Improve Your Dialing Through Better Prospecting

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Are you guilty of what I like to call the “bank robber” method of prospecting? Basically you rush through the end of your meeting to get your Qualified Suspects and then leave immediately? Sure, you got away with the QSs, but what do you know about these people, are they your target market….and how likely are they to want to meet with you—let alone even pick up the phone when you try to call them? You deserve better!

Here’s another way at it:

Announce at the beginning of the meeting that you will be prospecting at the end (put it on a printed agenda if that helps)

Conduct your normal Fact Finder

But wait…!

Before we go any further, what happens to you right at the point when it’s time to switch gears from focusing on the client, getting feedback about the meeting and into prospecting mode? If you’re like many Financial Representatives (FRs) you probably turn into a lizard (go into fight-or-flight mode) right at this point! Then, your client is likely to get nervous and worried, too. And then, seeing your client nervous and worried, you “confirm" your worst fears (they don’t want to help me, they don’t respect me, I haven’t earned this….etc). But who made the meeting turn strange, really? If you really watch the progression, your energy shifted first which puts your client on alert which then startles you and soon everyone in the room is feeling uncomfortable.

Can you see why turning into the “get in get out” bank robber is inevitable now? What happened to the relaxed, engaged meeting? Poof! It’s gone. You’ve probably run out of time by now, you’re hurrying and anxious on top of it all.

Let’s try a new way:

Notice your pre-set phone timer buzzing in your pocket alerting you 10 minutes before the meeting ends that it’s time to start transitioning into prospecting.

Right after you ask the client what they got out of the meeting, take a sip of water and slow down. Take a deep breath.

It might go something like this:

“I’m really passionate about what I do. What I enjoy most is helping others and meeting people. I rely on word-of-mouth to accomplish this. Would you be willing to help me?”

Pause, wait for answer.

“Can you think of 2 or 3 people who are successful like you who either own their own businesses or are in leadership in their companies? It might be a friend, neighbor, colleague, family member or someone who you think might benefit from having a conversation like we did today.”

Pause, wait for answer.

Once you overcome any objections and get them providing you with QSs, don’t stop! You’re just getting started. See if you can collaborate with the nominator to prepare the QS to be contacted and to set a meeting with you.

Once you have 2-3 prospects, you might say: “What I find works best is if you could let these people know that I will be contacting them and that we have worked together. Would you be willing to do that?”

Pause, wait for answer.

“Great—thanks! How do you usually communicate with each of these people?”

Pause, wait for answer.

“Would you be willing to reach out to each of them by the end of the day Wednesday so that I can give them a call on Thursday morning?"

Pause, wait for answer.

“Do you need any help with this such as a pre-written email?”

Pause, wait for answer.

“Will you let me know if you DON’T have a chance to let them each know?”

Notice how many times you have asked for permission and collaboration throughout this process. The likelihood of your client following up is much higher when you’re not just talking AT them about what they SHOULD do and HOW to do it. Let them participate and create the plan with you.

If you take the time to really prepare QSs to receive your call you are doing just a little advance prep to pave the way for much more effective dials. Consider it a present you give yourself, your client and to the person who will be expecting your call.