As I travel throughout the US doing workshops and seminars in support of our Reps I always hear the same thing. How can we get more people to talk to? Why can’t I solve the prospecting problem so I can do what I do best…provide solutions for my clients needs?
Every producer at one time or another has dreaded the idea of prospecting and has struggled with figuring out an effective system for building business. In studies of successful people in our industry, it has become clear that those that reach the top-of-the-table have similar characteristics. First of all, they have discipline. They have a plan, and they work their plan. All of them have confidence and have overcome the fear of rejection that nags many producers. Confidence breeds success, success breeds confidence. So where do you start?
ISN Network has had the privilege of working with some of the best and most prolific producers in the industry. I decided to reach out to our top reps and find out their best ideas for prospecting. Over the next few weeks I will share with you the best of their ideas.
#1 – Use Centers of Influence
Working directly with attorneys and CPA’s is the most effective way to build your business. Most agents make the mistake of focusing their center of influences on a wealthy prospect, rather than on the professionals who help them make decisions. The goal is to become a part of the decision-making team. Our experts all agree, it’s difficult to create relationships with attorneys and CPA’s. This is a long-term strategy, but vital to long-term success. At least twice a month, try to take an attorney or CPA to lunch. Always be prepared with an idea to discuss. Always follow-up with a thank you, and continue to nurture the contact whenever a new idea or concept becomes available. Professionals like to work with other professionals.
#2 – Become an Expert
Regardless of whether it is long-term care, tax-sheltered annuities, estate planning, or disability insurance, you must know your topic cold! Establish yourself by studying your subject, getting the proper credentials and writing articles that have depth. Knowledge is a confidence builder. According to one of our top-of-the-table producers, “There is nothing better than standing in front of a room of prospects and knowing there isn’t a question they can ask that you don’t know the answer to.”
#3 – Demand Referrals
The most cost-effective way to build your business is through the referral process. But, most producers do not ask for referrals. Do not overlook this area. Some of our top-of-the-table producers do not have to prospect at all anymore because they get all the business they can handle from referrals. This is a problem we should all have to deal with. To get started, try a simple change in the way you run your meetings. Try using an agenda that outlines all of the topics you will discuss with the prospect. Include an area for “other ideas” in case the prospect wants to add a suggestion. However, the last item should be simply stated: “referrals.” This simple idea will help you to develop the discipline to ask for the referrals, as it is part of your agenda. At the same time, your prospect will see it up front, and not be surprised when you ask for the referrals. Remember, you cannot get a referral if you do not ask for one.