Editor's Note: This is the sixth article in a10-part series identifying the best sales techniques for2015. To view the rest of the series,visit 100 best sales ideas 2015.

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60. Get names and introductions, notreferrals.

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After years of being unsuccessful at getting referrals I learnedthe mistake I was making was not getting names andintroductions.

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The method I learned was a simple script that goes like this,"[Client’s name] you mentioned that your son lives in the area andin fact runs his own auto repair shop in town.

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If he walked in here right now would you introduce me? Would youfeel comfortable telling him you feel like I did a good job for youtoday?Is there any reason I could not tell him that? Great, what ishis phone number?"

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This method also taught me that when I attached a behavior to arequest, more often than not I received a name, so I began askingbehavior questions like:

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Who do you know who has just…?

  • Moved here from out of town?
  • Bought a new home?
  • Started a new job?
  • Established his or her business?
  • Married or become engaged?
  • Had a new baby?
  • Started a youngster in school?
  • Achieved retirement age?
  • Gone on an association committee?

I became an expert at this when I got names first anddidn't interrupt, when I realized that if a person does notbuy — I get paid in two ways, a sale or a referral — ask for areferral, and lastly when I made asking for a referral a habit.

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As you develop this prospecting habit don't forget to givefeedback to the referrer. People want to know what happened.

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— Lloyd Lofton, LUTC, American Eagle Financial Services,LLC

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s59. Be empathetic.

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In order to make the greatest impact with the people you aretalking with, you have to have empathy for them and know whothey really are. This can only be done by asking goodquestions to get to know them as a person, which is much deeperthan simply having a "MONEY CONVERSATION." Start your presentationoff with these questions and save your “money and goals” questionsfor last. Watch the difference.

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Shawn Sparks, VP of Marketing, AdvisorsExcel

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k58. Handling the "I need to thinkabout it" objection to long-term care insurance(LTCI).

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Counter this by selling with a primary and secondary objectivestrategy. The first objective should be, "Let's solve your careproblem." Most families are unprepared when someone needs help andthey scramble to figure out a care plan. Our primary objectiveshould be showing this situation is coming in the future, and howan LTCI plan can help them avoidputting family members in a tough position.

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Our second objective should then be to address the financialaspects of a robust plan that takes into account rising costs anddiscuss how different riders would affect their financial plan andcare expectations. So, first create a primary objective quote thatis affordable. Then, address the financial shortfalls in theprimary quote and show the client how they may be able to affordextra riders that enhance the original plan.

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— Paul Daugs, multi-life LTCI specialist, Newman Long Term Care

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k57. Connect words and deeds for optimalsuccess.

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Most financial advisors claim to value ethical business practices.But some allow their actions to violate their stated principles. Toachieve optimal success, always link your actions to your valueswith the following techniques:

  • Provide full and accurate disclosure throughout the salesprocess.
  • Carefully identify prospect needs, concerns, and risktolerance.
  • Assure that your sales tools are accurate, truthful, and fullyapproved.
  • Recommend suitable products, for the right reasons.
  • Minimize conflicts of interest, even if you are held only to asuitability standard.
  • Use friendly persuasion instead of high-pressure closingtechniques.

— Steve McCarty, National Ethics Association

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k56. Learn to 'prospect up.'

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Identify clients that earn the income you desire and prospect up to that market. Donot confuse someone being wealthy or successful with being a goodplanner. In fact, they are sometimes the worst planners becausethey’re so focused on their craft that they neglect even the mostbasic planning needs. Be a resource to them as the coverage youprovide them protects their assets and legacy.

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For example, ask your clients who they look up to for theirfinancial accomplishments. An associate at an investment bank maylook up to his manager, that manager may look up to the VP and thenthe VP would look up to the owner. If you’ve done a good job, yourclient will gladly introduce you to the people they hold in highregard. Continue asking this question until you prospect up to yourideal clients.

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— Eszylfie Taylor, Taylor Insurance and FinancialServices

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55. Make your sponsorship a partnership, not just anadvertising outlet.

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There are so many times event organizers will ask companies tobuy a "turn key" sponsorship. You know, the sponsorships that are abooth, a banner, a logo in a program and the opportunity to collectnames and numbers through a "register to win" raffle! BORING!

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How many times have you heard that people want to do businesswith people they feel a connection to or have a common interest?The next time you want to buy a sponsorship, work with theorganizer to figure out how you can incorporate your brand intothe fabric of the event. Have the employees of the event wear yourbranded shirts. If there is a speaking opportunity, find a way tospeak on a topic that would be relevant to the audience but stillinclude your brand’s messaging into the theme. Be creative on sitethat allows you and your team the opportunity to personally meetand greet the guests of the event, and create a reason to bememorable.

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— Aimee Spencer, M&O Marketing

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54. Download the LinkedIn Connected app.

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This is a simple tool to stay on top of activity in your networksuch as job changes, promotions, birthdays, and other importantlife events. With just a swipe of your finger you can easily like,comment or send a private message to connections.

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— Amy McIlwain, Moore Communications Group

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k

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53. Invest in the basics

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Bypassing the backbone for a solid brand — a professionallogo, defined messaging and essential support materials — canmake your investments in lead generation activitiesmuch less effective. It's like building your dream home on sand —you might get some use from it for a while, but it’s not going tolast.

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Alana Kohl, AdvisorPR

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52. Don’t assume one spouse has absolute decisionmaking-authority.

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If what you are selling will impact others, it is important toget buy-in from the significant other, spouse or other familymembers. Not only may you get a quicker "yes" and have theopportunity to learn more about your client and his or her needs,but you will also earn points and respect if you at least make theoffer to engage their family. Look at the spouse, partner orsignificant other as a key Center of Influence. Don’t ignore themand you may get YES faster than you thought!

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— John Richard Pierce, Jr., author of "Sell More and Sleepat Night"

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51. Hire a Med Sup agent.

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Healthcare planning is an importantpart of a retiree's annual decision making. By hiring an agent andoffering this service, you have added a new stream of revenue toyour practice as well as added a valuable service for existingfinancial clients. This can also be a great way to introduce ajunior advisor to your team to easily provide them with newprospects and activity.

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— Greg Hammer, Hammer Financial Group

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[Next: 100 best sales & marketing ideas:61-70]

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