Insurance Prospecting Gone Wrong
It continually shocks us that so many people (insurance agents, stockbrokers, financial planners) are recruited into financial services with no sense of how to grow a large business. We think this is due to the short term orientation of the people or companies that recruit them. These new recruits may be looked at as merely “commission generating” or “asset gathering” machines.
An example is the insurance agent who is encouraged to get his securities license, specifically, the series 6 license. If one is taking time to study, why not study for the series 7 and gain a broader exposure to the securities markets? This is not in the insurance company’s best interest as the insurance company only wants their agent to sell the products they offer (mutual funds, variable annuities) and not have the flexibility to branch out or pursue other investment or insurance marketing and sales opportunities. In an ideal world, what’s good for your employer is good for you but many times, this is not the case. Your employer’s short term interest may be adverse to your long term career.
As a consequence, many recruits into financial sales are taught the caveman method of insurance prospecting, to hunt and kill: find a prospect and make a sale. This approach will not result in maximum long term earnings. To maximize career earnings, you must evolve your insurance prospecting as the caveman did from hunter to farmer. To grow a big business, use the farmer formula: plant, cultivate, nurture. In other words, you have a method of prospecting or method to generate or buy life insurance leads which produce insurance prospects who meet your criteria. These prospects enter your pipeline as they may not be ready to buy today. They are cultivated in the pipeline (e.g. invitations to seminars, receipt of your newsletter) and they are nurtured into new clients. These insurance prospects are then further nurtured to produce repeat business and referrals.
Insurance marketing and insurance prospecting is for the purpose of placing a prospect into your pipeline. While some insurance prospects may be ready to do business today, the majority will not. But how can you make a living while you fill your pipeline and convert these cultivated prospects into clients? You need to enter the business with a 90 day financial cushion while you pack your pipeline. Again, your first employer may not have told you this because this would have dissuaded your entry into the business. Rather, the employer may have opted for some fast-turn system for insurance leads that you call and close that day. The long term result is similar to the drug addict looking for today’s fix. You spend each day looking for a hot insurance lead while the true professional is continually and easily gaining new clients from the prospects in his pipeline. You may have become an insurance huckster rather than the professional you had envisioned.
If you want to build the large business that has eluded you, it’s time to change your model from hunt and kill to plant, cultivate, nurture.