The Fundamental Rules Of Marketing

These are fundamental rules of marketing.

Many new marketers want to skip the fundamentals and get right to learning how to get ranked on Google. Don’t you think it’s important to learn marketing before you learn search engine marketing?

I often get questions like… How do I get my site ranked by the search engines? How can I run an effective email marketing campaign? How do I generate leads with social media?

These are all great questions but isn’t it important to learn the basics first? Since when did marketing become about tricking the search engines?

People buy from people they know like and trust. Here are a few simple ways you can get people to know like and trust you.

POSITION YOURSELF AS AN AUTHORITY – This can be done simply by claiming it. For example you can claim authority as long as you promote with confidence and conviction. “We are seeking a few sharp sales professionals to help run the marketing and global distribution aspect of our business. Are you open to taking a serious look at our company and submitting an application to work with us?”

Another way to have others view you as an authority is what’s known as “social proof.” Ask a leader in your circle of influence to make a testimonial video for you. Or make one for them first. Many times they will be happy to return the favor.)

BRAND YOURSELF OVER YOUR COMPANY – Many newbies marketers in the direct sales arena in the industry believe their business to be the end all be all and their ultimate ticket to wealth. The fact is that direct marketing companies fold all the time for many different reasons. That is why it is vital to brand yourself and build your own list.

PICK UP THE PHONE – There is nothing better than an offline connection to get people to know like and trust you. With all our automated systems we have access to It is easy to hide behind a computer screen. If you get in the habit of simply calling to introduce yourself to your prospective customers you will realize much greater results.

How Dentists Can Profit From Direct Mail

Direct Mail is a powerful tool when used properly, but beware sloppy direct mail can do more harm than good. Dentists don’t use direct mail as effectively as they could in many cases. There are a few essential rules for successful direct mail. Below I have listed some action points to ensure your direct mail campaigns work effectively.

1) Set up a good database

There are some very cost effective pieces of software around these days which are easy to use for managing databases, many practices have complete client management systems, but do make sure you have a system where by you can update and target specific groups of people.

Not having a decent database is criminal in any business. This is the most cost effective and personal way of marketing to your clients and prospects.

Without it your business will also be worth a lot less if you ever want to sell.

2) Test and measure everything

This is the only way to determine whether your campaigns are successful and should be rolled out on a larger scale. You should start testing a new Direct Mail campaign with a small number. Depending on the size of your business this may be a few hundred or several thousand.

3) Mail your existing clients

These people are important, keep in contact with them. Use their names and make the letter feel personal maybe even mention the last treatment they had so they feel you know them.

4) Always include a letter with a brochure

Statistically a letter with a brochure has been shown to improve the response, but follow the sales letter principles below to ensure a good response.

5) Talk about your clients needs

The first thing people will read in your letter is the headline so don’t make this about you, make it about them and fulfilling their needs.

6) Benefits

Which brings us on to – Make sure that your mailings focus on the benefits that your clients will get from buying your product. You can include the features but tell them what they will get out of your service.

7) P.S and Coupons

Test P.S and coupons in your mailings both have been shown to give higher response rates, but remember don’t change other aspects of the mailing at the same time or it will skew your results

8) Don’t just mail once

If you get a good response from a mailing repeat it, people are likely to respond again.

9) The Value of a client

Look at the life time value of a client – If you target new clients and your average client spends £1,000 over their lifetime with you, a mailing costs you £500 and get’s you 2 new clients the average you’re likely to generate from those 2 clients is £2000 this is a 400% return on your investment, not bad!

10) Use mailings to build relationships

A mailing does not have to sell something directly it can be a Thank you letter or a Client Satisfaction Questionnaire but make sure it builds your credibility with your client.

Insurance Agent Contracting – Direct Or Not Direct?

I have been asked this question many times over the years by new insurance agents. I have also been on many online Insurance Forums were I’ve seen some very bias opinions on the subject. So, I’d like to offer my opinion as it relates to the suggestion that it is better to contract directly with the insurance carrier rather than an MGA (Managing General Agent) or IMO (Insurance Marketing Organization).

There are a lot of very good MGA’s and IMO’s around the country that offer some very good (vested) contracts, services, incentives and support. You would not have these additional services, incentives and support being directly contracted with the carriers. Some examples would include weekly webinar sales and product training. Most insurance carriers do offer some product training but it’s nice to have access to much more and from a variety of experienced professionals in the insurance business.

Another would be incentive trips. Let’s use Assurant as the example. They do not offer sales incentive trips to agents. But many of our contracted agents have enjoyed very nice All-inclusive trips for years for their Assurant sales business they sold under our MGA channel. That’s in addition to getting 20% and 25% fully vested commission contracts with optional advancing. For carriers like Golden Rule, World or American Community that have offered agent sales incentive trips, many agents have qualified for two trips (the carriers’ and ours) with the same sales premium!

Other great value added benefits most quality MGA’s or IMO’s may offer (I know we do) is underwriting, product and quoting support, lead credits and marketing allowances. They enjoy as good or better commission levels than what they can get if they were direct to the carriers. On 98% of the products they are paid directly from the carriers just like they would be if they were contracted directly with them. Our contracted agents know at any time they could ask for a release to contract direct to the carriers of their choice. They choose not to do so because of all the reasons mentioned above. You do need to be sure you’re vested on your block of business under the MGA or IMO. This way if you choose to change your contracts later your renewals follow you.

Let me use Golden Rule as another example why we have many agents prefer to due their GR business through us then direct to the carrier. They get paid twice per month through us. Direct to the carrier is only once per month. They can qualify for 24% commission at five sales per month (60 per year) instead of 100 per year direct. They can have a 9 month advance commission contract. Direct they only get offered an “as earned contract”. Their GR premium qualifies for our annual sales incentive trips in addition to qualifies them for any cash bonuses or incentives trips GR may be running at the same time. Finally, they still own (are vested on) their business and can move at any time.

So don’t just believe the notion that it’s always better to contract direct with the carrier. Instead, do your homework, know what the contract your signing says, weight all the pro’s and con’s and make the best decision that is right for you. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for an unconditional release letter from the MGA or IMO before signing on with them in case things did not work the way you expected. If the MGA’s and IMO’s are worth their salt, they will not have a problem giving you one. Hope it helps you in whatever decision you make moving forward.