is why it’s time you started focusing on the social aspect. You need to actively engage your prospects where they’re at and establish trust. In other words, you need to really connect and socialize with them on the network. Hence, the ‘social’ of social media.
This is not just something for social networking. The concept extends to other approaches and some might even say that the B2B side of the business world emphasizes on this more.
For example, suppose you want telemarketing firms to deliver your qualified leads. You want to know what they usually say about their methods? Their selling point is the fact that they take time to really get to know the prospect company, identify needs, and show that you’re a real, living business entity. That’s one of the highest perks to being social. You show people that you’re for real and that you want to reach out. Start having that mindset, whether your leads are from telemarketing or social media.