In this episode, I’m showing you how to build a sales strategy that not only triples your revenue but also reignites your passion for the game.
Get ready to relish the chase of the sale!
Topics covered in this episode:
- Why do most producers fail to hit their sales goals?
- The importance of enjoying the sales process.
- How to create a sales strategy you love.
- Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andyneary/
- Connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andy_neary/
This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
Minutes before I am recording this episode. One of our big opportunities that we had in our pipeline came back to us and said, You know what? We’re just going to stick to the same coaching program we’ve been working with for a while. We’re going to tweak some things and we’ll keep you in touch, right? As much as I hate hearing that I was, I respect the hell out of the fact they gave me a no.
But I enjoyed the chase. Yeah. We’re not going to win every single one. There’s a really good chance when you look at your weekly activities that evolve or revolve around prospect. I’m willing to bet most of those activities right now you do not enjoy and as a result, you avoid. So I invite you on this same path that I have been fortunate to take over the last nine years.
One of the most gratifying parts of this job is when I get to work with insurance professionals who not only see a change in their bottom line because they’re growing financially when they’re doing things they love and they’re growing them, but using strategies that brings out the best version of them. Their entire life changes. Hey. Hey. Welcome back to Bullpen Sessions.
My name is Andy NEARY and this is episode 251. Wow. 251 episodes. A lot to say there. We just had Spencer Smith on episode 250, half a quarter of the way to a thousand episodes. And I promise you, we pride ourselves on consistency. We will get to episode 1000. Now, today I am going to teach you how to build a prospecting strategy you actually enjoy.
But before we get there, I want to make a quick shout out to our sponsor. Complete game consulting. Yes, that is my company. We do not take any sponsors on for this podcast. Our goal is to just bring you the insurance professional. A ton of advisor, a ton of value. Excuse me. However, if you’re staring at the end of the year right now, a little nervous because you know you need to get going, you know, you need to pick it up a little bit that your sales goals or you’re flat out crushing it and you want to take your business to the next level.
That’s what we help you do. We help you build a game plan to go open more doors with the right prospects, your ideal prospect so you can go sell more and have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. So if that’s you hit me up, we’ve got a link in the show notes where you can schedule a strategy.
Call with me to see if our program, The Complete Game Marketing Playbook, is a fit for you. All right. Back to today’s episode. How can you build a prospecting strategy that you actually enjoy? Well, this episode stems from a conversation I had with a client of mine. I was on a coaching call with him the other day and we were setting up the foundations of a game plan to help him three x his business over the next 2 to 3 years and he’s confident he can get there.
But where there was hesitation is what he was going to have to do from a prospecting standpoint to get there. So he had the confidence or has confidence in himself, but he lacked a little clarity on what is he going to do from a prospecting game plan strategy to put him in the best position to three x the business.
And what he also said to me was very telling, and this is what really sets up today’s episode, he said, But I don’t want to do it the way I’ve always prospected, which was, you know, cold calling, picking up the phone, sending a bunch of emails. He goes, I love things like public speaking. I know I don’t do enough of it.
I want to do more of it. He’s got a podcast now, so he’s like, I want to use the podcast. And what I realized what in what he was saying to me was, Andy, if I’m at a3x my business in the next three years, I’ve got to enjoy the journey of prospecting to get there. And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.
Because if you are an insurance professional listening in and one of your roles, if not your main role is selling, bringing in revenue to your agency, maybe it’s your own agency, you work for somebody else. Your number one priority is prospecting. Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been around for a little while. You’re taught the traditional way of prospecting, which was picking up the phone, making a bunch of calls every single week.
You were taught to go network as often as you can to rub shoulders with the right people. Heck, I was even taught how to go park my car in an industrial park and go door to door. But let me ask you a question. How much do you actually enjoy that? Does picking up the phone every day as your only strategy?
I’m not pooh poohing cold, calling. I’m not going to tell you you should never do it again. What I am going to say to you, though, is when you’re doing it, you like it, you enjoy it. My guess is the answer is no. There’s very few people in this industry who absolutely love picking up that phone. And if you’re one of them, God bless you.
It wasn’t me. But what’s happening right now is you have the responsibility to bring new revenue in not only for your agency, but for your own checkbook. You want to make money, but you’re not even enjoying the prospecting you’re doing every single day, which is why, quite frankly, you’re often avoiding prospecting, even though it’s your job. So how can we make your journey down the path of prospecting more enjoyable?
How can you build a prospecting blueprint that lets you love what you do that brings out the best in you? So that’s what I want to use today’s episode to talk about is some of my own thoughts that I think are going to help you to really start to enjoy the prospecting process again. Now, if you’re like me, one of the things I absolutely love about prospecting is the chase.
You know, as much as I hate hearing no, I respect the hell out of our prospects. When they tell us no, they give us a clear note. Just happened to me minutes before I am recording this episode. One of our big opportunities that we had in our pipeline came back to us and said, You know what? We’re just going to stick to our own narrative.
