Sunday, December 28, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
How To Stop Wasting Time
About An Empty Appointment
Book And Get Off Your Can
And DO SOMETHING
Most of you probably don't know the name GARY HALBERT...
But regardless of whether or not you know the his name, I feel confident in saying that you have been influenced by him at some point in your lives.
You see Halbert, who died in 2007, was one of the most prolific and successful ad copywriters in history. Were I to show you some of his work, it would be immediately recognizable to you. You might even say, "Hey, I bought one of those!"
Beyond his gifts as a copywriter, Gary Halbert had a knack for getting to the essence of what makes people tick. In his own inimitable style, Halbert gave us his take on what makes winners and losers in life.
As we get ready to enter 2009, you and I both need to make some critical decisions. We need to ask ourselves "Where do I fit on the "Halbert Index'? And we need to be honest. Time and opportunity race by and they don't even notice you.
Gary used to ask: "Know how to make God laugh?" And his response: "Talk to him about the future."
Here is the Halbert Index. Be sure you are on the winner side when 2009 rolls around.
WINNERS: To be at the top of the Index you must be as follows:
(1) You must have a life, and
(2) You must have a sense of humor, and
(3) You must have intelligence and be an independent thinker, and
(4) You must be a generous and giving person but... at the same time...
(5) You must refuse to take shit from anyone who doesn't have a gun to your head, and
(6) You must be willing to take chances and cheerfully accept losses, and
(7) You must have the capacity and courage for true intimacy with your loved ones, friends... and sometimes... even your associates and strangers, and
(8) You must be wealthy always in your mind... and therefore... very often... in your pocket, and
(9) You must be honest and have integrity not defined by laws but rather, by the inner-core of your being, and finally
(10) You must have a relationship with a higher power (nicknamed "God") that does not necessarily include and/or often transcends any association with an organized religion.
On the bottom of the scale are LOSERS: They too, have some common characteristics:
(1) They are generally spectators instead of players, and
(2) They are usually critics who revel in grading people with whom they can't compete, and
(3) Sometimes, they have financial wealth (most often they don't) but they are
always poor in their minds, and
(4) They get their pseudo self-esteem from the grades given to them by others
and have no innate "sense of being" nor a core of natural integrity, and
(5) They think they have a sense of humor but they don't, since they can only
laugh at jokes made at the expense of others and they always fail to see the
ludicrousness of much of their own endeavors, and
(6) They often have intelligence in a technical way but almost no ability
whatsoever for true independent and innovative thought, and
(7) They lack courage and will study and "rehearse" endlessly but, will avoid
at all costs ever letting the curtain come up... unless... someone else has agreed
to star in the play, and
(8) They don't understand true morality. Therefore, they are much more
concerned with what's legal rather than with what's right, and
(9) They will be as obnoxious and abusive as possible to those under them
but, will kiss ass like crazy to curry favor with their superiors, and finally
(10) Many of them will have college degrees but will never recognize these degrees
as the silly jokes they are... and... they are unable to grasp the vital fact
all true education is self education.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
In his book, "Never Eat Alone" Keith Ferrazi talks about
the power of having lunch with influential people.
He tells the story of how he was once considering a job offer from a big consulting firm.
Before he accepted the offer he requested to speak with the "top man" in the company.
The meeting was eventually arranged.
Keith had lunch with the CEO of the company at a little restaurant in New York city.
The CEO Eventually Asked Ferrazi If He was Intending to Join the Firm.
Ferrazi responded, "I'll join the firm if you agree to have a private lunch with me once a year at this time, in this restaurant."
The CEO was taken back and impressed at the same time.
He had never had that type of request.
He agreed, and for years, Ferrazi and the CEO met at that restaurant around the same time.
Ferrazi quickly became one of the most influential people in the firm, in part, because of his relationship with the CEO.
Having lunch with people is one of the easiest, fastest,and most convenient ways of meeting new people and establishing long term relationships of trust.
Here's How to Use the Power of Having Lunch to Get 50 Referrals In 50 Days.
Here's a step-by-step plan generating 50 referrals in 50 days.
STEP 1 - Create Your List.
Create a list of the top 100 most influential people in your local area that you would like to get to know...and that could be a good referral source for you.
Make sure you write down their name and mailing address.
STEP 2 - Create a "Let's Do Lunch" card.
Create a greeting card that introduces who you are and let them know that you'd like to have lunch with them just to get to know them a little better.
Include a professional photo of yourself and let them know what you do.
Make sure that you tell them that you simply want to know a little bit more about THEIR business and how you can refer people to THEIR business.
Let the recipient know you are asking them to go to lunch because you know that they are an influential person in the community and have a great reputation.
