What Is Your Identity?
By Michael Aun, FIC, LUTCF, CSP, CPAE
President, Central Florida NAIFA
What is your sales identity? How would your best clients describe you? What would those you lost in the sales process have to say?
Relationship expert Bob Krumroy says 21% of the people who join the Chamber of Commerce are looking to change jobs and not necessarily marketing for clients at what they currently do for a living.
Getting in touch with prospective clients is more difficult today than ever before. In 1973, the world changed. If you could make phone calls, you could succeed.
In 1975 the average person received 4 telemarketing calls per week and the recipients engaged them.
Fifteen years later, the average household receives 1,600 telemarketing calls per year. In the early nineties, the “do-not-call” list was initiated and public went through the process of building walls. Now it was not just the gatekeeper with whom you had to deal.
Whatever you sell, when prospects say: “Not interested, too busy, I have a friend in the business, call me at work, “blah, blah, blah…” It is not about those objections. Whatever they say, it is all the same. Why? The answer is that you offered no entry value into the client’s universe.
What is your identity? “Brand is just perception, and perception will match reality over time,” said Elon Musk. What is your brand? How would your client describe you?
People must know you, like you and trust you, all of which are prerequisites to earning an appointment, not a sale. They may like and trust you, but if they do not know something about you, they will not volunteer to engage in the appointment process. This is where establishing and maintaining e-relationships is important.
I was a lot like Bill Belichick the Head Coach of the New England Patriots. He said, “I don’t use Spacebook or My Face.” Neither did I until I reconsidered after understanding the need to engage routinely and regularly with the marketplace.
You must distinguish yourself from every other salesperson pitching the same stuff. The average person works 57 hours a week and they do not want to engage in an appointment process after a long, hard day of work.
What’s unique about you, not your company… but rather you? That is what will separate you from the masses.
“Seventy-nine percent of people are more likely to buy from someone with whom they have an acquaintance,” according to Steve Yastrow (2007 WE-the Ideal Customer Relationship).
The law of visibility is the person who has the highest level of contact with clients via the educational process utilizing the internet highway. If you do not educate your clients, Suzie Orman, Dave Ramsey, or Howard Stern will, and they will not always successfully sell your message.
Why leave your client’s education to the mouthpiece with the loudest megaphone? They listen to these people because they are the only ones communicating.
Your goal is to turn every “no” to a “not yet.” Cultivate a “not yet” relationship. Treat them as if they are one of your privileged clients. Turn your narrow pipe into a wide-mouth funnel and stay connected with a value promise.
For instance, 87% of people who bought life insurance from an agent say, “I do not have an agent.” Why? They are not staying in touch. It is all about the P-E-R formula: prominence, engagement, and rendezvous.
How many clients do you have that know you are in the insurance business? Yet, they really do not really know what you can accomplish for them?
The hesitant friend is the average client. They know you are the agent, but they do not really know what all you can do. Adopt this philosophy: “Just because you are in a particular business does not mean you should be my client. It also does not mean you should not be my client either.”
Turning the hesitant friend into client is about being remarkable, relevant, and personal. Try laminating their business card and mail it back to them as a luggage tag.
Prospecting is about “being nice” to other people. When you laminate a business card or an article or an invitation to graduation and return it to the sender, you are “being nice.” It is called the rule of reciprocation. Be nice.
“Being nice” is about bridging the threshold from being a hesitant friend into a valued client. Besides… it is a lot easier to engage with a client than to debate a prospect.
E-relationships are about cards, storyboards, checklists, newsletters, photo album, referrals, invitations, inspirational quotes, and CRM, i.e. keeping your pipeline full of prospects. Be so valuable to your client that they would write a check for just visiting them. That is the very definition of “adding value.”
I once shared the platform with auto supersalesman Joe Girard. He was thought to be the greatest automobile salesman in the world. Joe used to send out 13,000 postcards per month.
What can you possibly say to someone each month that would keep a client’s attention? January- Happy New Year, February- Happy Valentine’s Day or Happy Groundhog’s Day, March- Happy St. Patrick’s Day, April- Happy IRS Day, May- Happy Mother’s Day, June- Happy Father’s Day, July- Happy Fourth of July, August- Welcome Back To School Day, September- Let’s Remember 9/11, October- Happy Halloween, November- Happy Thanksgiving and December- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc. just to mention a few.
Joe told me he has clients that mail back “change-of-address” updates. They enjoy receiving his cards every month. Does it work? Ask Joe Girard.
Marketing experts say you must contact someone 15 times per year to create a prospect. What is your identity? Do you stay in touch? If not, why not?
Approach every customer with the idea of helping him or her solve a problem or a specific goal, not of selling a product or service. – Brian Tracy, CSP, CPAE Hall of Fame Speaker.
In 2007, it took an average of 3.68 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today, it has easily more than doubled that number. 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact with a client. Just keep pushing.
Jeffrey Gitomer did the foreword to my book “It’s the Customer, Stupid!” (John Wiley & Sons). He says: “Customers will want to talk to you if they believe you can solve their problems.” Become a problem solver!
Michael Aun, FIC, LUTCF, CSP, CPAE Hall of Fame Speaker is the author of 11 books and the weekly syndicated column “Behind the Mike” which appears is 1500+ publications in 41 countries. You can follow his column free of charge at http://www.aunline.com/blog.