When living in Houston, I was fortunate to work for Prudential where I sold both insurance and investment products. As part of the training, I learned the power of lead generation. That lesson has made a tremendous difference in increasing my annual earnings. The formula itself is easy, but sticking with the process is what separates those who excel from those who make excuses.
Preparing to Prospect
My work at Prudential began with a sales meeting at 7:30 a.m. After the meeting, I went to my office and organized my calls for the day. My dials were scheduled for one hour, beginning at firstname.lastname@example.org 9 a.m. Of course, depending on your target audience, you can vary the time. However, making the calls in the morning ensures that you complete this work early, giving you time to make sales presentations during the rest of the day.
You must have a script when on the phone. The delivery should be natural, but you need to know the critical points to address during the call. You know that not everyone is going to be interested in what you sell, and that is fine. When you run into a person who is not interested, cannot afford it, or does not have time to meet with you, make sure that you ask that individual for leads. Here is one strategy that works: “Mike, I understand this product might not be right for you right now. As you know, life insurance is important for new families. Will you recommend three individuals like yourself who might have an interest?” Given that Mike is not going to buy, he will likely feel the need to help you find others who are interested. Don’t hang up the phone until you have these leads.
It’s About the Numbers
The formula for success in any sales venture is finding qualified leads. Your initial list should include approximately 100 people, including colleagues, friends, and family. The people you put on that list largely depend on what you are selling. In other words, stick with the target market.
Once you have the list in place, the goal is to make 36 phone calls per day. Here is how the 36:12:6:3:1 formula works:
You make 36 phones calls during a one-hour period
Of the 36 calls, you will reach 12 people
Of the 12 people who speak with you, 6 will meet with you
Of the 6 people you schedule for a sales meeting, 3 will meet, and 3 will cancel
Of the 3 people you meet, 1 will buy
By following this formula, you will make one sale per day. In the insurance business, that is good work. Of course, if you wish to make more sales, you need to make more calls. To make more calls to qualified prospects, it is imperative that you ask for referrals, even from those showing zero interest.
Develop the Habit
Once you make lead generation a habit, it will be part of how you do business. In fact, the confidence you will exude with your product or service will make others want to help you succeed. Remember that everyone is a customer, even when they do not buy from you. In short, expanding your business means working the sales model, which includes prospecting, interviewing, determining customer needs, presenting, negotiating, closing, and follow-up.