EP 229 – The Insurance Agent’s Guide To Booking More Appointments
In this podcast episode, you’re going to learn what “EXPONENTIAL AWARENESS” is and how you can leverage it to stand out in a crowded broker market.
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The industry is noisy. Your prospects are getting hit by so many messages left and right. You’re getting hit from so many brokers every single day. And if all they’re doing is lumping you into that category of all these other brokers they talk to or they hear from. One, you’re in trouble. But if they’re not hearing from you, if they don’t see you, you’re in deeper trouble.
Hey. Hey. Welcome back to bullpen Sessions. My name is Andy NEARY and this is episode 229. Today, you are going to learn why exponential awareness is going to lead to exponential growth in your business. And today’s podcast is sponsored by Complete Game Consulting. Yes, that’s my company and a complete game consulting. We are an insurance coaching training program that teaches you the insurance pro, how to book more appointments with the right prospects.
Sales training historically has been focused on how to drive sales conversations, how to handle objections and how to close better. But how the heck can you have a sales conversation if you’re not opening doors that is what we do a complete game consulting. And if you are one of my insurance professionals that listen in every week. Thank you.
And what we talk about here on the podcast is what we do to help you grow your business. So if you know that you could use a little more help, it’s better. Strategies to book more appointments Today got a complete game consulting dot com and schedule a free strategy call with our team today. All right, let’s dive into today’s episode.
Exponential awareness will lead to exponential growth in your business. What am I talking about? Well, by the end of today’s podcast, you are going to know why cold calling cannot be your only mode of transportation anymore. In the world of prospecting, you are going to learn why you must create exponential for your awareness, for your business and what the heck it is in the first place.
And then number three, you’re going to learn how to create exponential awareness in your business so you can create exponential growth. So let’s level set. Why is cold calling still the most taught strategy to grow your business in 2023? It’s a question that puzzles me, and especially in the insurance industry. It’s a question that I have played with and asked myself for for many, many years.
With all the tools and all the technology we have available today. Why is cold calling still the number one strategy type to grow your book of business? I can recall working with an Advisors about a year and a half ago and she was one of the top producers in her agency and we sat down, I think it was about November 2021, and we were getting her ready for 2022.
So I was helping her create her game plan so she could have a big year end. At the beginning of 2022, she sat down with her management and this was the meeting where you sit down, set your sales goals with your management, talk about how the heck you’re going to achieve that goal. And I remember following up with her and having a conversation after she met with her management.
Now, mind you, this is when we this was after we already had built her game plan, her business plan to go grow her business exponentially in 2022. You’re going to learn some of the things today. In this episode, she sits down with her management team and they assign her a sales goal of $500,000. Now she goes after big accounts, so hitting 500,000 is not out of the ballpark for her.
However, it’s how they were going to support her to get to that half million dollars. That blew my mind when she laid out her business plan as to how she was going to hit the half million dollars, which was the plan to create exponential awareness that she and I had created for management, did not know what to do with it.
In fact, if I were sitting in that room, I’m guessing her management looked at her cross-eyed because the only strategy they had for her to hit a half a million dollar sales goal was to rate for it. Track her cold calling. Yep. In 2021, the only strategy they had to help a producer hit a half million dollars was to track her cold calling.
So this leads us to today. I was on a coaching call with a client just last week. As of the date of this recording, recording this on February 26th, I was sitting in a coaching call with a client and he pulled up a slide deck that his agency had gathered from some sales training that they had performed or had provided to them by another outside contractor.
And there was one stat on this PowerPoint slide that drew my attention, and it was that today it takes 18 phone calls, 18 dials to reach one prospect. So if you’re going to try to reach one prospect, you’re going to have to dial that prospect on average, 18 times before you reach him. So what conclusion can we come from that?
Can we can we deduct from that? Well, let me give you the conclusion. This agency deducted from the fact that it takes on average 18 dials to reach a prospect. Well, boys, just make more phone calls, if that is our only tactic today to grow our business, we’re not going to grow. You’re in a relationship business, especially if you’re in the insurance business.
You’re in a relationship business. If all you’re going to do is pick up the phone and smile and dial in 2023 is not going to work. It takes 18 dials on average to reach a prospect. So what are you going to do? Just pick up the phone more. Now let me tell you why this isn’t as effective. Cold calling is a form of linear awareness.
What does that mean? Well, every time I pick up the phone, I can only call one person at a time. I can only try to get one message in front of one person at a time. So in order to reach ten people, let’s use the math from the statistic I just gave you on average, it takes 18 dials to reach one prospect.
If I want to reach ten, I’ve got to pick up the phone 180 times. Now, we could continue doing the math and saying, okay, if it takes one minute or it’s called 2 minutes per phone call. So dial the phone number. Pick up the phone. If you’re going to leave a voice message, it takes 2 minutes. It now takes 360 minutes to dial 180 phone numbers.
