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Strike Gold with Effective Prospecting
Whether you’re looking for new agents or new clients, the key to finding them is effective prospecting. There are numerous ways to go about prospecting. Some of them are active methods, while others are passive. Active prospecting methods are things like Personal Observation, Public Speaking, Agent and Client Referrals, Networking, and Centers of Influence, while passive methods include using the internet, newspaper advertising and direct mail campaigns. Both passive and active prospecting will produce results, however they differ in efficiency and effectiveness – and understanding those differences will make all the difference to you and your results.
Passive methods are easy to implement, but are actually pretty inefficient. They attract 1) “tire kickers”, 2) people looking for a job, 3) price shoppers, and 4) people simply looking for a way to make money. Please understand, these methods do produce results and can uncover fantastic people who become great agents or clients, but generally the quality of results is poor. When these methods are implemented, plenty of activity is generated, but few prospects become agents or clients. The passive methods appear to be very efficient, but they produce so much worthless activity that they become extremely inefficient.
Active methods, on the other hand, take more time on the front end, but because they are so much more effective end up being much more efficient. They are so much more effective because interviews/meetings are only generated with people who have an interest in working with you, and share your purpose and passion. Agents often coming on board because they identify with you and what you stand for, they see it as a good opportunity to build a future, and they see the opportunity as one that offers unlimited financial growth. Clients decide to work with you because they see who you are, and identify and respect you and what you believe in. Not only are active methods more effective, but agents who are recruited through active methods historically are better producers and clients created this way are more loyal.
Why Active Prospecting Is More Effective
• A key to a successful recruiting program is to effectively identify candidates with an “owner” mindset. Candidates with an owner mindset are better at taking initiative while candidates with an employee mindset are better at taking instruction. Candidates with an owner mindset are self-starters who recognize the correlation between their success and the amount of effort they put forth — in fact, they thrive on this. They take initiative, they think independently and they tend to succeed when they’re given the freedom to do things their own way. These are the kind of candidates that make up the foundation of any winning sales force. Active recruiting allows you to better identify candidates right from the start who are inclined to be owners rather than employees.
• People who respond to recruitment advertising are generally looking for something better than what they have. Either they’re unhappy with their current situation or they have no job at all. Now… think about whether you’d rather have a prospective agent who is happy and productive where they are or someone who is unhappy and maybe even unproductive where they are? Most territory builders would always prefer a candidate who is already productive and happy. They want someone who has a positive attitude and good work habits. By seeking out candidates who are closer to your ideal with respect to productivity, attitude and drive, you end up with agents who are productive, positive and successful
• Ever get frustrated with the production of your agents and wonder how to motivate them? This is a prevalent challenge within the industry. The cause for this issue comes from how the agents were recruited. Not only are many agents recruited through advertising, but, often what the manager is passionate about isn’t communicated. Without a worthwhile purpose, it’s pretty difficult to attract and keep the right kind of people – people who are happy, energetic and highly productive. In case you doubt the validity of this observation about the power of personal attraction, look over your agents and see who the highest producers are and/or the ones who are most responsive. Typically they’re the agents you personally recruited rather than the agents you “inherited”. When you actively recruit, you create the opportunity to let a candidate see what you’re about - what matters to you. You end up attracting like-minded people.
• People do business with people they like. The only way for others to get to know you is by getting out and meeting people. When you do your prospecting passively, they don’t get to know you at all. They are simply responding to something they read.
• People are attracted to someone who stands for something and has a purpose. When you spend time clarifying what sets you apart from everyone else and spend time clarifying your purpose, and then communicate them effectively, you will attract like-minded clients who identify with you and become loyal to you.
• The best way to keep clients is to build a relationship with them. Without a relationship, they simply become price-shopping customers. With a relationship, they become clients who will stay with you and become clients who refer others to you. It perpetuates success.
Active prospecting allows you to attract the kind of people you want, allows you to meet with only those people who are likely to succeed and stay with you, and allows you to build a team of loyal, professional, hard-working, responsive and successful agents or a solid book of loyal clients.
Break out of the internet and advertising routine. Start powering up your prospecting and boosting your success!
About the Author: Written by Michael Beck, “The Insurance & Advisor Coach”. Michael, an Executive Coach and Recruiting Activist, helps insurance and financial professionals succeed faster and easier. He can be reached at 866-385-8751 , firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Visit www.TheInsuranceCoach.com , www.TheAdvisorCoach.com , www.InsuranceAgentRecruiting.com or www.ClientProspecting.com to learn more.
Permission to reprint with full attribution. © 2006 Exceptional Leadership, Inc.