Do you avoid prospecting? Many advisors do, but that’s like avoiding success. You can’t grow your business or increase your revenue without new prospects. Here are seven ways to make your prospecting efforts more productive.
1. Identify your ideal prospect. An effective prospector can succinctly describe the ideal prospect. So before moving on the rest of the list, spend a few minutes to profile your ideal prospect, using what you know about current clients and former clients. Define the client in demographic terms, age, income, professional, marital status, and lines of business. Next, identify the key client characteristics that describe their approach to financial matters. Finally, debrief on your past successes and failures. Pay attention to the common characteristics of the opportunities you did and didn’t win. Use your analysis to develop a finely honed client profile.
But make sure you’re not excluding good prospects. Do you only target doctors for disability insurance? A lot of other “regular” people need paycheck protection, too. It’s important to focus on the ideal client, but if you use the wrong criteria, you can shrink your pool of prospects for no reason. Read Three “Regular” People Markets for Income Protection for more about this.
2. Create your prospecting plan. If you want results, you need to be methodical. Put your plan in writing.
- Start by estimating how many new clients you hope to acquire. Without a goal, it’s difficult to measure success.
- Plan the amount time you will dedicate to prospecting. Commit to dedicating a specific amount of time to prospecting and stick to it. Make it a calendar entry, just like a client appointment.
- Next, select your client profiles. Marketing messages will be more effective when written for a specific client profile. Select the client profiles that offer the highest opportunity for success or the greatest opportunity for growth. Another selection consideration should be the source of the prospects. If a desirable client profile is recent homebuyers, prospecting efforts might be better timed for April through August, when homes sales are the highest.
- Plan interactions. Choose effective communication channels for the profile: direct mail, postcard, email, letter, social media, or phone call.
- Develop the offer. Present the prospect with an offer, or even better, two. One offer might be to accept an invitation to a seminar, an agency event, or a free consultation. Access to a downloadable report or white paper is another. Consider what offer will motivate the prospect to take an action. Provide at least two ways for the prospect to respond, for example email and phone, or email and landing page.
- Monitor results. As prospects take action and move to the next step, note it. That information will determine when to nudge the prospect to the next step. Most importantly, evaluate the plan. Did it reach the established goals? If not, why not? The results of future prospecting plans will be improved as more is known about how prospects respond to offers and communication interactions.
3. Sign up for free industry support tools. To keep your techniques fresh and your motivation high, you should sign up for free tips and tools. One easy way to do this is to subscribe to the DIS blog in the upper right corner of this page.
4. Get active on social media. LIMRA’s 2020 Insurance Barometer Study found that nearly half of consumers used social media to research financial topics, companies or advisors, and one in four consumers say they use social media specifically to look for an advisor. Make sure these consumers can find you. Many advisors use LinkedIn for finding new opportunities, Facebook to maintain and deepen existing client relationships, and Twitter to listen to and learn from others. YouTube is also increasingly popular. See this article on How to Persuade with Videos.
5. Optimize your website. Make sure your website is modern, mobile friendly, search-engine-optimized and packed with helpful educational information. Regularly post to your blog and use landing pages for online lead generation. Landing pages are forms on your website that visitors complete – often in exchange for compelling downloadable content – such as white papers or guides. Affordable resources like Unbounce and OptimizePress can help you get started.
6. Turn success into a referral. The best time to ask for a referral is the next time a client thanks you for your work. It’s a perfect transition to a conversation about helping others with your expertise. Don’t let the opportunity pass without asking for an introduction.
7. Maximize the value of every customer in your book. As you know, the best leads are people who already know and trust you. If you’ve sold someone life insurance, or any other product in the past, reach out with information about disability insurance or long-term care insurance now. They expect you to keep them apprised of wealth protection tools – here’s your opportunity!
Throughout your journey, remember that DIS is your complete resource for disability and long-term care insurance. Call us for a quote or to discuss case design to fit specific situations. Need an introduction to disability insurance or just a refresher? Get our Disability Insurance Crash Course.