Q: I need help with prospecting so I can get more qualified LTC prospects in the pipeline. Can you provide some suggestions?
A: Prospecting is a very important part of the LTC sales process. For best results, it must be ongoing so that we can have a steady flow of people to contact and hopefully convert to clients. One of my goals in writing this column for the past eight years is to find helpful sales advice and distill it for our market. That’s why I am always seeking good resources to review, such as Bill Good’s book “Hot Prospects,” which contains some excellent advice on prospecting.
Here are some suggestions from Good’s book:
- Focus on spending your time where it’s most profitable — selling. Consider hiring someone to help generate leads; the pay should range from two or three times minimum wage. Bill has an assistant who takes care of many of his phone calls. Organize your day. Bill’s day looks like this:
- 7:30 a.m. — Plan. Get the lists of people you will be calling and note exactly what you will be talking about.
- 8 a.m. — Make cold calls or make first calls to the leads not contacted. Take a 10-minute break about every hour.
- 12 noon — Lunch
- 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Make follow-up calls or lead development calls.
- 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. — Wrap up. Meet with assistant to review the next day’s appointments.
Develop your leads by phone, supported by letters, faxes, e-mails and materials from your Web site. Good prospects are located, not created. When a prospect says “I’m not interested,” believe him. Politely hang up and find someone who is interested. Even when the prospects appear only marginally interested, move on. Select a limited market and seek to dominate it totally.
The essence of your brand is a statement of who you are. Do you stand out from the crowd? Convert this into an elevator speech: “I help people plan for the final third part of life.” Having a message is vital to market domination. Repetition is essential. Rule of thumb: it takes at least six times for a person to hear your name before he or she will remember it. Commit to a promotional campaign.
Old thinking — you mail, you fail. New thinking — if the prospect expresses an interest, mail something to develop a basis to continue the conversation. Sometimes flickers of interest need to be fanned gently.