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Life Health > Running Your Business > Selling

You're Asking the Wrong Question About Leads

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What You Need to Know

  • Some advisors say they are better at closing sales than at finding prospects.
  • Sandy Schussel, a sales coach, says the solution starts with the three-letter word that brings in business.
  • The word relates to relationships.

I spoke to an advisor last week who declared: “I suck at lead generation and marketing…. But I’m really good at what I do and end up closing most of the people I sit down with.”

Then he asked me, “How do I generate leads and get some new clients rolling in?”

Here’s how I answered: “You’re asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is who… not how…”

Who Questions

Who is going to help you generate high net worth clients and prospects?

Who is already successfully dealing with these prospects?

Who are you going to hire?

Who is available, talented, and looking for an opportunity?

Who are you going to speak to?

Who are you going to partner with?

Who from your past can help?

Who are you going to do joint work with?

Whose network are you going to leverage?”

It All Starts With Relationships

I see advisors complaining every day about spending money on leads that don’t result in sales—or even in meetings—with prospects.

They talk about mailings that didn’t work, seminars that resulted only in “plate lickers,” networking groups that aren’t getting them business, marketing funnels they’ve attempted to build online and other prospecting and marketing ideas that aren’t working for them.

These are all the hows that aren’t working for them.

But what they need to understand is that it’s whos that bring them business, not hows. Whos are everywhere and can much more reliably lead to business if we develop relationships with them.

What are they doing to leverage their relationships with existing clients?

What are they doing to create and develop relationships with centers of influence?

Are they working on strategic partnerships?

Do they have help, and has their team been taught how to help bring new clients to their office?

Who are they speaking with today?

Ours is a relationship business. Who we interact with and the level of our relationship with them determines our success.

Someone whose relationship with us is a 2 out of a possible 10 isn’t likely to be a source of business or introductions. And it’s not likely you’ll get to 9 or 10 in one conversation with them.

This means investing time in moving your relationships from a 2 to a 3, then to a 4, and so on.

If there’s a how at all, it’s how to take a who to a level-10 relationship, where new business will begin to flow.

Here is my advice in a single sentence…“Ask who… not how.”


Sandy SchusselSandy Schussel is a coach and practice development consultant for insurance and financial professionals. He has served as an MDRT Academy trainer, is on the faculty of the InsuranceProShop and is a preferred mentor with InsuranceWebX. He has served as the national sales training director for a broker-dealer and life insurance company. He is the author of two books, The High Diving Board, about overcoming fear and Become A Client Magnet, about attracting and keeping clients. Schussel‘s scheduling calendar is available here.