Include your phone number and ask them to give you a ring to set up a good time. You might also include your email address in the card.
Here's a good example of a "Let's Do Lunch" card.
(copy and paste the link into your browser)
STEP 3 - Send you "Let's Do Lunch" Card to your list.
Now it's time to send your "Let's Do Lunch" card out to your list of 100 influential people.
Send the card out in 20 person increments.
STEP 4 - Wait for your phone to ring...because it will!
Once you start sending your cards out, the phone will start ringing and you can start setting up your lunch appointments.
When you go to lunch, make sure that the conversation is mostly about them and not you. (remember, you asked for lunch to learn about them and their business.)
STEP 5 - Keep sending out the same card.
Once you send your "Let's Do Lunch" card out to your list of 100 people, keep sending it out.
Just because people didn't respond the first time, doesn't mean that they don't want to have lunch with you, it just means that the timing isn't right.
After time, you'll find that over 50% of the people you continue to send your card to will call you up to set up a lunch.
How to Completely Automate the "Let's Do Lunch" Strategy
By using SendOutCards.com you can automate the entire card sending process.
SendOutCards.com is a online service that will allow you to create stunning (physical) greeting cards and automatically send them out with the push of a button.
With SendOutCards.com, all you need to do is...
1. Import your list of 100 contacts
2. Create your card
3. Set up a campaign for the card to go out as many times
as you want it to, when you want it to...and then...
4. PUSH A BUTTON.
For a demo of how SendOutCards.com works go to www.socreview.com/grouchymarketinglady.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Financial Advisor Netzone
Assembly Bill 2150, effective January 1, 2009, is the latest in a spate of laws enacted by states to halt the use of any senior designations by agents, brokers, and other financial professionals. (except, of course, those of which Mother State approves.
In typical mountains from molehills fashion, California is leading the nation in enacting more useless legislation to combat the non-problems of the world.
The last thing we need here in California is more legislation. How about a little less nannying and a little more solvency?
Consumers need to exercise discretion, common sense and vigilance when dealing with their money and rely a bit less on politicians to take care of them.
Here's a little snippet of the latest Nanny Law:
On September 26, 2008, Assembly Bill 2150 (Berg, Chapter 327, Statutes of 2008) was signed into law and will take effect on January 1, 2009. This new law, which adds Section 787.1 to the California Insurance Code (CIC), prohibits insurance agents and brokers from using a “senior designation” unless the designation has been approved by the California Department of Insurance (CDI).
A senior designation is defined as any degree, title, credential, certificate, certification, accreditation, or approval, that expresses or implies that a broker or agent possesses expertise, training, competence, honesty, or reliability with regard to advising seniors in particular on finance, insurance, or risk management.
A word, phrase, acronym, or logo constitutes a senior designation if it contains the word "senior,"
"Medicare," "Medi-Cal," "retire," "mature," "gerontology," or "elder," or any variation or synonym of one of these words within several words of the word "certified," "chartered," "registered," "adviser," "specialist," "consultant," "agent," "broker," "insurance," "planner," "professional," "enrolled," "accredited," "analyst," or "fellow," or any variation or synonym of one of these words. A word, phrase,acronym, or logo may also constitute a senior designation even if it does not contain one of these words.
Use of Senior Designations
Section 787.1 of the CIC establishes several conditions for agents and brokers when using senior
designations. The use of a senior designation means utilizing a word, phrase, acronym, or logo, in any oral or written communication from which a sale of insurance to a senior may directly or indirectly result, that states or suggests, alone or in context, that a broker or agent holds a senior designation.
A broker or agent may not use a senior designation in a manner that misleads a person as to the
significance of the senior designation. In addition, a broker or agent may not use a senior designation unless:
(1) The broker or agent has been granted the right to use the designation by the organization that issues the designation and the broker or agent is currently authorized by the organization to
use the designation;
(2) The designation has been approved by the commissioner for use by brokers and agents
in the sale of insurance to seniors; and Insurers, Agents, Brokers and Other Interested
Parties New Law Regulating Use of Senior Designations
(3) The broker or agent has been licensed for at least four years to sell the types of insurance
with which the designation is used.
Exemptions from Requirements
An advanced academic degree, such as a Ph.D., M.B.A., or M.S., may be used without meeting these requirements if the degree was awarded by an institution of higher education that has been accredited by an organization that is on the United States Department of Education's list entitled "Accrediting Agencies
Recognized for Title IV Purposes."
However, no general exemption exists for a job title. Therefore, an agent may not use a title such as
“Senior Insurance Advisor,” even if the word “senior” refers to seniority within a producer organization,
rather than to senior citizens. ?????? HUH?
