10. Work with producers in other lines of business.
Find producers in other areas of insurance and financial services that would make valuable partners, and ask them to send out a letter to any clients they perceive as possibly having a need for the product you sell, mentioning you and your company. Because the referral is coming from a known source, you will see a high level of appointments come from this method.
9. Put effort into what you write.
You don’t have to be Shakespeare to be a good writer. You also don’t have to be in the business of writing books, articles and blogs. But with every email and every post on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, you’re giving readers a snapshot of your thoughts, your actions and your brand. These multiple touch points may (or may not) encourage them to click through to read your profile, visit your website or look to make a more personal connection.
— Michael Goldberg
8. Be a person first, an agent second.
When I first meet a client or prospect, I make a goal of talking about anything other than what the appointment is about for at least 20 minutes before starting my formal presentation. I believe this gives the client or prospect a chance to personally relate to me as a person first, then as a trusted advisor. I find that with this method of contact, I average a much higher rate of return on both quality of appointments and establishment of ongoing sales opportunities.
7. Do your research.
I look for prospects who have at least 20 recommendations on LinkedIn and who also like to write recommendations for others. If you can get this type of person as a client or a COI, it will generate for you at least 3 prospects a year at minimum. It is very easy to make initial appointments with the people who have posted initial recommendations about someone. They will agree to meet with you or at least return your phone call promptly. If you can impress them and they become your client, they will not be shy about recommending you to others. You can just target your growth to people who like to recommend on social media and watch your referrals grow.
6. Make influential friends on social media.
Throughout 2013 we have used social media platforms (Facebook, Google+, etc.) to increase the awareness of our firm. We have “liked” the carriers that we do business with and routinely monitor their social media accounts. If they are slow to respond to client or agent questions, we will comment in order to be as helpful as possible. We also cross post on our carrier websites when scheduling marketing events or webinars that feature that carrier’s particular product. We have gotten a greater response by “piggybacking” off of the insurance carriers’ larger social media presence. It has definitely led to a lot more exposure as well as interest from prospective clients and agents. And of course it also boosts that ever-important search engine optimization to have our name out there as much as possible.
5. Dream big and give big.
It is very important to give back to the community and one of the best ways to get your name out in the community is to create an evening gala that raises money for a local charity. My nationally trademarked event is entitled: An Evening Under the Stars! “Living Longer & Loving It!” ® I have local businesses help to underwrite the event with a nationally recognized speaker who talks about an aging topic. There are light appetizers, raffled items and music. The evening revolves around raising a financial contribution for a local charity.
4. Network with HR.
Buy a list of HR professionals in your area. Send all of them a letter introducing yourself and describing your services. Point out that your specialty is retirement planning and that a big part of your business is to help retiring employees figure out what to do with their 401(k), profit-sharing plan, 403(b) or other employer-sponsored plan once they leave the company. You can even offer to do a seminar or group presentation to company employees about these issues, without any sales pressure whatsoever. Many HR people welcome this kind of help. This approach has certainly opened a lot of doors for me and generated a huge amount of business.
—Louis C. Wendling, CLU, MBA
3. Find money in motion.
Target areas where money is in motion (divorce settlements, profits from the sale of a business, estate settlements, 401(k) rollovers from former employees who have left their money with a previous employer, tying Medicare Supplement sales with MYGA suggestions).
2. Be of service to your deceased client’s beneficiaries.
When I find out that one of my clients has passed away (I’ve been licensed for 26 years) I meet with them and help them in all aspects of settling the estate, not just with the products I sold to their parents. When they see what I was able to do for their parents, they become my clients.
— James F. Cadle
1. Look at the big picture.
Here’s a novel idea: think. Don’t just follow the herd, trying to find ways to make another sale; think about how to point out and help solve problems for your clients. Years ago I went to deliver a multi-million dollar life insurance policy to a business owner to fund the buyout of the business if one of the partners died prematurely. As he started writing the premium check for $52,000, he remarked, “I hate paying money for a partner I don’t even like any more.” I asked him to explain. He said that when the two of them started in business together, they drank a lot and lived life in the fast lane. But, over the years, his life changed. He said, “I am not the same man I once was and it is not comfortable being in business with my partner anymore.”
I asked him if he ever talked to his partner about this. He said no. I said, “Why don’t you try? After all, your partner is not the same guy you went into business with years ago either. It may be just as uncomfortable for him as it is for you.” Bottom line; they had the talk and his partner actually told him that he never said anything for fear that he might not be treated fairly. My client purchased his interest and I lost the big sale. But, I did the right thing and I have had many referrals since then because that is the approach we take to working with clients. It sounds trite, but word gets around and clients will find you when you treat them right.
—James Tewalt, CFP