Prospecting: How I avoided becoming one of the dreaded 90 percent
By Cesar Perez
Many people, including myself, do not like to knock on doors; yet, it's a crucial part of my business. Referrals are always great, but we can't count on them in the beginning, especially if we are only selling one product, like life insurance.
When starting out in the insurance sales business, one usually begins by prospecting the warm market. Everything goes well at this stage of the game, but without continual referrals, you soon find yourself with no clients. I started this business not too long ago, after several years of stopping and starting because I was attending college. Once I graduated, I decided to come back to sales, specifically health insurance and life insurance selling.
I started off again with my warm market, but I soon found myself with no other options than to do it the hard way. I was not going to become one of the statistics that only lasts a year and moves on; I made up my mind that I would be in this for the long haul. I concluded that I would have to knock on doors, and so I did.
During this time, I also researched creative ways to get an appointment. The most effective way I found was by doing a survey. I searched Google and found a video of a guy who thought the same way. He said he had done surveys successfully. Immediately after watching this video, I drafted a 10-question survey about general finance, with some questions about insurance.
The next day, I went out and knocked on eight doors — and scheduled four appointments! Of those four appointments, one cancelled, one didn't follow through, and the remaining two I closed. Ever since then, I have continued to do this with similar results. The great thing about this strategy is that I get to meet new clients. Some existing clients give me referrals, too, and so I'm able to keep busy. There are important elements to doing this that you should be aware of in order to be successful. First, your target market should be lower- and middle-class individuals — at least in my case, since I still have yet to figure out how to get to the wealthier clients.
When I'm out and about, I only carry a pen, a note pad and my business cards. My questions get the prospect thinking and are usually asked in a way to get a specific answer. If I don't get the answer, then I know the prospect is not qualified. If that is the case, I'll finish the survey, thank them for their time and go on to the next house.
The way I land the appointment is usually after the survey, when I say something like, "You indicated that you wouldn't feel confident about your finances for your family if you passed away tomorrow. I'd like to give you more information on what to do to feel more confident, but you don't need to purchase anything. It's just so you know what's out there." I usually get objections, but since I've written down the most common ones, I'm usually ready to address those concerns. Most of the time, they end up saying yes to the appointment.
I know this is not the most detailed guide, but I plan on writing more about this topic, because it is something that would have helped me when I first started out. Many people do not like to knock on doors, including myself, yet it's a crucial part of my business. Referrals are always great, but we can't count on them in the beginning, especially when selling one product, like life insurance. I hope this will inspire you to try something new when door-knocking, and I wish you the best of luck.
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