There are numerous reasons why brokers and advisors are not seeing positive results from their annuity prospecting efforts. The good news is that once you understand where the problems lie, it’s relatively easy to fix them.

In a ThinkAdvisor article, Bill Good, chairman of Bill Good Marketing, identifies four basic mistakes advisors make in their prospecting efforts:

  • Sticking to a bad strategy that has never worked. Advisors might find their prospecting approach isn’t working, but continue with it anyway.
  • Altering a good strategy so that it no longer works. Some advisors find an approach that works, but then either stop using it or try to improve it, with bad results.
  • Failing to be consistent and persistent. Finding a good idea, but not doing it enough can hinder prospecting success.  
  • Doing nothing at all. The only way to ensure failure is to do no prospecting at all.

Good recommends that brokers have benchmarks for each phase of the prospecting process. “These benchmarks enable you to make changes early in what will otherwise be a failing process,” he explained.

Here are seven ideas to help you retool your prospecting process and get back on the right track:

Understand that prospecting is a continuous effort. It’s not something you do when you run out of active prospects. You should reach out and market on a regular basis, even when you are busy.

Prospect often, but not too much. Try marketing once a month. If you market more than twice in a month, you run the risk of turning off potential buyers.

Focus on a target market. “When you choose a target market to focus on, you can invest your time studying that market so completely that you can make an unbeatable, personalized pitch for your products,” said Suzy Turner, a manager at Global Financial Distributors, in a ProducersWeb.com article.

Reach out electronically. Today, most people are Internet-savvy and pay more attention to what’s in their inbox than what’s in their mailbox.

Keep your Web site updated and complete. In a LifeHealthPro article, Greg Kroleski recommends that agents make sure their sites have several qualities to better attract and retain clients in an increasingly digital world. Sites must provide relevant and high-quality content, with dynamic information that will keep prospects coming back. In addition, sites must contain relevant key words to help prospects find your business. Your site should also be designed to work with mobile devices and should demonstrate your knowledge of the local market. “Agents who don’t optimize their websites risk missing out on key opportunities to attract and retain clients and prospects who are looking to engage with them,” according to Kroleski, a product manager at Hearsay Social.

Recognize and take full advantage of networking opportunities. There’s really no substitute for an in-person conversation. Get out in your community. Attend local events, fairs and festivals, for instance.

Do what you love the most. Frank Maselli, a financial industry speaker and author, said in a NAFA Annuity Outlook article that the most effective prospecting strategy is to adopt a marketing method that you can commit to and do consistently with passion. “The old grind-it-out ‘numbers game’ has been replaced by what I call the ‘Passion Model.’ No more banging your head into a wall a hundred times a day. Instead, find your deepest passions — the activities you love to do — and build your entire business around them,” he said.