NAIFA's Advisor Today Keyword(s)

 E-mail   Print  Share

Launch a “Find the Money” Campaign

This is an easy way to better serve your client, identify additional business and find potential referrals.

By Gary F. Thomas, CLU, ChFC

Make sure you are not like the majority of agents and advisors who overlook the largest source of new income and referrals: your own client base! One of our chief methods of gathering information and referrals from our clients is through a yearly survey. We’ve named this survey the “Find the Money” Campaign. A campaign is a comprehensive series of steps designed to produce a specific result. Ours is designed to gather vital client information that can be used to better serve the client, identify additional business and find potential referrals. Approximately 80 percent of our clients complete the yearly survey, and over the years this influx of information has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in new sales as well as scores of referrals.

It’s important to use your survey to identify potential changes in the client’s situation.
Our business is divided fairly equally between insurance and investment products, and many of the survey questions target those areas of opportunity. You can prepare your own survey to reflect the nature of your practice. Take this one piece of advice, however. It’s important to use your survey to identify potential changes in your clients’ situation. They may be moving, selling a home, changing jobs or perhaps they have a new grandchild. Changes often motivate clients to purchase new coverage or to make new investments.

Call, mail, call, call

Prudential Box Ad
When sending out our survey, we use a method we’ve named “call, mail, call, call.” If you would like results similar to ours, which are excellent, follow this formula exactly. We prepare our survey in advance, and mail it out with a cover letter and a postage-paid return envelope. We will often offer a small gift for filling out the survey. Last year it was a recent best-selling book that dealt with health, wealth and longevity. You may offer what you feel is appropriate for your clients and what is permitted by your company’s regulations.

Before the survey goes out, I have an employee contact the clients to tell them that there is a very important survey coming from our office, and ask that they watch for it, complete it and send it back. We then mail the survey. When a survey is returned, we mail the client a thank-you letter. After three weeks, we send the clients who have not responded a polite reminder, which contains another copy of the survey. After another three weeks, a third survey is sent. After that, we leave a phone message regarding the survey. This kind of persistence produces results.

Invariably, new personal information comes to light, which we enter into our database. I then review all the returned surveys and call each client personally to thank him. During this call I’ll ask questions about the survey results and about family members or people he knows through the clubs and organizations he belongs to. Having this information makes it easier to ask for and receive referrals. If he plays golf or tennis, he probably does so with individuals of similar background and wealth, and we may ask him for an introduction.

This is an excerpt from a speech given at the 2007 MDRT Annual Meeting. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Keep the Communication Flowing

In addition to this survey, we send our clients courtesy letters a few times a year that have nothing to do with financial products. The letters may include a holiday message, an amusing story or a comment on current events. We have purchased a “letters library” full of appropriate wishes we like to send to our clients. We produce the cards and letters in our office. Whether a client likes golf or tennis, politics or comics, we can add the appropriate graphic to the card or choose a letter that references his interest. It’s a small touch, but it reminds the client that we have been paying attention. In addition, we send birthday cards, which we follow up with a phone call expressing our wish for many more birthdays.

Gary F. Thomas, CLU, ChFC, an 11-year MDRT member with eight Top of the Table qualifications, is president of the Wealthy Technology Group in Springfield, Mass. Contact him at 413-739-3511 or


See other articles about Marketing

Conference Newsletter

Contact Us   |   Reprint Permission   |   Advertise   |   Legal Notices   |   Join NAIFA   |   Copyright © Advisor Today 1999-2017. All rights reserved.

AT Blog
Product Resource
Digital Magazine