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Life Health > Running Your Business > Prospecting

The new DNC list: To connect with prospects, become a contact

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Everyone is familiar with the 2003 National Do Not Call list. We also know that telemarketers are ignoring it.

And that contributes to our inability to get prospects to pick up their phones. But there is a bigger problem than the abuse of the DNC list.

For everyone with a smartphone, their “personal DNC list” is everyone who is not a contact. That’s right. If your name and number doesn’t come up when you call a smartphone, you’re out of luck. The new normal is that you have to be a contact.

For the last few years, I have recommended that advisors focus on more face-to-face prospecting. It’s more critical than ever because of this “not picking up” problem. Face-to-face marketing allows you to put the other person in your own smartphone — and, more importantly, get yourself into theirs.

On the referral side, you need to get your referring client to help you reach the new introduction by phone through a couple of steps. During your referral conversation, ask your client if they typically email or text the new prospect. If they text each other, then ask your client to text their friend a very brief message and attach your contact information as well. (Have them do this in front of you so you can suggest the content.)

Example of a referring party’s text to their friend: 

I gave your name to ______. He’s taken care of our finances and he’s very sharp. Please take his call.

Make sure your client sends your complete contact information from his own phone with the text. If the new prospect prefers emails, then you have two potential routes:

  1. Your client sends an email similar to the one above and includes your phone number; or

  2. You write an email to the new prospect and your current client’s name is the subject line.

Your email to the new prospect would be:

John Smith suggested that we talk. Please let me know a time within the next two weeks when we can have a brief phone call.

Warning: Do not request an appointment by e-mail or text

I’ve written several newsletters about why you should use the phone to ask for the appointment. Digital communication is used only to set up a phone date.

A real time conversation is preferable when requesting an appointment. Words and inflection both matter. Oftentimes, we have one shot at getting an appointment with most prospects. Practice your script so that your phone date goes smoothly. Don’t hide behind texting and emailing.

For now, keep in mind that if you are not in someone’s phone as a contact, you may never get them on the phone. That’s how many people manage this part of their lives. 

Getting upset and frustrated by the low contact rate is normal, but having a good solution to this problem is better. Many advisors are finding these ideas are working. And they’re getting new prospects on the phone because, either through a face-to-face event or by a referring client, they became a contact first.

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