Producers are desperate for prospecting methods that work well. So desperate, in fact, they are willing to spend money on promises that sound factual but are not.

Inquiring online for health insurance has become a nightmare. In an attempt to save money on my health plan, I went online to ask for a quote. That was more than six months ago. After discovering I wouldn’t be able to switch plans due to a pre-existing condition, I decided to keep my current plan.

Since that single, initial inquiry, I have received no less than 150 calls harassing me about health insurance. Most of the calls are routed all over the United States, as my caller I.D. keeps showing numbers from different cities. I attempted to wait for prompts on several occasions to opt out, but that hasn’t worked. Someone is paying for these ridiculous leads, or these robocalls wouldn’t be worth the effort. Trust me, even if it cost only a dollar, that’s a dollar wasted.

I have spent more than $20,000 on leads systems that don’t work, just to prove they don’t work.

Direct mail leads work under certain conditions. Seminars work under certain conditions. Client events work under certain conditions. Social media works under certain conditions. All of the conditions are too numerous to explain now, but be aware that many people have tried these and have also failed to make them work specifically for themselves.

It’s best to find a willing mentor who has proven the method over time. Offer the mentor a commission split arrangement or cash. Either way, it will be money well spent. Your mentor may need to be far enough away that he/she doesn’t feel threatened by creating competition. You can meet these top producers at conferences or marketing organization meetings.

A mentor must be willing to allow the producer to actually participate in the prospecting method and the follow-up sales process. If not, the whole idea is a waste of time and money. Becoming discouraged isn’t necessary. All new prospecting requires a learning curve where mistakes will be made. An excellent mentor can eliminate mistakes before they take place. Also, be careful with methods that appear to be unique to certain producers. They could also be very expensive and time consuming.

I have also found that some top producers won’t allow you to know much about their methods. One of the reasons is that their methods may be suspect. Once you dig down into the details, there may be some aspect of what a top producer is doing that doesn’t feel comfortable. Take what I call “selective disclosure” for example. Selective disclosure allows producers to emphasize the favorable details of concepts and products. Then, in order to disclose what’s necessary, they will deemphasize the importance of the negative features.

It’s sort of like dating; you may not disclose that flatulence problem until after she falls in love. It’s preferable to know everything in advance. Then the client can weigh the balance of positive vs. negative objectively. If a method only works by use of questionable processes, then it’s time to decide whether the money earned is worth the price of admission. Just because someone is successful doesn’t make him a leader or a good mentor.

Promises and ideas are not hard to find, but they may be hard to live with.

 

For more from Kim Magdalein, see:

Are your clients special?

Successful agents build bridges

Sales: The final frontier