Editor's Note: This is the first article in a 10-part seriesidentifying the best sales techniques for 2015. To view the rest ofthe series, visit 100 best sales ideas 2015.

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10. Mix business with pleasure

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I have gotten leads from going to mixers and business events. I make sure that Ihave a goal–to make contact with the people that willbe my point of reference to a lead, because they know someone thatneeds what I do. I do not waste their time and always keep it shortand simple so not to seem like a pushy person.

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—Alejandro Chetto

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magic ball9. The magic of the combopolicy.

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Products that work for clients will provide thoseclients with a reason to say good things about you when talkingwith their friends and family. One thing that I've seen work: Whenmarketing to clients, discuss with them the option to use money topurchase a single-premium whole life or universal life LI plus LTCIpolicy.

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That way not only does the client get both life and long-termcare coverage, they also can earn slightly more interest on theirmoney than if they left it in a CD, for example.

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What's more, if they never need the long-term care coverage,their money stays inside the policy, where ultimately it may betransferred to heirs on a tax-favored basis. Such a combinationis gaining appeal among wealthier people in their 60s, who have theliquidity to afford the premium (often $100,000 or more), and who,for estate planning reasons, see merit in protecting their assetsfrom a long-term care event.

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—Tom Riekse Jr.

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boats8. Use a referral strategy thatworks.

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One of the most successful strategies for generatingimmediate referrals is an eventcalled, “Don't Miss the Boat.” Advisors begin telling clients aboutthe big event 3 months beforehand through a letter.

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For example, we'll say, “We're doing this big event on May 15thon the Detroit Star, the dinner boat on the Detroit River. It'sgoing to be a gala event with music and dinner and dancing. But,don't miss the boat; because the only people we're inviting arethose that have introduced us to others by the event date.”

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This event gives clients an immediate incentive to think ofsomeone. Yes, it may be a little gimmicky and you may think yourwealthy clients may not go for this. But, we've never seen thisstrategy fail. It has consistently produced referrals of 40or more per event!

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— Maribeth Kuzmeski, Red ZoneMarketing

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prospecting7. Spend four hours a dayprospecting.

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In order to get a sufficient number of leads, you need to spenda significant amount of time prospecting. For mostsalespeople, spending far too little time prospecting is theirprimary issue. If you're wondering where you'll find four hours ina day, the answer is simple:

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First, stop wasting time on unqualified prospects you'll neverconvert. You know who these people are; you've been calling themfor months, maybe even years. Get rid of them immediately, or givethem one final call and tell them this is the last time you willcontact them. It's now or never.

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Second, stop over-contacting and irritating qualified leads. Thereason salespeople keep unqualified prospects in their funnel andharass and over-contact the qualified leads is because they have noone else to call. Spending a lot of time prospecting will give youan abundance of prospects and solve both these issues.

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Third, cut out all the busy work you do to avoid the hard workof prospecting. Most of us are very creative at coming up with waysto avoid hard work from cleaning up our desks and doing paperwork in the middle of theday, to scheduling doctor appointments and other personal itemsduring prime calling times. Stop it!

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Finally, schedule your prospecting time and stick to theschedule. For example, block off 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4p.m. for prospecting and don't allow anything to infringe on thattime.

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I realize that if you are doing little or no prospecting, fourhours is a big jump. Start with an hour or two and build fromthere.

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— John Chapin, www.completeselling.com

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mailer6. Direct responsemailers.

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If you have the budget, I would highly recommend doingdirect response mailers.

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When I started my career, I didn't haveany extra money and I printed some fliers and simply wentdoor-to-door.

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As much as I would not do that now, if I hadn't done it, Iwouldn't even be in the business. —Anthony A.Saccaro

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stand out5. Stand out from thecrowd.

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You've got to have an idea and presentation that really stands outfrom the clutter.

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To achieve that you've got to test it in small numbers and, whenyou find something that works, send it out more broadly.

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—Maribeth Kuzmeski, Red ZoneMarketing

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headline4. Keep it dynamic.

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Dynamic revolving content: simply adding a teaser headline toour content increased our response rate by 0.5%.

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This may not sound like a lot, but when you send 20,000 piecesof mail a month, it means getting in front of 100 more people.

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Adding this concept to your marketing strategies does everythingfrom increasing web traffic and response rate ondirect mail pieces to branding yourself as an expert in yourcommunity.

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—Christopher Richter

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seniors3. Find the network youneed.

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Network with individuals who are already doing business with thetype of prospect you would like to meet. For example, if you areworking in the senior market, what businesses are alreadycatering to seniors? Where will youfind seniors congregating or spending their leisure time?

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The difference in developing prospects this way is elementary.If the businesses you are targeting are already dealing with 10seniors a day and you have 10 of those networked partners, you have100 new prospects.

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Make certain you consider privacy laws and that you provideappropriate leads back to your resources. And, keep your networkshappy . . . a simple thank you or a small gift card for lunch isalways welcome.

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—Kevin Wedmore

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radio dj

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2. On the airwaves.

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I have a 30-minute radio program on a local talk radiostation that airs every Monday morning.

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It has opened more doors than I could imagine and was directlyresponsible for over $100,000 in new commissions over the past twoyears.

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—Dee K. Carter

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presentation1. Write a referral salesplan.

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When you receive a qualified referral, you are pre-sold,have trust and credibility, shorten your sales process, reduce yourcost of sales, and gain a new client more than 50 percent of thetime.

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No other lead-generation strategy comes close to theseresults.

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Write your referral sales plan with weekly referral goals and atracking process to measure your referral-selling success.

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—Joanne S. Black

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[Next: 2015's 50 best ways to generate leads:11-20]

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