Prospecting is an important part of the LTC sales process. It must be ongoing so that we have a steady pipeline of contacts. Bill Good’s book “Hot Prospects” contains excellent prospecting advice. Here is some more helpful information from his book:
- Top sales people use scripts, whether over the phone or in person. Scripting means every key word and key concept is written down. Why do this? You sound certain, you can test the approach, you cover all your important points and you listen better and make more calls.
- For script writing, no sentence should contain more than 14 words. Don’t use technical words. Don’t talk more than 15 seconds without asking a question. If a prospect does not get involved in the conversation, you’ve lost. Questions are the agent’s tool for creating involvement and establishing control.
- For lead-generation letters, long letters are better than short. Use the recipient’s name at least twice in the body of a letter. Use a catchy headline to get people to read your letter. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, subheads and bold-facing to break up long letters.
- Essential lead development tools include product knowledge, tracking sheet, written profile of your sales prospects, corporate or personal brochure, educational materials, testimonials and a Web site.
- Every month, send all clients and prospects a written message. Use the “drip” method, with a series of low-key messages and phone calls designed to keep your name alive between face-to-face contacts. If your name is not in front of your clients on a regular basis, someone else’s name will be. If done right, constant dripping will produce half your leads that turn into sales. No dripping means half your sales will go somewhere else.
- Send a newsletter, but only if you also send a cover letter. Otherwise, most won’t get read. Use e-mails, but not exclusively.
- Don’t use mailing labels. Every letter, fax and e-mail should be personally addressed (no “Dear Client”). Call every client and prospect at least once every 90 days. The call can be made by your assistant.
The four basic prospecting mistakes:
- Fail to keep adequate records so that a campaign can be evaluated.
- Get a bad idea and stick to it.
- Get a good idea and change it.
- Get a good idea and don’t do it enough.