Notice the title says fact-finding conversations, not fact-finding appointment. As insurance and financial services professionals, we certainly want to work by appointment. However, it is not more appointments we need, but more conversations.
1. Forget appointments.
You can have many more conversations than you can have appointments.
The old way of thinking is: I must see three appointments a day, or I will not succeed. We were all trained this way. Relax. It’s not your fault. This way of thinking used to work. But things have changed, and we must change our thinking about how to be successful.
Try thinking along the lines of: I must have one informal fact-finding conversation for every hour I work.
Well, Marvin, what’s the difference between an appointment and a conversation? And why is this important to me?
People don’t want to come in to see you for an appointment. People don’t want you to come see them for an appointment either.
You may be using too many old think techniques. Of the licensed professionals in my Marvelous Performance Schools, 65% do not have an internet presence, personal blog, Web site or LinkedIn account. These are the people wondering why they are struggling to meet their goals. They are stuck using old thinking methods that are not working. (By the way, did you know 100% of Fortune 500 executives have a LinkedIn account? You can connect with them in groups on LinkedIn. But this only works if you are actively using LinkedIn.)
Here’s the solution: Conduct informal fact-finding conversations when the opportunity presents itself. Not only when you have an appointment.
Example scenarios that happen every day (and much more frequently than the number of appointments you are conducting daily):
1. Your current client calls your office with a service question.
2. Your current client emails you with a service question.
3. You run into your client at a coffee shop, school function, church function or community function.
Are you seeing more opportunities yet? What other scenarios can you think of that I’ve not mentioned?
We live in a world that has more opportunities than at any other time in our careers. And I’ve been in this industry since 1987.
2. Stop selling products.
Our customers and prospects require us to engage with them much differently today. Old think continues to work less and less effectively. Most of the companies you represent are also still stuck in old think. If I see another company-produced product brochure, I think I will be nauseated. We don’t sell products; we sell benefits. Nobody goes to the hardware store because they want to buy a drill. They go to the hardware store because they want a hole that the drill will give them.
3. Start asking questions.