The same coaching program we’ve been working with for a while. We’re going to tweak some things and we’ll keep you in touch, right? As much as I hate hearing that I was, I respect the hell out of the fact they gave me a no. But I enjoyed the chase. Yeah, we’re not going to win every single one. But man, one thing I love about prospecting is the chase.
Sometimes the the the win when you actually are given a yes and you have a new client, it’s like that dopamine hit of the chase now is gone. There’s almost like a disappointment when they become clients in a way. I know it sounds weird, but I just love the chase. So my first question for you as as a producer responsible for selling you love the Chase.
I think you’ve got to have that part of you in your body that just loves getting out and chasing that new business. But how do you build a strategy you actually enjoy? When I moved out to Colorado in 2014 and I realized I had a very big problem, which was I found myself in a market where nobody knew who I was.
And my job was to bring in new revenue. And the only strategy I had at my disposal at that point, which is what is what I was taught, which was the cold calling and pounding the pavement and things like that. And I made a very conscientious effort to realize it’s a decision to realize that that wasn’t going to work in a new market unless I was going to give myself the patience of at least 2 to 3 years to build something worthwhile.
But I didn’t have that patience. I said I got to do something different. But at the same time I got to enjoy what I was doing when it came to the chase of prospecting because the part of my story I don’t share with a lot of people is what happened prior to us moving to Colorado in 2014. If we rewind it to 2010, I almost got out of the business because at that time I was running a benefits division for a PNC agency selling primarily small group because that’s what our resources allowed us to do.
And my only strategy at that point was to pick up the phone or literally pick a geographic location in our market and go drive there for the day and go door to door. I hated it. I woke up every single day dreading what I was about to do. There was not one ounce of what I was doing I actually enjoyed, and it led up to a pivotal moment in 2010 when I actually thought about getting out of the business because I and I hated what I was doing that much.
It had nothing to do with the company. I was working for. It was just I did not enjoy what I was doing. Now I made a choice at that point to take a step back in my career and move away from producing and get into an account management account executive role, which quite frankly saved my career. But my point is, fast forward now here I am in Colorado.
I didn’t want to go back to that strategy I hated, and this is when I started leaning into things I loved doing. And this is the message I want to give you today. I told myself, if I am going to enjoy the process of the chase, the prospecting, I want to participate in activities I love. And when I looked at what I absolutely loved to do in the business of selling insurance, it was educating my prospects and it was something I felt I was really good at, something I felt I had a gift to do.
I’m the son of two teachers, so maybe it just comes naturally to me. But I loved educating prospects. I loved walking into a prospecting meeting with a prospect who looks like to me was like a clean slate. They didn’t know what they didn’t know. They didn’t know what their problem was, but they were open to learning. I love that.
But when I looked at how I prospected, there was nothing I was doing that was educating my prospects. Right? When I pick up a phone and I call a prospect to ask for a meeting, I’m not educating them. I’m asking for their time. When I would send out emails to prospects to try to book meetings again, I wasn’t giving any value.
I wasn’t educating. I was asking. Same thing with going door to door. So I said, What if I spin my prospecting strategy and make it all about education? Because I love education? So I started getting on LinkedIn and the way I could let my education in my my yearning to educate come out was writing LinkedIn articles. And that’s what I started doing in late 2014, just popping on LinkedIn about once a week and writing articles.
Then I added my email newsletter in 2015 and the purpose wasn’t to ask for meetings, the purpose was to educate because I loved educating. So I added my newsletter, sent out a newsletter via Outlook, by the way, not some fancy email platform like we have today. And I started that, sending that out to about 30 prospects. I didn’t have a big list at the time, but the one that took my prospecting to a whole new level was public speaking and I had always had a desire to public speak.
You know, I think there’s two types of people out there, ones that completely shy away from a microphone and others that run towards it. I happen to be someone who run towards a microphone and I knew public speaking could be a big component of my prospecting strategy because it would give me an opportunity to stand on a stage and educate again, something I loved doing and what I realized by adding these components to my prospecting strategy was I was getting an opportunity to do what I loved every single day.
Think about this for a second. When you are in your zone, a genius, let’s say yours owner geniuses like mine, you love being in front of a prospect, educating a prospect often about things they don’t know, right? This is where you get to display your subject matter expertise. The challenge with that or the problem with it is you don’t get to do that every day.
You don’t have five prospecting meetings every day, and if you do, you are a prospecting ninja. You you don’t even need to listen to this podcast, but you’re probably not having five prospecting meetings every day. And that was my struggle. I’m like, Man, I love educating prospects, but I don’t get to do it very often because I’m not in front of them very often.
So I said, This is an opportunity to start doing it every day. If I write an article on LinkedIn, what am I doing? I’m educating my prospects. If I send out an email once a month, what am I doing? I’m educating my prospects. If I go proactively find places to speak. Sherm Conferences, financial executives, International CFO roundtables. If I can go speak, I am educating.
