One of the very first things asked of new advisors, brokers and agents is to compile, organize and ultimately sell to their “natural market.” In case the term isn’t used in your firm, your natural market is a list of family and friends (and countrymen) that you can sell insurance products to. Some firms may call your natural market your Project 100 (or 200) depending on how many names you have on your list. Catchy, isn’t it?
I’ve discussed some of the best ways to work with your natural market in the past. But how much attention do you give to your un-natural market? (You’re probably not familiar with this phrase, as I just made it up.) Your un-natural market is a list of those that you pay money because you’re their customer, client, patient, member, or whatever. Your un-natural market is typically made up of business people, so they’re more apt to think like, well, business people. But how often do you talk about your business with them? Answer – probably not enough.
What professions might make up your un-natural market list? Your primary care physician, a medical specialist you might be working with, physical therapist, chiropractor, dentist, property and casualty insurance agent, realtor, mortgage banker, banker, title closer, home inspector, architect, interior designer, landscaper, contractor, electrician, handyman, plumber, real estate attorney, estate planning attorney, other attorneys and, of course, your accountant. I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea.
All of these people can help better you business. So, here’s what to do. Compile a list of your un-natural market. Remember, your dealings with your UM is typically focused in other areas, so the key is for you to make a specific request that’s out of the norm. Give them a call (or send an email if that’s easier) and say the following.
Doctor Brown, I hope all is well! I would like to set up a brief appointment with you. It’s not for medical reasons, so no need to charge me a deductible. (He’ll laugh.) I’ve been a patient of yours for as long as I can remember. Given our relationship, I want to meet for business reasons, one business owner to another, and explore how we might help each other in our respective businesses. Perhaps we can both gain from one another’s advice, insight, and recommendations.
Your UM will make the time to speak with you because they already have a relationship with you (presumably good) and they probably don’t want to lose you as a patient or paying customer. (I wouldn’t say this to them, but you catch my drift.) Keep in mind that the purpose of the meeting is not to sell your products or services. Process that. Instead, think networking. This is an opportunity to let your un-natural market know about your target market, true prospects and goals. You should ask about theirs, too.
Make your meetings a “we” thing (how can we help one another?) rather than a “me” thing (how can you give me more business?). Schedule these meetings, be authentic, let your UM see you in a different light, do a better job staying in touch and see what happens. You may generate a referral or two. Some members of your UM may even become clients.
We leave opportunity on the table every single day. There are people that we associate with in all the different facets of our lives, and rarely do think of them as business associates. It’s much different than thinking of different ways to simply sell them. Over time, it will come to feel just as natural.