Wow! I am so glad I have the State of California watching out for me.
Monday, December 8, 2008
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Mischief Making Maven At Large
Sorry I left the hamster wheel up for so long but this has been a hectic week for me. In addition to doing things to try and make a living, I also moved out of my luxurious (not!) digs near the railroad tracks in glorious downtown Antioch, aka "Rivertown."
While I am sad to lose my office, I truly will not miss the "Oh, my GAWD!"- steep, creaky staircase, the no-insulation at all walls, and the sounds and vibrations of the Burlington, Northern and Santa Fe as it shrieked past my window. It was a place fit for Bob Cratchett and you can almost imagine me bent over my candle for warmth in the winter and fanning myself with a newspaper on hot summer days.
It is amazing just how much stuff one can accumulate in only 18 months. I found all sorts of interesting and nostalgic items. I hope to pass them on to you in one form or another over the next few months.
Presenting- The Official Grouchy Marketing Lady Website
It is definitely not finished, but it IS LIVE. At your request, I have put together a fully-functional website which I hope you will find interesting and informative. In the coming weeks, look for lots more content and free stuff. Don't forget to sign up for my e-zine.
Find it at: www.grouchymarketinglady.com.
Virtual Marketing Assistant Program
A while back, I told you about a pilot program I put together to help small business people develop marketing strategies that make sense for their particular situation.
I talked to a lot of advisors and found that many of them wanted to try different kinds of marketing but were afraid to invest the time and money because they felt they just didn't have time to properly implement anything. They (and rightfully so) believe that their time is best spent giving their clients A-class service and not fretting over a direct mail piece or choosing cards to send or gifts, etc.
A lot of you are in what I call the "cusp." You can't really afford a full time assistant or a high-priced "consultant", but you can't make any progress in your marketing on your own. So, things just seem to stay static, and static IS NOT GOOD in business.
That is why I have now opened a few slots for my Virtual Marketing Assistant program. If you feel as if you need additional assistance in formulating and following a marketing plan, call me to set up a time to discuss it. I am already working with a couple of advisors and it is starting to pay off for them. Call the 24 hour hotline:
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Prepare for the Coming Year: Automate Your Practice!
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Thanks to all of our new MASS COMMISSION members. You took the first step toward making your business more enjoyable and prosperous in the coming year. My belief is that you will
be richly rewarded for your investment in yourselves. (PS: enjoy your Omaha (TM) steaks- they are delicious
The program is now officially closed and won't open again until we determine that all current members have learned to implement (and profit from) the system. If we do decide to re-open this members-0nly service, I will be sure to post that information here.
Last chance to check it out this year
There is not one of us who hasn't been touched by recent economic events. That being said, there probably isn't one of us who was really surprised by the course things have taken. We saw it coming for a long time...
We are all having to do MORE with LESS and are having to unlearn a lot of the "conventional" wisdom of marketing financial services.
One thing I have used and have presented to you all on several occasions is Send Out Cards. Having sent over 500 cards myself, I can attest to the ease of use and effectiveness of this system. Used PROPERLY, Send Out Cards can become a powerful and cost-effective part of your marketing plan.
Many of you have emailed me with your individual concerns, including the fear of not having the time and technical expertise to administer the program, concerns about spending too much on the cards, and concerns about compliance issues.
On December 11, 2009, I will address these and other issues on the last Send Out Cards web demonstration of the year. This is a live demo of the system A-Z. We will learn to import your contacts, create individual cards, and then we'll create a Holiday Season Campaign.
You'll be able to see exactly what is involved in using this stay in touch system and determine whether or not you can incorporate it successfully into your marketing plan.
You'll also get the chance to sign up now and get assistance in designing a campaign for the ENTIRE year.
If you have ANY curiousity at all about using automated systems in your practice, I encourage you to register now. All registrants will receive a recording, so register even if you can't attend. ATTENDEES will get lots of free bonuses, including "done-for-you" cards, referral systems, and other helpful information.
Register now at:
Friday, November 21, 2008
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Thanks to all who showed up for the all-revealing co-ed naked webinar with BEACH BROKER and BIG C.
Unlike many programs which offer all fluff and little substance, these refreshingly candid fellows have put together a real education for financial professionals.
They are trying to make money (imagine that!) but they are also sincere in wanting to spread the love around . In fact, I've never met two marketers who are more sincere about their goal of helping agents and advisors achive financial success through better marketing.
Maybe that's because THEY ARE agents themselves.
Only a few memberships remain for Mass Commission Alliance
This is no joke. Big C and Beach don't want to overextend themselves and wind up not being able to be able to give the kind of attention they feel their members deserve.
