THE PURELY SOCIAL NON-SALES CALL
by John Ingrisano, CLU
Here’s an idea that will actually make your clients come to you. It’s a non-sales call.
Here’s the premise: Too often, the only time many clients (believe they) hear from us is when it is time to do a review of some kind, which translates, in their minds, into a visit designed to sell them something. That’s why many of them become leery when we call them. (Ever notice how the tone of their voice drops for some clients when we announce our names to them on the phone?) So, instead, arrange a time to get together for breakfast or coffee just to visit, a purely social non-sales call visit.
And when you meet, leave your briefcase in the car. Don’t hand out business cards or take the opportunity to remind them that you are always looking for referrals. Don’t discuss insurance, retirement needs, or any products. Instead, just visit. If you are meeting at the house, show up with a box of pastries or some other small gift. Ask about the kids, the dog, the business, the lawn, the garden, the golf game. You get the picture. And when you are done, just go. (BTW, do not thank the client for his/her time. That’s what you do on a business call. This is a social visit.)
The strangest thing is that this simple visit will tend to do several things:
1. Build the relationship faster and more strongly than you could hope to see it grow in years of sales calls.
2. Get clients thinking about their needs on their own. Maybe it’s guilt; maybe it’s just a positive feeling that comes out of purely social calls. Either way, many clients will start doing their own informal needs analysis.
3. Motivate them to follow up with you about their needs. Though not all the time, it honestly does happen sometimes. In other words, they will want to work with you, and some will even call you to get the ball rolling.
4. Make them willing to meet with you when you call in a few weeks or months to request an official appointment. And they will understand and accept the fact that this will be a business visit, unlike the previous one.
What really happens is that even one purely social, non-sales call helps shift the relationship from a business footing to a more personal setting. This shift is momentous. You are not just a business person, but someone in a relationship with them … a person who can also help meet their insurance, planning and other needs. Give it a try.
So, work hard, make money … and contact your clients to arrange visits (not appointments) this week. -- JRI
John Ingrisano is a licensed insurance agent, business journalist, sales trainer and “marketeer” who has developed sales programs, newsletters and marketing campaigns for dozens of major insurance and financial services companies over the last 35 years. He is also a public speaker and author of several books, including “The Back to Basics Book of Selling: A Guide to a Successful Sales Career.” John can be contacted by phone at (920) 559-3722 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2012 John R. Ingrisano