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1 Make a case for life insurance Improve your prospects Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America M-5191

2 Discover how you can help expand your client base and close more sales. If regular prospecting isn t an ongoing part of your practice, you could be missing out on sales opportunities. In this guide, we ll provide tips to help you identify qualified prospects, make prospecting a part of your daily practice, and close more sales. The importance of prospecting It s true that the more calls you make, the more prospects you re likely to have. Unfortunately, more prospects doesn t always translate into more sales. Why? Your ability to close sales depends in part on the quality of your prospects. A quality prospect is someone who needs and can afford your services. Not all prospects are created equal. Let s face it: Randomly cold-calling strangers is probably not the most effective way of finding potential clients. A better approach is to do the majority of your prospecting with warm leads. Warm leads are those that are provided by someone you know. Whether you get leads through face-to-face introductions, a handwritten letter, or a client referral, your chances of eventually winning a new client are much greater with a warm lead. While you may still choose to include some cold calls in your future prospecting efforts, in this guide we ll focus primarily on cultivating and obtaining warm leads. Of course, keep in mind that no matter where you obtain your leads, you should always check the national Do not call registry before reaching out to a prospect. With that in mind, let s get started by exploring some ways of finding quality prospects. Networking You probably have a much larger network than you realize. Think of your friends and family, your neighbors, your college classmates, your professional colleagues. Imagine how many qualified leads you would get if everyone you knew were to introduce you to just one prospective client.

3 Improve your prospects But for now, let s focus on the best leads. Here s how: 1. Jot down the names of 50 people with whom you have a good personal rapport. You ll eventually ask each of these people for referrals. 2. Look at your list and choose the dozen or so people who can best mentor you. Ideally, these people will have a personal interest in your success, and a fairly broad sphere of influence. Let s call these 12 people your core network. 3. Choose three people from your core network and contact them to request an appointment. Explain that you want to talk about your work, and that you d appreciate their guidance on how to grow your business. 4. During your meeting, ask your core network member whether they can think of any friends or associates who may benefit from your services. 5. Finally, ask whether they d be willing to call or write a note on your behalf, as an introduction to their friend or associate. If you can schedule just three of these conversations per week, within a month you ll have at least 12 new warm leads. We ll talk more about putting these leads to work a bit later. Meeting other professionals Professionals from other industries can be a great source of qualified prospects. If your professional network isn t as broad as you may like, joining a local chamber of commerce or business group may be a good way to meet other professionals. Here are a few ideas, to get you started: Chamber of Commerce: Kiwanis International: Rotary International Organization: Being active in your community through civic organizations, service clubs, or volunteer efforts will also continually expand your network of prospects and referrals. These affiliations also provide good soft sell opportunities as people get to know you. Finally, consider introducing yourself to other financial industry professionals who may complement your services. CPAs, attorneys, tax advisors, and property/casualty agents may all be sources of cross-selling opportunities. Start by introducing yourself through a networking resource, such as Tapping your book of business As you look for new clients, don t overlook the ones you already have. Your existing book of business can be an excellent source of warm leads. In fact, you can find opportunities for prospecting at every point of the sales process. Annual policy reviews offer a great opportunity to ask for referrals and recommendations. Because policy reviews are a service you provide for your clients, it s a natural transition in the conversation to offer the same service for their friends and family. If you re not already conducting regular policy reviews, call the Life Case Design Team at and ask how you can obtain our Policy Review Kit. Get into the habit of incorporating prospecting into other areas of your practice, too. Don t be shy about asking your clients whether they know anyone who may also need your services. Some financial professionals have cards for this purpose, while others prefer to ask in person. Whatever approach you use, get in the habit of regular prospecting. The more you incorporate prospecting into your daily practice, the more natural (and successful) it will become. Lions Club International: 1