We’re talking 6 hours to dial 180 times. You see, when you create linear awareness, you can only get one message in front of one person. It’s the same concept when I was taught 20 years ago to go door to door, I’ve shared this story on a past podcast episode. I started my career at a captive insurance company and they gave me two strategies Pick up the phone, smile and dial and go park my car in an industrial park and go door to door drop off marketing materials so I could only knock on one door at a time.
So if I wanted to hit the entire industrial park in a day, it took damn near a whole day. You see, when you create a linear awareness, it takes a ton of time to try to get a hold of anybody. And the one thing you don’t have right now is time You’re busy. This is why you have to create exponential awareness.
And the last reason, the last argument I have as to why cold calling cannot be your only mode of transportation anymore is because smartphones changed everything. We don’t talk about this enough. The fact that smartphones has had presented a huge hurdle in the world of cold calling. Let’s think about this since the pandemic. It is true more people work from home than they work from the office.
I should say. More people work from home than they ever have before, not more than the office. But more people are working from home than they ever have before. So if you’re the only phone number you have of of of a prospect, is there office number and you’re constantly calling the office, are you ever going to get is their voicemail and they don’t even report to the office anymore.
Now let’s imagine you have their cell phone number because it is easier to get somebody’s cell phone number today than it’s ever been. Right, Because many of your prospects are putting their cell phone number in their email signatures. Here’s the problem with that. This is where smartphones have presented a little hurdle. Number one, if you dial your prospect and they don’t recognize your number on their smartphone, what are they going to do?
Yeah, they’re going to let it go to voicemail. But here’s where smartphones have really put a hindrance on cold calling. If that phone doesn’t recognize your number, there’s a chance it may even tell your prospect that you are spam. Think about that for a second. So you’re trying to call prospect. You can’t get a hold of them at the office.
You’re lucky enough you have their cell phone, so you call their cell phone. But nine times out of ten, they’re going to let it go to voicemail if they don’t recognize your number. But even worse, that the phone might tell them you’re spam. What are the odds you’re actually going to get a hold of somebody with a phone?
Yeah, not very good. See, this is why cold calling can’t be your only mode of transportation in the world of prospecting any more. Because if this is what you want to focus on, even if you argue with me that Andy, I’m damn good on the phone and I close business when I get on the phone, I go have at it.
But what I’m telling you is it’s taking you more time than it’s ever to get a hold of the same number of prospects you maybe got a hold of five years ago. And there’s one thing I know about prospecting, and that’s you’ve got to be efficient with your time. Now, let’s talk about what the heck exponential awareness is and why it is important in today’s world of prospecting.
You see, when I moved out to Colorado in 2014, I discovered this concept called exponential awareness. And truth be told, I don’t know if I read it somewhere. I made it up. I have no idea. It’s a concept we use a lot here. A complete game consulting today to help our clients get in front of a lot of people fast.
But when I got to Colorado, I realized I had a problem because I was in a market. Nobody knows who I was. No, nobody knew who I was. And I realized that if all I was ever going to do from here on out was pick up the phone or go pound the pavement, which, let’s be honest, very few people pay on the pavement anymore these days.
But that was what I was going to do in a market where nobody knows who I am, who I either was going to have to be so damn good at my sales message, or I was just going to have to be prepared to block a lot of my calendar to do this. Now, I was still managing a large book of business for for our agency, so I didn’t have the time.
I didn’t have all day, every day to go prospect. So I had to be efficient with my time. And this is where I leaned into the concept of exponential awareness. I realized that if I was going to build a book, a business, I had to get a lot of prospects to know me Fast, Far and wide. I had to share a message fast, far and wide.
I had to build brand recognition. If I sat behind a phone day in and day out as an unrecognizable name and definitely an unrecognizable face, I had no chance. Now I’m going to say it again. If you are a savant with the cold call game, keep going, have at it. But this is for the other 95% who are not.
So I made a decision to lean into exponential awareness. I realized I had to get one message in front of a ton of people at one time. Remember picking up the phone, calling one person at one time, one at a time. That’s linear, knocking on one door at a time to hit one prospect at a time. That’s linear awareness.
This is about getting one message in front of many people, and I’m about to teach you how to do it in the third part of this podcast. But let’s talk about why exponential awareness is so important today. Your prospects live in a world of noise. No matter what industry you come from, no matter what industry you sell from or sell in, especially if you’re an insurance professional, the industry is noisy.
Your prospects are getting hit by so many messages left and right. They’re getting hit from so many brokers every single day. And if all they’re doing is lumping you into that category of all these other brokers they talk to or they hear from one, you’re in trouble. But if they’re not hearing from you, if they don’t see you, you’re in deeper trouble.
