Commercial prospecting: Staying in Mind

Mar 20, 2019

  1. BananaCo
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    BananaCo New Member

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    I've recently started out in commercial sales (3 weeks), and as a result of my timing, I'm collecting quite a few late-year x-dates. Some are especially intrigued, others just nod nonchalantly, but in any event I'm accumulating a big bucket of late-calendar exes.

    Commercial folks: how do you keep your name/face in a prospect's mind while you wait out a term? I'd love to keep myself prioritized, if only a tiny bit, if only subconsciously. Any techniques that aren't shameless plugs?
     
    BananaCo, Mar 20, 2019
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  2. BADTROUT
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    BADTROUT Guru

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    I let them know midterm with a letter or email I'm still thinking about them and that I will be contacting them in the next 120 days or so. 30 to 60 before renewal.

    I'll need dec pages and a very brief meeting to discuss their business, and make sure you are giving them comparable and accurate quotes.

    Every step along the way I let them know I'll be preparing several options. One, similar to their existing coverage, and one done the right way (ok maybe not phrased exactly that way).

    When I am a month or two out I'll confirm an appt with a call. I also let them know that if at any point they arent into it, let me know so mo ones time is wasted. In that last conversation before meeting if they arent willing or able to provide dec pages I explain I work on a trust basis... if I'm not entrusted with it, then they need to move to the next agent... no matter what the size of the account.

    Confirm your appointment, show up 5 min early. NOT 15.

    May not work for you but I am a lifelong 80% closer if I make it to the appointment or final call. I also NEVER leave a proposal.
     
    BADTROUT, Mar 21, 2019
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  3. BananaCo
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    BananaCo New Member

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    Hot damn, love that confidence!

    I'd planned to get in touch midterm, for sure. Some are suggesting newsletters or emailing relevant blog links, but it's hard not to get spammy there.
     
    BananaCo, Mar 21, 2019
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  4. BADTROUT
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    BADTROUT Guru

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    All ima say is the successful business owners I've known rarely have time for bloglinks... and even less than newsletters about why they need to buy from you.

    Simply sending a note or dropping by with some breakfast muffins, no strings attached or a mug filled with pens pay dividends.

    Please remember this just my opinion, and you'll find what works for you best, and that's gonna be the best option.
     
    BADTROUT, Mar 21, 2019
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  5. BananaCo
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    BananaCo New Member

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    Indeed, but input like yours is truly very helpful.

    Obviously this mileage will vary wildly, but in your experience, how many lukewarm "Sure I guess" prospects are indeed amenable to talking 8-10 months later?
     
    BananaCo, Mar 21, 2019
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  6. BADTROUT
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    BADTROUT Guru

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    Starting out you'll feel the need for every lead you can get. Garbage in, Garbage out. Typically "suspects" dont pay well. True prospects do. You would do well when collecting the dates to look at dec pages, or ask them to have a look really quick to get a legit date.

    If they dont have th he time for that, they wont have the time to fill out apps or have you in for a sit down.

    I pre-sell... meaning when I would prospect I would ask up front... If I can come in, better or comparable coverage, at a better or comparable premium, and I put what may be hours against your may be 20 to 30 min (some more, some less) do you see any reason not to move forward? If their answer is no... proceed. If they are hesitant, thank them for their time, but let them know (very respectfully) how much effort goes into it on your side, and that you respect their time, but your going to have to pass. Its polarizing... some get pissed, some change their tune respecting, that you are respecting their time as well. That's when you hit them with...

    Many quick quote guys all about the price, for me it's a combo of price, and protection. I'll ask you what's important, then I'll go find the best price. Never trust that 5 min guy who gets you a quote without knowing the needs. MUCH of the time Mr Prospect (definately first name if you know it) I can get you the appropriate coverage, for little or no difference in premium if I have all the facts in front of me.

    The setup is more important th as n the quote. That's how you show them a proposal, but can get away taking it with you.
     
    BADTROUT, Mar 22, 2019
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  7. AZDave
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    AZDave Guru

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    Totally agree with Trout - turn that plain x date into a commitment to buy if you provide A, B and C to the insured.

    I am guilty of wasting so much of my time starting out with commercial lines. Getting the Xdate is the easy part. I would get so excited to quote and show up at the appointment, only to leave the quote behind without a check or apps, and allowing price to be the determining factor. My quote surely became a tool for the insured to use with the incumbent agent - the agent you need to have fired.

    Working smarter means qualifying that x date and toss the price shoppers. Some commercial accounts get quotes every year from everyone. If your lucky to write it, you will lose it next renewal or the next. Just a constant shopping battle. Just say no to those accounts.

    I would recommend the book, The Wedge. Find the pain in that customer and solve their problem without a focus on price. Learn about your competition. The incumbent Agent has the advantage from the beginning, learn how to 'wedge' him out of the renewal.

    This is a relationship business and you need to become as important to that business customer as his accountant and attorney. If you do that, no way will that customer leave you, unless you really screw it up!

    Good Luck, and good selling!

    Dave
     
    AZDave, Mar 22, 2019
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  8. Markthebroker
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    Markthebroker Guru

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    I've been writing commercial insurance for about 8 years. I write a LOT of mid term business, very little is on the xdate. So, I write it mid term, or I wait and call them back on the xdate. Not sure why I would invest the time to stay "in mind" until then, seems a little bit of a waste of time to me.
     
  9. BADTROUT
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    Some of it depends on the min earned premium or short rating, also its a little different on the auditable stuff, where the insured is going to need to spend a little extra time doing things to complete the move if you will... That said, I agree totally, to wait, just for the sake of an X date is silly. A good technique would be to explain to the insured you don't usually move until renewal, but you are going to look now regardless to be extra prepared. When the prices come back high, you have until renewal to find another market to beat them if you cant upsell your value. If you are beating the price by enough to make it worthwhile you go back to the insured with this...

    "I usually (as I previously mentioned) try not to push a sale until the renewal, but wow, I think we have a great fit we should move on now." Then you end up going through the better coverage better price etc schpiel and sell the business.
     
    BADTROUT, Mar 22, 2019
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  10. AZDave
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    Can't pay the bills with a bunch of Xdates either!
     
    AZDave, Mar 22, 2019
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