How to be a Bionic Prospector

By Jim Ruta | April 24 2018 07:00AM

Photo: Freepik

With all the new, 21st Century technology out there, is there anything I can do to make prospecting easier?

From the first known advisor survey by MDRT in 1927 to every single one since then, (I’m sure) “prospecting” always comes up as your toughest job. Selling insurance is easy. Finding qualified people to sell it to is the hard part.

But, you can enhance your prospecting and leverage technology with an idea I’ve adapted from Aly Dhalla’s at Finaeo. To be fair, “bionic advisors” and leveraging technology is not really new. It’s just newer technology.  

When I started in the 1970s… hard to believe, I know, “bionic” meant using a $300 pocket calculator to do your rate book calculations more quickly and accurately. Today, those calculators come in a cereal box and we have far superior technology and even your smartphone to make the connections and necessary mental gymnastics easier.

Your smartphone can be the key to “bionic prospecting” because it does much more than math. With the quality video cameras on today’s smartphones, you can give a power-assist to your prospecting. Here’s how to make it work.

First, write a compelling 130-word (60 second) prospecting script. Shoot a 60 second prospecting video on your smartphone. Set up your office with good lighting and background. You don’t need a microphone because you will be within a meter of the phone, so you fill the shot. Make it look like the evening news. Then, post your prospecting video to YouTube. Attach that YouTube link your prospecting texts, emails, your LinkedIn page, business Facebook page, your business cards and especially your email signature to attract people to you, your story and your process. Write short notes to prospects to invite them to watch for just a minute. Add the prospecting video to page one of your website.

With the right video setup, a compelling script and a consistent social media marketing strategy, you can now be prospecting 24/7. You may need your company’s compliance approval for the video, but it is worth the effort. And, when you work from a prepared script, it’s easier to get approval because they know what you will say. Your prospecting story can go viral with your friends, prospects and clients. You can be prospecting without being involved. You can be prospecting when you are sleeping or on vacation. How’s that for easier?

This one techno-edge idea could change your business overnight. I have seen it happen already. Otherwise tentative advisors, with the right script, a good setup and basic production discover to their amazement that they look very professional on video. Most advisors presume they are awful on video and can’t tolerate to see their image and hear their voices. But, these new “bionic prospectors” discover that they are far better than they thought and are truly worthy of new business. Discover that reality and you are much more likely to prospect with video and without it. You’ve gone bionic. All your success goes through prospecting so the more prospecting you do, the more successful you will be. If you have a prospecting video doing your work for you 24/7, you can be that much better. It’s time to try bionic prospecting.

What’s a good approach to determine an amount of critical illness for a prospect?

Determining recommended amounts of disability insurance is obviously based strictly on current gross income. The estate assets and liabilities approach has been the strategy of choice for determining life insurance requirements for years. But, critical illness insurance has never had a straightforward approach to determine recommended coverages. That sales strategy has fallen between the planning cracks. It accounts for the relative lack of sales of the product since it’s inception in Canada in 1994.

Critical illness insurance amounts are routinely dollar approximations without a lot of structure or foundation. Sometimes they are premium based amounts – what you can get for an amount per month. Just not a lot of heat in the recommendation.

But, there is another way. It makes critical illness a more compelling purchase. And, the approach works for all insurance products not just critical illness. It’s the “If Money Were No Object” (IMWNO) approach. IMWNO gives advisors the opportunity to advise prospects about what they could do for themselves and their family to protect against a critical illness “if money were no object”. It’s the advisor’s best solution to a health-related financial disaster. The same thinking applies in life and disability insurance too.

So, to calculate critical illness insurance coverage, the advisor lists all the potential protection the insurance could provide and prices it at the highest quality. Obviously, if money were no object, you would get the best you could. That protection list would include full income for 5 (or more) years for the patient. It would also include 5 years income of the key family caregiver so there would be no impediment to personalized care from someone you care about. Of course, you would want your spouse with you through all surgeries and treatments, if money were no object. You might want to pay off a mortgage and a few loans for added family security. Why not – if money were no object? Add to that total money for special medical treatment, travel and convalescence time and you have created a wonderful plan to protect the prospect and the family, again, if money were no object.

But, of course, regardless of how much money a prospect has, money is always an object at some point. There’s where advisor expertise comes in. Good advisors ask the right questions and provide the right information to arbitrate prospect wants and allocate their budget, so they get the best plan they can afford based on the best plan available for them. You’ve provided all the options for their consideration (a compliance and sales practices plus) and helped them do what they want to do based on the best information. You are starting with the best plan and then they work with you to make it their best plan.

This approach works equally well with all insurance products and planning services. The best part is that you demonstrate your best advice and then the client chooses what they want. You start with the best, if money were no object, and adjust for their choices and money. It’s an ideal way to determine insurance needs.

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