As you fill your contact file with prospects, keep those contacts active. Stay in touch with them. Keep notes on discussions so that each subsequent conversation is cordial and pleasant. Keep accurate notes on discussions of importance and details about your prospects’ personal lives. It’s always great when someone asks me about the outcome of problems with one of my loved ones or business situation. It shows that they care.

Each time you visit, the contact should feel comfortable, so be patient. You should be in this for the long haul. Remember that face time in prospecting or selling is all the same. This is a people business. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but being capable of talking about another person’s interests is important.

One last thing: Business owners don’t want you to waste their time. In our current economic environment, staying in business means you’re successful. Business owners are under a great deal of stress. They don’t have time for nonsense. They love to talk about their business and, as time goes on, if they don’t feel pressured to do business, they will begin to confide in you as a friend.

Develop the art of listening to people’s troubles with an empathetic ear and business will take care of itself.

Editor’s Note: The preceding is an excerpt from “The art of prospecting for the big ones” by Life Insurance Selling’s “Better Prospecting” columnist Kim Magdalein. It originally ran in the August 2010 issue of Life Insurance Selling. To read the full column, click here.

To read last week’s Words from the Wise, click here.

For more advice on contacting prospects, see:

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