Prospecting: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You!

Robert Crowder, founder and President of The Benefits Trust, has over 30 years of experience serving pension and employee benefits clients. In 1994, he founded The Benefits Trust as a Third Party Administrator serving small and mid-sized business across Canada. Through Rob Crowder's dedication and leadership, The Benefits Trust has grown into the successful benefits provider that it is today.

Prospecting: It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You!

There are all sorts of factors that go into building effective and profitable client relationships. The first step is establishing those relationships! That’s where prospecting comes in.

Prospecting is an invaluable part of an advisor’s sales plan.  Prospecting is about establishing those new relationships and putting your best foot forward as a benefits advisor. Ontario is an exciting marketplace, currently experiencing astounding growth and presenting nearly endless prospects for the ambitious advisor. So, how do you take advantage of that landscape?

Let’s dig deeper.

Understanding the Sales Funnel

Prospecting should never stop. If you find yourself frustrated with your business, it’s likely because you don’t have enough prospects at the top of the funnel. When you lack prospects, you lack sales.

Prospecting is a numbers game. Not every prospect will yield a business relationship, and that’s normal. However, you can improve that ratio by defining your target market and operating with intention.

Operating Within Your Target Market

First, identify the types of prospects you want to target. You can define this group by industry, size, geographic location, years in business, demographics, or any parameters you’d like. The important thing is to define them.

Then, it’s all about catering to that group. Learn their language, join their associations, and become an expert in their field. Tell your prospects why they’re in your target market and show them you are the expert they want to do business with. By defining a distinct target market and operating within that, you effectively differentiate yourself from the others and eliminate the competition.

You’re there to solve their problems. Every campaign and pitch needs to start and finish with your prospect’s problems and how you can solve them. Communicate with your prospects in the manner that best suits them (whether that’s social media, email, direct mail, or in person) at the most convenient time for them (whether that’s early or late in the day or during their slow season).

Crafting Your Message

So, what do you say to your target market? Craft a clear and concise elevator pitch that explains what you do, showcases your value, and hooks them in to learn more.

At The Benefits Trust, we say, “We help successful business owners build a better benefits plan than they can get anywhere else.” That’s much better than “we sell insurance,” don’t you think?

You need to stand out. You can do this by showcasing extra attention to detail through means like direct mail and handwritten notes, and you can do it by showing that you’re an expert in their particular area of business (in other words, demonstrate to them that they’re within your target market). Bland, generic communications won’t work.

Think about the last big purchase you made. Did you deal with an expert? If so, were they professional? How did that relationship begin? Try putting yourself in the prospect’s shoes to gain a new perspective on your prospecting technique and how it might be refined.

Making Yourself Known

Of course, in order to deliver the message you’ve crafted, you need to get your foot in the door.

First, build a strategic plan. Develop a comprehensive marketing plan and be sure to make space for prospecting, both within your daily and weekly schedule, as well as in your overarching annual business plan.

This stage might involve an investment. You’re likely not a marketing expert, SEO expert, social media expert, or digital analyst. Yet maintaining an updated website and producing regular content is important. Consider investing in the expertise of others to take your prospecting game to the next level and reach more potential clients through strategies like newsletters, educational materials, industry updates, or other strategic marketing tactics.

Making yourself known is also dependent on relationships and connections. Referrals are huge in the benefits industry, so nurturing your relationships—professional and otherwise—is a prospecting skill in and of itself.

With that, make time to get involved in communities that are important to you. Whether you’re passionate about skiing, sailing, golf, religion, or any other interest, make yourself known within that community. Not only is it enjoyable, but it helps to build both your visibility and your trustworthiness.

Staying Accountable

Now that you know what to say, who to say it to, and how to get there, it comes down to consistency and accountability. You need to continually feed that sales funnel if you want your business to thrive.

Clearly define your goals and recruit others to help keep you accountable. By sharing your goals with business coaches or a group of advisors (this group can consist of friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else), you invite others to check your progress and keep you on track.

For more information on developing a comprehensive prospecting strategy, contact us at The Benefits Trust. We’ve been providing third-party administration services for over 30 years and are here to help!

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