Are you tired of cold-calling, hand-holding and bending over backwards for customers who treat you with nothing but suspicion? For years, the default manifesto of the annuity industry has been to get yourself in front of as many people as possible and do whatever it takes to close the annuity sale. However, there is a better way to prospect your leads, and in this series of three Guerilla Selling Principles articles, we’ll cover the secret strategies that many agents are using to make the customers flock to them.
For this first article, we’ll cover the importance of being recognized as an expert in the annuity industry. In this wary economic climate, selling financial products becomes more challenging, since most people want to hunker down and hide their pennies underneath the mattress. At the same time, they trust the people they consider to be financial experts to lead them through uncertain times. Fortunately, it isn’t as difficult as you might think to be recognized as an expert. You don’t have to be knighted by a college or industry organization – you just need to follow these steps:
You don’t need to publish a novel to earn the recognition that comes with being a published author in your industry. You don't even need to write a word as you can find inexpensive writers at elance.com and guru.com. Instead, offer to write an article for an industry publication, such as Annuity Shopper or the Annuity Market News, or for a popular website in your field. Not sure what to write? Start with a success story or with unique observations that haven’t really been published in the industry. Web and magazine editors are constantly sitting around wondering how they’re going to come up with good, unique content – if you drop it into their laps, they’ll be more than happy to help you out by publishing it.
Charge for Events
This might sound crazy – after all, how can you charge for annuity seminars and events when other people are putting them on for free AND don't get attendees? Here’s the thing – just charging for an event gives people the impression that the information you’re offering is worth more than the guy down the street who’s teaching for free, even if you’re giving the same information. Even in tough financial times, people are willing to pay for what they believe to be expert financial information. In addition, offering paid seminars is a great way to weed out clients that can actually afford to invest – if they can’t even pay a small fee for a seminar, how much can you really expect them to put into annuities? You can most easily charge when you run your seminar through a local adult school as people are accustomed to paying tuition at a school. A similar idea is to rent your seminar room at a college which lends an air of legitimacy.
Sign Up with ProfNet.com
ProfNet is resource for writers, publishers and other members of the news media to find expert sources for articles and interviews. Professionals who sign up with this resource may find themselves invited to give expert opinions for everything from small-town newspapers to major nation-wide news stations. Sign up for this service once you’ve completed the first two steps – you’ll be able to advertise yourself as a published author and a keynote speaker at paid seminars, which will bring you even more attention from the news media.
Clip the copies of your articles and interviews which you can then send to prospects and immediately show you are the local expert.
Once you begin to develop recognition within your industry and community, you’ll find that the amount of time you have to spend cold calling annuity leads and prospecting for new clients drops dramatically, while your income increases.