Putting Your Marketing Plan in Action

  • Originally published May 19, 2010 , last updated November 30, 2016

So you’ve established your target market and brand positioning with your Marketing Plan. Now it's time to choose the appropriate marketing channels to use in reaching out to prospects. What makes the most sense for you depends on your target audience, the product you’re selling, your budget, your timeframe and your technical know-how.

For example, an annuity producer may not have as much luck with cold calls or ads as he would with seminars or referral partnerships. Selling a six-figure annuity requires a high level of trust, which is difficult to build with a cold call or an ad. Holding a seminar or getting a referral from a prospect’s CPA automatically positions you as an expert and a professional, which is a huge step toward landing a new client. Think of it this way: the longer and more complicated the sales cycle for a given product, generally the more personal your marketing touches will need to be.

On the other end of the spectrum, the quicker the sales cycle for your chosen product, the less time you have to spend on cultivating relationships with prospects. The Medicare Supplement agent, for example, needs sales in volume. He needs to utilize marketing techniques that reach vast numbers of people with relatively quick response. Therefore, an ad or a direct mail campaign can be very effective in this role. It all just depends on who you’re trying to reach and what you have to offer.

Some Popular Tactics to Help You Reach Your Target Audience

Targeted Mailings
Direct mail has long been a preferred tactic for many agents. Senior Market Sales works with a number of vendors who can help with your direct mail campaigns.

Tip: Try to include both a solid primary and secondary offer. Primary offer example: you’re invited to a seminar on retirement planning. Secondary offer example: everyone who shows up gets a copy of a best-selling book relevant to your seminar topic. Direct mail is also a good time to begin establishing credibility by including an article you’ve written, referral letters, etc.

A couple questions to consider before you do a seminar:

Think about whether you should charge for your seminar. Offering it for free will certainly attract greater attendance, but most advisors who charge a small fee for their seminars find they draw a much higher quality prospect.

Think about how you’ll drive attendance for your seminars: Direct mail? Referrals? Advertising?

Tip: Leave a card at every seat for people to fill out their information and request an appointment.

Think of networking this way: if someone knows, like and trusts you and they have a need you can fulfill, you’re already most of the way to a sale.

Tip: Look to join groups or attend conferences in two different categories: those that will help you build relationships with potential clients; and those that will allow you to network with fellow agents. See Strategic Alliances section below.

Strategic Alliances
Develop strategic alliances or referral partnerships with attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, P & C agents.

Tip: Keep in mind that professionals who work in these areas — especially those who specialize in high-net-worth clients — get approached for referrals all the time, so make sure you have something to offer in return — like referrals of your own. And be ready to build a relationship over time.

There are many great ways to generate more referrals from your clients. One idea: create a referral kit that includes a marketing brochure about you, your business card and any other material you’d like to include. Tell your clients if they are happy with your service, you’d appreciate it if they would pass it along to someone who might benefit from your services.

Tip: Tell your clients up front that much of your business is based on referrals so they can expect you to ask for them later on.

Media Placements
The effectiveness of advertising with traditional media (print, television, radio) seems to be waning. Many companies are responding by reducing their advertising budget and focusing more online. You can take a different approach by becoming an expert resource for the media. You could write an article for your local newspaper or be an interview source. Some advisors have even gained exposure by starting their own radio shows. It’s a great way to position yourself as an expert.

Tip: Stay current on news in your area of expertise. You can take a national story and put a local angle on it, then pitch it to the appropriate editor for your local newspaper. If they decide to do a story, chances are you’ll be the first interview subject they call.

That was just a few of the more popular marketing techniques that are available to you. But, the key to growing your business isn’t all strategies and tactics. You also have to be creative, proactive and it doesn't hurt to have strong partner like Senior Markets Sales .

Speak to a marketing consultant today to find out how we can help. 1-800-786-5566