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Minding Your Own Business
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I Need Fresh IdeasViews: 2696
Dec 08, 2006 11:52 pmI Need Fresh Ideas#

Robert Tanaka
I have been in the financial industry for about a year now, and it seems that I have run into a wall when it comes to new business prospects. Now I have heard all kinds of ways to find prospects such as networking groups, door to door, mailing lists, etc. But I would really like to find a way to make my approach unique. So if anyone has any good ideas that have worked for them or maybe not tryed but see potential in, I would be happy to be your guinea pig and report the effectiveness. Please note this is for prospecting businesses or business owners.

Thanks everyone
Robert Tanaka

Private Reply to Robert Tanaka

Dec 09, 2006 1:40 amre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Laura Wheeler
If your service is personal, then make your approach personal. Find a way to offer a promo, or contact that reaches out to individual needs, not just to mass assumptions.

For example, I offer a free website assessment. This requires that people give me some information - their URL, and their goals. I then go through their site, look for ways to improve it, and ways to better meet their goals, then I write a report for them with suggestions and explanations.

It means I cannot give them a cookie cutter freebie. I have to give them something that means something to them, personally. But I offer a highly personalized service, and this kind of introduction gets me a lot of work, and a lot of referrals - even if they decide to do the work themselves, they'll often remember to recommend me.

Finances are personal. I wouldn't go to someone unless I had the idea ahead of time that they would have a clue about balancing things with a large family.

If you want to generate quality leads, you need to find out what their unique concerns, needs, and fears are before they'll let you help them. That isn't just fresh, it reaches out in a way that many businesses don't in our automated world - and it removes you from the competitive field and puts you in a class by yourself if you approach it well.

Just my opinion.

Laura
Mom to Eight
Owner, Bad Marketing Ideas
http://www.badmarketingideas.com/

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler

Dec 09, 2006 3:03 amre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Kurt Schweitzer
Robert,

What have you tried?

Of the different approaches you've tried, which ones worked and which ones didn't?

Of those that worked, what was your return on investment (for every dollar invested, how much did your sales increase)?

Of the things you've tried, that worked, and that only cost your time, how did the monetary value of the time invested compare to the increased sales?

You should be tracking these things so you can repeat the things that worked best, and stop doing the things that didn't work.

As for our fresh ideas, we can give you lots of ideas! But would they work for you?

You are the one who knows who your target market is - it's probably different from mine. So if I suggest a marketing idea that works for me, such as offering products at a discount to be raffled by non-profits, you will still have to figure out whether it will work for you.

Who are your target markets, and what are their interests? How are they different from the population at large?

Kurt Schweitzer

Private Reply to Kurt Schweitzer

Dec 09, 2006 1:18 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas - Robert#

Carol Deckert
Hi Robert!

Does your local newspaper publish new businesses opening in your area? How about checking out the classifieds to find Fictitious Name Filings (we have them in the legal section of our newspaper) and then contacting them via direct mail. A multi-step approach would be a good one since financial services is not something that is always sold on the "first try." Set up a drip marketing campaign, even if it is a postcard, and market your services to these businesses at least every two weeks for about 3 months. If there is no response by that time, mark them inactive in your database and move on to the next one. You should be able to find new listings at least weekly if not more often.

I would also encourage you to join a networking group. Financial services has always been a category that has received quite a few referrals in our local networking groups.

Remember, it takes a suspect seeing your message at least 3 times before they become a prospect and then it usually takes seeing your message another 4 times before they become clients.

Business comes to those that go after it. Don't be passive, don't be overly aggressive. Just be persistent and consistent.

Carol Deckert, Virtual Marketing Assistant
caroldeckert@comcast.net

http://www.linkedin.com/in/caroldeckert

Have you been looking for some free advertising?
www.advertising-blog.com/?join=271

Private Reply to Carol Deckert

Dec 10, 2006 6:21 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Teresa A Morrow
Robert,

I really like what Laura said that finances are personal so make your approach personal. Think about what the concerns, questions, ideas, wants are to your customers and find ways to be sure to answer those questions, concerns, ideas and wants.
Really find your niche market, think of things that others aren't doing to market, how about sending out articles of interest to your prospective clients that you would know they would be interested in with a sticky note saying, "I just thought you would find this article interesting", Robert and your number. That way it seems you care about them and it isn't as intrusive as just a business card.

