Without prospects something terrible happens – nothing!

But without question, prospecting is one the most difficult parts of your job as an adviser.  You’re not alone if you ever asked yourself if prospecting is worth the time and effort.

In fact, a survey was recently conducted on advisors that posed that same question. They were asked how much they would estimate it costs to obtain a new qualified prospect. You’ll be encouraged by the results.

According to the survey, 48% of respondents estimated that it costs them less than $100 for each new qualified prospect. After that, 36% estimated it would cost between $100 and $250. Another 12% estimated between $250 and $400. And only 4% estimated that they pay more than $400 for a new qualified prospect.

Considering a prospect’s potential revenue stream as a client, it’s clear that prospecting is certain well worth the time and money spent doing it.

So keep calm and carry on. And we’ll help you deliver the prospects to your office and inbox. Here are three insurance prospecting marketing methods to implement immediately that will generate more leads for your practice. From there, you’ll learn very effective tactics to convert them into clients.

Three Surefire Prospecting Methods

So now that we established that prospecting is worth it, here’s are three ways to make it easier and more effective.

No. 1: Present Seminars

Why are seminars a good insurance prospecting tool? The reasons abound…

–  It increases awareness of your services and products.
–  It shows your expertise on the subject matter.
–  It establishes you as a spokesperson in your field.
–  It provides you with name recognition.
–  It sets you up as a consultant on the subject matter (and not a salesman).

There are 2 types of seminars you can run: One that you self-promote (which will cost you money out of your pocket up front). Or a seminar hosted by someone else.

If your funds are limited, then getting someone else to host the event might be the best route. To set up a seminar someone else hosts you need to identify an organization that would benefit from your seminar topic. Some of the best places to look for these types of groups are your local chamber of commerce, your local library, your local bookstores, and any local colleges. Inquire about any speaking opportunities.

The pro side of promoting your own seminars is that you are in control of the event. Where it is held, how long it lasts, the topic matter covered, and whom you invite.  Plus, if the seminar makes money, you get to keep it all.

No. 2: Be a Guest on TV and Radio Talk Shows

A few minutes of airtime have launched million-dollar careers. That is how powerful media appearances can be. Your prospects take enormous stock in what comes through their television and radio.

Here are some quick tips to land a show.

If what you have to offer the show can satisfy its content needs, then you’ve got a shot to be a guest. So in your pitch to be a guest, consider the following needs of each TV and radio show:

– Talking about something topical
– Filling an audience need
– Solving a reoccurring problem
– Entertaining the audience
– Telling them something they didn’t know
– Appealing to their target audience

The media cares way more about their needs then they do yours. How do you find out which talk shows take what subject?

Watch or listen to different shows. Buy a directory that identifies shows or rent lists specific to your needs. Once you have identified some potential shows to guest on, find out who is in charge of booking guests. Then contact them with ideas. And put that key booking person on your list.

What list you ask? Your all-important email list. And leads us to prospecting tip #3.

No. 3: Build an email list.

There is no easier or cheaper way to build an ongoing relationship with people then through e-relationships. All this requires is a basic broadcast email service such as aweber, mailchimp, or icontact. All three are cheap and easy to use.

Any prospect, client, or person you come in contact with that can help you build your business should be put on that list (with their permission of course).

Send your list compelling emails every so often, which could be once per week or 2-3 times per week. What matters most is that you have good content.

What constitutes good content? Anything that your list members would find interesting or useful. It may help in this case to pretend that you are one with the TV show host so that you deliver content that will have an impact on readers.

Send thought-provoking articles, videos, or reports from major media outlets like Wall Street Journal, USA Today or CNBC that support your company and its message.

Write an email on some common problem your clients have had and how it was solved. In other words, send success stories. Testimonials from satisfied clients are never a waste of space.

And of course, make sure your emails contain a link to purchase your line of products. You never know when a customer will click the “buy” button.

One Word that Draws Prospects to You

So let’s pretend that you spent $200 for a qualified prospect who is sitting in your office. What do you say?

There are plenty of words in the English language that can express gratitude, professionalism and courtesy. There are also a lot of words that help shape (or reshape) opinions, drive sales and turn heads.

But there is one word that does all the above. Yes, all of it. This word is something that gets their attention, is personal and sincere, and will go a long way to establish a meaningful (and profitable) professional relationship.

That word is a prospect’s name.

Indeed, hearing your name probably elicits a positive reaction in you. When somebody says your name, your attention shifts dramatically to the person saying it. You know, with certainty, that the person is addressing you and the words they are saying apply specifically to you.

Saying a prospect’s name can do the same at the beginning, middle and end of a soft or hard sell. It shows them that you recognize that they are different than everybody else.

Not everyone has a name that just rolls off the tongue. For those clients and prospects, don’t be too bashful ask them how directly, “How do you pronounce your name?” As they pronounce it correctly for you, repeat it back to them to make sure you got it right.

A friend of mine goes the extra step and writes a client’s tricky name phonetically in their file. That way when he calls them or meets with them again, he doesn’t have to take a wild stab at pronouncing it correctly or ask again how to pronounce their name.

