How to Build Leverage with a Prospect
Leverage is a powerful thing. Just think for a moment about a giant boulder rolling downhill, but getting stuck on its way. You could try to use the force of your own strength and get nowhere, or you could shove a flat, heavy object or tool into the earth, get up underneath it, and roll it over the cleft with minimal effort. Leverage can help you move the heaviest of objects with minimal force, and it can also help you overcome the specter of burdensome sales quotas. But in order for it to work, you have to know how to employ it. To help you do just that, we’ve put together a quick list of tactics that should get you moving.
Ditch cold calling
It’s the 21st Century. Hopefully, you’ve put a stake in this prospecting tactic’s heart and laid it to rest. It’s easily the least efficient way to work, and completely unnecessary when you have viable marketing systems in place. Even if you’re just starting out, there are many other things you could be doing to yield better results than picking up the phone and calling (probably) disinterested parties. The heavy object you’re up against in this case is not being aware of where to find the people, who want to buy your policies. Hint: you won’t find them in the phone book! (Or you might, but it’s like finding the needle in the proverbial haystack.) Ask yourself: where do I go to find out more information about a product I want or need to buy? These days, most people go online, so having an online presence is a must.
Define all systems
Your livelihood is a series of systems. You have a system for finding leads. You have a system for approaching and selling to those leads. You have a system for gathering and keeping up with data. You have a system for billing and accounting. A system for administrative tasks. Sit down and make a list of all the necessary systems that your insurance practice needs to survive. Then start setting them in place. But first…
Make systems work on your behalf
There are two kinds of systems: the kind that work for you and the kind that require you to work. This is where a strong online presence or a well-placed, well-worded advertisement can work wonders! By getting qualified prospects to come to you, you can stop spending more than 50 percent of your day begging people to meet with you. Unfortunately, many independent agencies fail to make systems work on their behalf. As a result, they have agents cold calling and doing other tasks that yield poor results. And this brings us to the last point.
Reduce time prospecting for all your employees
Slapping quotas down in front of a newly hired agent and then expecting him to have his own systems for gathering qualified leads, is like telling the poor guy you don’t expect him to be around very long. Rather than doing this to your agents (or self) and inviting failure, work hard to generate leads in a way that works, and then let your entire team benefit from that system. Take the service offered at HometownQuotes for instance. We exist because of careful lead vetting and giving agents a leg up, where they’re not competing with hundreds of others for the same piece of business. That’s our business, but to an independent agency, it’s a prospecting system that works on their behalf. Also, keeping tabs on your satisfied customers and asking for referrals — that’s another way to reduce prospecting that requires minimal effort! Consider putting some of these actions in to place, and as a result you’ll spend more time selling and less time prospecting.
By finding areas where you’re not working efficiently and developing systems that overcome that, you put yourself and your other agents in a clear position of advantage. This way, each meeting they take with an insurance lead becomes one where they have leverage going in; and from there, some real sales momentum will start to take hold.