That is just a thought...

Teresa Morrow
Morr Services, Inc.
www.morrservices.com
We Turn Floor Surfaces from Tragic to Magic!

Private Reply to Teresa A Morrow

Dec 10, 2006 10:01 pmre: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Denise O'Berry
Robert --

Two previous posters are right on the money. Your business is a person to person business. That means your most lucrative method of finding new clients is to tap into old ones.

The strategy that will work best for you is via business referrals. You need to be connecting regularly with current clients to find new ones. If you're not, it's time to start.

First you need to make sure you have your ideal client defined so you can create a picture in the minds of your current clients. They need to be able to know when they see one.

You may have tried getting referrals from them before with the most common strategy most small business owners use. That's asking the question, "Do you know anyone who could use my service?" It's one of the least likely ways to yield any prospects. Hint: The answer to that question is normally no.

You need a referral plan that will work for you day in and day out and keep your pipeline full. Take a look at my Referral Marketing Roundtable. It's a good place to get started.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry
MYOB Network Leader

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Dec 11, 2006 11:48 pmre: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Robert Tanaka
Thank you everyone for your replies, and I am working on some of them currently, Laura you are absolutely right on being more personal and trying to find what is important to each clients small business and not just some generic thing for all of them.

Kurt I have been trying to see what works and what doesn't but due to not starting earlier it will be some time before I see the results to be able to make a decision on that yet. I wish there was a faster way of doing it because I'm running out of cash flow.

Carol definitely going to try the mailer thing just haven't be able to afford the quanity that I need to be effective yet. As for the networking groups I'm in the chamber of commerce what other networking groups to you know of? Or how do I find them for my area?

Denise I have been using the Bill Cates referal system and it works ok but not good enough for my taste but I will give your approach a try as soon as I can get the audio set.

Thanks again everyone. I'm still listening so don't stop sending posts.

Robert Tanaka

Private Reply to Robert Tanaka

Dec 12, 2006 12:11 amre: re: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Brian Benjey
As far as networking groups, Business Network International or BNI is an excellent source. You can locate a chapter in your area at www.bni.com. Good Luck!

Private Reply to Brian Benjey

Dec 12, 2006 1:31 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Adrian Han
Dear Robert,

For some reason maybe the better promoting is in internet, bcoz the cost can be much reduce, but it will be back to your products market. If the products can provide world wide market that will be good reason to use the online promoting..

Try to posting some articles in articles directory and ezines. Also some press release will boost your promotion.
Try some softwares to manage your time doing the activities bcoz will take much much time if you do manually..
Try at www.businessolution.info

Regards,

Adrian Han

Private Reply to Adrian Han

Dec 15, 2006 3:56 amre: re: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Denise Michaels
Hi Robert:

Okay - if you really "get" this it will rock your world.

Most people who sell - talk with customers (particularly business customers) about their goals and objectives. The missing link is that what's much more compelling and important to a customer is their core values - not goals and objectives. If you can sell to their core values AND their goals / objectives you will have a powerful 1-2 punch.

I have a little dialogue of four questions I share with my mentoring clients that helps them discover a customer's core values AND make the cause and effect link between working with you and getting more of those core values. The things that really make their dreams come true. When you ask the questions that draw forth getting more of their core values and link them with doing business with you - you'll get a yes to the idea of doing business with you about 80-90 percent of the time.

See, it's not about surprising people. You want to surprise them because you're probably bored with the same approaches that seem tired to you. But it's not about you - it's about your customer. Remember Radio Station WIIFM (what's in it for me).

All the best,

Denise Michaels
Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"

Private Reply to Denise Michaels

Dec 15, 2006 10:35 amre: re: re: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Amit Desai
Great point Denise. your post makes absolute sense

Amit

Private Reply to Amit Desai

Dec 18, 2006 5:06 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Matthew Roblee
How about a Customer Resource Management (CRM)System.

