Webinar: Crafting Products and Services to Reduce Time-to-First-Dollar

Marketing Strategy: focus on your fastest prospects

The Problem: Prospects Sit In Your Pipeline Too Long

Many service providers often have a single, all-inclusive service that’s presented as a binary choice: hire us for the whole service or don’t hire us. Because these services are typically important and consequential (e.g., wealth managers help save for retirement, lawyers defend against lawsuits, architects design bridges, …) prospects are typically in no rush to make a decision. They like kicking the tires to be sure you are the right guy or gal and your firm is the best choice for such an important decision.

The end result is prospects sit in your pipeline too long.

This is our recent webinar for USA 500 Clubs, a community for successful Trusted Advisers in which we share and elaborate on this post’s insights.

Targeting & Reaching Your Fastest Prospects

Of course, one of the primary goals of marketing is to move prospects through the sales pipeline as quickly as possible and a tried and true marketing strategy that does this is to define, target and reach your fastest prospects: those who most need you, when they most need you (aka,  “lowest hanging fruit”).

Importantly, this focus on fastest prospects accelerates and improves the performance of all lead generation marketing tactics: advertising, email marketing, content marketing, networking, all of them perform better when targeting prospects at the precise moment they have the most critical need for your service.

For example, one of the fastest types of prospects for a wealth manager is middle class, middle-aged people who have just received an inheritance: they probably don’t have a current wealth manager, know much about investing and are highly motivated to put their new money to work for their retirement.

Employing Content Marketing and SEO tactics, you could (1) write a blog post titled “What to Do and Not Do with an Inheritance” (a subject that these prospects would probably be very interested in) and (2) work to have it rank well in search engines so that it’s easily findable and widely available.

Reevaluate Your Offerings

A more fundamental approach to reducing the time-to-first-dollar would be to take a fresh look at your services from a Product Marketing perspective (product marketers are responsible for designing, creating and managing profitable products and services):

Here are two proven product marketing strategies that minimize time-to-first-dollar for service businesses (and that product businesses use all the time):

New services for your fastest prospects: do your fastest prospects need different services than the ones you have now?  If you developed new ones specifically for them, would they buy even faster, pay more, be more loyal, etc.?

Unbundle your all-inclusive service to make it easier to become your customer: can you unbundle your service to create simpler, more focused services so there’s less of a barrier to doing business with you? These new entry point services should be less expensive and consequential and should ideally provide a natural upgrade path to the rest of your services.

For example, the first thing a wealth manager typically does with a new client is to create a financial plan. What if instead of insisting they sign on for all your wealth management services in order to get a financial plan, you spun out a new standalone, financial planning service?

There will be more prospects for this new entry point service and they will move much faster through your pipeline because: financial planning can be marketed using traditional lead generation techniques like advertising and is a lot less risky than investment management (the most you can lose with a bad financial plan is its fee, unlike bad investments which can ruin lives).

Importantly, financial planning creates many opportunities for a wealth manager to show off their skills, intelligence and trustworthiness and creates a natural upgrade path. If they’ve been suitably impressed with the development of their financial plan, they will turn to you to implement the plan.


  1. Focus on targeting & reaching your “fastest” prospects: those who most need you when they most need you.
  2. Develop new services for your “fastest” prospects
  3. Unbundle your all-inclusive service to create tiered services with upgrade paths. The entry-point service should be less risky and require less commitment & dollars

Sales Renewal Can Help

Sales Renewal is working with all of our clients on refining their business and marketing strategies for the Covid era. Whether it’s shortening the “time-to-first-dollar”, implementing minimal contact sales and marketing programs, creating alternatives to traditional  face-to-face marketing, or revamping communications to earn trust, contact us to learn what we can do for you.

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