In the thirty years that I have been in the insurance business I have seen a vast cycle of selling methodologies being tried by insurance agents to promote sales. All are workable — to a point, but all also miss the mark because they are dependent upon “buzz words”, gimmicks and short cuts.
However, time and again we encounter successful producers, urban, suburban and rural, who continue to grow regardless of the economic or insurance conditions. These producers invariably follow the same guidelines, although every one of them feels that the guidelines are his/her personal secret.
1. Keep in touch with your existing customers — not by a single, systematic process, but according to their individual needs and desires. After all, you got to know them, didn’t you? Keep up the relationship. This relationship building is combined with the simple process of ASKING FOR REFERRALS (every year) to generate growth for the most successful of our industry’s salespeople.
2. Prospect at a low or moderate level — but continuously. This does not mean making a pest out of yourself at parties. This means that you discipline yourself to identify five accounts every week that you do not know and would like to insure (for which you have markets). Regardless of how successful and busy they are, this prospecting continues unabated.
3. Make your own telephone calls. I know this flies in the face of the recent telemarketing revolution, but the successful salespeople either enjoy, don’t mind or learn to live with COLD CALLING. Telemarketing works for commodity products in commodity industries. However sales made through telemarketing often lack the relationship building that cements you to a customer. So we continue to use telemarketing for products that don’t need producer intervention. But we train the producers we encounter how to make calls and get through to decision makers at commercial accounts. Think about it. If a telemarketer is lucky enough to get through to a decision maker of a commercial account and if the decision maker expresses a need, the telemarketer is not capable of answering any questions or fulfilling the need aside from setting an appointment for a producer. And these decision makers are also very busy. Even if they would be interested in analyzing their insurance, many feel that they are of a stature that the agent, himself, should be the person who contacts them, not some telemarketer.
Agency Consulting Group’s Producer Management and Training consulting module addresses, producer selection, producer compensation, sales training, telephone skills, coaching and counselling and producer management. Please call us to talk about using ACG, Inc. to bring your producers BACK TO THE BASICS.