The most important skill you'll need to build your life insurance agency from scratch is to find the best way to prospect for life insurance clients. Unfortunately, in the life insurance business, it's not what you know that matters. It's marketing that knowledge to the people who need it that does. That marketing is called prospecting.
So with that, let's get into my philosophy and approach.
Find prospects who want to work with you
The goal of my prospecting method is to find people who want to work with me. Life is too short to waste my time trying to twist someone's arm to become a client. So the very first thing I want to stress to you is that my prospecting system isn't designed to fight with people in order to get them to work with me.
I've always thought that the life insurance industry's bad reputation was well earned with all of the objection handling and high pressure sales tricks to get people to buy policies.
Because of that, I've tried to be the exact opposite and you should too.
Find prospects who love people
As silly as this sounds, life insurance is really about love. Let's face it. Love is hard to find and a lot of people in this world just might not have anyone in their life that they care about enough to buy life insurance.
Bottom line is that people buy life insurance because they don't want the people they love to struggle if they died.
You are in search of those people.
Build a large database of prospects that look like people who buy your product
The first step is to build a database of individuals and businesses that look like your target clients. For your life insurance agency, you'll be targeting individuals and businesses. Let's talk about what type of prospects you'll be looking for in both cases.
- Individual life insurance policies (3,000 prospects) For individual policies, you will be looking for families with children. You'll also target executives and individuals with good incomes. That doesn't mean that prospects who might be single or have other types of jobs won't buy life insurance. They will. Just when we are building our pool of prospects, we want to fill them with the people most likely to buy the policies we are selling.
- Group life insurance prospects (1,000+ employers) Small, medium and larger employers of all kinds almost all have group life insurance. I'd suggest targeting employers with at least 50 employees for group life insurance. To make things easier, you might want to make your pool of employer groups all over 100 employees as needed for the next target.
- Worksite permanent life insurance prospects (1,000+ employers) For our worksite program, you'll be targeting employers of more than 100 employees. Specifically, we also be looking for employer groups that have employees who aren't targeted by our individual sales efforts. The ideal worksite clients are manufacturing groups, government groups and hospital groups.
- Insurance brokers who work with employers (as identified) You'll also want to target brokers who work with employer groups that you want to work with.
The reason you want to build a large database is because you want to have plenty of people to call so that you don't feel so "married" to specific prospects that you put pressure on them. More prospects in the pipeline relieves sales pressure.
The Prospecting Strategy
Your goal is to get out of the sales mentality and instead get into the offer making business. To do that, you'll first figure out what those offers are, then you'll do the best you can to get that offer in front of as many people as you can and then work with those interested in the offer you make.
As you do this, you want to focus on getting people to at least hear your offers and then make a yes or no decision. You don't want to get wrapped up in what the decision is. Whether it's yes or no, accept it and move on. For the yes's, we'll start working with them. For the no's we'll recontact them at later dates.
Let's break down these steps:
- Craft an offer that solves a problem your prospects are likely to have The first step is to craft an offer. This will be the hard part. In future articles, I talk more about how to craft your offers that get interest and discussion started. These offers will be different for individuals and employer groups since they are different targets.
- Contact your prospects and make the offer Once your offer is crafted, you want to impress upon your prospects that all you want to do is make sure they hear your offer - whatever it is. Further, you want to stress that whether they become a client or not isn't what's important at this stage. You are indifferent to whether they buy or don't buy. But it is important to you that they at least hear the offer out.
- Work with those prospects who are interested in your offer For those that "raise their hand" so to speak, these are your real prospects and you'll take them through a predetermined set of steps to facilitate a yes or no decision.
- Do an awesome job and ask for their help identifying future prospects Deliver more than your clients expect and ask them to help you find more clients.
- Keep making offers and refilling your database Over time, your database or prospects will need to be cleaned and refilled to keep enough prospects.
Now the hard part of the prospecting strategy that I've laid out is that there are still a lot of holes we need to fill out in the process I've outlined.
There's what you say on the phone. There's what you put on your website and direct mail. And when you have prospects interested in your offer, there's a specific set of steps you'll still need to know. These are all things I'll expand on either here or in future articles that I have planned.
For now, the main thing I want you to focus on is that you need a large database of prospects, you want to start contacting those prospects to make your offers and work with those that say yeah I'll hear you out. Those that don't want to hear you out, move on and recontact them at a future time.
Prospecting is the key element to your success as a life insurance agent. If you don't do it, you won't succeed. Prospecting takes a certain mindset and isn't pressure. It's about identifying people who will work with you and moving them forward.
This is the prospecting roadmap I use to build a life insurance agency from scratch. As always, I love to hear from you about your prospecting philosophy and strategy.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts and suggestions.