Cold Calling 101: Professor Richard Deckard

Discussion in 'Insurance Cold Calling Forum' started by Rick Deckard, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Rick Deckard
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    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    Finally hit 20 posts, looking forward to a lot of threads here.

    I am going to try and create a quality 1st thread. I have left some bread crumbs on here already about what I do and how I feel I can help a bunch of you. I understand and respect folks who tell new agents in here the horrors of cold calling and how it impedes their business. I want to stress that I don’t know of any way you will make it in any of the insurance roads if you don’t start making cold calls to some target market when you enter the Insurance World.

    That said I can understand why folks encourage everyone to get out there and meet people face to face. I think noobs should plan on a lot of cold calling and canvassing face to face when they 1st get started. The idea you get a license and then leads are placed in your hands…I would say you want to work at one of the places that is frowned upon by most Independent Agents if you need that type of spoon feeding and in no way am I putting you down. It stinks drumming up your own leads at times…especially in the beginning.

    Prospecting which is what we are really talking about is not always fun but IMO it’s just about the best part of the cycle other than writing policies and collecting checks(figurative). You never know who you will meet and most of my experiences are good. I don’t allow someone telling me no or even trying to explain how awful I am for even approaching them…you can’t let that get in your way. I smile and thank those people knowing I am that much closer to finding the next gem.

    That was my little chapter before the real meat of this gets going.

    Step 1: Plan Plan Plan…cannot stress it enough. Don’t spend all day doing this but you must have an action plan. How much time are you willing to invest daily into cold calling? I would designate about 2-3 hours or however long it takes to make about 100 calls…or however long it takes to drum up 3-5 good leads. If you are the agent you stand a much better chance of forwarding the call past the initial cold calling phase.

    Step 2: Only spend time with people that have an actual need and have the means to pay for it. I see agents waste a lot of time trying to get someone to buy that can’t really afford to pay for it. Your job is not to manage their fixed incomes but again IMO you are spinning your wheels a lot. I don’t want to show my distaste for certain products but there are definitely things I could not pitch or get excited about from a CC POV.

    I want to also say that I am blessed to live in a fertile rich state for folks who need insurance plus a lot of people own property here but live elsewhere many more months out of the year…trying to find them when they are here is challenging. I imagine if I lived in more rural parts of the country I would likely focus on different insurance. There are parts of my state though where rural is a great description.

    Why is that important? I am going to explain…if you don’t talk or tell stories well or connect well with the market you are pitching, it’s gonna be hard to really make a splash with those folks. I come across educated on the phone and therefore I tend to rub people who struggle paycheck to paycheck, I’m not a great pitch man for those folks only because I feel guilty when I entice them to buy something they really cannot afford. I have learned the hard way a lot of those sales come back as chargebacks.

    I used to own a moving company and I was very good on the phones, far better than our “sales people” and I could convince people to pay a little more thru us because we never lied about the cost of what it would be to get from Point A to Point B unlike a lot of other moving companies and folks. Maybe my quote was $2,500 and they get some foolish bid of $999 by an unseasoned telemarketer that doesn’t know that Meyer Israel is picking up their stuff and he has no plans on agreeing to the $999 term they were promised by the TM…doubt me just google “Moving Scams” and your eyes will burn out. I had to leave the industry it was so corrupt and dirty, just not for me. One day I will share more moving horror stories…I had to fire a driver in mid transit once; that was a mess. Point is I learned to focus on bigger moves, 3 and 4 bedroom homes, people who had moved once already in the last 3-5 years and might have had a horror experience the last time they moved and UNDERSTAND what an honest quote means vs the 1 bedroom apartment owner that didn’t have 2 nickels to rub together.

    -You can find a slice of bread in a dumpster but that doesn’t make it a good place to look for a meal.

    Step 3-You must get out of your comfort zone and start thinking like people who have money. Where do they go, what do they do, what do they buy, who is most likely to afford your service or product, you must be able to answer those questions if you are going to make it. I understand it feels scary but if it were easy then everyone would make 6 figures and we know that isn’t happening but maybe the top 5-10% in this business. The good news from my experience so far is about 80% of the licensed agents out there WILL NOT do any of the things we push in here. You have to start thinking like the people you plan on catering to. You must appear to them like you live in their world. I am fortunate to have an SO that works in fundraising and non profit. They do not try and go after poor people for donations, no money in it.

    I have folks on the phone who politely decline my service but literally tell me I sound good and if I could call them closer to their renewal date in 6 months, 9 months…those are terrific leads to load the pipeline with if you are thinking long term. I tell people I specialize in what they have/own…high value properties and vehicles, sometimes will even say “Luxury Homes” and I say it in a way that says I specialize with folks who have money without actually saying that…use your brain people. And not to be rude but if you have never made 6 figures ever or had a 10k/20k month in commissions, what good are you to the folks you are calling? If you can’t identify with their needs in some form or fashion then you are useless to them. I am not saying you should quit but you need to expand your cultural base, read some publications about subjects you know nothing about to become better versed in these folks's minds and mindsets.


    I think that’s good for now. I have a lot to add as I take breaks between my CC here at the office. Keep dialing but dial with a purpose.

