If agents are tired or bored with the usual prospecting methods, I would recommend the cold calling technique, using the backdoor approach. I recommend this approach because the agent can make a lot of these calls in a short period, starting at the top floor of a building and working his or her way down.

In an office with a marquee full of business and professional persons, I use the backdoor approach by usually not asking for the top executive, but rather the person on the bottom of the list. This person usually is not contacted by salespeople and often will buy individual policies and recommend other individuals within the group. These people usually can be seen on a more favorable basis and much more quickly than a top executive.

I begin my call with my company’s primary product: disability income insurance. Often, I am asked to compare and write policies for health and life insurance as well, which usually leads to a multiple sale.

By visiting with the lower person in the business, I have a better opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, so to speak, and have a better chance in selling multiple policies.

Often, the individual will give me time immediately to do a fact-finder and closing interview. Sometimes, however, I have to collect data on back of a business card and prepare proposals and get back to the prospect with a closing effort on a second interview.

I recommend cold calling as both a principal means of prospecting and as a filler. The best way to begin is to make a commitment to at least 10 cold call prospects a day, making a concentrated effort in one area of a building before moving to another section. Also, it is important for the agent to keep a record of where he has been so he does not duplicate his efforts.

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the August 1990 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

For more Million Dollar Sales Ideas, click here.

For more on cold calling, see:

Cold calling: Get out of your comfort zone

Sell the appointment first

Project a professional image over the telephone