Ten tips for prospecting success
By Jacques Werth
High Probability Selling
To succeed in financial services, you must be able to find and close a sufficient number of highly qualified prospects. This highlights why most agents who do traditional "cold-calling" fail. They fail because most of the appointments they make are with low probability prospects -- prospects who will not buy.
As these agents attempt to get an appointment with almost everyone they talk to, it creates so much resistance that they get rejected and most prospects will not talk to them again. This prevents them from developing a favorable relationship with most of the prospects they call; therefore, they have to keep finding new prospects to cold-call.
You can learn how to turn cold-calls into warm calls. Then, each time you call your prospecting list, your prospects will be glad to hear from you.
The ability to prospect efficiently, effectively and enjoyably will enable you to meet with prospects that need, want and can afford your products and services -- now. Your confidence will soar and empower you to develop a consistently superior income stream.
The prospecting method of many top producers
1. Start with a highly-targeted telephone prospecting list -- people or companies that are most likely to buy your type of products and services. Use a highly reputable list broker to find such a list. You cannot afford to develop your own list; it's much too time consuming. Start with a list of no more than 600 names. If you already have a book of business, follow this prospecting process with your existing clients as if they are new prospects.
2. Call every name on your list every 3-4 weeks. Understand that only a small percentage will be ready to buy the first time that you call. Many more will be ready each successive time that you call. People buy in their own time for their own reasons, not because you have to make a sale this week. Calling them frequently is vital to prospecting success.
3. Present a "prospecting offer" of no more than 45 words that clearly states who you are, what you are selling and two features of your product or service. Finish up with "Is that what you want?" Each time you call, change the two features. That will prevent most prospects from getting annoyed. It will also eliminate most of the rejection that is caused by traditional cold calling.
4. If the prospect says "No" or "I am not interested," you say "Okay, goodbye." Don't press for an appointment. Do not try to engage the prospect in a conversation or ask any questions. This will be the most pleasant sales call they ever get. It will assure that very few prospects will ask you not to call again.
5. Schedule your prospecting sessions for 3½ hours. Take a 15-minute break between each hour. This is more productive than five prospecting sessions of one hour each.
6. Tape yourself. Use a tape recorder with an open microphone to tape your side of each call. Either use a voice-activated recorder or start the tape when the prospect answers. Listen to how you sound. The goal is to hear yourself using your usual conversational tones. Do not try to sound like a professional salesperson. Do not come across as overly enthusiastic, unusually friendly, or enticing. Just relax and present your offer without persuasion.
7. Always be in a "disqualification" mode. Be determined to spend your selling time only with high probability prospects. Disqualify low probability prospects quickly and courteously. Don't allow desperation or anxiousness to deter you from your mission. If the prospect says "Yes," you ask "Why?" Let the prospect convince you that he/she is a high probability prospect.
8. Accept the fact that prospecting really is a numbers game. The most important numbers are your dials-per-hour and the ratio of prospecting offers-to-dials. Most agents dial at least 50 numbers per hour. Depending on your target market, you should be able to reach between 12 percent and 25 percent of the people you call.
9. Keep accurate records of your prospecting sessions. I've trained thousands of agents to be successful prospectors. The most successful keep accurate records. The least successful don't. The act of keeping records will enable your subconscious mind to constantly improve your results.
10. Most top producers make fewer appointments, but close most of the prospects they meet.
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