I just closed a deal this week with a new client. I first quoted their insurance 16 months ago. 16 months!! During the ensuing months, I wrote no fewer than 14 emails, a dozen texts, and 15 phone calls. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? It’s really not because I embrace the chase.
Closing a deal like that is satisfying. The only reason I earned their business, is because I didn’t give up on it. I could’ve given up after the 7th email and will tell you, they would not come looking for me. They rarely do. It wasn’t a deal where someone strolled into my office and needed to buy something. Anytime anyone buys something from me it feels good, I am in sales. The ones I have to chase feel different. It gives me a higher level of satisfaction. if I didn’t chase as hard as I did, my business would be about half the size it is today.
I have seen some of my colleagues display a different attitude. They will say if they a client doesn’t return their calls or emails, then the business isn’t worth it. I think they are leaving a TON on the table. The average salesperson only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect (Source: Sirius Decisions). Yet 93% of converted leads are contacted by the 6th call attempt (Source: Velocify). That is bad math people. I promise you, that after you quit, these people will not come looking for you.
My basic rule of thumb is to chase people until they tell me no thank you. Getting the person to agree to a proposal is sometimes the hardest part, but I think we make that harder than we should.
I sell insurance, so my tactic is to ask them who they are insured with. It’s a low impact question that isn’t so in your face, and it’s a question I can ask everyone I meet. 10% of the time, the conversation will lead to them asking me for a quote. I will know within 2 seconds if it is someone chase worthy. If they answer with something like, “I have been with abc insurance for 30 years and my agent is my brother”, there is no chase. If they say, “I think I am with abc company and I don’t know who my agent is”, it’s on.
Once they agree to a quote, they have given me permission to pursue them. The pursuit can be the equivalent of a long-term staring contest, one that I don’t intend to lose. Some of them are motivated and I can get back in front of them quickly. There is a chance they have been looking to change but haven’t known where to go. Also, they may have recently has some frustrations with their insurance carrier and the timing is just right.
Timing plays a big role insurance sales. The average person thinks of their insurance once or twice a year. It’s a product that is not top of mind and usually sits about #56 on their to-do list. The tough part for a salesperson is it is always #1 on the salesperson’s mind.
I would recommend setting up a chase schedule. One that has 4-6 steps that you can repeat. When your proposal is ready:
- send an email letting them know you are ready for them. (day 1)
- Call the next day and just say you are calling to make sure your email was received because sometimes your emails go to junk mail (day 2)
- Email again in two days (day 4)
- Send a text (if possible) (day 6)
- Call one week after initial email (day 7)
- Follow up email (day 10)
- Follow up call (day 14)
- Follow up email (day 21)
- Follow up call (day 28)
That may look like a lot to do to chase one piece of business. It’s not. How long does it take to send make a phone call and leave a message? 90 seconds. How long does it take to send a text? 30 seconds. You can set up an automatic email campaign using Mailchimp or Constant Contact, have the emails written and all you have to do is put in an email address to get them on a follow-up campaign. In ONE HOUR, you could chase 15-30 people depending on how many you actually come in contact with.
Once this process is in place, it’s all about filling up your pipeline and letting the chase begin! Get out and ask the question, get contact information to follow up on, set up a schedule, and go write some business.