I recently received the following email from a student of High Probability Selling, who had some questions about prospecting. I have edited the email slightly. I replaced the sender’s real name with Tom Prospector, and the real company name with XYZ Company. I am publishing the edited version here (with permission). My response appears below the email.
I am an insurance agent from Singapore. I bought the HPS book from amazon and also downloaded the recording on “selling in financial services”.
Some customer recognised that I called again after 3 weeks. Some reacted neutrally while recognising that I called. Occassionally some confronted me over the phone asking me why I called again while they clearly said no before. I then asked them if they want me to remove them from my list. They said yes and I removed.
I understand that we want the familiarity but not the sense of creating a nuisance for them. I am a new guy in sales and I was a bit paranoid of getting a complaint, even though I checked through DNC religiously before calling.
So my question is for HPS, is this part of the game, or am I doing it wrong-not tweaking the script enough?
First script: Hi I am Tom Prospector from XYZ Company. I am selling life insurance that can give you a million dollar coverage, for 20 years, for less than 200 dollar a month. Is that something you want?
Second script: Hi I am Tom Prospector from XYZ Company. I am selling affordable life insurance that can give you half a million coverage in death and total permanent disability. Is that something you want?
My concern is am I commiting the mistake of having insufficient difference in the two messages. If I am not doing anything wrong, I should just focus on Complying with laws and regulations only and continue with what I am doing, understanding that such confrontation is part of the game?
Yes. As you had guessed, your prospecting offers are far too similar to each other. People are very likely to think they are the same, and especially if you call back as soon as 3 weeks. The first thing to do is to make your prospecting offers sound very different.
A small amount of confrontation is unavoidable. However, you can reduce it significantly by following our guidelines more closely than you have so far. Study the HPS Blog post, “Guidelines for Creating a High Probability Prospecting Offer“. Also, be sure to read the comments.
Here are some examples of what you can do differently:
- We no longer say “Hi” or “Hello”. We get better results by getting straight to business without trying to seem friendly.
- If you are prospecting in English, say “This is [name]” instead of “I am [name]”. If you are prospecting in Chinese, find the closest equivalent. The intention is to sound the same, whether you are calling a stranger or a colleague that you have been working with (without relying on caller ID).
- Use factual words. Avoid words like “affordable”, anything that is a matter of judgment or opinion.
- It is better to talk about what you offer in terms of what the customer receives than to talk about something that you do. We call this The Get. “I sell life insurance” is slightly better than “I am selling life insurance”, because the focus is a little more on the noun, and a little less on the verb.
- Avoid using the words “you” or “your” as part of the prospecting offer. The first time we say “you” is when we ask “Is that something you want.”
- One way to make your prospecting offers different from each other is to be less complete in each offer. Leave things out. Focus on only one feature at a time. For instance, one offer can focus on the death benefit, while ignoring the disability. Another offer can focus on the disability aspect, while ignoring the death benefit.
- Another way to reduce confrontation is to keep your manner neutral and businesslike. No enthusiasm or high energy.
- In English, it is normal to speak with a rising intonation at the end of a question. Some people do that even when making a statement (and we call that uptalk). In contrast, we are careful to end every statement, as well as every question, with a downward intonation. We get better results that way.
- The cost of life insurance depends on a number of factors, including age and health. Is “less than 200 dollar a month” an accurate statement for every person on your prospecting list? Find a way to be truthful.
Here’s another tip. Instead of asking someone if they want you to remove them from your list, ask them if they want to be removed from the list. It makes a difference. We don’t ask people what they want us to do. We focus on the get.
Thank you very much for your question, and for the opportunity to share with a wider audience.
Comments and questions are welcome.