Telephone prospecting effectively, efficiently and enjoyably

By Jacques Werth

High Probability Selling


This article offers a simplified description of a strategy that many top producers use to find prospects who are ready to buy their financial products and services. It is not meant as a "how-to" lesson. Learning how to utilize this process takes far more time and effort than merely reading an article.

High probability prospects actually exist

It is a 100 percent certainty that, at any given time, a small percentage of the population wants to buy your financial products and services. We call those people "high probability prospects." Find them, spend most of your selling time with them and enjoy the results.

These are not people who are merely "interested." They are people who want what you have to offer. It's not very difficult to find people who want to buy. They buy more frequently, it's much easier to do business with them and it's far more profitable than dealing with people who have to be persuaded to buy.

Finding high probability prospects

What's the percentage of people who are ready, willing and able to do business with you? It depends on the product or service. It also depends on the effectiveness of your marketing and prospecting efforts. Bullseye targeted marketing enables you to find a higher percentage of high probability prospects. Here are some recent statistical averages for selected insurance products presented to the right target markets.
  • Million dollar term life: One in 37 prospecting offers yielded one high probability prospect.

  • Permanent life: One in 74 prospecting offers yielded one high probability prospect.

  • Annuities with guaranteed minimum interest and guarantee of principal: One in 46 prospecting offers yielded one high probability prospect.
These averages are surely changing due to the recent turmoil in financial markets. So, consider what products and services may be the "flight to safety" for many affluent people.

Hit the bullseye with your prospecting list

Top producers determine the demographics of their high probability prospects. They use the demographics -- the data on average customer profiles -- of the largest customers for any given product or service. They get that data from the product managers or market research manager at companies you represent, for the demographics of the people who bought each product you advocate.

Prospecting effectively, efficiently and enjoyably

Once you match up your products with the right prospecting list, call them all.

Make an offer of one product or service. Design your offer as a simple description, which mentions two features (not benefits) and ask if it's what they want.

Do not attempt to entice, convince or persuade anyone to do anything. You only want prospects who want to do business with you.

Don't waste time with low probability prospects. Interested prospects are low probability prospects.

If the prospect says "no," you say "Okay, good bye." Wait for them to say "good bye," hang up and immediately dial the next one on your list.

If the prospect says "Yes," you say "Why?" If they have a good reason, make an appointment. If they are only "interested," don't.

Remember not to use the word "interested" in your offer, since it implies a lack of commitment and a low probability of buying.

Sending literature

If a prospect wants you to send literature, get their e-mail address and send a standard product description file with a short, standard cover note. Don't send anything by snail-mail (USPS). Call back within five days and present a different prospecting offer for the same product or service. If the prospect again asks you to send literature say "Okay, good bye," but don't send anything.

Voicemails

For most agents, leaving voicemail messages is of little value. It slows them down and diminishes the number of people they talk with.

Very little pressure or discomfort

This telephone prospecting process prevents most of the rejection created by cold calling. It gets appointments with high probability prospects without pressure or discomfort for you or those you call.

Look for my next article, which will discuss how your bullseye target market list can become your own loyal community of clients and high probability prospects.

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