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Learn How a Blue Collar CEO is Connecting Investors with Advisors

For more information call (734) 751-1309

A Conversation With … Lead Generation Consulting

By Sydney LeBlanc

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Can you imagine a firm that owns and operates 5,000 websites? Now imagine that the firm generates consumer leads from those sites and offers to connect advisors with consumers in real-time at a subscription price that will pay for itself with the first new client or piece of business that is obtained. Sound like a great opportunity?

That's what Chairman and CEO David Phillips of Lead Generation Consulting, who is also the owner of the flagship site, www.financialadvisor.org, tells us his service can do. Says Phillips, "Lead Generation Consulting owns and operates 5,000 websites, and our largest market is our retirement vertical. We currently own 2500 retirement, financial-related, and investment websites. And to the best of my knowledge, no other company owns the type of unique URLs that we do---sites such as www.fivestaradvisor.com www.willmymoneylast.com www.retireontrack.com and thousands of others."

Phillips believes no other firm can compare to their web presence on the major search engines like Google Yahoo, MSN, and ASK. "Our websites show up on the first page of all the major search engines, and it's all very relevant geo-targeted traffic. It's called behavior and attitudinal-based traffic." He says it's the way consumers, especially baby boomers, are searching online that makes it so relevant. Searching for retirement planning in Michigan on the Yahoo network, for example, will show up as #1 among more than 12 million search results, making them #1 in the world. Phillips says it's all due to their powerful internet infrastructure that they bring to the table. "They are all true organic natural rankings," he says. The high net worth, newly married couples, pre-and post-retirement individuals and more are all searching online.

According to Phillips, the sites have received more than 3-1/2 million visitors through their approach in 2008. And the more sites they launch, the more visits they get. How did it all begin? Phillips tells the story of his dad, Robert Phillips, and how he was instrumental in developing the concept. The story goes like this: "When we started the company, my dad put together an Excel spreadsheet called Bob's Calculator," began Phillips. "He retired from GM after 32 years and decided to develop retirement software for himself. So, the product he created determined the maximum amount of money he could safely withdraw from his retirement savings account to ensure his money would last through retirement and beyond. It was a very helpful tool. At that time I was head of sales for a lead generation company in Minnesota, and my mom called me one day and suggested I put up a website with the tool. Mom had a great idea! As a result, our very first website was created as www.retirementcalc.com and we sold retirement software online."

Phillips explained that soon after that, his firm and the software tool was noticed by Ray Martin, the top financial analyst on CBS' the Morning Show, Money Matters. "The exposure gave us a third-party credibility for our software product, and that was very helpful to us. It was about that time we decided to get into the lead generation business. As early as 2007, we were generating anywhere from 300-500 leads per day from our sites."

The beauty of the service is the value that Lead Generation Consulting offers to consumers and financial advisors alike. Explains Phillips, "We offer free retirement resources online to consumers, and in particular the baby boomers who really utilize what we offer. These turn into quality leads for advisors and is a big help for investors who are looking for a quality advisor."

Phillips continues, "We integrate with bankrate.com; they are our strategic partner and provide content for us. We get a direct feed into our tabs on our website from them and we also offer our own tools: the retirement calculator, our Retirement Intelligence newsletter, a Retirement Knowledge Center with articles about retirement and decision-making, a book called Retire in a Weekend: The Baby Boomers Guide to Making Work Optional by CFP® Bill Losey. We also just added another great product that my dad recently developed called the Social Security calculator, which is also web based. In addition, we have an affiliate program with 600 partners that drive links back to our site. For example, strategic partners like www.seniordiscounts.com--- their target is seniors 62 and older who want to buy senior discount cards to get discounts for golf and traveling etc---they have approximately 250,000 seniors in their database, approximately 25,000 plus visitors per month and we have exposure to them. That's been a big part of our success online--- finding the right kind of relevant strategic partners."

Lead generation services are not new and there are several advisor match services already available, some privately owned and some are promoted through industry organizations. So what makes Lead Generation Consulting so unique? Phillips told us several facts.

"We are unique because of our network---advisors who sign up are seen on 2500 sites. The way our competitors are structured, they only own one website. Most really haven't built the consumer side of their business. They may be partnered up with a publication for the advisor side, but not too much energy is spent on the consumer side." "Another thing that makes us unique is how consumers can search for advisors on our network of 2500 retirement and financial related websites as well as the www.financialadvisor.org site. We have advisor services and products that are on the site's drop-down box, for example, annuity strategies and ideas, retirement planning, insurance and so on. So it's very targeted and specific as to what the consumer's needs are and what they are looking for in an advisor."

One of the first independent advisors who signed on in December of 2006 said the leads coming from the Retirement Calculator are looking for a service, rather than a product. Said Chris Radar, President, R Financial Group in Raleigh, North Carolina, "They are quality leads because the customer knows what they are signing up for, compared to other lead generators," he said.

Phillips also described his pricing model. "We entered the market with about a third of the cost that our competition charges. So immediately, we are the most affordable price point for our advisor memberships. For example, our Premium Advantage membership with unlimited services is only $299 a year. We have three levels of memberships: Premium at $150 a year, Premium Plus at $250 and Premium Advantage at $299. Ninety-nine percent of the advisors who have already signed up purchased a Premium Advantage membership because they like the unlimited services they receive." In addition, the innovative advisors are signing up for multiple zip codes. They are buying zips codes in the area they do business, and by the highest net worth zip codes in their state. The more an advisor can buy, the more geo-targeted exposure they get. Phillips explains that the advisors who participate today can integrate this service with their current marketing programs and by participating they will have the advantage to significantly grow their business now and in the future. He discusses the potential: "The internet continues to grow and when we look at the statistics provided by eMarketer, a third party analytics company (market research and trend analysis on Internet, e-business, online marketing, media and emerging technologies) those stats show that 56.7 million boomers make up the largest U.S. internet population and it is a demographic that will be bigger than the kids on MySpace.com And an estimated population of baby boomers that will be using the internet in 2011 is a whopping 68.3 million." Phillips stresses that the statistical information he offers about his service is not limited to proprietary research. It is also confirmed by Quantcast. "With a credible source like Quantcast, it really adds credibility. We can upload our 2500 site network into their technology platform, and they can tell us which websites have a similar audience and relevant traffic to www.financialadvisor.org . What they told us was that our audience gets the same relevant traffic as CNN Money, Met Life, Fidelity, SmartMoney and Bank of America. And if we throw stats in by Neilson NetRatings: CNNMoney.com was the number one standout in the business and finance category. So our relevancy to CNN Money, MetLife, Fidelity, SmartMoney, Bank of America, well it's really impressive for Quantcast to say that."

Is it too good to be true? No more prospecting? Asking for referrals? Says Phillips, "Think about it--- if you are a financial advisor, wouldn't you want to be on the most trusted domain name for advisors? It is like The Who's Who of Advisors or the Facebook for Advisors. This is what we are building, it's simple and affordable. It takes two minutes to sign up. Advisors get an automated triggered email with their passcode. They log in and with just 10 easy steps they can upload their profile to 2500 financial, investment and retirement planning websites for millions to review." What a great way to help grow your business!

Editor's note: Phillips mentioned that they just launched their directory about eight weeks ago and are having a tremendous response to it. As a matter of fact, he was offered $500,000 for his domain www.financialadvisor.org recently and has no intention of selling. For more information on the lead generation service, visit their website at www.financialadvisor.org. Or, if you would like to learn more about Lead Generation Consulting and their various internet companies and how they build hundreds and thousands of microsites for clients visit www.micrositegenerator.com

For more information call (734) 751-1309