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Prospecting is your business. Getting leads is as important as selling. Once you stop getting leads, you stop writing business. 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.

These tips can help you open the prospecting floodgates.

Schedule yourself

The key to a successful week is to take the time to plan your week. Setting up your week is critical to meeting your business goals.

One key to setting appointments is to always book your appointments from the end of the week to the first of the week. Book Thursday first, then work backward to Tuesday. This ensures you have a full week and removes the false sense of security that occurs when you have several appointments during the first part of the week. Also, book your appointments from the end of the day to the beginning of the day to ensure you have a full day.

Here’s how a typical week should look:

Monday

  • Attend the weekly office meeting to receive prospecting support and training.
  • Organize your activity and schedule your appointments for the week starting with Thursday and working backward.
  • Set appointments about one hour apart to lessen driving time.

Tuesday

  • Continue to schedule appointments in the morning if your week is not full.
  • Run the appointments you have scheduled.
  • Meet business owners, exchanging business cards between appointments.

Wednesday

  • Run the appointments you have scheduled.
  • Meet business owners, exchanging business cards between appointments.

Thursday

  • Run the appointments you have scheduled.
  • Meet business owners, exchanging business cards between appointments.

Friday

  • Run the appointments you have scheduled.
  • Prepare your paperwork for Monday turn-in.
  • Self-marketing

Keep these keys in mind

Prospecting support provided to you by your broker-dealer or carrier company will account for approximately 30% of your business; the other 70% will come from your own prospecting activities. To maximize your productivity, keep these points in mind:

  • Follow a proven telephone script. 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 you visit.
  • Collect business cards from each business you visit.
  • Between appointments, stop by to meet and greet previous prospects who told you “I’m not interested” or “I already have insurance.” “I’m not interested” may have meant 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 call leads from telemarketer activity, make sure you are speaking with the same person the telemarketer did. For Internet activity, make sure it is the person who completed the request.

Finally, always keep in mind that direct mail has about a 2% response rate. The telephone? About a 25% response rate. Face-to-face has a roughly 50% response rate. See the people, stuff the pockets!

For more from Lloyd Lofton, see:

6 steps to a retirement plan

The ideal annuity buyer

8 ways to pay for retirement