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Stop Drinking the "Buy Leads" Kool-Aid

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Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish someone had told me that a long time ago”?

If so, you know what it’s like to discover something that radically changes your life in a split second.

And, if you’re like most of the other agents out there, then you’ve tried all kinds of hare-brained and time-wasting methods to build your business.

I’m talking about things like buying deadbeat leads, cold calling for hours on end, sending out oceans of emails or fax blasting (to angry people who don’t want to hear from you), using the “3-foot” rule, making out your “Project 100,” and hounding your family and friends, etc.

By the way, if you’ve ever had the ‘pleasure’ of cold calling leads, you know how utterly brutal it is. You end up with a big ol’ lump in your stomach, a bruised ego, wasted time, tons of disconnected numbers, and pissed off, negative people that are tired of listening to high pressure salespeople.

(Related: How to Sell More Cash Value Life Insurance)

If any of this sounds familiar, it should, because it’s the same outdated stuff that is being drilled into 90% of the people who enter this business. It’s why most of them are continually struggling, and why many of them are out of the business, within a year.

Cold calling, using life insurance lead lists, or using Internet leads and then doing a sales pitch over the phone just doesn’t cut it anymore. Most people are screening their calls, using their caller ID, and won’t even pick up the phone due to the tremendous amount of sales calls that they get from telemarketers about all sorts of junk. The so-called qualified lead that you paid for probably won’t even pick up the phone, let alone book an appointment with you.

There are much better, easier ways to build your business, once you discover some little-known strategies for generating your own qualified prospects. And you can do it right in your local community and become the trusted advisor your friends, family and neighbors want to see.

The good news is there are better and more cost-effective ways to get the qualified prospects you need and want.

Becoming a master prospector seems hard, but it is surprisingly simple if you know where to start. The key is to know who to target. Next, value every point of contact and touch point. Care about how your prospects see you through every form of correspondence. That way you always put your best foot forward.

For a three-step strategy for becoming a prospecting pro, read on.

Chess (Image: Thinkstock)

(Image: Thinkstock)

1. Recognize that it’s time for you to become an information resource.

Now, what if you were given the option to set yourself up as a point of valuable information, the go-to guy or gal where people get advice regularly about the financial problems people are facing? It almost sounds like a dream doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.

With information being one of the major shifts the business world has experienced, using the information super-highway (the Internet) is one strategy to help to make your presence known in a much better, much quicker, and much cheaper way.

If you’re not on the Internet, you’re losing out big time! But if you are there, your website and email address, which should appear in all your business literature, should be made available to everybody you come in contact with, even as part of your signature on any other form of correspondence.

Email helps prospects come forward in the privacy and convenience of their own homes or offices, and it also gives you a chance to respond to them immediately. It’s truly a dynamic form of communication that, to this day, is still often overlooked. 2. Create a website, or improve the website you have.

More and more individuals are turning their TV’s off, and are turning to the web. The reason is they are tired of being advertised to.

Attracting qualified prospects is not just about Sell, Sell, Sell. It’s about providing valuable information and establishing yourself as the individual who does not have a sales pitch, but rather someone who is out there to help others with their financial problems.

Whenever you search the web, do you pay for the information you want, or do you continue to search for as much free information as you can get? Of course, your prospects are just like you.

The solution is to become a great source of free information for your prospects, by creating a website.

Many people think that this is expensive, and it can be, if you want to actually sell through the site. However, if you create a website strictly as an information-oriented resource, like a digital book or newsletter, then it can be very affordable.

Your homepage can be designed to advertise you, your company, and the products and services you offer. If you have a booklet or free report or personalized client newsletter, you can provide access to it on your site.

When you make information available via the Internet, people can access your free information and print it themselves at home or at the office, without costing any money, time, or postage on your part.

However, don’t make your booklet or free report available directly on your homepage. You’ll want to collect the names and email addresses of the people who want the free information, so you can contact them later. Have a special section of your website that provides access to your booklet or free report, but make those resources available only to people who have a password. Or, set it up in such a way that, once people sign up to get the report, you send them a link, so they can download the report.

Sales champion (Image: Thinkstock)

(Image: Thinkstock) Once people read your booklet or report, they have access to your super-useful information and feel as if they’re part of an elite group of educated members. You’ll have created your own a lead-generating system, and you know what “system” stands for, don’t you? It stands for. “Save Your Self Time, Effort, and Money”!

Now, you can even create your own free websites just by pointing and clicking.

Look at LinkedIn and Facebook: Those are both services for creating point-and-click social websites.

3. Make visitors to your website aware of how you can help them.

Your website is a tool for harnessing the power of “attraction marketing.”

“Attraction marketing” means establishing yourself as a valuable point of information for people to go to.

Whenever people go to your website, seeking your information, they are thinking of you as a source of advice.

Now, let’s say you have people that visit your website, and keep reading your content. They constantly re-visit when you post new content. Finally, you decide to tell them about a service that you offer and its benefits.

What do you think the chances are of them listening to you, compared to the chances they’ll listen to the person who calls them on the phone, who they know nothing about?

The reason why it works is because it is so simple. The more complicated you get in the financial services industry, the more chance of failure you have. If you get too complicated with your client, and use technical terms then you lose the deal.

The same concept applies with your marketing. If you get too complicated with it, you lose the chance to meet one on one.

By applying what you have read in this article into your prospecting, you will generate qualified leads that are willing to listen to what you have to say. Attraction marketing will help you save a ton of money by avoiding the route of purchasing expensive leads or taking a cut in commissions.

You have just learned why the Internet is quickly becoming one of the best tools for marketing your services.

This is just another step to establishing yourself as the Trusted Advisor in your local community, to become the advisor people want to see.

— Read 11 Ways to Become More Visible in Your Community on ThinkAdvisor.

Jeremy Nason Jeremy Nason

Jeremy Nason, RFC, is director of the Insurance Pro Shop. He is also the co-founder of the Insurance Pro Shop, Independent Agents Insurance Group and Found Money Management. He has been a sales coach, trainer and manager for insurance agents, financial advisors and planners since 1994. He can be reached at (877) 297-4608.