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Sales resources > Group Benefits > Plan advisor tool kit > Prospecting

How do I find potential leads?

There are several different methods that you can use to generate leads:

 Referrals

Of all the methods of prospecting that are available, referred lead prospecting is the very best.  Your effective ongoing service to your existing clients and to Centres of Influence will provide you with a positive reference for other business.

Prospective clients can be approached over the phone or by letter (Word), ideally with a handwritten note of introduction.  Check that your current clients do not object to being used as references.

Review sample prospecting scripts in the Related Links section.

 Seminars

If designed and promoted well, seminars will:

  • Provide you with the opportunity to present benefit programs in an advisory role when organized by you for the benefit of local businesses
  • Establish you as a dedicated group insurance plan advisor within the small business community

Seminars may be directed to two audiences:

  • Local business owners seeking information on a new plan or interested in improving their program
  • Centres of Influence (accountants, lawyers or other advisors) to whom you can sell the advantages of a benefits program, which they can present to their clients

Pre-seminar checklist:

  • Book a venue in a central location with comfortable/convenient facilities
  • Send announcements/invitations one month in advance of the seminar date, including seminar topic, location, date, time, your name/organization, telephone number, response instructions
  • When responses received, confirm names and numbers
  • Arrange for refreshments
  • Prepare/rehearse your presentation – ensure you end on time!

 Trade Shows

Build your strategy for trade show prospecting:

  • Take the time to research trade show events in your area to ensure the businesses attending are in the target market and the trade show environment is conducive to doing business (i.e. business owners)
  • Plan ahead and pay attention to the detail
    • Determine what you are trying to achieve by participating in the trade show – is it higher sales, more leads, raising your profile?
    • Prepare and stick to your budget
    • Know what your pitch is and stay consistent
    • Make sure your exhibit will draw attention with either an interactive display or interesting giveaways
    • Secure a good location in the exhibit hall
    • Make sure you have print material on hand to give out to interested leads
    • Pick the right people to staff the booth
    • Follow-up promptly on any leads generated
  • Check out trade-show-advisor.com for more tips on how to run a successful trade show exhibit

 Direct Mail

Use a direct mail campaign:

Take advantage of good lead sources

  • Local Chamber of Commerce/Board of Trade – check for a list of businesses in your community. These resources can often provide you with the number of employees and the key contact or principle officer's name. Ask that they keep you informed of new businesses forming.
  • Yellow Pages, www.canada411.ca, and other business directories – this is a great source of information on businesses and professional services in your area - Canada411 will also link you to the website of the business so you can find out more about it.
  • Your own clients – take a closer look at your own client base – the next time you are selling a life insurance policy, ask if they have group insurance coverage through their employer.
  • Your own community - Canvass the community and make your presence known. It pays to have your finger on the pulse of what's going on. Find out who's moving into the new building under construction and get to know the tenants of large office towers. Your personal contacts can also provide a great source of information about new operations that may be entering the area.
  • Your personal banker – they are usually among the first to know of a new firm entering the area.
  • Your lawyer – they may be a good prospect for group insurance or they may know of others in the legal profession who would be interested – Bar Association coverage may not be comprehensive enough.
  • Other advisors – some of your peers may have lead sources but are not interested in writing group insurance – become an expert in your office to whom other brokers can refer business.
  • Your property and casualty broker – ask if they have a Financial Services division – commercial accounts are potential group insurance accounts.
  • Other lead sources:
    • Better Business Bureau
    • Dun & Bradstreet Database
    • Municipal Economic Development Department

Helpful information to look for when developing a direct mail mailing list:

  • Names of local firms
  • Number of employees within each business
  • Owner/key contact of each business
  • Addresses/telephone numbers
  • Industry category
  • When each business was established

 Cold Calls

Although not as effective as other prospecting methods, cold calls can generate some worthwhile leads and referrals by allowing you to:

  • See the work site
  • Receive an immediate response to fact finding questions
  • Gauge the level of interest

Cold Call Tips

  • Get to know the owners of the businesses you regularly deal with (stores, plumbers, home hardware stores, general insurance brokers, etc.)
  • Let them know that you can provide them with various types of business insurance, including employee benefits
  • Take particular note of small factories, machine shops and other small industries in the area, as you go about your daily activities
  • Don't forget about the larger office buildings in your area where small firms may be hiding
  • Keep an eye out for new businesses opening in your area
  • Select a few local industrial areas and visit them regularly to familiarize yourself with the business there
  • Cold call and establish contact with desirable prospects by introducing a topic that will grab their attention
  • It may take some time but soon they will become used to seeing you and discussing group benefits

When they are ready to buy, they will certainly think of you.