So, while they never say NEVER (remember the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over?) Beach and Big C do want you to know: This will definitely be the last chance this year and perhaps the last chance ever to join the ranks of those "who get it."
To download the webinar recordings- fill out the form at the righthand top of the blog.
To see the videos:
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
That which is hidden shall be revealed!
Join us for the Co-Ed Naked Truth as Beach Broker and Big C finally reveal their true
identities and mysterious purposes. This is your chance to rake them over the
coals and make them PROVE that they are worthy of your attention.
Thursday, November 20th at 10 AM Pacific, Noon Central and 1PM Eastern.
Join Grouchy, Beach and the C in the lovely, virtual "Grumpus" Room. Attendees will
get some great parting gifts and goodwill be be applied lavishly. You'll also get to hear
NON COMPENSATED endorsers give shout-outs to Beach and C.
Beats watching the news...
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Unleash your inner maverick and prosper!
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
OK, I remain a bit skeptical, but...
I sure am having fun with "Beach Broker" and "Big C"- those wacky young Insurance Mavericks and their CONSPIRACY THEORIES. (get YOUR copy by filling out the form on the righthand side!)
Beach and Big understand the time-worn but true definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing day after day and expecting a different result."
You might not like it, but if the current economic chaos has demonstrated anything it is that the old ways of attracting and keeping clients just aren't working anymore. You are finding yourself being pulled back to a time when growing your business was less about numbers and more about forming relationships.
I remember when I was a kid...
I knew the name of our insurance guy. He visited our house. We played at his office and I went to school with his kids. This professional was a vital member of the community and was treated with respect. No one thought of him with the same consideration they gave to used car salesmen.
He was VALUED and we believed he VALUED US.
Fast forward a few years and what have you got?
Business schools churning out "financial professionals" as fast as McDonald's slaps together a hamburger.
People being told to "go into insurance- you'll make a ton of money!"
Suddenly, you find yourself just ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE GUYS.
For a while, it didn't matter that much. The pie was HUGE and there was more than enough to go around. But now, the rules have changed and only those who are savvy enough and flexible in their thinking will survive.
The era of the Relationship Nurturer has arrived.
Beach Broker, Big C, and our friend Sid Walker have been anticipating this dramatic shift for quite some time and they want to help YOU leverage your natural people skills into more prospects, happier clients and tons of referrals.
Join us for two special web events to show you how to do just that!
Thursday, November 20th: -BIG C and BEACH BROKER reveal the low down and dirty about their highly successful MASS COMMISSION program.
They've promised that no question will go unanswered and that REAL LIVE people who have used the system and MADE MONEY will be on hand to share their stories.
Also- Back by Popular Demand: Ray Vendetti and Sid Walker's Event Marketing Class. Thursday, November 20th at NOON Pacific, 2PM Central, and 3PM Eastern.
This telecast will show you everything about one of the most overlooked ways to get new clients- EVENT MARKETING. (hint: it's more than handing out pencils at the county fair!)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Competition in the insurance industry has risen tenfold over the past few years.
With all these villains around...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Do you have what it takes to be a REAL MAVERICK? Come to our next webinar and find out!
The Insurance Mavericks have an outrageous proposition- one you have heard from me time and time again:
"Leave the old TRANSACTION mentality far behind and start tapping into the power of your current database."
"Get new clients by being nicer to the old ones and by becoming a relationship-oriented agent or advisor."
The webinar will cover:
1. How to position yourself as the trusted Celebrity Expert
2. Go BiG with your Celebrity Expertise, and get free publicity and leads by doing it.
3. Using Direct Response Marketing to get people to call you…never make another cold call
4. How they wrote 1 million dollars in premium in 12 months using these
secrets, without a SINGLE cold call.
( OK, I'm skeptical too, but they say they are bringing PROOF! But bring your grains of
salt and check it out anyway)
5. The ultimate MASS COMMISSION producing tool, get higher retention,
more leads, referrals,and upsells with one powerful tool.
Right now, that is a much faster, more cost effective approach than mining for new clients. (although you'll find that the nurturing approach works to ATTRACT more clients to you as well)
People are scared - they don't want to talk to you unless you have good news or good advice they can use. If you feel like you have something to say that is valuable and worthwhile...
NOW IS THE TIME TO SAY IT AND SAY IT LOUDLY and the Insurance Mavericks Give You Field-Tested Ideas for Doing Just That.
This is a no-cost webinar, but everyone who attends will get armfuls of bonuses including:
Instructional PR telecast with renowned PR expert RALEIGH PINSKEY
1001 Ways to WOW The Media EBook
Recordings of Two Previous "Relationship" Themed Webinars- in case you missed them before
And some special gear from the Mavericks
So, whether you like the Mavericks approach or not (I personally think many of you WILL) you will walk away with some no-cost tools that will help you.
