No matter what lead generation funnel advisors use, they all have one thing in common. The goal is to set an appointment with the prospect. Whether you are presenting at dinner seminars, chasing digital leads or hosting your own radio show, the objective is to pursue the leads generated and set an appointment. The question is…how do you fill your calendar with qualified prospects when your go-to funnel isn’t possible during the pandemic?
The Current Landscape
With restaurants, libraries and colleges shut down, live events are impossible for the time being. As states slowly reopen, it remains to be seen whether consumers, especially baby boomers, will be flocking back to crowded dinner seminars or workshops any time soon. Some advisors have pivoted to virtual events but the learning curve is substantial and so far, we don’t have enough conversion numbers to call this strategy a proven alternative yet. We have developed a series of best practices to improve your chances of success.
Digital leads have always been somewhat consistent but now for some reason they have been drying up too. This is counterintuitive as one would assume consumers would be spending more time online looking for financial solutions. So far this hasn’t been the case. One explanation might be that many of these campaigns are product-driven and are not resonating with the audience at the moment.
One marketing funnel that has seen a surge in response recently are advisor hosted radio shows. This makes sense in that consumers are likely spending more time listening to local radio for pandemic updates on their city. However, since radio listening over the last decade has gradually moved out of the home and office to the automobile, it’s logical to assume that listenership would be down now because of the reduction in driving across the country. Despite that, radio leads are way up. That’s great news if you have a radio show, but what do you do if that isn’t possible?
Another area gaining traction right now are appointment-setting campaigns. These programs aren’t anything new but can make more sense now that face-to-face prospecting is so challenging. We work with a number of partners that offer these programs and we are seeing encouraging results as of late. For the advisor, this can be a lifesaver if done correctly. Essentially you just write a check and qualified prospects show up on your calendar.
Appointment-setting campaigns primarily use direct mail, social media or both. This is good as it allows the advisor to target income-producing assets and other qualifiers. These campaigns typically offer some kind of incentive to schedule an appointment. Often this might include a dinner gift card to food delivery like Omaha Steaks, Door Dash or Amazon. Whatever the incentive, we believe it’s important for the advisor to have a solid digital footprint. After the prospect is exposed to your marketing, it’s likely they will try to find you online. It’s important to make that easy for them and that the information they find reflects what the marketing is promoting.
With the social media aspect, the cost of these campaigns has gone down significantly. Our partners have also reduced the cost of direct mail marketing for these programs. The ultimate success of these campaigns, however, still depends on you, the advisor. You need to follow best practices in your follow-up process and be ready if they request virtual meetings.
If you would like to learn more about any of these programs, just reach out to your Quantum consultant at 800.440.1088.
Scott spent 20+ years as a large market radio host, on-camera news talent and VP of content creation. He helps develop and manage all advisor client acquisition strategies for Quantum, including live events, digital, social and legacy media campaigns.