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Four tips for first-meeting success

Thursday, June 2, 2011
Written By
Alaine Dole

Securing a prospect meeting is undoubtedly hard work – but it’s only the beginning. Once a producer has that meeting, proper preparation and the right use of face time with the prospect ensure that this hard work ends in new business. Producers can use these tips to sail through the first meeting and move one step closer to the close.

Do your research

Review basic demographic information regarding company structure, number of employees, current broker and other details on operations and use them to structure your presentation. Verify who will be present at the meeting and get as much background as possible on each person. If these individuals (or the company as a whole) are active online (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs), study them to gain insight into what’s top of mind. Know terminology typical to each person’s role or industry to ensure your first impression is that of a trustworthy expert.

Know your audience

Open their eyes to what they’ve been missing with targeted probing questions that resonate with their pain points. Pain points differ for each audience, so it pays to prepare a different set of questions for the CEO, CFO, HR manager, etc. In Broker Briefcase®, the audience-specific Prospecting Scripts make an excellent starting point for probing questions. Illuminate what makes your agency different with questions like:

  • “What services is your current broker offering?”
  • “Do you know how much your current broker is compensated?”
  • “What does your current broker offer relative to safety/compliance/health care reform…?”

Don’t simply accept answers; dig deeper. Follow each question with additional questions – never begin selling your solution when you could be probing for more information. You could uncover even deeper, more resonating needs, which would give you greater leverage when presenting solutions.

Give specific examples

Top brokers provide services that prospects may not even know exist. When you are assuring prospects you can give more, be specific. Consider each of the client’s pain points uncovered during initial contact, and tie those you can to a specific solution you provide. Add a specific example of how your solution will impact the client positively.

If the prospect has pain points for which you don’t have an immediate solution, don’t be afraid to discuss them. Instead, talk about what solutions could be developed in the future.

Leave a sample behind

Prove the value you will provide by giving the prospect a taste of your resources as a leave-behind. Choose materials that communicate how you will impact the company’s bottom line (Broker Briefcase® sales binders are ideal for this), and build an arsenal of documents that showcase the value you provide as a broker – a services and capabilities binder (like those in Broker Briefcase) is ideal for this. Tweak your choice of materials according to the prospect’s specific needs.

A guide to rely on

These tips are based on the new Producer’s Assistant tool in Broker Briefcase, which guides producers through each stage of the sales cycle and arms them with steps to follow and documents to use to win more business and spur organic growth. Find it on the bottom of the home page.

©2011 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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