If you have no brand recognition with your prospects today, it is almost impossible to win unless you have a price. You know, if you come out with a product or a pitch or a quote that’s so damn cheap, they can’t refuse it. You really don’t have a chance to win if you’re not creating exponential awareness. Here’s another reason why it’s so important.
Every time you talk to a prospect, whether it’s on the phone over Zoom, maybe you just had a first meeting with them. The first thing they’re going to do after meeting you is they’re going to go check your online presence. They’re going to go to Google, they’re going to go type your name. They might go to LinkedIn, they’re going to type your name and they’re going to look you up.
And if you don’t have a presence, an online presence, you don’t have credibility with the prospect. At that point, unbeknownst to you, without you doing anything wrong, you’re losing credibility with the prospect. If they can’t find you. Think about that. How many times do you Google somebody after you meet them? We all do. And if I can’t find you, you don’t have credibility with me.
If I don’t really see much of a LinkedIn profile, if I don’t find your website, God forbid, on page one of Google, maybe I don’t see a YouTube channel, whatever it is, if there is no online presence, you are losing credibility by the minute with your prospects. Now let’s flip it. If I do Google you after meeting you and I see your LinkedIn profile, that’s well built, filled with a lot of content.
If I see your website at the top of page one and I go to the website and the website says exactly what came out of your mouth when you and I met and I see a YouTube channel, I see all these other I see articles, I see all of these different channels of communication from you on your Google on page one of Googling you, you appear to be everywhere.
To me, you have a huge online presence, and when you have a huge online presence, you are now my perceived expert. You don’t even have to be smart. The smartest advisor, but the one I see the most. The one I hear from the most. The one I can find. The easiest is going to be the perceived expert. So what is your online presence look like?
Yeah, it’s important these days. Everything changed with the pandemic. We were forced online thanks to the pandemic and it’s never going back. If you’re still waiting for the days of old where you could do everything over a handshake and and and door to door and cold calls and sending mailers out, worked like they used to. It’s never going back.
We now do business online. It’s just the way it is. So what is your online presence? Look like? The more of an online presence you have, the more credibility you are going to establish with your prospects. If it’s easy for me as your prospect to find you, you are building brand recognition with me. And when you walk in my office for that discovery meeting, even though I might be talking to two or three other brokers, you’re going to stand out because I feel like I know you the most.
Think about that. How many times have you lost a new business opportunity to an advisor? You knew you were better then. I’m raising my hand here. I’ve been there plenty of times and you find out that they’re going to end up staying with their incumbent or going with somebody else. You’re like, Really? How? I’m so much better than that broker.
It’s because that broker has established brand recognition with them. They feel like they know them more than you. It’s not knowledge, it’s recognition. And when you have a huge online presence, you are going to be the perceived expert. It’s just the way it is. So this is why exponential awareness is so important. You have to have an online presence.
I need to see you everywhere. The more I see you everywhere, the easier it is to find you. And the easy it is to easier. It is to find you, the easier it is to do business with you. Think about that Now. Let’s finish the podcast today with how you can create exponential awareness. This is the most important part.
I hope by now I’ve convinced you that yeah, cold calling doesn’t work like it used to. Remember that statistic. Now I’m going to pound it in your head. 18 dials to reach one prospect. And your answer can’t be, Well, I’m just going to go make more phone calls. No, you have to do other things. You have to be more efficient with your time.
So how can you create exponential awareness? Well, there’s three steps that you have to take to do this. Well, I want you to grab a pen, grab a piece of paper. Maybe you’re typing on your keyboard. This is important. This could change your business forever. If you follow these three steps. Step one of creating exponential awareness is knowing exactly who you’re talking to.
In the world of marketing. They call it your avatar. Do you know who your ideal prospect is? If you’re just throwing one message out after another and you’re spraying everything and anything, hoping something sticks on the right prospect without knowing who the right prospect is, you’re not going to be able to build a strong business from here on out.
It’s going to be very difficult. You have to know exactly who you’re talking to and when you don’t know who you’re talking to, you end up talking to a lot of unqualified prospects. Those are the ones that you have that meeting with that you walk out from frustrated because you’re like, Oh, they don’t get it. That that’s an unqualified prospect.
That actually wasn’t their fault. That was yours because you were not clear who your ideal prospect is. So step one in building exponential awareness is who is your ideal prospect. Now there’s two ways to qualify an ideal prospect. Number one, there is the old fashioned demographics, which you and I were taught. Demographics is what industry and what are they in?
How big is the business they’re a part of? How many employees do they have? What’s their annual revenue? Are they a cfo? Are they in h.r. Director Are they a president? Those are all demographics. But part two of that equation, too, identifying your ideal prospect is the most important. That is the psychographics. What does your ideal prospect stand for?
