We certainly are not lacking in information on products and concepts. Most agents struggle with the ever-difficult task of finding and procuring an appointment with a qualified buyer.
This problem is not a new one. One of the first sales books I read back in 1970 was Frank Bettger’s book, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.” He carefully described his struggles finding clients. The examples he gave more than 70 years ago are very much like our experiences today. People never have liked being sold something. However, they still wish to improve their lives or prevent catastrophe.
Part of the prospecting dilemma starts between our ears. Article after article describes how the market isn’t cooperating or prospects can’t afford insurance in tough economic times. Many of us are buying into the notion that it’s too tough. During the depression of the 1890s, agents sold life insurance. During World War I, agents sold life insurance. During the Great Depression, agents sold life insurance. Agents have always been innovative enough to find ways to find prospects, but it definitely requires leaving the safety of the home and getting into the marketplace.
See also: Why your prospecting efforts are failing
Do you suppose that folks would have had a hard time justifying insurance purchases during such difficult times? Of course they would. I spoke with a producer not too long ago, and he was lamenting the fact that, in his area, the unemployment rate was more than 15 percent. I told him I wouldn’t prospect the 15 percent. I would prospect the 85 percent employed. He stayed with the attitude problem. I assured him his attitude, not the prospects’, was the real problem. I’m sorry if I don’t appear to be showing the love in this article, but I’m assuming adults are reading it.
How have the annual reviews been going with your current clients? Are they designed to follow up on the essential needs of the client, or are they designed just to get referrals?
Do you have a database of clients and prospects in something like ACT? Do you have periodic contacts with your clients through a newsletter or, better yet, birthday, anniversary or special occasion cards? Do you keep up with local obituary listings in case something happens to a client or prospect? Do you follow up when catastrophes take place? Did you deliver Christmas gifts to special clients to show you care? Do you have a direct mail drip system that regularly places new prospects in the follow-up database? Do you congratulate prospects when you see their names in the paper or online? Do you have every human being you have ever met in your database? Do you spend nights and every spare moment learning how to use LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media? Do you write articles for your website as blogs for your clients to receive by email? Do you send articles of interest to clients that are possibly related to what you do? Do you participate in any charitable organizations that make sense for your personal time, but can also open doors?
You do have to make a living. These are just a few things that cost little to nothing to create and follow up with. I believe you should find an effective marketing campaign on radio, direct mail, TV or somewhere. Have you posted videos on YouTube? Have you written a book? Why not?
We actually have more resources at our fingertips than our predecessors. Let’s take advantage of everything we can get our minds around.
For more from Kim Magdalein, see: