I support my family and our lifestyle by constantly monitoring the following six activities of daily working. These activities are as important to me as the six activities of daily living used by long-term-care claims administrators to determine if an insured can take care of himself or if he needs to be taken care of. These activities determine if I will take charge of my career or if I will be taken out of my career.
1. Prospecting. This means everything—from gathering “cold” names to getting referrals, from dropping in on old clients and centers of influence to cold calling businesses door-to-door. I have been in this business for over 30 years, and if there is one sure thing I know, it is this: If I stop prospecting, I will stop selling. Now I won’t stop selling the same day I stop prospecting, or not even the same week, but as sure as B follows A, my sales will soon stop if my prospecting stops.
2. Calling. Calling might be a sales call to a referral or cold prospect, a “How are you?” call to a center-of-influence or referral source or perhaps a service call to an old client. It does not matter. If you speak to (not dial, but speak to) 20 people every day about the products and services you offer, you will have more than enough business to support your life and your lifestyle. Remember, however, that you must remain in compliance with the national do-not-call registry
Show your clients you care, and they will never leave you.
3. Writing to clients. This can be done via an email or even better, a letter. How many letters do you get at home or at the office every day? I did not say pieces of mail; I said letters. A friendly letter from someone you buy things from. Not a flyer offering to sell you something or a bill, but a letter that perhaps says the sender read an article he thought might be of interest to you. Or a letter that congratulates you for something he read or heard about you or your company. Or it could be because your birthday is next week. People like letters. They like hand-written letters and notes even more.
4. Asking people to buy and servicing them well. The majority of the sales that never were, were caused by a salesperson who never asked for the sale. People want to be asked to buy, and they want help in saying yes. Many of the packaged closes you hear do not work because they are not designed for the 21st century.
There are many ways to ask someone to buy. I prefer going back over the needs and wants clients and prospects felt were right for them, giving them a chance to change their needs or wants, assuming they are going to buy and moving on to scheduling the exam, completing the application and asking for a check.
When the sale is made, many salespeople forget their newest client and move to their next prospect. In our business, an initial sale to a client should be less profitable than the future business that client will generate. This will happen if you service that client. By service, I mean sending to that client letters and news clippings, making birthday and anniversary calls, dropping in and saying hi and bringing in donuts. Nothing is too corny or excessive. Show your clients you care, and they will never leave you. Instead, they will come back again and again—and they will bring their friends, too.
5. Delivering the claim check. You make a promise when you sell a product. Often the fulfillment of that promise is required only after a tragic and sad event. Do what you said you would do. Deliver the check. Don’t mail it or send it to the lawyer or accountant. Deliver it in person. It may be the first long-term care insurance or disability insurance claim check payable to the client or the death claim check payable to the beneficiaries. Delivering the claim not only completes the cycle; it also reminds you what this business is all about. The words you utter during an interview are not just words; they are a promise of action.
6. Getting an education. It is necessary for you to take continuing education courses to retain your license and become or remain technically competent. However, sales seminars can help you convert your CE credits into CASH.
So where do you go to get the best sales, motivational and inspirational support available in the industry? Well, if you qualify, you can travel to the annual Million Dollar Round Table meeting each June. But if you want it now and you want it nearby, or if you are not yet a member of MDRT, the sales, motivational and inspirational ideas and concepts are as close to you as the next local NAIFA association meeting or the annual NAIFA Convention and Career Conference.
The value of local meetings
During your local NAIFA association meetings, you will learn successful prospecting and contact language, communications and sales ideas, motivational concepts, and inspirational stories. All of these are presented by producers who are still doing today, and every day, what you want to be able to do. You will have a chance to meet the heroes of our profession and ask them questions about how they do what they do.
The super-star speakers will not only tell you what they do and how they do it; they will also show that they are willing to answer questions you have about your own business and your own cases. NAIFA local association sales meetings are a proven pathway to success.
Willie Goldwasser, CLU, ChFC, is a principal of Goldwasser-Appel Insurance Advisors, LLC, a licensed Massachusetts insurance advisory firm. He is currently president of NAIFA-Massachusetts. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.