Does this scenario sound familiar? “She’s not in. Can I put you into her voicemail?”
Imagine you’re calling manufacturers, prospecting for new sales opportunities. You ask to speak with the person in charge of the business insurance, and that’s how the gatekeeper responds. Do you…
1) Thank the gatekeeper and leave a voicemail message?
2) Decline to leave a message and try again the next day?
3) Ask, “Do you mind if I send her email?” and request her email address, then follow up with these questions in a sincere and friendly tone:
“Does your company compare rates and coverage with other agents from time to time?
“Is there a better time to reach her?”
“Does he have a title as such?”
“Do you know which month your business insurance renews?”
“Roughly how many employees work at your company?”
Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many opportunities are missed by not taking advantage of the chance to gain strategic details during prospecting calls.
Our experience over decades of lead generation work shows plainly that failure to take advantage of these brief conversations to profile target companies can literally cut your productivity in half. Expressed in positive terms, that means that you’ll increase the number of well-qualified leads by 50% or more just by routinely asking a few more questions on each call you make.
Doing this, you not only boost your chances of reaching target decision makers more efficiently, but you also decrease the number of unqualified prospects that end up in your prospecting funnel.
Knowing a company’s insurance renewal dates is one thing – but knowing that their agent is owner’s brother significantly changes the probability of doing business with them.
Likewise, learning that they’re dealing with a complicated claim, or have too few employees to meet your size and premium threshold.
On the plus side, having the decision maker’s email address could double the chance of connecting. This allows you to leave a pithy voice mail saying simply, “This is Joyce Coleridge from Mackintire Insurance in Bethlehem. No need to respond to this voicemail, but if you wouldn’t mind replying to the email I’m about to send you, that would be much appreciated.”
Then send a brief email with some differentiating bullet points, asking them to let you know, either way, if they’d be willing to see what you can offer and when you might best follow-up to schedule a meeting – in other words, when does their coverage typically renew.
Company gatekeepers can be a tremendous resource. By simply asking, they can help you connect with the right people and save you enormous amounts of time chasing the wrong kinds of targets.