It's an hour of your time to find out what other people in your same situation are doing to not only stay afloat, but to GROW AND PROSPER.
I look forward to seeing you there!
(This WILL be recorded- register to get the recording.)
Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone Blog
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13th
10AM Pacific, Noon Central, 1PM Eastern
Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Friday, November 7, 2008
How YOU Can Help A Soldier and Help Yourself
In partnership with Any Soldier- I am making a special offer:
I am setting up a limited number of $125 SEND OUT CARDS ACCOUNTS .
These accounts will allow you to send heartfelt greetings to our military, even a small gift or two. You will have enough points to send out around 30 cards, so you can also use the account to send some holiday cards to your friends, too. You will get a chance to use the Ultimate Referral system to spread a little joy around the world.
I am not doing this as a sales effort. I just happen to think that AnySoldier.com is one of the most worthy efforts around. They need our help, especially in these difficult financial times when donations are down and expenses are up.
All after-expenses money raised from the accounts will be donated to Anysoldier to allow them to continue their outstanding efforts on behalf of our military.
How It Works
Simply go to www.sendoutcards.com/50147. Click on the "free account" banner at the top of the page.
Once you have set up your account, send $125 to Tammy de Leeuw via PAYPAL. Use firstname.lastname@example.org as the email. I will then go in to your account and upgrade your points plus an expense account to use for postage and small gifts.
Use the account any way you like, but it would be neat if you sent at least one soldier, marine, or sailor a card. Get their addresses by going to www.anysoldier.com
There is a strict limit of 100 accounts and the cutoff date is December 5, 2008.
Already have a Send Out Cards Account or Want to Do More?
If you you are already a member of Send Out Cards, why not send a card or two or a small gift out?
Go to www.anysoldier.com to get the names and addresses. Make a SOLDIER CAMPAIGN and start sending your messages of deep appreciation.
Other ways you can help:
Participate in the ANY SOLDIER raffle to win a beautiful home in Prince Frederick, MD.
No time to put together a gift package? Treat Any Soldier will send one out for you.
Donate cash or used vehicles to the effort. Go online to find out more.
Thanks to all of you for realizing the importance of not forgetting those who serve us in faraway lands in difficult circumstances.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
A couple of insurance dudes "get it." Then they go out and develop their own lead generation systems that WORK.
Now, you will watch this video and probably think. "OK, these guys are goofy and they definitely didn't study at Julliard. But, are they legit? Have they really found ways for ordinary guys and gals in the insurance industry to leverage the power of marketing and generate streams of qualified leads?
It appears they indeed HAVE. I have been looking into their Mass Commission system for a while now and it seems like a very viable solution for those of you who insurance agents or IAR/RIA's.
No agents were harmed in the making of this video but don't expect it to "go viral" anytime soon, either.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Once again, some marketing gurus are telling me you CAN retain and attract clients without cold calling. Once again, I am skeptical. However....
It is refreshing when someone who works in our industry is providing marketing insights gained in ACTUAL PRACTICE.
Plus, these two young men are the hippest, web-savviest insurance dudes I have run across in a long, long time. Check out the article and the Goldmail on the right side.
Do You Hate The 1 Day Client Syndrome?
by Beach Broker
You've been there...
You spend time, energy and effort to write a policy.
Then tomorrow you move on to write the next new policy...
The next KILL.
That's great, you should always be writing new business. But there's a major problem with this...
In Africa people walk miles and miles to a well to fill baskets with water. They trudge through the sand and heat on a daily basis.
Imagine going to all this effort, only to find out that their baskets have holes in them... and all the water leaked out on the trek back.
It's more than frustrating- it is soul-killing.
Having this happen once is enough to discourage anyone, but imagine having the same thing happen OVER AND OVER again.
Every day you fill up the basket, and walk all the way home, knowing that when you get there, your water is going to be gone!
That's the way I used to operate as an insurance agent. This is where the one day client syndrome comes from.
You love your clients on the day you write them, but after that day, you never do anything to make sure they NEVER LEAVE YOU. You ignore them, leaving them vulnerable to the first agent who comes along and lavishes some attention on them.
Forget cross-selling...forget referrals. They're gone, gone, gone, leaked out through the hole you created when you ignored the relationship and focused only on the sale.
The good news is that you can plug the holes in your agency (or basket) using a simple system-a system you will DO EVERY SINGLE month that nurtures ALL your clients and positions you as the trusted expert who is prepared to HELP them overcome their fears and achieve their goals.