What do they believe? How do they make decisions? Who are they as a human? That is the most important step when it comes to identifying your ideal prospect. Because if you can figure out who your ideal fit is, psychographic Lee You’re going to constantly be talking to the right people. If you are including that psychographic alignment in your message.
Step two What are you saying to them? So not only who are you talking to? Step two In building exponential awareness is what are you saying to them? Again, if you’re springing anything, hoping something lands, that’s not going to work. Let’s just stop right there. But now that you know who your ideal fit is, you have to develop a message that is geared for them.
What are their problems? What are their goals? What are they trying to achieve? How can you bridge the gap from where they are today to where they want to be? If you’ve been part of any of my courses, you know, we walk through the story brand brand script as a as a certified Story brand guide. We have the ability to walk and walk you through the story, brand, brand, brand framework, which is very simple.
Every character and every story has a goal, but they have a problem keeping them from achieving the goal. And there’s a deeper internal problem that’s really, really impacting them, you know, emotionally, their doubts, their uncertainty and when they have that uncertainty that they can actually solve their problem and achieve their goal, that’s when they come looking for you.
Because you have a plan, you have a solution that’s going to help them have success and avoid failure. That’s storytelling. Thousands of years old. So what are you saying to them? How are you using that story framework to talk to your ideal prospect? Now step three, and this is the most important part. This is where the exponential awareness comes in now that you know who you’re talking to, you know what you’re saying to them.
And it’s both of those are dialed in. You need to figure out how you’re going to get that message out far, fast and wide. Now, truth be told, if you took that message you just created and just applied it to your cold calling, you’re going to be come more effective with your cold calling. It does not eliminate the time commitment it takes today to make dials, but you’re going to be better with your script.
But remember, your most valuable asset is your time. So you need to create a lot of awareness in less time. So how can you take this message and apply it to exponentially create awareness for you and your business? Number one, you have to use social media, and if you’re in the business to business space, LinkedIn is where you need to be.
Now, if you want to go and play on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook, fine. But if there’s one platform you need to be on, it is LinkedIn. Think about this If you post content consistently talking to your prospects, every one of your posts could get hundreds if not thousands of impressions or views. That is exponential awareness. And if you’re telling me that your prospects are not on LinkedIn, I am going to call bullshit.
They are. That’s you’re biased. You’re bringing to your prospecting, they’re there, you’re just not. So number one, you’ve got to be on social media. Number two, you have to have a good email drip campaign strategy. And it’s not a campaign that is derived on selling product and pitching product. One email after another. No, you have to bring a ton of value.
Give value to your prospects through an email drip campaign. Why? Because if your email list has 100 prospects, 300, 500,000, a thousand prospects, that is creating exponential awareness. You are putting one message in front of hundreds of people at one time. How about public speaking? Public speaking changed my career. It’s what allowed me to build a business I have had as an advisor and what the business I have today as owner of Complete Game Consulting.
Why? Because when you’re speaking publicly, you are in a room, could have ten people, 50, 100, 500. But you’re getting one message in front of many people at one time. This is about time efficiency. I hope you have. You’ve learned that by now in a and if you use public speaking, what takes the exponential awareness to a whole new level?
When you’re on stage, you’re the expert, you’ve got all the credibility in the world. How about webinars? It’s a great way to get one message in front of many people at one time. You see, when we look at our strategy at complete game consulting and it’s the same strategy we teach our clients, our weeks are focused on our webinars, our email newsletter, our social media content, and trying to land more public speaking engagements.
Because if I can spend a half hour on a webinar talking to 40 or 50 people at one time, good use of my time. If I can take an hour to write our weekly newsletter, hit Send and it goes to 700 people. Good use of my time. If we can post content every single day on LinkedIn that hits thousands of people.
Good use of my time. And if I can take the stage for an hour keynote and talk to 5000 to 250 people, good use of my time. So this is how you need to use exponential awareness to grow your business in 2023. So I hope today’s episode was extremely helpful and extremely tactical because it’s one thing to motivate you, but it’s another thing to give you the step by step game plan to help you go create exponential awareness.
So I hoped by the end of this podcast here, I have convinced you that you can’t just rely on cold calling anymore. Number 18 Dials to reach one prospect. I hope you understand why exponential awareness is a must today, and now you know how to create it. Know exactly who you’re talking to, know exactly what you’re saying to them, and then go share it on social media, on public speaking stages, in email campaigns, on webinars, you name it, podcasts.
When you get your message out far fast and wide and you use your time efficiently, you’re going to get more prospects to know you quicker. You’re going to create brand recognition, you’re going to have an amazing online presence. You’re going to be everywhere, which means you are going to be the perceived expert with all the credibility.
It’s changed my business. I know it can do the same for you. So you know what happens when you get clear on your game plan, which I hope today we did. And you mix it with confidence. You do amazing things, go do amazing things today and have an amazing weekend.