And what happened was all of a sudden I started loving my prospecting strategy. Now, not every one of those activities lead to overnight wins. However, what I knew was that if I made sure those activities were a part of my weekly prospecting strategy, I would be living the best version of me. Which means I am going to love the art of prospecting.
And you know what happens next? When I started enjoying the prospect process, the number of meetings I booked started increasing. I started talking to the right prospects and when I realized that if I educate enough, I’ll actually start having prospects come to me. And that’s exactly what happened. And the shift that I saw in my own career was no longer was I dreading the activity I had to partake in to actually try to book appointments.
I thrived in it because it was bringing out the best version of me. Why? Because I love educating. Now the bow on this gift that took my prospecting to a whole new level, and it’s the number one activity that still elevates our prospecting here. A complete game is when I realized that if I could take my education to the video camera and focus all of my efforts on creating educational video content to make sure I am in front of my prospects as often as I can, it scares me what it’s going to do for my prospecting.
So I started recording video content. I acted as if I was in front of a prospect, sitting in their boardroom, educating them on how to build a better health insurance plan. And when I realized the feeling that education gave me, when that light on the camera was on and I was in front of that camera and I was educating the prospect, even though there was no prospect in the room, I realized that this is going to be the biggest weapon I’ve ever had.
And that is when I started leaning into video content that educates my prospects, because now I wasn’t just getting in front of them with a little article on LinkedIn. I wasn’t just getting them in front of them with an email in their inbox. I wasn’t just getting in front of them when I was on stage at an event, which didn’t happen very much, I was getting in front of them every day and they could see me.
They could learn from me, they could get a feel for my personality. I can tell you in 2023, I have never looked back from that moment. So why do I share all of this with you? Because there’s a really good chance when you look at your weekly activities that evolve or revolve around prospect, I’m willing to bet most of those activities right now.
You do not enjoy and as a result, you avoid them. That’s why you negotiate with your calendar, right? It’s really easy on a Monday morning to get psyched up and say, I am going to dedicate 2 hours on Wednesday morning to cold calling and then Wednesday morning rolls around and you go because you don’t want to do it.
And 2 hours quickly becomes 60 minutes. 60 minutes quickly becomes a half hour. Before you know it, you made eight, nine calls. You gave it a half assed effort because you don’t want to do it. What if you could actually build a prospecting strategy? You love? Where can you incorporate activities that you love doing? And if you could do them every day, you are living in your zone of genius for me, it started with writing.
Whether that was a newsletter, whether that was an email. Then it turned into speaking. I invested in a speaking career that has taken my career to levels I couldn’t have imagined. And then when I uncovered the power of video content, game over. So I encourage you to sit down that in the next week and figure out how you can shift your attitude and your mindset around your prospecting, which might require a shift in the activities you are including in your prospecting efforts.
And here is the intended consequence of all of this. What I uncovered the most when I did all of these things was not only did I love doing them, not only was I living in my own genius, which mean I, which means I showed up my best every single day, the level of awareness I was creating for my agency and myself could could never be matched by the activities I was doing in the past.
Write a newsletter on LinkedIn, could get in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people. Today, it’s our video content that can get in front of thousands of people with one video. When I realize my email can touch hundreds of people today, our email goes out to almost 1000 or near a thousand qualified leads. If I can get on stage and talk to 100 or 200 people, we are building a massive awareness of who we are and how we can help.
But most importantly, we’re doing it through the channel of what we love doing, which is educating. If you just figure out what you love to do when it comes to prospecting, there is no secret to this. There is no perfect prospecting strategy. It’s about participating in the activities that you love to do that put you in the best position to be the best version of you.
And if you just do that, you will wake up every day, fired up, ready to get after it. You will be more consistent than you have ever been because when you look at your calendar, you are going to see the activities that light you up. Listen, you and I both want to win business, right? We are in business to grow, but man, there is no more refreshing way to grow than doing it through activities you love.
So when I sat on that coaching call a couple of days ago with my client and we started building his game plan to get from where he is today to where he wants to be three X in the next three years. And we started talking about how he’s going to grow his podcast. We started talking about how he’s going to use public speaking to grow his credibility and his business.
You could just see him light up because not only did he have a plan to get there, it was a plan that was going to allow him to do what he loved in the first place. So I invite you on this same path that I have been fortunate to take over the last nine years and the path our clients have been fortunate to take because one of the most gratifying parts of this job is when I get to work with insurance professionals who not only see a change in their bottom line because they’re growing financially when they’re doing things they love and they’re growing it using strategies that brings out the best version of them. Their entire life changes, and I know it can do the same for you.
So take what you learned today. Please sit down and figure out what those activities are. They’re going to bring out the best in you that are going to shine a spotlight on your gifts. And I promise you your prospecting will never be the same. Be good.