9 Ways to Better Connect with Your Prospects
Finding a connection with your prospects is often the key between getting a sale and moving on to the next without it. Connections are important because they don’t just help you get new business, they help you keep that business happy year after year, which leads to longevity and a robust client list. But what are some practical ways that you can “meet people where they are,” and forge a bond that keeps growing over the years? Let’s look at several.
1. Highlighting positive relationships you might share
I include this one here because it totally worked on me. My current agent has been my agent for the better part of a decade, and it all started because he was the uncle of one of my ex-girlfriends in high school. I still had a good opinion of her even though we’d both moved on, but the whole time I never realized he and she were related. It made a huge impact and helped establish a good connection that continues to this day. Lesson: whenever you have the chance to mine positive relationships that you might share in common with the prospect, do it!
2. Discussing a game or television series finale that was on the night before
Don’t force this one, but don’t overlook it either. During football season, there might be an incredible game on that is the talk of the town the next day. Sharing anecdotes about it with each other is a great way to get the natural flow of conversation going. This also works with TV shows. I mean, who wasn’t tuned in to the Breaking Bad finale the night it all went down? And even if they weren’t, it could open up a brief conversation about binge watching and waiting for shows to hit Netflix.
3. Sharing something neat about your smartphone
One lap through a shopping mall will tell you how obsessed everyone is with their smartphones — heads cranked downward as they walk, no one watching where they’re going. Keep up with cool smartphone hacks that save battery life or add to productivity, and your prospect is more likely to remember you if it’s something they’ve never realized. You can also play the part of the aloof guy and let them teach you something about your smartphone. Both have worked in the past.
4. Being positive
There’s a lot of negativity in the world today. Being positive makes you stand out. Try it. You may be surprised by how it turns around a closed-off prospect.
This goes with No. 4 obviously, and it’s one of the easiest things you can do because, unlike No. 4, it doesn’t require that you think of or say anything. Smiles just set a pleasant tone for whatever you’re doing. (Until they start to feel forced, that is.)
6. Making good eye contact
One eye, not two. When you lock both eyes with a prospect, all either one of you can think about is looking away. When you focus on just one of the prospect’s eyes and switch back and forth, you can maintain strong, unforced eye contact for longer periods of time and encourage greater engagement out of the prospect. That is to say, they’ll be more likely to join in the discussion and ask questions as they arise as opposed to simply finding whatever loophole they can to end the meeting early.
7. Acknowledging what they’re saying whenever you speak
Restating what the other person just said to you before going in to your own experiences is acceptable, but don’t be so rigid with the structure of how you do things. Listen to what the prospect says, and find ways to naturally recall something they said that rings true to the conversation. Too often, people make the discussion all about “me, me, me,” and too much of it can make you seem like you’re not listening.
8. Looking before you leap
Have patience before jumping in full bore to a conversation with your prospect. Don’t simply keep talking until you hit on something. Sometimes a lack of conversation can be due to the fact that the prospect feels they’re never heard by people like you. Give the conversation time and show patience so you can establish a genuine connection. Don’t try to hammer square pegs into round holes.
9. Being the agent they expect, not the friend they already have
Present a professional image to the insurance lead. Remember: they aren’t looking for a friend. They’ve likely got plenty of those. They’re looking for someone, who knows their stuff and who can get them the best coverage at the most affordable price. Therefore, stay focused on why you’re there and don’t let the desire to establish a deep connection supersede it.
Connections are the cornerstone of any insurance agent’s business. By being able to relate to the customer and listen to their needs, you can create a client for life. What are some issues that you may be having with this? Share your questions or suggestions in the comments section below!