Where can I find qualified leads

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I am a young investment advisor in the Boston thats needs to be put in front of qualified people. Where should I go? Are there any older advisors out there with some ideas?

-- Brandt R Elliott (Brandt.Elliott@advest.com), December 06, 2000

Answers

Qualified leads are either going to come by:

1.Sales Calls

2.Marketing by adverts, direct marketing, conference show or other network event

3.Contact by the investor by e-mail, phone, fax or website from advertising

4.Referrals

Referrals are more likely to come with experience and results, so the focus on qualified leads has to come primarily from the first three sources, though doing business so that it generates referrals is something that you should pay attention to.

Contact by investors from information they found in old ads, directories or business cards will only represent a marginal contribution and this is mostly a by-product of your marketing activities and any drive to get your name out in public places.

Marketing is going to have an upfront cost, which means that you have to pay careful consideration to the message and medium being used. This means developing materials and message content and testing what works and then sticking to the most successful approaches.

Which leads us to sales calls. Qualified leads for the majority of investment advisors have to come the old fashioned hard way. You have to work for them and that means sales calls. Investment people can usually tap warm contacts first such as people they know but this avenue is quickly exhausted because you can only ask once and then tell your warm contacts that the next time the subject is raised, it will be because they brought it up, not you.

That brings us to dialing for business and targeting your market and those people who you think suit your market. Of course there are also SEC compliance rulings and know your client rules which you have to pay attention to but for a good investment advisor that client protection is a selling point and most investment advisors can pick up that information through general conversation, so the client doesnít feel they are being interrogated.

The goal of cold calls is to build your clientele up so that your integrity, experience and handling of a client build up a consistent base that you regularly service. At that point if there is churn you have a fairly good idea of what you need to do to make up the difference.

Qualified leads therefore have to come down to cold calling. While hardly anyone likes cold calling, it is helpful to develop a script that assists you on the call and have in mind the numbers that you need to call in order to create sales interviews and how many sales interviews you need to make one sale. That adds up to a lot of calling.

Who does that calling depends on how you are set up and there are only three options

1.You do the calling

2.You hire a sales assistant to qualify leads for you

3.You work for an organization who has a telemarketing department

For fresh starters who donít work for an established organization that provides qualified leads, they have to do either 1 or 2. When considering the sales assistant option, obviously you have to calculate your sales closing ratio and work out what the overhead is going to be and whether you are going to include a commission incentive for producing good leads.

Iíve included below some articles that may be of interest to you:

Generating Sales Leads http://www.salesdoctors.com/patients/1leads.htm

Investment Advisor Ė (you may need to complete a free registration in order to view the article) http://www.ia-mag.com/ia/Dec99/businessadvice.html

Sales Articles http://www.smartbiz.com/sbs/cats/sales.htm

M.

M Profile at: http://www.fastcompany.com/fasttalk/replypost.html? p=9738 "To be or not to be that is the question" A quote by Willy Shakes. Mantra of M. : "Life is about Private Relations not Public Relations"

-- Mark Zorro (zorromark@consultant.com), December 06, 2000.


It's not the place for a hard sell, but you might check out the local cell of the Company of Friends. The group is quite active in Boston. http://www.fastcompany.com/cof

Heath

-- Heath Row (heath@fastcompany.com), December 08, 2000.


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