This system doesn't need to be flashy or expensive. It just needs to WORK.
My system is a Mass Retention and Mass Commission system. It involves forging a strong, emotional relationship with your clients to the extent that that not only are you no longer invisible to them-they can't take their eyes off you!
The stronger the client relationship, the more referrals, leads, and money you will make. Your commissions will be higher ... and your lifestyle will be better.
How do I know this? Because I figured out the formula in my own book of business .. and then used that exact same formula outside the insurance industry just to see if it would work in another niche.
And you know what? It did. I am not surprised since it is a tested and proven formula. Now, I know others may have spoken to you in the past about creating relationships, but what makes Mass Retention and Mass Commission unique is that it is built upon systems, systems that are easy to implement and which run on autopilot. These are not "theories" developed by some guy with a Harvard MBA. They are real world solutions used by ACTUAL AGENTS and ADVISORS.
I know, I know...
You've heard this kind of talk before. "Just buy my system and you'll start pulling in limitless amounts of qualified leads with little effort."
There are tons of gurus out there promising that, but...
The systems I use are way beyond ORDINARY. They are designed using practical sales and marketing, combined with powerful psychology and persuasion designed to make your clients buy from only you and refer their friends and family just to you.
I personally HAVEN'T MADE A COLD CALL IN YEARS, yet have seen my own commissions increase year after year.
Here are 2 of the 6 principles of the Mass Commission and Retention Blueprint that will help you accomplish your goal of NO MORE COLD CALLS.
1. Create a New Ladder
What does this mean?
It means you MUST BE different than all the other agents out there. If you are a captive agent, you most likely have someone just like you just down the street.
If you're an independent, your prospects and clients still perceive you to be like every other agent, unless you create a new ladder on which you AND YOU ALONE exist. You must change both reality and PERCEPTION in order to thrive in today's tough marketplace.
Every day, your prospects and clients are bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages delivered in every conceivable manner. People have become much more adept at tuning out all but the most INTERESTING, UNIQUE messages.
In this noisy, cluttered marketplace it is difficult, even impossible to stand out.
Overwhelmed by the mental clutter, people tend to take shortcuts when they make buying and relationship decisions. If you aren't positioned on the RIGHT ladder with the RIGHT MESSAGE you are doomed to being invisible.
Invisibility is a bad state of being for any business, but it is particularly damaging if you are an agent or other financial consultant. You need to tear away the cloak of invisibility once and for all by positioning yourself as more than a cut above the rest.
How does one accomplish this?
The easiest way is to think about the largest problems your clients deal with in buying insurance or other financial products .
What are their WANTS, THEIR DESIRES, THEIR FEARS? How can you position yourself on the highest rung of a new ladder to help them overcome those problems or fears?
Here's a real world example:
One fear parents have dealing with teenagers is how to add them to their insurance policy. (If you are a parent and have teenagers. you know what I am talking about)
Well, we know, (and have personally helped) many agents position themselves on a new ladder.
I'm not talking about trying to be the #1 insurance agent in their state ... or just another boring agent who looks like every one else, selling the same products and services ... but different and on a new ladder ....
"The Teen Driver Advocate and Specialist Ladder" (This is just one an example of a new ladder you could create)
When parents in your area are looking to overcome their problems and fears about adding their teenage drivers to their insurance policy, you will now come up number one on that ladder. Parents will seek you out since you are the authority on the subject and give you their business.
They will want to do business with you because they perceive you as a SPECIALIST who understands teen drivers better than those other agents.
2. Put personality into your marketing.
I can't emphasize this enough. But using personality to attract involves more than just putting pictures in a newsletter . It means using personality with a purpose. One of the Laws of Persuasion is the Law of Like-ability. Part of being likable is sharing common interests with people. Search for interests that you share with your prospects and clients and highlight these in all your marketing efforts.
You already know that people buy from people they like. You do it yourself.
So why aren't you communicating your own likability to your clients? You should. It's not that hard to do.
You just need to understand who your clients are and start to share common interests you have with them.
I realize that many of you feel this approach just won't work for you. Some of you are also dead-set on doing business as usual because change seems so scary.
I can understand this. But look around- people are flat-out fearful and mistrustful . They're feeling a little ripped off lately and they need and want buying experiences based upon relationships with people they know and like. (and trust).
As someone who is in the business of providing and selling insurance and financial solutions, you should consider yourself in the relationship business.
I was able to increase my own retention dramatically by focusing on putting strategic personality into my marketing. Current members of our Mass Commission program are seeing this work very effectively for them while their competition struggles in the current economy. They "GET IT" and it is making the difference between having to scratch and claw for new clients and having plenty of qualified leads and referrals.
