Prospecting is the most important activity you can perform to ensure the longevity of your business. If you aren’t prospecting and marketing yourself regularly then it’s just a matter of time before your office phone stops ringing and your appointment book is empty.
But prospecting shouldn’t be a disorganized, anxiety-filled activity. It should be carried out efficiently by spending your time on the most effective and successful methods you can find. Here are six proven ideas for prospecting that can help boost your sales.
1. Choose a target market. The best way to sell to a prospect is to understand them well enough to make a strong case about why they need life insurance or an annuity. When you choose a target market to focus on, you can invest your time studying that market so completely that you can make an unbeatable, personalized pitch for your products. Whenever possible, identify a target niche that has a specialized need and focus all your marketing collateral on their specific situation. Not only will this strengthen your selling skills, it will also make it easier for you to find prospects.
2. Ask for referrals. Referrals can work magic on your book of business, but many of your satisfied clients won’t think about referring their friends, family and business associates unless you ask them to. Once your clients start making referrals, make sure you thank them in writing.
3. Start making cold calls. According to LifeHealthPro, many advisors find that cold calling is still one of the leading methods of prospecting—more effective than social media and advertising. So no matter how in-depth your social media and advertising campaigns are, you still need to pick up the phone and call prospects.
4. Deliver on your promises. Often, when we think about prospecting, we focus on getting to the prospects—but if you really want to turn them into clients then you need to show that you value them and that you can be trusted. The easiest way to do that is to come through on anything you promise them. From getting new illustrations to showing up on time to appointments to calling them back when you get an answer to one of their questions, make sure you always keep your word.
5. Get involved in the community. Prospecting doesn’t have to be overt. In fact, it’s often more successful when you establish yourself as a trusted, positive, proactive member of the community and let the prospects come to you.
6. Track your progress and your conversion ratio. Every advisor has his or her own strengths and weaknesses in marketing and prospecting. Make sure you track your outreach attempts, failures, successes and your conversion ratio so you know what works best for you and what methods are less successful.
Prospecting is both an art and a science. Once you figure out what works best for your target market and your personality, you can create a prospecting plan that delivers new clients regularly.
Written by Suzy Turner, Senior Financial Services Manager, Global Financial Distributors