What It Takes to Be Successful at Prospecting

In the November 2015 issue of Research:, industry veteran Bill Good wrote about what it takes to be successful at prospecting. Below is a recap of Good’s article.

There are times when things aren’t working the way they should in prospecting, which should signal you to stop and think. You can usually fix any prospecting mishaps by understanding these two aspects of your marketing campaign:

  • The basic mistakes.
  • The variables for your campaign.

The Basic Mistakes

  • Find a bad idea and stick to it. This affects rookies most, as they start off using tired, old script, “Hi there! I’m John Doe calling to introduce myself.” When it doesn’t work, they try harder and nothing happens, so they conclude they’re not cut out for a career in this industry. All they needed was a good script! If you’ve been working on something for a while and it’s not working—stop; change something and do it quickly. A sales pipeline can take months, even years, so you have to be able to measure the success of your methods early on. Choose benchmarks and make changes in what would otherwise be a failing process.

Good benchmarks to follow for cold calling: 15 percent of your clients provide a referral every year and 60 percent of those close. From cold calling, you generate two to three cherries per hour, 1 in 10 of these produces an initial appointment. If your early numbers are way off of those listed, you’ll never catch up.

Good benchmarks to follow for seminar mailings: Your mailings produce an .8 to 1 percent response, 80 percent of those show up, 30 to 40 percent set appointments, 30 percent open an account within three months and another 20 percent will open within two years, provided you have a good drip system. If you’re not reaching these numbers, something isn’t right and you have a bad idea—change it!

  • Find a good idea and change it. You did something, it worked, and you’ve stopped doing it or tried to improve it—don’t! If you’re getting the right amount of prospects responding, but you feel the sales is taking a long time to close, that’s ok. But if you change prospecting process instead of focusing on the real problem, the sales procedure, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
  • Find a good idea and don’t do it enough. If you hold a successful seminar, when’s the next one? If your response is “next quarter” you’re wrong. At this moment, your topic, invitation, lists and location are right. Why wait? You never know what tomorrow will bring, so hold seminars while they’re relevant.
  • Don’t prospect. Clients are aging and dying, and along with them, go their assets. You can’t sit by and hope prospects will come your way with no real effort on your part. There is no such thing in this business as being “done.” There is only growth or death.

The Variables

A variable is anything over which you have control that can change the outcome a direct-response marketing campaign. You cannot do anything about the market, but you can do something about how many calls you make, how many invitations you send, etc.

Cold Calling Variables

Many variables contribute to your success when it comes to cold calling:

  • Your philosophy.
  • How you sound.
  • The amount of calls you’re making.
  • The time of day you call.
  • Your message.
  • Who you call.

Seminar Variables

Seminars also have a list of variables that contribute to your success:

  • Invitations.
  • Lists.
  • Locations.
  • Confirmation procedures.
  • Food choices.
  • Seating arrangements.
  • Seminar handouts.
  • Post-seminar appointment procedures.

To ensure success, ensure every variable is up to standard. Keep changing the variables one at a time. If you can’t get it right in a relatively short amount of time, it’s a bad idea. Dump it and start over!

CreativeOne has many resources to help you be your best when it comes to prospecting. Give the sales team a call today at 800.992.2642 and ask how we can help propel you into success!

 

FOR FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR USE WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC. CP-0712 – 2016/2/3

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