I am often asked by insurance agents how to meet with certain people that are impossible to reach. Those prospects that are large enough and valuable enough to have a gate keeper. That lovely individual that answers the phone or greets your cold call with the infamous “will he know what this is concerning?” This is known as the big freeze and you ain’t getting’ in. I believe that any agent can meet with any client if you know the system. Too many insurance agents spend money and time on leads. The golden egg is not laid by a lead company, but rather the goose that lays golden eggs. Let’s look at the system of how to meet any client.
Any sales person or insurance agent knows early on in their career that a referral is multiples better than a lead and certainly a cold call. There was a TV show on a few years ago about six degrees of separation from any person on Earth. That anyone is just six people away from meeting anyone on the planet. Think about it this way. Everyone on average since high school knows about 250 people. But those 250 people know 250 people. So when you meet a new person, essentially, you have the potential of connecting to quite literally 62,500 people. I don’t mean to make you nervous, but next time you meet a new person, “don’t screw up!”
Once you meet the person that has the ability to connect you to your dream clients, stay in touch! How can you help this person connect to their dream clients? How can you bring profitable business to this person? You want them to feel obligated to helping you. It is hard to ignore you when you are helpful and profitable to them. A great organization, BNI, calls this phenomenon “Givers Gain”. If I give enough business to you, you will feel psychologically obligated to repay me for this great favor. This system of networking takes time and effort, but your quality of business will grow exponentially over business built off of cold leads. This profitable business continues to refer you to their friends and family, something that typically doesn’t happen with an internet lead.
Take some of your cold calling time and invest it into finding the best referral sources you can find in your market. For example, as a life insurance agent, we know most people are in the market for more life insurance or a change in insurance at a life changing event. Such as a young couple getting married, birth of a child, death of a friend or family member or buying a new home. Certainly there are lots of lead companies out there that will sell an agent leads based on this criteria. Problem is, you are not the only agent buying that lead, so you and scores of your competitors are vying for that same prospect, usually ending badly, not to mention the cost of the leads. How can I get the prospect, before they become an online lead for an agent feeding frenzy?
If I know my four criteria, I need to pursue the referral sources. Spend time building relationships with ministers performing weddings, meeting with maternity shop owners in order to meet pregnant clients. Building a relationship with a funeral director dealing with a grieving family member, who now realizes he or she is underinsured. Make friends with some realtors and mortgage brokers in order to meet new home owners who probably need more life insurance protection. The idea is to stream a constant source of good referrals to your business to be sure it never stops growing.
Take a look at your business. Who are your best clients? What do they have in common? Who would be a great referral source for you to find more ways to meet any client? Then attend networking events and certainly use LinkedIn. Use your time wisely instead of wasting time knocking on closed doors and gate keepers.
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”-—Wayne Dyer
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 1, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 28 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.