If someone offered you a dollar in exchange for 50 cents, how much would you give? If you are like most, you would probably give everything that you had (I know I would). Ben Feldman sold life insurance for pennies on the dollar. In fact, he used to carry a $1,000 bill with him, which he would tell prospects he would sell to them for 3 pennies.
It’s a great strategy for selling and is an excellent analogy for marketing. Too many companies look at marketing and advertising as an expense – not as an investment. When budget time comes around, the first thing people look to cut is marketing, especially if sales are flat or declining.
Generating leads and new business is the primary reason why marketing exists. Over the years, marketing has evolved and companies have become increasingly aware of the results. We know that all leads aren’t of equal value to your business, yet there is a fallacy among many marketers in this industry regarding advisor and agent leads and the measurement of cost per lead . All too often I hear companies say that the CPL is the primary measurement and driver of how their companies’ marketing dollars are spent.
If all leads were equal this would be a correct way to measure, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Anyone can create a lead, it’s easy to create an offer and buy a list, but when you are generating responses — how qualified are they? Did you simply get an email address or did you require more information? Such as an address, type of products they sell, amount of production, etc. And most important — are they even qualified to do business with you?
A good friend of mine, who is a senior marketing executive at a major carrier, once told me that “every agent you have will leave you. It might be 6 months, 5 years or even 10, but one day they will move on to greener pastures or just die on you.” That’s a scary statement, but unfortunately it’s true.
In order for a marketing company or carrier to reach its full sales potential, it must be in front of the market and always looking for new producers. In this industry, it is not uncommon to see 20% turnover of your producers annually. More than half of the annual turnover is typically caused by factors outside of one’s control, such as death, disinterest, lack of business, retiring or changing markets. But the fact remains that in 5 years, you will have to replenish almost all of your producers.