I feel the key to success in this business is putting yourself in front of people with money. I obtain prospects by vertical prospecting — that is, obtaining referrals of individuals who are successful, such as business owners, business executives, military officers and mature individuals in retirement.

These markets have a need for my services and the financial ability to pay.

The best and most economical way to prospect is through referred leads. After I meet someone and show him or her the quality and care I put into my work, I have no problem obtaining names of other successful people. I tell the prospect that I am compensated in two ways in the work I do. One is by marketing products, and the other is by meeting successful individuals like the prospect. If I encounter resistance in getting names, I mention that their friends are going to talk to someone about their finances. Why not me?

After I have a name, I call and tell him or her that I would like to share an idea that concerns lowering taxes and increasing disposable income. This usually generates interest and allows me to get my foot in the door. After I have established a need, I talk about discounted dollars and the lowest possible net cost. I sell permanent insurance because the best policy one can have is the one that is in force the day you die, and, in addition, because I believe whole life is cheaper than term over the course of a person’s lifetime.

My daily goal is to set three bona fide selling interviews. I know if I’m consistent with the prospecting goals, the rest will take care of itself. To make sure I reach my goals, I use a reward/punishment conditioning approach. If I am unable to schedule my three daily interviews, my “punishment” is to study for my CLU for one hour with no television, and I have to do the dishes. If I make my goal, I buy myself something, and I am able to watch television and do anything I might enjoy.

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the June 1988 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

For more Million Dollar Sales Ideas, click here.

For more advice on asking for referrals, see:

The single most important step in asking for referrals

How to ask for referrals throughout the insurance sales cycle

The secret to asking for referrals more frequently