If you’ve ever been an athlete or sportsman, you’ll know that unless you’re exceptionally naturally talented, learning a new skill or improving weak ones, doesn’t happen at the first attempt. Whether you’re a scrumhalf perfecting a flatter pass, a batsman learning the reverse sweep or a golfer trying to hit it straighter off the tee, you’re going to need some time with your coach and even more time practicing. It’s no different when you’re a financial advisor and applies to most aspects of our profession, none less so than the important art and science of cold-calling.
As part of prospecting your pipeline, cold-calling is the most efficient and cost-effective tool you have. It is crucial to be able to “close” cold calls and, even if I say so myself, as a bit of an old pro at this, I’d like to share a few tips with you. In today’s post I’m going to introduce you to the importance of cold-calling and WHY it’s essential to your success. (You can read more on the importance of WHY right here)
In the financial services world you’re not going to make a sale if you’re not getting the meeting. To get into that potential client’s office you need to get past his current broker and products; if he is happy with them, he’s not calling you – you’ll be calling him.
Let’s clarify what it is we’re aiming at here; at DFC Greater Gauteng, we aim to stay the top producing office in South African life insurance. IF you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re ambitious about your business too. You’re not looking to spend too much time on the easy sales that are going to happen anyway. You also know better than to chase those sales that are NEVER going to happen. So what is going to make you stand up above the rest and make the big money? It’s by being better at closing the real sales that are “up for grabs”, but that need to be won!
The first thing to grasp in this success is the timing of your sales cycle. You’re unlikely to sell a life policy in the first meeting. There’s homework to be done, quotes to be prepared, the client wants to think, compare and ask questions. Let’s suggest it takes you 6 weeks from call to signature, you’re realising that procrastination is weakening your cash pipeline. If you don’t make an appointment today, you don’t earn in six weeks time.
It’s also crucial that you understand the steps in your sales cycle; how many meetings, calls, emails, and proposals does it REALLY take to get the sale? To be a champion financial advisor, you need to know when extra effort isn’t going to pay off and you need to cut loose. Every time. Don’t throw good time after bad, or you’ll be “chasing your tail instead of making sale”.
In this introduction I’ve touched on the reasons WHY cold-calling is important. If you take nothing else away, remember the crucial point “get the appointment”.
Over the next couple of articles I’ll help you understand the more detailed mechanics of successful cold-calling. Don’t miss the next post which focuses on the “numbers” and how important it is to know how many calls, appointments and “no’s” you need to get through, to make your targets.
If you’re a great broker looking to make a career breakthrough, DFC Greater Gauteng could be the place for you. Feel free to drop Sean a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more about our great team.