My prospecting likely looks quite different from yours. I’m not talking only about the personal style and best practices that vary among advisors, but as a Knights of Columbus insurance field agent, my offerings and prospects are limited. Not every prospect (less than half the general population) qualifies to work with me, and I can’t offer everyone the same products other advisors can. But if I can successfully prospect within these guidelines, you can certainly prospect outside them.
I aim to prospect for 200-plus cases a year, so I talk to a lot of people and ask a lot of questions.
Over the years, I’ve discovered some creative venues for prospecting, and I’ve found that potential clients are everywhere around you if you know what questions to ask.
Costco Truly Has Everything
Shopping trips to Costco provide ample opportunity to start a conversation. I can begin with, “How is that sample?” or “Have you used this product before? What did you think?” If I get a positive response, I can get to my go-to question, which is simpler than you might think: “Do you have any life insurance?”
Between the sample lines and the long checkout lines, I’ve found many long-term clients this way. My wife hates how long it takes to go to the store with me, as I seek out the longest lines and start talking to people, and there’s no shame in that.
Work Every Line
My lineup strategy works anywhere, really — and it carries over to waiting rooms too. Think of all the places where you find yourself stuck with a bunch of strangers: the car wash, waiting on an oil change, at the doctor’s office, school pickup and more. You may not have realized it before, but you have a captive audience in these situations. People have nowhere to go and nothing to do, and they’re looking to kill the time.
Regardless of where you are, it’s your attitude and inspiration that will captivate prospects. It’s how you talk about your business, but it’s not about the exact words you say. If you are happy, friendly, positive and approachable, you’ll be amazed at what can happen when you ask that simple question: “Do you have any life insurance?”
Know Who To Approach
There is no regulation that forbids you from talking to people on the street who seem approachable. In person, you don’t have to worry about anti-spam regulations, but you also don’t want to be a bother or end up on the receiving end of a hostile response.
I recommend approaching people who do not appear to be in a hurry. I do not approach anyone who appears to be upset, rushed or angry. Similarly, I look for people who are not by themselves, so they do not see me as a threat or immediately put up a defense. As a man, I do not approach women who are alone, as I do not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, although women advisors may feel more comfortable approaching and connecting with other women.
The key is having patience to ask many questions — and trusting your instincts when it comes to approaching people who look as though they might be responsive. When you love talking to people and helping people get their financial house in order, prospecting becomes a pleasure, not a burden. I know that prospecting is simply asking people whether I can help them, and that drives me to help even more people.