Prospecting Problem
A fix and control issue

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The real problem for the insurance producer is how to generate quality prospects

What’s So Difficult About Selling Life Insurance?

Article # 7
Written By John Lensi, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CMFC, LLIF

Let’s examine in more detail, what we call the “Fix and Control” producer issues.

Fixing the producer’s prospecting problem and controlling their business submissions is a huge task – although very much accomplish-able. Let’s examine each of these two issues separately.

Fixing the producer’s prospecting problem. The benefits of prospecting through qualified referrals far out distances most any other prospecting method.Fixing the producer’s prospecting problem. The benefits of prospecting through qualified referrals far out distances most any other prospecting method.

Fixing the prospecting problem can be addressed in a number of ways, but I’ve chosen to focus attention on one quality solution, the answer lying in the financial professional’s skill to consistently generate quality referred leads.

Stepping back for a minute, there are three high-level categories to generate prospect inventory as illustrated below. When you boil it down and weigh all the pros and cons of various prospecting methods, there is one single prospecting method that far out distances the others in overall effectiveness for most producers- qualified referrals.

If it’s so evident that this is what will improve sales force retention, loyalty, and productivity, why does this occur?

And what should be done to solve these producer challenges?

The Many Ways and Approaches to Prospect Acquisition



  • Orphan policyholders
    Service inquiries


  • Vendor lead
    On-line leads


  • net working
    Referred leads
    Social Mobility Contacts
    Trade shows
    Lead exchanges
    Employer directory
    Personal observation
    Transition x-dates
    Prospect Inventory

A strong key to producer prospecting problem and personal success is controlling the source of sales lead inventory. Third party influence must exist for a lead to be “qualified”.

Prospect or Die E-Book - Developed for insurance agents who have prospecting problems and are in need of prospecting ideas, techniques and conceptsGet yours now 

Why prospecting by referrals is the preferred method of choice.

The benefits of prospecting through qualified referrals far out distances most any other prospecting method.

The key benefits are these:

  • Allows a producer to pre-qualify prospects and tailor an effective approach to gain a favorable sales appointment

  • Allows a producer to target a particular market that best matches the producer’s skill sets

  • Allows for third party influence (TPI) which translates to a more favorable contact-to-appointment ratio when following up the lead
  •  enhanced persistency results when a more qualified prospect buys
  • A better closing ratio results from the producers’ ability to work with people who trust their recommendations as a result of TPI and because they are able to target market resulting in a leveraging of skill sets
  • More repeat sales are generated as a result of deeper fact-finding which occurs as a result of TPI; far less overall time is needed to develop a new client
  • A continuous chain of prospects materializes
  • Larger size sales result from pre-qualified prospects being contacted.

If referred leads are so effective, why don’t all producers prospect this way?

An interesting question and one deserving comment.

"The MDRT level producers do referred leads and those who struggle in this business don’t."

The reasons struggling producers’ don’t obtain referrals
include and consist of the following:

  • Some producers aren’t sure how or where to start the prospecting problem process, but it is unfortunately an early training issue

  • Some in the satisfaction of a sale forget or      avoid asking (confidence issue)
  • Some actually don’t believe they deserve referrals from those whom they do work for (previous two issues)
  • Some feel they may jeopardize their client relationship (confidence issue - rarely does this occur)
  • Some convince themselves they simply don’t have enough time to obtain referrals as they schedule sales appointments close to one another (training issue - missing a premier opportunity to get qualified leads)
  •  some avoid seeking referrals because prior attempts were unsuccessful confidence & training issue)
  • And lastly,- the king of them all – some feel they already have enough prospects, so there isn’t a need to spend time getting referrals (these folks usually have a large inventory of prospects with no TPI and mistakenly think they have a ton of qualified sales leads to contact – serious training issue)

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