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How to Build Out Your Natural Market

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What You Need to Know

  • Your natural market includes your cousins.
  • It also includes the merchants you use.
  • Anyone on your holiday card list is fair game.

“And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29) Could this have been the first person trying to define their natural market?

Insurance agents new to the business are often advised to first approach your natural market. Most people think about their immediate family and stop looking.

Your natural market is much larger.

Here’s more good news: It’s always changing! New people get added.

How Big Is Your Natural Market?

We will look at systematically reaching into many nooks and crannies, but here are two great examples I learned from a training professional at a major firm:

  • How many people attended your wedding?
  • How many contacts on your Smartphone?

If we define natural market as people you know you and people you know, then it’s bigger than you think.

Assembling Your Natural Market Into a List

Here’s the rewarding part. Let’s systematically build a list.

  • Immediate family members. It’s the obvious first choice. Confidentiality. Keep in in the family. Blood is thicker than water.
  • Extended family members. You have in-laws. Aunts and uncles living across town. Everyone gets together for Thanksgiving. They all have needs.
  • Family members at a distance. He’s your brother, he but lives on the other coast. This includes cousins dispersed everywhere. You see them at family reunions.
  • Neighbors. If they let you borrow their snowblower and ask you to watch their children, they already trust you.
  • Merchants you patronize. You drop money every week at the local liquor store. You collect your dry cleaning when you get your hair cut. You get your car repaired at the same place you buy gas. Don’t forget favorite restaurants. You are part of many revenue streams.
  • Services you utilize. Your family doctor, dentists, accountant and lawyer are only a few that come to mind. There are others.
  • People you know through religious services. They sit nearby. You say hello and goodbye every week. You’ve been doing this for years.
  • People you know through community involvement. You belong to some groups and actively volunteer at others. You attend events and openings. You see familiar faces.
  • College alumni. Some you have kept in touch with for years. Others reached out to you via social media. You see several at alumni club events.
  • High school alumni. It depends on where you live. In some communities, high school is the tie that binds, because people often go away for college.
  • Parents at your children’s school. PTA meetings are an overused example. You have gotten to know the names and faces of sideline parents at school sports quite well.
  • People you met on vacation. You promised to keep in touch. You did. Do they know what you do?
  • Your holiday card list. This circles back to the guests at your wedding or your phone contacts. If you send and receive cards in December, you have a connection with these people.

Here’s the amazing part. This list only scratches the surface. You can come up with many more silos. Each contains people you know and vice versa.

I’ve Got the List. What Now?

Your objective is for people to know who you are, what you do and why you are good. You want to know things about them too. Who they are, what they do and where they work. Your mission is to have this conversation with everyone on that enormous list. Ideally it should be face to face.

Notice you aren’t doing the hard sell here. The simplest approach is to sit down when you both have free time and get the ball rolling by asking “What do you do?” They will likely ask you the same question. If you think that might be too salesy for a friend-to-friend conversation, position is “in the third person.” If you understand what I do, you might know someone with a problem who I might be able to help.

Once people know what you do, they should come to you if they have a need or bring up your name if a friend has a problem in your area of expertise.

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.

(Image: fizkes/Shutterstock)


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