Five Rock-Solid Sales Strategies for Prospects

Now that you’ve engaged the prospect and drawn him or her in, it’s time to make them a client. Here are five ways that will increase the chances of that happening.

No. 1: Address Their Specific Objections

Personally, I like to refer to objections to a lack of belief in your product. If done tactfully and respectfully, you can challenge that lack of belief in a prospect.

Here’s an example how:

“Mr. Allen, I understand that you want to take more time to look over the information/think about it. But can you please tell me what specific reason are you hesitant to move forward?”

The reason for that strategy is that it acknowledges their opinion while forcing them to defend it. After you’ve asked, stop talking and let them answer. Depending on their answer, it’s key that your reply dispels their objection.

Show them the value of your products. Show them how they benefit them. Show them how competitors’ products do not meet their stated needs.

Give them facts that can’t be refuted. Give the reasons to believe in your product based on what they want.

No. 2: Hold Them Accountable to Their Goals

During an initial meeting, you probably asked a prospect questions to get to know them, their financial goals, and what’s stopping them from achieving them.

Think back in your life when somebody held you accountable. A teacher. A coach. A boss.

It might not have been fun at the time, but they did you a favor for pushing you to work harder and invest more of yourself into achieving a goal. That’s something you might not have done without their motivation.

So instead of thinking of yourself as trying to close a sale, imagine yourself as a motivating agent.

Holding them accountable requires you to remind them of their words, their concerns and their desires. It requires you to again draw the line (perhaps more clearly) that connects what they want and how your products can make it possible.

The point isn’t to guilt prospects into buying, or to make them feel that their thinking is wrong.
Motivation requires you provide tangible incentives – proof that your product will solve their stated problems.

No. 3: Give Them Proof

For every transaction, the burden of proof always falls upon the seller. And that’s true for everything as simple as a candy bar to whole life insurance to college planning.

However, whole life insurance and college planning cost much more. And more importantly, they are complex products that don’t appeal to your senses the way a chocolatey, peanut-buttery candy bar can (Made you hungry, right?).

In my experience, prospects like to hear proof in layperson’s terms. That’s why testimonials are so effective, if not more effective, than stacks of research that basically come to the same conclusion.

A testimonial is as much proof as it is an assurance from a neutral party that a product has passed their high standards of quality. It also portrays a person who is not only satisfied with the product, but also with their decision to buy it.

The latter part of that is so important and speaks to the effectiveness of testimonials because prospects are currently making the decision of buying or passing. They dull the innate skepticism that arises when a complex product is presented.

The rewards of using incorporating testimonials are plenty. And the risk is zero. But where do testimonials come from? What are the most effective ways to use them? Here’s a quick but thorough primer.

Tip #1: Write the testimonial yourself! If you are waiting to receive a hand-written letter in the mail praising you and your line of products, you have a long wait ahead of you.

Tip #2: Talk with your happiest, most loyal customers and ask them to sign off on the testimonial that you wrote. Tell them directly and honestly that you are putting together sales materials, and that the relationship you have with them is the ideal client-professional relationship you seek with everyone.

Tip #3: When writing the testimonial letter, make it honest, authentic and down-to-earth. Put it in terms that are easy to understand. Having a ton of exclamation points will take away from a testimonial’s value. Use the only when warranted.

Tip #4: Make sure the letters are “written” by people within the target demographic group of your clients and prospects.

Tip #5:  Make sure the letters relate to your line of products and service. Some self-penned testimonials are too ego-driven and talk too much off-topic. Avoid this trap. All sentences should lead back to what you are providing, which are quality products and great service.

Testimonials put you in control of how your products are marketed. They allow you the chance to impress others in a credible, honest manner.

No. 4: Show Them What They’d Lose

People – especially Americans – are frightened and motivated by the idea of losing. We hate losing. We hate losing so much that we are driven by our fear of losing more than our desire to win. This concept is utilized all around you.

Parents revoke privileges from their kids if they misbehave – whether it’s a toy from a 6-year old or the car keys from a 17-year old. Department stores lure shoppers to their doors before sunrise on Black Friday by offering once-a-year discounts. Coaches bench the insubordinate star player, sending a signal to the team that its chances of losing increases when players project an unprofessional attitude.

Keep this in mind when selling insurance packages or financial advice. Learning what a prospect wants will help you show them what they will lose if they don’t buy your product.

No. 5: Provide Incentive and Utilize Scarcity

There is no need to be pushy when using urgency or scarcity. Think of each of these techniques as providing a subtle nudge.

  • –  Offer a discount if they make a decision within 24 hours.
  • –  Tell prospects that you only work with a limited number of clients per year and you’re approaching the max figure.

These two suggestions require prospects to pare down the pros and cons they are weighing and make a decision quickly. And if done right, you’ll add a few more pros to their list.

If these techniques fail to turn a prospect into a client, you still did your job and got them to make a decision. Time saved is money saved.