4 Improve your prospects Establish a discipline and set goals Bring prospecting into your practice. You ve just seen how you can find and target the most qualified prospects. Now it s time to put that knowledge to work. Establish a discipline To get the most out of your prospecting, you need a consistent and disciplined approach. Many agents find that setting aside an hour a day works well. The how and when don t matter; what matters most is that you regularly set aside time for prospecting. Set goals To get the most out of your prospecting efforts, you ll also need to set goals. Many agents have a goal of obtaining 10 meetings with prospective clients every week. How many phone calls will it take to schedule those 10 appointments? Seasoned agents keep dialing until they ve reached their goal. Although 10 appointments may sound like a daunting figure, remember that the object of these calls is only to secure an appointment with a prospect. You re not selling anything beyond an introductory meeting. Reach out Then, reach out to your warm leads. If you have a letter of introduction from someone in you core network, include it with your own letter of introduction. Or, if you re reaching out by phone, always be sure to mention who referred you. We ve included some sample letters and scripts later in this brochure to help you get started. Stay positive and be persistent Finally, don t be discouraged when you hear no. Prospecting isn t about trying to sell something; it s about identifying who may have a need to buy. There are some people who truly don t need life insurance, or who aren t interested in talking with you. Take no as an opportunity to move on and find the next yes. Cultivating warm leads and incorporating prospecting into your practice are ongoing processes, which you will refine over time. Don t give up you ll find it s a valuable addition to your practice. 2

5 Improve your prospects Overcome objections Learn to distinguish between no and not now. As you contact qualified prospects and as you start to close some sales you will inevitably encounter objections. Remember that objections don t always mean no. Sometimes they re simply an opportunity to learn more about the prospect s needs. Here are a few of the more common objections, with some suggested responses: I don t need life insurance. We don t buy life insurance for ourselves, but for our loved ones. Would your family survive financially if you were to die prematurely? I already have insurance. How long ago did you buy it? It s possible your policy may no longer provide the coverage you need. It s also possible that a newer policy may have lower mortality costs. I need to think about it. Please tell me more about your hesitation. Can I answer any questions that may make you more comfortable about scheduling an appointment/buying life insurance? It s too expensive. Think of everything you re getting for those premiums. Life insurance provides a death benefit for your beneficiaries, and some policies provide a cash value, too. Let me explain how this cash value can be a valuable part of your overall financial strategy. 3

6 Improve your prospects Put it all together Use our resources to expand your network, find more prospects, and close more sales. The following calling scripts may help you break the ice with your leads. You can also find more calling scripts in our Policy Review Kit, our Bigger Than Life business kit, and online at Calling a warm prospect: Hello, (prospect name). This is (your name) calling from (name of agency). Have I reached you at a good time? (If no, ask When is a better time to call? ) (Referrer name) suggested that you may be interested in learning more about the services I provide. When might we be able to meet for a few minutes to talk further? Leaving a message for a warm prospect: Hello, (prospect name). This is (your name) calling from (name of agency). (Referrer name) suggested that you may be interested in learning more about the services I provide. I d very much like to learn more about your needs, and schedule a few minutes so we can talk further. Please give me a call back at XXX.XXXX. I look forward to hearing from you. We also offer several customizable pre-approach letters you can use to contact leads. Here are two samples; find many more in our Policy Review Kit, our Bigger Than Life business kit, and online at Letter requesting a first meeting Dear [Prospective Client]: I was recently referred to you by our mutual acquaintance, [name of referrer]. They suggested that you may be interested in the services I provide. I m a financial services professional who specializes in life insurance, and I d like to learn more about your needs in this area. I will call you in the next few days to introduce myself and to schedule a few minutes so we can talk further. Sincerely, [Your name] Insurance agent Courtesy letter to referrer Dear [name of referrer]: I wanted to take a moment to thank you for referring me to [prospect name]. For your reference, I am enclosing a copy of the letter I sent to them and if you have time in the next few days to let them know I ll be calling, I d greatly appreciate the informal introduction. Thank you so much for your time and for your referral. I appreciate both. Sincerely, [Your name] Insurance agent 4

7 Turn prospects into sales Sales may be a numbers game, but you can help improve your odds. If you have questions, or want to know more about our marketing resources, contact the Life Case Design Team at (press 1 for Sales Support, then 2 for Life).

8 A leading provider of annuities and life insurance, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) bases each decision on a philosophy of being true: True to our strength as an important part of a leading global financial organization. True to our passion for making wise investment decisions. And true to the people we serve, each and every day. Through a line of innovative products and our network of trusted financial professionals, Allianz helps more than 1.2 million clients as they seek to achieve their financial and retirement goals. Founded in 1896, Allianz is now proud to play a vital role in the success of our global parent, Allianz SE, one of the world s largest money managers. While we pride ourselves on our financial strength, we re made of much more than our balance sheet. We believe in making a difference with our clients by being true to our commitments and keeping our promises. People rely on Allianz today and count on us for tomorrow when they need us most. Guarantees are backed solely by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Products are issued by: Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America 5701 Golden Hills Drive Minneapolis, MN For agent use only not for use with the public Product availability and features may vary by state. (12/2009)

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