Building and forging strong emotional relationships is the most important thing you should be doing right now and leveraging your own personality strengths is the best way to accomplish this.
I encourage you to take these two success principles and apply them into your business. I did this with my own book of business and I continue to do so with the other businesses I have.
To higher commissions, more often...
Monday, November 3, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
I am a big fan of scary stuff: scary movies, scary soundtracks, scary politicians. What better place to get scared than the wild and wacky left-leaning SF Bay Area, where political correctness, liberal whining, and elitist attitudes collide to give you a truly memorable Halloween?
This year our chosen destination for ghoulish mayhem was none other than The Peoples' Republic of Berkeley, a place where bundles of taxpayer dollars were used to change the parking meters to read "Indigenous Peoples' Day," instead of Columbus Day.
This is also the place where hordes of ex-hippies, pockets full of the despicable fruit of nasty old capitalism gained through real estate investments and other successful business activities, escaped to a life in the trendy, upscale hills.
Now these guilt-ridden wannabe socialists can look down at the poor, ignorant masses, clamor for change, and hang Obama signs and rainbow flags in their triple-paned windows while sipping green tea chai and munching sustainable rain forest crunch.
I should not have been amazed that even Halloween in Berkeley is full of subtle and not-so-subtle reminders that nearly everyone in California thinks that the greed of "those other people" is to blame for the wrecked economy.
Couldn't possibly be anything else other than corporate greed and mean old banks could it? Couldn't be those Wendy's employees dumb enough to think they could afford a 3,500 square foot house with a pool on minimum wage?
The victim mentality is alive and well and it's name is San Francisco "Bail Out Everyone, Even Idiots." What we need is more regulation. Yeah, uh-huh, that's the ticket.
Idealism replaces common sense faster than you can say "Barack Hussein Obama."
Tammy "Don't Blame Me I Wanted Ron Paul" de Leeuw
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Financial Advisor Netzone
Consuming large amounts of information is a way of life for most financial professionals. As always, I am happy to oblige your passion for knowledge, so I am sponsoring a TRAINING SESSION for those who are interested in learning how to use Goldmail and Send Out Cards in their businesses.
This is all meat- no fluffy filler. Come only if you want to learn HOW AND IF these systems can help you muscle through tough times.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
... from Tammy
Apologies to some of you who tried the download link to ED SLOTT's teleseminar recording and had trouble. The problem seems to be resolved now and you can download and listen to:
Actions That Unlock Million Dollar IRAs
What to say and do--right now--to get $1 million IRA owners to move their money to YOU!
We will have the page up ONLY UNTIL OCTOBER 29th.
If you have never seen Ed Slott live and you work in the financial services industry (particularly in the estate planning and IRA rollover areas) you definitely should check him out at his last live gig of the year.
Or Call: Get $200 off instantly when you use the FAN code. If you call in to register, be sure they know you saw it on FAN so you will get your discount.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Financial Advisor Netzone
I really enjoyed bringing you information on how to design a stay in touch program to help you keep your clients close in tough times.
If you missed it, or had to leave early, here is a link you can use for the next ten days to get a free recording.
Do you work with IRA rollovers? Be sure to listen to
Ed Slott's Free Webcast: What to do and say in a down economy to unlock million dollar IRA's (exclusive FAN presentation)
America's IRA expert, Ed Slott, brings his entertaining and unique ideas for advisors who work with high net worth retirees. This one hour presentation is content rich and delivered in Ed's engaging and witty style.
This recording is available to all FAN readers at no cost, but you must listen before October 29th.
Monday, October 13, 2008
How You Can Profit From Tough Times By Developing An Effective Stay In Touch System- With David Frey- TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21st
Saturday, October 11, 2008
by Tammy de Leeuw
Financial Advisor Netzone
Wow! It has been a tough week for most of us in the US as we try to make sense of what's happening both economically and politically. Compounding the problem is the worldwide pervasiveness of "sheeple," folks who digest everything the media tells them and start panic-induced selling. I bet some of you are hoarse from trying to calm your clients down.
The panic problem stems from "stinkin thinkin" that says we should all be able to reap unlimited huge gains and never experience risk, or that we can palm off our personal risk on the government or some other entity.
"All gain and no risk" is an attractive idea in theory, and one which has been dutifully exploited by certain product pushers, but it just doesn't play out in the real world.
We now have ourselves quite a mess, made even worse by the visible, klutzy hand of government.
All of the instability, uncertainty, and unpredictability (and that's just from the candidates!) caused me to do a bit of research as to WHY some companies weather these kinds of storms and even prosper, while some topple at the first stiff wind.
