Sales Skills

3 Common Prospecting Problems and Solutions

Karen, the sales manager for a medium-size agency, recently said, “My producers are very nice.  But they’re experiencing a significant failure rate.  What should I do?”

Beyond Insurance analyzed Karen’s situation, and offered the following observations:

Problem 1:  The producers stayed busy, but were not prospecting efficiently.  They were in a busy loop of nonstop activity – writing emails, attending networking events, and creating call lists.  Unfortunately, staying busy all the time with non-threatening activity was not prospecting.  Karen’s producers simply were not connecting with any qualified prospects!

Solution:  The producers should eliminate the activities that are not meeting the agency’s goals or producing tangible results.  Rather, they should focus on meeting with business owners face-to-face and building rapport with them.

Problem 2:  The producers were attending non-productive networking events.

Solution:  Instead of attending networking events, they should focus on developing a network of raving fans and centers of influence who would provide them with referrals.  Referrals will shorten the sales cycle, and make it easier to obtain appointments and gain new clients.  Beyond Insurance suggested having the producers make a list of their prospects, then ask their raving fans and centers of influence, “Would you mind looking over this list to see whom you know?  Would you be willing to give me an introduction?””

Problem 3:  Karen’s producers were nice, but they were not listening to their prospects so they could satisfy their needs or solve their key issues.  They were not communicating value to their prospects or helping them make a decision.  Instead, they were forcing the prospect to make a decision based on price. 

Solution:  The producers should actively listen to the prospects, ask probing questions, and discover the business owner’s underlying wants, needs, and issues.  To develop a clear understanding of their prospect, they need to actively seek their point of view by asking questions, conducting a risk audit, and listening for specifics.  When a producer spends time developing a clear understanding of the prospect, they can respond with superior solutions, coverage, service, or risk management advantages.

When Karen’s producers implemented these solutions and truly began to solve their prospects’  problems, they gained their trust, turned them into clients, and kept their business year after year.