We would all like prospecting to be similar to fly fishing. When you are surrounded by potential prospects for life insurance, annuities and other financial services products and services, you can literally cast out a line and see what happens. If the prospects engage, that’s wonderful. If not, you try again on someone else.
In July, I wrote about 5 One Liners for Asking Friends to Do Business With You.
Here are five more ideas about ways to move the conversation in the right direction.
1. After Playing Golf
Here’s the punchline: “May I call next week and set up an appointment? I have some ideas I would like to share with you. I think I may be able to save you money.”
(Related: Brighthouse Leaps Into the Annuity Future)
Here’s how we get there: A woman I know was given this advice when she started an agency in a new town: “Buy a Cadillac, and join the best golf club in town.”
Both the Cadillac and the golf club membership conveyed the message “successful insurance broker.” The broker would play golf with her accountant weekly or invite a few friends from the Chamber of Commerce. The stipulation was that the friends needed to be small- to medium-sized business owners. The business owners also belonged to golf clubs, but not to the best one. Over lunch afterwards, the broker would say: “May I call next week…”
Why it works: After playing golf on the best course, followed by lunch afterwards, it’s very difficult to turn down an appointment request.
2. The Targeted Referral
Ask a client for a general referral and the client’s mind goes blank. The more specific, the better. Ask: “Who do you know that uses the services of a professional financial advisor and is dissatisfied with the relationship? I would be interested in talking with those people.”
Why it works: People think twice about referring business. What if the relationship flops? If you ask your clients to think, instead, about people with problems, rather than about people who might need financial advisors, you get your clients looking for people with problems. There are plenty of people with problems around! Your clients feel as if they are doing the friends with problems a favor by introducing them to you.
3. Directly Asking
You have friends who told you they do business with competitors. Maybe you assumed that was the end of the story. Reconsider that assumption.
Today, business owners, professionals and middle managers review service contacts yearly.
The clients ask themselves many questions, such as, “Can I get better service?” and “Can I get a better deal?”
Another question they could ask themselves is, “Can I do business with my friend?”
Here’s how your approach to making that happen might sound: “I know you use [firm] for your life and health insurance business. You’ve told me. My firm offers life and health insurance, too. We give good service and are competitively priced. When do you review the performance of those folks at [firm]? I would be interested in competing for the business.”
Why it works: You are talking their language. You’ve assumed they review this piece of business too. You’ve asked; “When?” You’ve asked to be invited into consideration. You are now a contender.