AS A PROMO, it allows you to offer a Woldwide Free Long Distance Service to all of your customers and prospects while at the same time building an opt-in database of existing and potential clients for further use.

This CRM enables your business to give away FREE Unlimited Long Distance as a reward for customers who sign-up for your loyalty club. This list continually grows with people who have said “YES” to receiving messages by email from your business! The result is the conversion of interested individuals to loyal customers that help you develop and maintain relationships and maximize the lifetime value of each customer.

Just an idea,
M

Private Reply to Matthew Roblee

Dec 22, 2006 4:17 amre: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

D&A
Marketing of products or services will be effective if it is done in a focussed in a target area. Hence you should know your product and the customers.

Effective marketing tools are dependent upon the product and services and budget available. A number of CRM applcaitions are availble to keep track of the prospects and leads..

A professional business website is a must and it should have interactive forms / blogs etc..

E-mail campaigns, Posting classifieds and Newspaper ads will help as the customers need to know about the products.

Contact us with questions and will be glad to help !

Dadi
http://DadiAssociates.com
http://AmericaOnlineToday.com

Private Reply to D&A

Dec 22, 2006 8:50 pmre: re: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Dean H.

Robert said;
>>>Denise I have been using the Bill Cates referral system and it works ok but not good enough for my taste but I will give your approach a try as soon as I can get the audio set.

That's surprising because I've used and read up on Bill Cate's referral system. His work has been focused exclusively for financial advisors. I know because I worked as one for a few years before moving on to running my own design and marketing consultancy.

Bill lives in my area. His office is 20 minutes from my home. I still have his book on my shelf, "Get More Referrals Now". He's very funny too.

While geared towards financial professionals, his methods could work towards quite a few service professionals. If the methods aren't working then I really think you need to look again at how you are using the system. So much of his work is like, "Wow- why didn't I think of that?"; Simple, but yet effective.

I looked at your profile. I'm familiar, to some extent, with AIG and their product offerings. I know what type of services you provide and who you are trying to target or should be targeting. While I no longer work in the industry, feel free to drop me an email/call if you need to talk to me privately and just shoot the breeze and work out any angst or frustrations you may have. Trust me- I've been there, done that :) Attrition is very high in financial sales-- they drop like flies.Don't worry, I have nothing to sell to you. Happy to help out a fellow APA as well :)Merry Xmas


Dean | Chief Web Evangelist

www.SachiStudio.com | Web Design. Marketing Strategies.

"Most people have websites that never communicate to their customers. We make sure you're not like most people. Really, we do :)"

Private Reply to Dean H.

Dec 28, 2006 5:23 amre: re: re: re: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Jennifer - BusinessIIBusiness
Because I have an Email Marketing business I thought about your particular field and how a Financial Tips newsletter can bring you new business by also making it feel personal.

Let's say you meet someone and just don't know how to convert them into a business prospect. I believe that breaking the ice with something free that they will benefit from is a two-fold way to break into a relationship with them.

Feel free to go ahead and try it for 60 days and let me know how it works...

http://www.NewsletterTrial.com


If not, go to the next plan

Lots of success to you...

Jennifer Cannon
CEO/Founder/Owner www.BusinessIIBusiness.com
BusinessIIBusiness Owners Network Ryze
(Company websites, e-Newsletter Marketing, Email Promotions, Banner Ads)

Private Reply to Jennifer - BusinessIIBusiness

Jan 04, 2007 4:57 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Katryn Dougherty
Have you joined your local BNI chapter?

I would say where finances are concerned your best way to get new clients is to get your name out there. Offer seminars on different things that make sense in your area.

Growing retirement community do something on that, baby boom, do something on teaching children finance, or preparing for college...

Just a couple of thoughts.

Private Reply to Katryn Dougherty

Jan 04, 2007 9:40 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Fred Keller
Hello Robert,
Great question!

I believe .... really believe...the CTPM method is what will turn your business around....because you have a lot of knowledge to share: = Content.

Guess what - there are many (add your 0000's to your number) people seeking what you have knowledge about = (targeted) traffic that are open to buy ..... that your content will P = presell and you can M = Monetize presold traffic.

