In this business, your success is entirely dependent on leads. The more leads you have, the better. So where do you find these leads?
HOW TO FIND LEADS
First, start with you.
List you all the different places in life where you interact with other people. These are called your “spheres of influence“. List as many spheres of influence that you have. (By the way, you probably have more than you realize).
Some common spheres of influence include:
- Immediate family
- Extended family (don’t ignore family who may not live nearby!)
- Close friends
- Current co-workers
- Previous co-workers (list all of your previous jobs)
- Alumni (college and high school)
- Church (past and present religious affiliations)
- Charity connections
- Other organizations (Toastmasters, etc.)
- Online connections (Twitter followers, Facebook friends, people you frequently talk to in forums)
- People you do business with (accountant, dry cleaner, mechanic, dentist, etc.)
- Current clients
- Past clients (past clients at your current job and past clients at your previous job… Just make sure that you are complying with any non-compete clauses if your are still in the same industry)
Second, list names
List all of the people by name in each sphere. Yes it will take a long time but the more time you spend being thorough right now, the more successful you will be later.
Third, gather contact information
Figure out how to get in touch with the people. If you know their number or email address or postal address, great! Collect it all into one place. I suggest a database of some kind.
Fourth, identify how you can help them
This step is optional but I think it helpful. Figure out how you can help them. If you’re a real estate professional and they are renters, you’ll likely be able to help them buy their first home. If you’re a financial advisor and they are near to retirement, you’ll likely be able to help them transition their portfolio into safer, income-producing investments while minimizing tax consequences.
If you really want to improve your odds, check out this blog post: 6 sales funnel tips for real estate professionals (it applies to financial professionals, too!)
Fifth, get in touch with them
Using whatever method you have identified (face-to-face, phone, email, or postal mail), get in touch with your contact and let them know what you do and make a recommendation about how you’d like to help them.
Chances are, one of the following things will happen:
- They will become your client
- They will hedge a little; they won’t commit, and they’ll tell you that they’ll think about it
- They will tell you no
- You won’t reach them or they won’t respond
If they become your client, that’s great. Congratulations! However, most people will fall into the second category and some people will fall into the third category. In those situations, thank them and let them know that if anything changes, you’d love to help them. Ask them for permission to stay in touch and collect any contact information you don’t have (so you can email or mail them something). Don’t delete the ones who never responded; just keep them on file and from time to time reach out to them.
GET EVEN MORE LEADS
Now that you have this list started, it’s time to generate even more leads. Here are three ways:
- Add another sphere of influence. Join a group, join the gym, get involved in a new organization, volunteer for a charity, etc.
- For each of your leads (yes, that big list you just created earlier in this blog post), do the same exercise and write down THEIR spheres of influence. Sure, you might not know their names but just get down the spheres of influence first. Then create a strategy to approach those people and make a request like: “Can you put up my business card on the bulletin board at your work?” or “can I put on a presentation about insurance in the lunch room at your office?” Make sure to keep the request easy for them to do. Remember: They won’t agree to anything that makes them uncomfortable!
- You probably already have a website that is geared to people who are ready to become clients. (Most real estate and financial professionals have a site like this). Move up your sales funnel and create content that is geared toward lead generation instead of prospect conversion. For example, a real estate professional might want to create content that answers some earlier stage questions like “should I buy a home right now?”. You can do this on your own site, or start another site, or use internet marketing (like articles and press releases and social media) to help you drive traffic to your website.