    Cheers for now!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  2. Rick Deckard
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    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping to hear some feedback, any feedback good or bad from anything I posted. I'm not offended and I think if it were way out in left field that someone would have said something already.

    I'm excited because we put in a new phone system at my office. The phone can easily come home with me and I can plug in thru my internet connection at home and still be able to appear as if I am making calls in the office but will do it at night from my home. Also allows me to hop on early morning without rushing into the office.

    Cheers everyone!
     
  3. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Well-Known Member

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    The problem I have with the original post is that it's longer than War and Peace. So I didn't even bother reading it.

    Rick
     
  4. Rick Deckard
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    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    Ur so right, let me try it another way.

    1. Be direct and to the point. You have all of 3 seconds to really make an impression, my advice is don't sound like everyone else. That's easier said than done but DO NOT think of yourself as a cold caller, that's not good. You should be proud of why you are calling, if not it won't work.

    -Just state your first name and the purpose of the call. "Mrs Smith, my name is Rick and I'm calling about your ________ Insurance." Life, Health, FE, Med, Homeowner's, fill in whatever applies.

    2. Next thing out of your mouth is the real hook. You quickly stated your name and general purpose but now you need to throw the bait in and see if they will bite. I strongly urge you to come across as an "Expert" in whatever you are "Educating" them on. I always say "I specialize in..." whatever their market is.

    -"We specialize in Homeowner Insurance Renewals specifically 12-24 months from date of purchase. Being an independent agency we typically save our clients between 15-30% from their current premiums."

    They will then answer in one of two ways. The first is they simply say "I have someone for that" and it's up to you what you want to do, I typically do not press hard, too many folks to call.

    The 2nd and more common response is "Oh OK" and that's an open invitation to get them a quote.

    That should be simple and easy for most of you, don't over complicate things like I did in Post #1. Thanks Green, I'm sure others felt similar.
     
  5. plewi003
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    plewi003 Well-Known Member

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    I think the main point here, is to make the call. There is no best script, best time, best day to make the calls. Most get hung up on this and never follow through. It's proven that you make 50 calls, you'll get 2-5 good leads. Just create a discipline, and pick up the phone.
     
  6. xrac
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    xrac Well-Known Member

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    I have a great fear of cold calling although I am very good at it once I can beat my fear into submission. Concerning prospecting I have a set of tapes of Bill Bishop's Gold Calling System of Teleprospecting. He was recommended on Topgunproducers and is very best I have ever listened to. I learned a lot of good stuff from him but I think he is no longer active or alive since I can not find anything from him since 2004.
     
  7. Rick Deckard
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    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    003, I agree with you but I do think it helps to try and call when people are more likely home and apt to pick up. I also think it is very important that you NOT sound like a TM, occasionally I might pepper in that I am not calling from a call center but rather my private office. Many of you are fully licensed so I would say something like..."I'm a licensed agent that specializes in ______ NOT a TM just calling you out of the phone book." Some of you might scoff at this but you would be surprised...you MUST make them respect you. If they don't respect you or what you are trying to do for them then it's on to the next call because remember...

    -SW4...Some Will, Some Won't, So What, Someone's Waiting!

    ----------

    Hello X,

    -I am a huge fan of your posts and honored you checked in here, safe to say I learn a lot from your posts. You are very wise and you educate folks, also help direct folks to people and information that can help them. You are one of a handful of folks around here I really connect with and think "I want to be like her". Some others I love to read include DHK and 1822, the latter likes to grumble and act like he is fed up with it all, I love it.

    -The avatar or picture, I was wondering if it was You and Mom or You and Daughter meaning Left/Right I figured one of them was you. It's a warm picture, makes me relax and receive whatever post or information you are putting out.

    -Anything or place or book you can direct a newbie(lot of sales background, new to Insurance) to would be fabulous. I have researched a lot but some of you likely know of some hidden gems here or elsewhere.

    My goal is to build a residual income so I can take care of everyone in my family, even the ones who don't deserve it. I want to be there to help folks with their immediate needs and long term goals. I'm starting P&C but will also be branching into Life, Annuities, Series 6 type stuff with some wealth management I hope. But P&C for probably the first 18-24 months.

    TY for all your golden nuggets.
     
  8. xrac
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    xrac Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the positive words. Actually I am a he and the picture is my wife and youngest daughter. The picture was taken last summer and my wife is past medicare age but still very easy on the eyes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  9. goillini52
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    goillini52 Well-Known Member

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    Hahahahahaaaa, you just called xrac a girl. You really know how to compliment a guy. I believe "her" name is Frank.:twitchy:
     
  10. Rick Deckard
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    Rick Deckard Well-Known Member

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    -My apologies, I should have seen the 3rd option, I just assumed things, shame on me.

    -Changes nothing in terms of my respect level and your unselfish ways. There is a reason your wife is still easy on the eyes, probably and almost certainly a lot of love between the two of you.

    -What do we have to do to get a copy of the tapes? Can we get them put on CDs, that's only late 80s technology, how old are the tapes? Korean War era?

    Cheers and TY for all your help in here, I speak for many that have come and gone.
     
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