Marketing to your ideal prospect list

Last week, we discussed assembling a list of your “ideal prospects”, and creating a special marketing effort specifically to them that is on top of your regular lead generation marketing and follow up marketing.

This deal client prospecting campaign is established with the distinct goal of creating a relentless, never ending effort to literally have 100% of these prospects become your client. For most firms, this list won’t be that long. It may run from as little as a dozen ideal prospects, to at most a couple hundred.

Who is on your ideal prospect list? It really depends on the nature of your practice and your areas of specialization. Here are some examples of ideal prospect lists:

  1. All companies within a 25-mile radius of your office with 50 to 250 employees.
  2. All tax debtors within a 4-state region that owe more than $500,000 to the IRS and earn 7 figures annually.
  3. Owners of homes assessed at greater than $1.2 million within one ZIP code that are also boat owners.
  4. 941 tax debtors owing more than $150,000 and annual revenue greater than $5 million within your greater metropolitan area.
  5. Families in your city with more than $2 million in liquid assets.

As you can see, these prospects are special because they have specific characteristics that are desirable to us as clients. They represent high-value clients that will pay us substantial fees and will stay with us as clients for years and years.

These high-value prospects are worth a special marketing effort that essentially never ends. I would suggest a marketing effort that contacts these ideal prospects at least monthly, if not bi-weekly or even weekly, with some sort of “touch”. Since the cost of a typical touch is only $1, or even less, you can market to a list of 100 such prospects on a weekly basis for only $5,200 per year, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the value of of one such client in terms of the fees that just ONE of them will pay you over the course of a business relationship.

What does a year-long, weekly touch program look like? It can be as simple as this:

  • 12 monthly newsletters (covering tax advice, asset protection, wealth management, etc.)

  • bi-weekly postcards offering a free report, briefing, webinar, live seminar, interview recording, etc.

  • one phone call per month

  • Birthday card, anniversary card, Thanksgiving card

  • Invitation to a private client event (BBQ,
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Follow up marketing to your prospect database

To put it bluntly, if you’re not actively marketing to your prospect database on a regular basis, then you wasted the money you spent to obtain those prospects in the first place.

One amazing fact has held true in the sales world for nearly a century: The majority of sales are closed after the 5th contact with a prospect. This fact holds true for any industry, and the number of contacts required to close a sale increases as the price point of the product or service increases.

What does this mean for your prospect database? It means that you should have an automated, pre-set follow up sequence that your prospects get entered into. This follow up sequence should last for an absolute minimum of three months, although 6 months to a year is ideal.

Who gets assigned to this follow up campaign? A legitimate prospect is anybody that has:

  1. personally met with you
  2. been given a telephone consultation
  3. requested information, such as a special report, from you
  4. visited your web site or called you

Basically, I consider a prospect to be anybody that has taken some action to express interest in tax services.

Has mentioned earlier, these prospects deserve special marketing attention. If they have requested information from you via the web, you should always at least request their email address and add them to email autoresponder sequence that reaches out to them at least weekly.

For prospects that you have given a consultation to and/or sent proposals to, you will obviously have their mailing address. In this case, you should be mailing something to them each and every week. Yes, direct mail each and every week for a pre-determined length of time. What you send them can be a variety of things:

  • monthly tax newsletter
  • webinar invitations
  • live financial seminar invitations
  • reports and information
  • quick tax savings tips

In addition, it’s a good idea to have an organized telephone follow up campaign. Especially after you do a consultation and give them a proposal, you should be following up with them every day for a week, and then at least weekly thereafter for a month, then at least monthly.

The sequence of emails, phone calls, direct mail offers, newsletters, seminars, and other activities that you engage in as follow up with your prospects should all be pre-planned, pre-prepared, and AUTOMATED. Your follow up activities should not be something you have to think about it. With … Continue reading

Marketing differently to leads vs prospects

It should make obvious sense that you market very differently to prospects than to leads, but many people question exactly how they should market to each.

If you have an active prospect that has received a consultation from you, met you face to face, or received a proposal from you, then this person needs to be treated very differently from somebody that you’ve never spoken to. I take it a step further, and believe that I should treat as an active prospect anybody that’s visited my web site, left me a voicemail, ordered a special report, or in any other way expressed interest in tax services.

This is our prospect database. I will often refer this to our “met” list, because in some way we’ve met or interacted with them on a personal level.

The other side of the coin involves people that have never spoken to you, never ordered information, and have never expressed interest in tax services. This is our “unmet” list. This list often represents a group of ideal prospects that we eventually want to put on our “met” list, generally based on demographic criteria.

For example, we may determine that our best prospect lives within a 75 mile radius of our office, owes the IRS at least $50,000, has already had the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty assessed, owns a home with positive equity, and has a six figure income. We can then obtain a list of these ideal prospects, and market to them consistently over time.

Note that the marketing we do to this “ideal prospect” list is often independent of our general lead generation marketing. This mean that in general we have no less than three marketing campaigns going on at any given time:

1). Marketing to prospects that we have spoken to or have or that have requested information from us.
2). A special, consistent marketing effort to our unmet, ideal prospects.
3). Our regular lead generation marketing.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss how to market to the first group, often referred to as “follow up marketing”.


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