A blueprint that will solve your prospecting problem and make you endless Appointments

Find your Product to Sell.

When I first entered the insurance industry I had the same prospecting problem as everyone, however I had the good fortune to join a small insurance brokerage as a partner. There were only two of us in the business, and my partner wrote mainly general insurance. On the day I joined him I asked him this question “ what kind of insurance pays best?” He said “life insurance” I then said, what part of the life business pays best? And he said, “pensions is top of the tree” I then said .” In that case, I’m in the pension business, what's a pension scheme? It was obvious that he did know much about pension schemes, but he knew a man that did. The man was a representative for one of the major insurance companies, so I made an appointment for him come and visit me at our office. He kept the appointment the next day, and I explained that I was looking for a pensions product to sell to limited companies. He went on to describe a pensions plan that his company marketed. It was a low-cost plan designed for companies with five or more employees, and which provided a better return to the employee for the money invested than the existing state pension scheme. We can take the investment required for the scheme away from the state pension scheme to pay for the private company scheme. This was a perfectly legal arrangement, in the UK and was called “contracting out”. Thus I had a scheme that was already being paid for by the employee and employer and which I discovered also contained a life insurance benefit should the employee, die before retirement. At that time, very few employees had any life insurance other then perhaps a penny policy to cover their funeral expenses. So the benefits of the scheme were the extra pension and the valuable additional life insurance. Immediately I knew I had something to sell.

Find your market

Now, who to sell it to? It was designed for company employees, so these were my target audience. I was quite excited about this product and I decided to that I would go to the largest trading estate in the area and cold-canvas all the companies on the estate. The next day, this was exactly what I did. I spent all day walking from company to company asking to speak to the Managing Director. This particular trading estate was one of the largest in Europe at that time. By the end of the day I had visited over 50 companies and from all that effort I had only spoken with two MDs neither of whom would allow me to present my pension scheme to their employees. I decided there and then, having given it my best shot for the whole day that this was NOT the way to sell company pension schemes.

Find your Prospects

Having been trained in telephone selling, while I was in the classified advertising business, I decided that I would next try making appointments with Managing Directors instead of cold-canvassing them. So the next morning I went into the office and using the Yellow Pages, I decided on a category of company to approach. In this instance, I decided on Engineering companies. I started to phone companies that were within walking distance of our office.

Find the right Approach

I rang and asked to speak to the Managing Director. When I was asked by the receptionist for the nature of my business I told them I had important information about the government pension scheme that would affect all their employee's and the Managing Director, would need to know the effect on the company and his employees. I then spoke to the MDs, saying the same thing, and offering to visit their office for a short appointment to explain to them what these changes were and how they could benefit from them. By the time I had made five telephone calls I had already fixed three appointments. I knew then that this was a system that would work.

Find a way to Automate Prospecting

I immediately rang the local labour exchange and asked them to send me females willing to work on the telephone. I interviewed a number and selected one that I would train to make the appointments for me. The reason I decided to ask for females to interview was based on my experience in telephone sales, with the Thompson newspapers. I had learned that Managing Directors were more easily persuaded to talk to females, especially if they sounded bubbly and interesting. I didn't want a full-time employee, as I knew that cold canvassing on the telephone is not a job that an employee can sustain for seven or eight hours every day. I also knew that there were lots of housewives with children at school, who needed to work, but can only work a few hours a day. The reality is, there were lots of intelligent, talented females, who would be very happy to work for a few hours a day, between school hours. So there was a vast reservoir of talent for me to choose from, which would not be expensive to hire. At this point, let me recap on the first steps of my Blueprint for selling to small and medium sized companies 1)I had a product I felt I could sell 2)I had identified my market. (prospects) 3)I decided on the way to approach my market 4)I made the problem of prospecting into a process.

One of the secrets I had learned about success in selling, which I found in my first week from reading Frank Bettger's book ”How I raised myself from failure to success in selling” was “ Prospecting is like shaving, unless you do something about it every day, you will soon become a bum.”

Prospecting is every salesman's problem, unless, you make it a process. I decided that prospecting was so important to my career, that I would not do it personally Instead I would make it into a process and get somebody else to do it for me. This decision was fundamental to my future success in the insurance business. Over the years I have met thousands of insurance salespeople both men and women from many nations, and I know that finding someone relevant to talk to about your product is the ongoing and most difficult part of the work, unless you make it a process. I have advocated my system of appointment making to hundreds if not thousands of insurance people, but most are reluctant to invest in employing help of this kind. The first mistake, they make is that they think that they have to train people to sell insurance. This is not so, what they have to do is, train people to make appointments, which is a far easier thing to do than selling insurance. The second mistake is, they look at the annual cost of hiring the person and automatically think I can’t afford to pay out ex thousands of pounds per annum to hire someone. What they lose sight of is, they are only hiring by the week, and if the person they hire is successful at making a number of new appointments for them, by the end of a few weeks, they will have made so many additional sales, they will have earned a multiple of the cost of their appointment maker. They will also be adding to their client bank and building up their repeat sales and renewals a lot faster than they would have been able, by continuing to do their own prospecting. Prospecting is fundamental to success, but it's a chore, find someone to do it for you at a reasonable price, and you will MULTIPLY YOUR OWN INCOME.

Look into the future

Find Frank Bettger's book ”How I raised myself from failure to success in selling” here

You will need to rethink your business plan once you have endless prospects.