More info? http://ctpm.first411.com

Get targeted traffic finding you! Use the power of the Internet with the C=T-P-M Prescription. :o)

Please let me know how you find it. BTW: it works for everyone regardless of area of interest.

Keep Smiling!

Fred

PS: Want Monetizing Ideas? http://youtube.first411.com

Private Reply to Fred Keller

Feb 25, 2007 3:53 amre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Jerry Teeter
I have two suggestions. First, I believe it was mentioned earlier, but join a BNI group. I own 3 companies and recently joined BNI and it has been great for my business. Second suggestion, we recently started using a product in our company called VM Direct/Helloworld for our marketing. It allows you to send video emails, video podcasts, and live video broadcasts. Imagine being able to respond to your emails with video vs text. It personlizes you and your company to your customers. The Live Video Broadcast is a powerful tool. You can create your own "tv show" and give anyone visiting the hello tv website tips on your product and drive them to your website. This product has helped my business so much that I became an affiliate to sell it, so i can tell you it works. If you want more infomation on this, email me at omahatransport1@vmdirect.com.

Private Reply to Jerry Teeter

Feb 25, 2007 5:07 amre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Jeanne Fuller
Robert:
Because target marketing is such an important issue to any business professional, no matter the profession, we invited some marketing experts to address these very issues for our members and visitors to our site. You'd certainly be welcome to also take advantage of these presentations.

Biana Babinsky & Judy Murdoch have agreed to provide mini-seminars in March. (These are free tele-seminars) More info about them & seminars are at: http://www.foraccess.com/info/workshops

Conferences are only 30 minutes long, but presenters have agreed to remain available, following the presentation, for those who want to ask additional questions as they relate to their own business.

First workshop is "Where does it hurt?" and is based on Judy Murdoch's free workbook that helps professionals articulate in marketing language how they help their clients. Her goal is to help businesses learn how to quickly address the unspoken "What will you do to make my immediate situation better?"

Jeanne Fuller
www.ForAccess.com

Private Reply to Jeanne Fuller

Feb 27, 2007 12:57 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Lindy Asimus
Hi Robert.

You've had some good suggestions posted. Definitely check out a local BNI chapter. They are an organization whose praises I am happy to sing from the rooftops. I've been around the financial services industry for years, and THE best resources I've seen anywhere for your industry, without question, is http://www.horsesmouth.com/ Go sign up for the 60 day free trial and put together an implementation plan and go do it.

Good luck to you.


Lindy

www.designbusinessengineering.com

Private Reply to Lindy Asimus

Jun 12, 2007 4:33 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

V Chang
Hi Robert,
Have you checked out www.breakthroughbusinessdevelopment.com? Ive found a lot of neat ideas from this site, and it really helped my business to multiply, especially when I first started.
Networking should be based on building relationships with your existing clients and their families. I learned that if your clients are taught the right technique for referring others, you can be very successful based on the prospects that materialize from them. Determine what your ideal client isyou want more of the same for your book. It is most likely that your AAA clients will produce more of the same.
You may also entertain creative marketing techniques for meeting with some of these prospects. For example: have an open house at your office (or home), client appreciation events, and ask your clients to bring a friend. This kind of small investment is a good way to market your business without going door-to-door.
I hope this helps. Check out the website it has a lot of useful tips!

Private Reply to V Chang

Jun 20, 2007 5:30 pmre: re: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Sridhar Chakravarthi Mulakaluri
Dear Robert,

If you are selling such exciting financial products, how much have you made for yourself by investing in them?

As a financial advisor, your biggest sales pitch is your own balance sheet.

Create one and prove that you know how to make money work for you.

The market will come to your doorsteps in queue.

Best regards,

Sridhar

Private Reply to Sridhar Chakravarthi Mulakaluri

Jul 14, 2007 2:30 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Felicia Slattery
Hi Robert,
There are definitely some great posts here for you. I'm new to this group and wanted to let you know about a fabulous marketing method that is free and will expose you to many folks on a personal level.

It's public speaking.

If you take the advice here and join a local networking group, you'll meet loads of new people. (BNI has been suggested... I belong to an independent not BNI group in my area. Also local chambers of commerce have excellent leads groups as a part of their membership-- try out several before you decide on one.) One of the things you can offer is to do pro bono presentations for groups: churches, public libraries, and other non-for-profits (like Rotary, for example) have speakers all the time to talk about things that will benefit their membership. I get loads of leads this way-- talking to groups where small business owners congregate since that I my market.

You need to prepare a flexible speech that can fill 20 minutes up to about 45 minutes. It should contain lots of helpful and relevant information about your topic and even a few "how to" tidbits. It should be obvious from your presentation that working with you is a great option because of your level of expertise and credibility. Speaking has been touted as one of the most powerful forms of marketing your business. CJ Hayden, author of get Clients Now, recommends it highly (that's an excellent book BTW and one you might want to get to help you, too!).

If you have any questions PM me. I offer a 4-week course in how to prepare what I call your signature speech. I'll be offering again sometime this fall. Check out http://www.cashinonspeaking.com for info.

Warmly,
Felicia

Felicia . Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed.
Communication Consultant, Speaker & Coach
Discover how to Increase Business by Communicating Your Credibility-- free e-course at: http://www.communicationtransformation.com/creating-credibility-ecourse.html

Private Reply to Felicia Slattery

Aug 20, 2008 1:03 pmre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

Earl Sigmund
Hey - Entrepreneurs: It's time to CHANGE or ELSE!
We all notice a lot of new businesses opening up all around us these days. Unfortunately, some of these businesses will never mature and grow up into large successful growing companies. There are many obvious reasons for this, but these are some of the less obvious:

1) You hang with the wrong crowd- If those business associates closest to you are struggling, your company is more likely to struggle too. It's kind of a "guilt by association" thing. Seek relationships with growing entrepreneurs who can act as mentors to you by their example. If they really care about you, they will give you pointers to get you on the road to success.

2) You want to control everything- You have the attitude that this business was your idea and nobody other than you knows how to take your dream and make a successful mature business out of it. Coach or mentor, no way? Board of directors- Are you kidding?

3) You are not organized- You don't call people or follow up when you are supposed to. You let people down because you have too much on your plate. You depend on your brain to remember everything instead of using a tool such as a

Daytimer or Outlook.

4) You don't listen well- You miss buying signals from customers. You chase unqualified customers. You need professional help or a business consultant but are too busy to seek the help.

5) You try to do it all- You juggle everything in your business and can't or don't know how to delegate. You don't trust anyone else to do anything important in your business.

6) You sacrifice your family responsibilities in order to make your dream come true - You have no life but your business life. There is never enough time for anything else.

ELSCPA
www.NewBusinessLearningCenter.com

Private Reply to Earl Sigmund

Aug 26, 2008 1:41 amre: I Need Fresh Ideas#

alok chowdhury
Hi Robert,

The reply may be a bit late - however I will post anyways. I hope that you get the opportunity to read this.

I do agree wholeheartedly with Felicia S. in that public speaking is one of the best methods to generate business. One thing about referrals is that you need a large pipeline of people in order to generate enough business on a consistent basis. Since you're starting out, I doubt that you have enough potential prospects to gain some traction.

So to generate that large pipeline, you have to gain credibility within your target demographics. And to gain that credibility, you have to offer something of value to them that will capture their attention. By giving seminars/speeches you can gain your prospects trust.

Of course, once your seminar is done, that doesn't mean it's the end of marketing. Provide a survey at the end of the seminar to separate the tire-kickers from your hot leads. For your hot leads, you can call them immediately to set up an appointment. As for the tire kickers you can keep in touch wiht them through email or print newsletters, postcards and such.

Another way to gain credibility, is writing financial articles in local papers. Or you can host a weekly financial radio show. I'm sure that you can come up with more, however, the bottom line is - take some to develop your credibility in the eyes of your clients, find a way to determine who are your hot prospects from your tire-kickers, and have a consistent follow up marketing plan to convert the tire-kickers to hot prospects.

Let me know if you have any questions.

cheers,

Alok

Private Reply to alok chowdhury

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