Most of us had a GRAPES OF WRATH education when it came to learning about the Great Depression. Yes, it was pretty devastating for a lot of people, and a lot of companies disappeared off the planet. Then there was a drought and all sorts of other things going on which contributed to the nightmare.
However, contrary to what we learned in school, not everyone lost everything in the stock market crash, and not every business went belly up. Some people even STARTED businesses right smack dab in the middle of the Depression. Imagine that!
I looked at a few companies, including Proctor and Gamble, Hallmark Cards, and Chevrolet to see how they fared after the Crash of 1929.
Proctor and Gamble Floats Above the Competition
This iconic American corporation experienced some of its biggest growth during the Great Depression. Seizing the opportunity to best a weakened competition, P&G increased its advertising, public relations, and branding campaigns, instead of eliminating them like some of its competitors.
Ever hear of SOAP OPERAS? Well, radio soaps came into their own during the Depression and P&G was one of the earliest companies to sponsor them. The result of all this attention to attracting customers? Huge profits and P&G products in nearly every home in America.
Chevrolet and the "Stovebolt" Six Motor Over Henry Ford
Chevy became top dog in the car world due a combination of a KILLER product, the "Stovebolt Six", and an aggressive, in your face ad campaign. By 1931 Chevrolet had wrested the sales lead from Ford and would hold that lead for most of the next 30 years. (Tammy loves cars as do all good Texas gals..) They had a beautiful car and a handle on the fact that PEOPLE BUY WHAT THEY WANT and not what they need.
Hallmark- Spreading the Hope Pays Off
The company Joyce C. Hall started from two shoeboxes full of postcards in the mid 1900's became the dominant player in the greeting card business. Hallmark rose to household name status during the Depression due to its exceptional management philosophies and folksy advertising. Hallmark went through the entire Depression without having to lay off a single worker!
My point is, rough economic times can be very instructive. As individuals, we learn what really matters, we learn how to do without things we once considered necessities, and we learn that every gain carries risk.
As entrepreneurs, we can learn how to attract the money that is out there and KEEP our exisiting clients happy and satisfied. We can learn how to do MORE EFFECTIVE MARKETING and to stop wasting time and money on things which don't work and never will.
For those of you in the financial services industry who are relationship-driven and client-focused, this might be your biggest opportunity ever. Your expertise and attention could be the cure for someone who has suddenly and painfully realized that their advisor just did not do his or her job.
There is a lot of dissatisfaction with financial advisors right now. It's a perfect time for honest, competent, and caring advisors to become client magnets!
Call me and we can discuss how to do just that. 888-471-9461
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Financial Advisor Netzone
Friday was my first-ever demonstration of the Send Out Cards system. Thanks to those of you who attended.
I did re-record the session, "How to Do A Campaign" and it is available until October 12th.
Click here to get the download: https://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=R3owY05uTmE1bmhjR0E9PQ
Send a card for FREE by going to www.socreview.com/grouchymarketinglady. (LIMITED NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS ARE AVAILABLE)
The clock is ticking on some of the other Free Stuff for Advisors offered through the FAN blog.
Looking to get more out of your advertising dollars? Track your ads with Call Tracker, and know which campaigns work. When calls come in, you’ll know who they went to, which campaigns drove traffic…and which didn’t. You’ll save money when you focus on your most productive ads 24 hours a day. Use toll-free numbers for a big image or use regional numbers for a trusted, local image.
View online, interactive reports in bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts that can be broken down from a monthly overview to a detailed hourly view.
Find out more:http://www.patlive.com/signup/FAN
The Easiest Way to Add Voice Over Visuals to Your Communications
Enhance your communications by using the simple, effective voice over visual messaging from Goldmail. Unlike many other applications, Goldmail does not require a video camera or any special training or technical aptitude.
I always recommend that you "try before you buy" and Goldmail offers you that option in the form of a fully functional 14-day trial. Check it out at:
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Live Demo and Training-
Ultimate Referral System:Create Your First Campaign
Whether you are already using the Ultimate Referral System or are new and want to learn to use your system better, you should attend this free training.
In this one hour webinar, you will learn step by step how you can use the Ultimate Referral System to create unforgettable, custom cards- cards that get you more referrals and help keep you on your current clients' minds.
You will then learn how to use those cards in a campaign designed to help you get more referrals and appointments.
With the Campaigns feature, you can create your own custom greeting cards and upload them into an AUTOMATED campaign to make sure that no hot prospect or client is forgotten.
We will be putting together a "Let's Do Lunch" campaign similar to the one David Frey demonstrated at his recent webinar.
If you have been thinking of signing up for the URS, this training will be an ideal way for you to see if you can use this system to grow your own business.
Register using this link: