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Into the Valley of the Lost Prospects

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Let’s assume everyone prospects. If everyone you called did business right away, this would be the easiest job in the world. They don’t, so it’s not. Every agent or advisor has a drawer, online file or folder of people who should have done business, but didn’t. Do you have a system for keeping track of them?

(Related: What Makes a Referral a ‘Super Prospect?’)

Years ago, they were called warm prospects or warm leads. For purposes of the DNC rules, lets assume fit within the 90-day period. They come from several sources:

  1. You reached out. You never connected. There can be all sorts of reasons. Do you have other channels available?
  2. You dropped the ball. It happens. You were supposed to send something. Do something. The flow was interrupted.
  3. They had no money. They were planning in advance. Just curious. They weren’t ready to buy. The event bringing them money probably happened since your last contact. Since you were polite, what’s the harm in following up?
  4. They had money but went in another direction. You were in a competitive situation. You lost. Did they really go in that other direction? Did it work out for them? Are they satisfied? Only one way to find out.
  5. They would never make a decision. They answered calls or messages, but wouldn’t commit. They might have felt the pressure was on. They might have been shopping around, considering alternatives. Did they ever choose one?
  6. They went dark. They talked. Then they stopped. They might have thought you were trying too hard. “I’ll call you in two weeks.” You did, but they didn’t return messages. They likely still remember your name. Your firm has a good reputation. Give it a fresh start.
  7. They didn’t buy but wanted your eNewsletter. There’s still a connection. They might not respond, but you are faithfully sending it out regularly.

Reentering the Valley of the Lost Prospects

Since it’s not easy to find new clients, you should take every opportunity that comes in your direction.

  1. Invite them to connect on LinkedIn. They had an interest in insurance. They should know your name. They might be a two-level connection because of people you know in common. These are good reasons to accept your invite.
  2. Consider other channels. Hopefully you have a phone number, e-mail address, mobile number and possibly a social media connection. A street address for surface mail? Try another channel or two. Maybe you picked the wrong one first time around.
  3. Ask about that eNewsletter. Have they been getting it? Has it brought up any questions? Is there something they aren’t seeing but would like to learn about? You can go into education mode for awhile.
  4. It’s not you, it’s me. They might be embarrassed. “I know I should have called you back, but I got busy…” Let them know it’s OK. You got busy too. Can you pick up where we left off?”
  5. Know when to fold ‘em. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out. There’s no business there. They might not know how to say, “I’m not interested.” You need to develop a sense for “There’s no business here,” and move on.,

You and they were in touch because there was a need or a problem. They might have fallen out of touch, but that doesn’t mean the problem went away. You need a strategy to keep track of lost prospects and follow up.

— Read What Can Insurance Agents Do During Stock Market Declines?on ThinkAdvisor.

Bryce SandersBryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.


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