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Your Handy 12-Month List for ‘Why I’m Not Prospecting’

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Most people despise prospecting. They will go to great lengths to avoid it. Your manager checks up on you because they aren’t seeing an new accounts opened. Not to worry. You have these answers at hand.

January

It’s the start of the year. Parents are getting their kids back to school. They are looking at all the bills from buying gifts in December. They don’t want to hear from me.

Instead: January means bonuses. I wonder what they are doing with them.

(Related: 11 Ways to Hit the Ground Running in 2021)

February

Did you ever see so much snow? What happened to global warming? I can’t call prospects now. After shoveling eight inches of wet snow by themselves, they would never pass an insurance physical. I’ll call in March. Spring will be here.

Instead: Massive snowstorm. Schools closed. Prospects will be at home. There’s an opportunity.

March

I thought winter would be over. There’s so much snow the kids are off from school, so I can’t get into the office. I’ll prospect next week. Oh no! now it’s rain! My prospects are concerned about flooding. I’ll really start my campaign to call in April.

Instead: Easter is April 4 this year. I wonder what they are doing in this post-pandemic year? That’s a good conversation starter.

April

Great news! Prospecting isn’t an issue. I’ve found another advisor who wants to form a partnership. I’ll sell his investing clients insurance. She will sell my insurance clients investments. One advisor’s book is another agent’s prospects.

Instead: I’m pretty good at closing, but not so good at prospecting. How about I hire someone to get prospects on the phone?

May

My April plan didn’t work out so well. The advisor thought they should keep all the insurance commissions because the client was their client. My clients thought this other guy was pushy. They are confused. It took me all month to calm them down. I’ll really get started in June.

Instead: There’s this other guy approaching retirement. I wonder if I could arrange to buy his book and pay over time? I think the firm has a program…

June

Memorial Day was great. The kids are out of school. So are my prospect’s kids. They are focused on enrolling them in summer programs and space camp. They are writing checks and focused on other things.

Instead: If kids are out of school, parents are at home. I bet they would welcome a distraction.

July

I was planning on prospecting in July, but I’ve booked a two-week vacation. We have to take vacation time. Use it or lose it. That’s what they say. My prospects aren’t staying at home waiting for me to call. They are at their beach houses. I don’t have the number. I’ll make a prospecting push in August when I get back.

Instead: My family deserves a vacation. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open while we are having fun. Maybe I will meet some interesting people.

August

I really would call, but it’s executive vacation month. All my good prospects are in Europe or at the beach. Last year I left plenty of voicemails. I never heard from a single person! I’ll wait until September. That’s when everyone rolls up their sleeves and gets back to work.

Instead: Parents are getting their children ready for school. They know children grow up so fast and college education will cost a bundle. That’s a good conversation starter.

September

I can’t call now. Parents are getting their kids ready for the start of the school year. One client told me when they sent their son off to college, they had no idea how much it would cost. I’ll call in October. It’s Fall. They will be in a pleasant mood.

Instead: The kids are in school. I’ll talk college savings plans with a different group of prospects.

October

I’ve been thinking. If I prospect, it will look like I just take anybody I can get. There’s no exclusivity. I’ve decided I will grow my business by referrals. That’s what the guy at the seminar told me. My clients know what I do for them. I don’t need to ask. I should start seeing the benefits in November.

Instead: That seminar on referrals was really good. The main idea I took away was I need to actively ask for referrals.

November

No referrals so far, but these things take time. Besides, I just heard about this intensive Linkedin prospecting program. It’s automated and it will send me hundreds of referrals. It’s the digital age. Prospecting moves with the times. If I can get the firm to pay for this program, I’ll see lots of leads by December.

Instead: That LinkedIn seminar was good. I don’t need to buy a prospecting program. I can build my own pool of connections by sending invitations myself.

December

The firm wouldn’t pay for my prospecting system. I don’t understand why they are so tight-fisted about a few thousand dollars. It’s the end of the year. I’ve got some good leads because I’m sandbagging them for January, so I can get a great start in the New Year. You just wait! Besides, my clients are in holiday mode. They don’t want to talk about insurance.

Instead: December is so busy! Setting up retirement plans! Reminding people to make contributions. Charitable giving and where insurance fits into the picture. There’s lots to talk about.

Epilogue

I don’t understand why I got fired. OK, so I didn’t open up any accounts or do any business. Everyone sitting around me said it was the slowest year they have ever seen. If the firm won’t give me leads, reassign accounts or pay for my expensive prospecting system, how am I supposed to open accounts?

Instead: This guy who was always complaining left in January. I think he was fired. I got some good reassigned accounts. These people had no idea of the range of products and services we offer.

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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.