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Life Health > Running Your Business

Keys to Successful Prospecting

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Prospecting is your business. Getting leads is as important as selling. Once you stop getting leads, you stop writing business on life insurance and annuities. You must learn to prospect in order to be successful and reach your income goals. You will need a constant flow of prospects for business and income growth.

Based upon your income goals and activity metrics, fill in these blanks so you have a clear picture of the value of each prospect:

Annual Income___________ ÷ Total Contacts __________ = Prospect Value________

Keys to successful prospecting

  • Prospecting support provided to you by your manager/broker-dealer will account for approximately 30 percent of your business while the other 70 percent will come from your own prospecting activities. To maximize your productivity, keep these points in mind:
  • Follow the telephone scripts of other successful advisors. Only sell the appointment, do not get caught in the trap of answering product or premium questions on the phone.
  • Ask for introductions from everyone you talk to, even if you don’t make a sale.
  • Win the communities where you work.
  • Go to the house or business on each side and across the street of your appointment.
  • Leave your information with each house or business that you visit.
  • Collect business cards from each business you visit.
  • Use “I’m not interested” and “I already have insurance” responses as a quick meet-and-greet between appointments. “I’m not interested” may mean that they did not have time, and “I already have insurance” may mean they are just used to what they have. Continue to follow up with these prospects.
  • When you use telemarketer leads, make sure you are speaking with the same person as the telemarketer did. For Internet activity, make sure it is the person who completed the request.

Prospecting methods

  • Cloverleaf: Introduce yourself to three or four businesses located geographically close to a prospect or appointment. Before seeing Prospect A, go next door and say that you are on your way to see [prospect’s name] and that you would like to stop by afterward. Introduce yourself and ask preliminary questions.
  • Business Cards: Collect business cards from everyone that you meet. Collect the business cards from restaurants that have giveaways. Set out “fish bowls” for a free lunch to collect cards.
  • Neighborhood Prospecting: Prospect where you pay, where you play, and where you pray.
  • Surveys: Conduct surveys at shopping plazas or malls.
  • Newspapers: Place small print ads, “one-liners” or reader ads in classified sections of local papers, shoppers and programs.
  • Postcards/Direct Mail: Obtain voter, club, church lists; purchase small business lists or profiled names. Use carrier-approved direct mail.
  • Fliers: Post fliers on bulletin boards, leave them in doors when people are not home, insert them in local newspapers, or arrange to hand them out at sporting events.
  • Yellow Pages: Yellow Page books are a great resource to identify small business owners. Pick up a book and start calling or utilize the cloverleaf tactic.
  • Associations/Clubs: Join the chamber of commerce, obtain lists from local trade groups such as homebuilders, or join clubs such as Rotary.
  • Professional Referrals: Partner with accountants, P&C agents and financial planners.
  • Personal Referrals: Make sure to call existing clients for referrals and to cross sell.
  • Old Leads: File your old leads that did not buy according to their insurance company. When that company has a rate increase, call the prospects that turned you down before.


  • Direct Mail                              2% response rate
  • Phone                                      25% response rate
  • Face-to-Face                          50% response rate

See the people, and you will stuff your pockets.

For more from Lloyd Lofton, see:


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