Your next big client may be hiding in plain sightArticle added by Paul Mallett on July 15, 2014
Paul M Mallett

Paul Mallett

Defiance, OH

Joined: September 27, 2012

Anyone who has achieved relative success in a service business like ours understands the need to maintain a steady flow of qualified prospects. It’s vital. It’s the lifeblood of a successful practice.

As you might imagine, we spend a lot of time helping agents with just that. The prospecting options available to us are almost endless, and it’s very satisfying to help an agent create and execute a successful plan.

While comprehensive systems are quite effective and necessary in many cases, it’s important not to overlook a few simpler prospecting opportunities that might be right in front of you. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for your own low-hanging fruit:

There’s a reason new agents and advisors are still using the time-tested strategy of sending introductory prospecting letters to friends and family. Done well, it still works.

Always be prospecting. Look for opportunities to talk about what you do every day. Don’t beat people to death with it, just be ready with clear and concise explanation of what you do and follow it up with the Golden Question: “Do you know anyone that might benefit from my help?”

A good share of the agents I know came to the profession after some time doing something else. I have met former military personnel, civil servants, teachers, truck drivers, you name it. Who knows the financial challenges of those specific groups better than someone who came from that world? Leverage that insider knowledge with your specific solutions to their specific problems.

Formal networking groups are great, but informal can work just as well. Think of those people that currently provide services to you. Reciprocity is a beautiful thing. Have you spoken to your dry cleaner about what you do? Your landscaper? Painter? Tax preparer? Have you asked any of them the Golden Question?
Have you thought about using policy delivery as a springboard to new business? Not only is it an opportunity to discover other potential needs with the same client, it’s also a chance for warm introductions to your client’s accountant, beneficiaries, named guardians, attorney and more. If you think this won’t work, think again. It can be a very effective source of referrals.

Similarly, the application process can also be used to mine for new business. The next time you’re helping someone with an application, take a close look at the questions. How many do you see that could easily transition to questions about your client’s physician, tax preparer, family, neighbors, or business associates?

Who do you know that you should have approached by now, but haven’t done so for one reason or another? Ponder this: If I told you that you had 24 hours to contact 10 legitimate prospects or you were going to prison for life, who would those 10 people be? Take a few minutes and create that list. You’ll be surprised how well this works. (Relax, as far as I know, you aren’t really going to prison.)

How good are you about annual reviews with your clients? Beneficiary reviews? You would be amazed how many agents I have spoken with who admit they are terrible about this. These are people that already know and presumably trust you. What’s more, they usually appreciate the fact you are reaching out to them to keep things up to date.

Whether you decide to act on any of these ideas or a few of your own, the most important thing is to do something. Take action!

Your next big client may be out there, hiding in plain sight.
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