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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Keep Swinging

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How is the old prospect file doing? Getting a little light? If you have prospects that you have been working for a long time, maybe it’s time for a house cleaning and a fresh start. How about a new motto? “A prospect a day keeps the bill collectors away.” Or better yet, “Two prospects a day makes Momma very happy.”

Think of prospecting like a baseball player, at bat. Except in our world of insurance, there is no limit to the number of strikes you get. You can swing at every pitch if you like. What’s the likelihood that you get a single, double, triple or even a home run? Activity creates wealth in the insurance business. How consistently do you prospect? Every day?

A recent conversation with a young salesperson revealed a startling reality. I was told that people don’t like to be sold insurance. “It’s a new world. People are very resistant to salespeople.” He thought the situation was some kind of paradigm shift. I’ve got news for this young salesperson. It’s always been that way. People have always resisted salespeople. That’s nothing new. What’s new is a significantly more whiny sales force, salespeople who have “drunk the Kool-Aid” and decided that people are far more resistant today than years ago.

I started selling back in 1971, 40 years ago, for a printing company. I was only 20 years old and knew very little more than to just walk through a large number of doors every day. While driving down a major highway, a sign on a business attracted my attention. I stopped in to discuss printing and discovered a gold mine. The owner, John Bryan, was offering all the best recordings of the era for an annual rental fee of $150. I could hear Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie and dozens of other sales trainers and motivators. These were thousands of dollars worth of recordings. I immediately signed up and was back at the store almost every day for months, devouring the material.

I then took a Dale Carnegie Sales Training course. Then I joined the Jaycees to learn how to communicate with other young business people. Then I joined Toastmasters to learn how to speak in public. I went to every trainer and motivator of my time.

I did all of this because “nobody wanted to buy anything.” I had to learn my craft. Then one day, opportunity knocked on my door, and I answered the knock. But I was prepared for that time. Failure was my middle name. So, I was swinging that bat and learning.

What is really lacking is the help. Salespeople aren’t being trained to sell, because frankly, they aren’t willing to learn or pay to learn. The agency system has been reduced to just a few good companies, and some of them do a poor job of training.

Let’s get back to prospecting. Who have you introduced yourself to, today? Anyone? If not, why not? Have you really evaluated your desire to succeed? Have you bought into the po’ folks mentality of, “It won’t do any good to prospect. Nobody wants to buy anything anyway.”

Keep swinging, but don’t just keep swinging — swing more often. Your accuracy will improve! Your power will improve! Your confidence will improve! Your practice will prosper.

Magdalein Bio PicKim L. Magdalein is a producer and owner of He entered the industry in 1985 and went into private practice in 2001, serving the Jacksonville, Fla., retirement community. He has personally presented hundreds of seminars and created a thriving practice. He created Present Your Practice in 2004 to serve producers with seminar productions and methods for optimizing seminar attendance with qualified prospects. He can be reached at (800) 909-9894.


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