Now that Open Enrollment season is behind you, what are you going to direct your attention to? While Q1 is the perfect time for you to focus on generating leads, prospecting is often considered time-consuming and tedious. Finding new clients is challenging enough, so if you approach prospecting with a lack of enthusiasm, attracting qualified prospects will become even harder. How can you effectively find more SMB looking for a new broker without throwing your day away? In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we share prospecting tactics to help make your efforts easier and more effective so you can grow your agency in 2020.
Improve the Process
Before you start improving your prospecting tactics in 2020, it’s crucial to enhance your process or put one in place if you don’t have it. In this section, we highlight three aspects to improve your prospecting process so you can be more effective:
Make Prospecting a Habit
Prospecting might not be the most fun activity, but making this task a regular habit will help your effectiveness. While you might want to decompress after Open Enrollment and just focus on ACA compliance, putting prospecting off will have consequences. The closer you get to the next busy season, the fewer chances you have to win new businesses. If you want to grow your book of business in 2020, schedule time for yourself and dedicate a little bit of every day to prospecting.
When employers are looking for a health insurance broker to work with, they will pay attention to every detail. A well-organized and efficient broker that has a process in place will be an attractive partner. A broker that seems discombobulated won’t make the cut. Create a template you can fill out about each prospect to gather basic information, such as name, number of employees, and key points shared in your conversations. By doing so, you’ll have the most important information at a glance and you’ll be able to prepare a powerful pitch to start the relationship on the right foot.
Do Your Research
When prospecting, the research process is key to determine the quality of your leads. With no prior history of the contact and no context, gathering the right information can be complicated. However, there are tools to ease the process. miEdge is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool designed for the insurance industry to improve the prospecting process. On the miEdge platform, you can access data to identify leads, research competitors, and understand the market trends. Another great tool is LinkedIn. LinkedIn provides a variety of filters that allow you to refine your search in a sophisticated manner to identify potential clients.
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
If having a process in place is the first step to improve your prospecting tactics, knowing who you are looking for is the second. You might have a lot of leads coming your way, but spending time reaching out to all of them can be pointless. Moreover, if you don’t know who your ideal client is, what are you going to look for on LinkedIn or miEdge?
By taking the time to define who your ideal customer is, you will be able to focus on quality over quantity. You will stop wasting time on leads that will ignore your efforts and you’ll be sure you are targeting the prospects that are more likely to respond positively to a cold email or sales pitch. To define your ideal customer, start by looking at your current clients. Find out what they have in common: from the number of employees to the type of plans. From there, you can use this data to start personalizing your prospecting tactics to the ideal customer persona.
Improve Your Communications
Excellent communication skills are crucial to start a great broker-employer relationship. When you are approaching a new prospect, avoid jargon and cliches. Instead, get straight to the point. Clearly point out the differences between you and your competitors with verifiable facts and examples. In the insurance industry, competing primarily on price is not the most effective strategy. In your approach to new prospects, make sure to explain the higher value of the services you offer beyond the insurance plan.
Nowadays, there are tools that make communicating with your prospects and clients easier. Having a website and social media profiles on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook will help you establish your online presence. In addition, your prospective clients will be able to find you while you interact and have conversations with them. Another way to improve your communications is to take your email marketing to the next level. Create a newsletter to stay not only in touch with current clients but also the prospects that asked you for a quote and didn’t buy. If you create a newsletter that is interesting and that helps your prospects solve real problems in their day-to-day work, there are more chances that they will come back to you.
Create a Referral Program
If you want to improve your prospecting tactics for 2020, creating a referral program will boost your chances. The prospects coming from referrals will be more receptive to the pitch and you’ll be able to fast-track credibility. There won’t be leads as ready to sign a deal as the ones coming from your current clients, making the opportunity of you closing that deal increase dramatically. As you can see in the graphic below, top performers in the sales industry tend to ask for referrals every day.
By creating a referral program, you can influence your current clients to share your name and information. If your clients are happy with you, they will talk about you naturally, but if you have a referral program in place, the incentive for them to share and refer will be higher. When planning your marketing activities for 2020, incorporate the simple act of asking your existing customers if they know of anyone who would also be interested in doing business with you. For example, create an email to thank your clients for their hard work during Open Enrollment and ask them if they know anyone that could also take advantage of your services.
Improving your prospecting tactics will set you up for success in 2020 and years to come. Don’t forget to travel with your prospects along the marketing funnel to ensure they are high-quality leads that will convert into clients. Insurance is a people business and you need to make sure to develop a strategy that keeps prospects interested. Develop a complete picture of each lead so your agency can follow up with the ones most likely to become paying customers. By improving your prospecting tactics, you’ll be able to identify the most qualified leads, communicate with them more effectively, and increase your agency’s conversion rate.