The Million Dollar Prospecting Lesson
Use multiple strategies at once to consistently attract quality prospects
”What is one way I can bring in 20 new clients to my business this month?”
I’d heard this question dozens of times but this time something clicked in my mind and I offered a response I never had given before: “Sir, I don’t know one way you can bring in twenty clients this month, but I do know 20 ways you can bring in one new client.”
Suddenly, the right way to generate new clients became clear. It was about creating and implementing multiple prospecting methods rather than continuously searching for that one “perfect strategy,” which will never be found.
The Million Dollar Prospecting Lessonhad been discovered: Utilize multiple marketing methods simultaneously to consistently attract quality prospects.
This may seem basic but insurance producers and agencies are constantly fighting against this concept. They look for the “magic pill” or “silver bullet” that by itself will bring them all the prospects they need for the rest of their careers. Such a mythical marketing panacea does not exist. Never has, never will.
Naturally, some prospecting methods work better than others, but the effectiveness of a particular method is dependent upon many factors that consistently change, including target market, geography, timing, the offering, agency size, the broker him/herself, etc.
Because the effectiveness of any prospecting method fluctuates, you are foolish to depend on just a few strategies or tactics to bring you new prospects and carry you through your entire career. That’s a risky way to do business, especially for a risk management professional who should know better.
Now that you understand what the million dollar prospecting lesson is, let’s dive into some specific prospecting methods. The tactics I reveal here are not meant to represent all of your choices or necessarily even your best choices, but they should at least get you thinking about how quickly and easily you can implement new prospecting methods into your business.
I’m providing you four categories of tactics to consider beyond normal advertising tactics (billboards, radio ads, phone book ads, etc.). This article can’t provide the same amount of detail as I do in my seminars and information programs but you will realize that your options are not restricted to just a few tactics. These tactics should open your mind to exciting new prospecting possibilities.
Getting Free Publicity
It’s ironic that one of the most overlooked forms of marketing is not only one of the most powerful but is also free. Here are three publicity tactics you should be looking to implement on a consistent basis.
Articles: By placing your articles in publications (online and in print) that serve your target market, you are both in front of your ideal prospects and essentially “endorsed” by the publication. (Incidentally, this article you are reading now is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.)
Media Release: Sending out relevant, topical media releases is another method to achieve an “endorsement” without paying any hard cost. Your media release needs to include an angle or “hook” that is inherently beneficial and valuable to the audience.
TV/Radio Interview: A final method to getting free publicity is to approach the producers of television/radio shows (usually news related) to provide them with an interview that will be beneficial to their audience. Such an interview will position you squarely as an expert in your field and the recorded interview can be reused as a marketing tool with your prospects.
Website Lead Capture
Many insurance professionals do not realize the two key objectives that their website should be fulfilling. Your website should, first, attract high-quality prospects and, second, move those prospects into your sales funnel.
To accomplish these objectives, there are some specific tactics you should integrate into your website.
Opt-In Form: An opt-in form is a small box on each page of your website that provides some kind of “freebie” or valuable offer to prospects when they type in their name, email and (sometimes) phone number. This premium is usually delivered to the prospect via email. Of course this prospect is now a lead you should follow up with and, hopefully, convert into a client.
Needs Analysis Form: We encourage brokers to incorporate some kind of online form where a prospect enters in basic information about their situation. Once you review this information, you can follow up with them to discuss their different options.
Resource Page: Create a page of valuable resources (articles, checklists, special reports, etc.) for your prospects and clients. The more value you give to your prospects and clients, the more likely they are to work with you.
Effective Direct Mail
Shaking heads and rolling eyes are the most common reactions I receive from insurance professionals when I talk about using direct mail. Producers and agencies have wasted a lot of time and money on this tactic. But it does work, when you do it right.
Here are some proven ideas to make direct mail work for your business.
“Plant the Farm” Letter: Farmers call sowing their seeds “planting the farm” knowing that, later, they’ll reap the harvest. You can do the same by sending out a brief introduction letter to people you want to turn into clients. This letter combined with an offer of a special report or needs analysis is a fast, easy way to create new clients.
Lead Generation Postcard: By consistently sending out postcards to potential clients with a compelling initial offer and call-to-action, you can expect to add new clients on a continuing basis.
Risk Assessment Letter: One of the most powerful strategies we teach our agency clients is to implement a Risk Exposure Assessment in their sales process. This letter offers a free assessment to your ideal prospects and provides them a simple way to “claim” this complimentary service.
Reeling In Referrals
A radio DJ friend of mine once told me that “word-of-mouth” marketing was the best kind of advertising that money could not buy. He’s absolutely right.
So the question is, “How can I stimulate and leverage this type of marketing on an ongoing basis?” That’s exactly what you need to continuously ask yourself. Here are some proven answers.
Strategic Referral Partners: Consider what other professionals also serve your specific target market and then offer to refer business to them if they will refer business to you. Create an effective network of referral partners and you can be guaranteed a steady stream of new clients.
Referral Cards: These are printed cards you give to current clients to hand out to their friends and family. Each card includes a specific way for the new prospect to get a special report or other premium from your business, thus moving them into your sales funnel.
Referral Endorsement Email: This is an email that you write for your current clients that they send out to their friends and family raving about how wonderful you are and how much you have helped them. In essence, it’s a structured method to create referrals by eliminating all the work for your clients.
I’ve just gone over twelve specific prospecting tactics in four different marketing categories. Of course, there are many others. The point here is to utilize multiple marketing tactics simultaneously. Remember, the secret to bringing in 20 new clients is to have 20 different methods each working to bring you one new client.
The Bottom Line
Stop looking for just one or two prospecting strategies that will deliver all the results you want and, instead, create a plan to implement a wide variety of marketing tactics so you give your prospects multiple opportunities to find you and take advantage of your offerings.
Scott Cantrell is a senior consultant with Bottom Line Solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2011 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the October 2011 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.