Insurance agencies and producers struggle filling their pipelines with targeted, quality prospects and effectively turning those prospects into clients. Here are tips for tackling this critical part of the job.
The scariest and most
difficult part of a scary and
PROSPECTING – Creating
opportunities for sales conversations
As much as we’d like to say there is a “magic bullet” to filling
a pipeline, that just isn’t the case. However, there are ways
to make your efforts more effective and efficient.
Three basic ways to create a short-term opportunity: client
referrals, center-of-influence referrals, and cold contacting.
There are also ways to make opportunities created by each
o New business goal
o Targeted avg
o Close ratio
o Conversion ratio
The primary goal of prospecting
is to create a healthy pipeline.
While there is no one definition of
what constitutes a healthy
pipeline, every producer has their
one definition of what is healthy
To determine that for yourself,
you must know your numbers.
When you know your number,
then you can determine how
many opportunities you need to
CALCULATE YOUR HEALTHY PIPELINE
1. Divide your new biz goal by your avg rev/opportunity to
determine the # of deals you need to close.
2. Divide the # of needed closed deals by your close ratio to
determine how many finalist presentations you need.
3. Divide the # of finalist presentations by your conversion ratio
to determine the # of opportunities you need to create.
For prospecting efforts to
be effective, you have to
clearly define your ideal
client and use it as a
filter before you allow
anyone the privilege of
being in your pipeline.
Size of business
Position in company
Advisor or Vendor?
More important than telling a prospect
your story is making sure you know the
details of their story
CAPTURE THEIR STORY
• INDUSTRY – What unique challenges does their industry provide?
• ASPIRATIONS – What are their goals/objectives?
• DECISION MAKERS – Who are they and what are their concerns?
• BUYING STYLE– How will they decide whether or not to hire you?
• CHALLENGES – What is holding them back?
• RELATIONSHIP – Are they looking for an advisor or vendor?
“A” – Ways you
“B” – Who they
Most producers don’t ask their clients for the favor of referrals.
And, those that do typically don’t get results. Why? In addition
to the favor of a referral, they ask the client to do the job of
figuring out who to refer.
It’s healthy to ask strong relationships for favors, but it’s not fair
to ask them to do a job, YOUR job. Let’s fix that.
List the clients who love you most – your raving fans.
For each raving fan, make two lists
“A” lists all the great things you’ve done for each client. This will reinforce for
both of you that you’ve done a great job.
“B” is a list (w/ contact info) of companies they know, companies you’d like to
know. (Sources – LinkedIn, biz neighbors, other biz relationships, other members
of boards on which they sit, etc.)
Now, with the “job” part done, its easy for them to do you the favor of introductions.
CENTERS OF INFLUENCE
Just like with clients, referrals from COIs have the potential to generate a
significant number of high quality, high-close-ratio opportunities. The problem is
most producers don’t develop or effectively manage these potentially valuable
relationships. These have to be more than lunch buddies, they need to be
treated as the strategic partnerships they are. The keys are to choose COIs
carefully and then manage the relationship strategically.
A good COI
• Considered best in class in industry
• Respected by their peers
• A leader in the community
• Has access to your ideal clients
• Will benefit from the introductions
you can make
• Is in active growth mode themselves
Rules of engagement
• Both sides understand why
• Introductions go both ways
• Meet formally on a regular basis
• Each meeting has an agenda to
ensure it is productive
• Follow up plan exists for
Despite the headlines, cold calling is
not dead. It may be more difficult than
ever, but it still works. To make it
work, be committed. Be committed to
understanding your value proposition
so you can clearly communicate why
someone should take a meeting. Be
committed to practicing your
conversation. And, be committed to
getting in the dials.
(Hint – Cold calling is easier when an
effective marketing strategy is in place. Be
sure to visit our marketing page.)
1. SCRIPT & PRACTICE – Know what
you’re going to say before you pick
up the phone or knock on the door.
2. PREPARE – Beyond practicing your
script, prepare by knowing the
solutions you offer, the value of your
sales process, WHY someone
should meet with you.
3. DISCIPLINE – Schedule your calling
time, track results, be consistent.
4. ANTICIPATE OBJECTIONS – They’re
going to happen. Make a list of
objections, script your responses,
and practice using them.
5. DO IT ALL AGAIN
Send an agenda
prior to every
meeting. It shows
and ensures both
sides are prepared,
that the right topics
BONUS SECTION | “KEEP IT MOVING”
The one thing that is more dangerous than an empty pipeline is a pipeline with
stagnant opportunities. This is more dangerous because it gives you a false sense of
security. There appears to be future new clients, but if they aren’t moving forward, you
will never close the deal.
As early in the
sales process as
the standard you
need to hit to earn
Start each meeting
with an agreement
of the decision to
be made that day.
(Hint – It should
always be about
the next step)
meeting, send a
summary email of
key points. Include
(read an article,
etc). It will get them
further vested in
Both you and the
always know what
the next meeting
will focus on and
when it will take
place, as well as
how close you are
to satisfying the
Well, what are you waiting for? Go prospect!
Just kidding (sort of). While we hope you find our ideas
helpful, we’re sure you still have questions.
Contact us to learn more.