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Successful agents build bridges

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Can you build bridges? Successful agents build bridges. In the world of prospecting, you may need to bridge from what created a contact to what you actually do for a living.

One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to make them a client, somehow. As the relationship blossoms, the door will open to other opportunities. It’s understandable that just having a static website without interaction is nothing more than a business card in a huge landfill. It has good information, but it can’t be found.

John, an agent in North Carolina, starts his relationships with a Medicare supplement. The target ages are from 67 to 75, using direct mail to pick up prospects. John uses filtering criteria for his address list. That way he can mail to people with higher income who can afford the premium and want complete access to health care without hassles. They are also likely to have retirement savings.

John is also an expert on Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs). John has an edge on the competition because he doesn’t rely on Medicare supplements and drug plans for his living. John has sold over $1 million of annuity premiums in the first four months of 2013. At an average commission of 6 percent, John has earned $60,000 so far and is on pace for $180,000 in earnings without the supplement commissions.

John also does annual reviews with his Medicare supplement and drug plan clients so that he can stay in touch, keep his renewals flowing and open doors to annuity sales. He is willing to sacrifice early earnings for long-term earning. This type of plan requires patience and start-up cash flow, but the bridge from client acquisition to client development works well for John. He could also lead with just the drug plan, create lots of activity and develop clients going forward.

The annual review includes looking at possible improvement in pricing on Medicare supplements. Since John is talking about health care, these discussions could lead to asset protection from long-term care, income planning with annuities or even life insurance. An occasional funeral trust might be appropriate or even asset-based long-term care. Each visit can become a broader discussion.

Building a bridge doesn’t mean the work is done, then you just rake in the money. John is very active at improving his product offering, constantly researching the best supplements and drug plans. He is confident that other agents can’t beat his service or product offering. When a client experiences great service, they will naturally assume that the same care and due diligence will be performed for further needs like retirement savings or investments.

Building a great reputation for service helps with referrals. John isn’t shy about asking for referrals. Birds of a feather flock together, so his clients have friends at the same socio-economic levels; therefore the referrals will be qualified prospects. What’s a qualified prospect? It is a person who has the need, desire and capability to buy.

Bridging leads to great prospects, more sales and more referrals. Let’s build those bridges and get to the other side of a prosperous practice.

For more from Kim Magdalein, see:

Sales: The final frontier

Loyalty counts

Want some cheese with that whine?