Agent Link- March 2020

Give value without a contract: Focus on creating 12 positive interactions. The key to building this trust is 12 positive interactions. In our study, it quickly became evident that those BGAs and IMOs that were more proactive and systematic in their follow-up approaches with producers were more likely to be expanding and showing measurable indicators of success compared to the other BGAs that were exhibiting less frequent follow-up efforts or not following up at all. Consider the numbers: 80% of sales are made around the 10th interaction with a prospect, yet only 8% of salespeople are getting to that stage! There is so much opportunity there that people are letting go simply because they are not taking the time to get to the 10th, 11th, or 12th positive interaction. The multiple-contact model is especially relevant to agent recruitment. Most prospective producers who initiate contact with a BGA and who may be interested in the BGA’s value proposition may not necessarily have an existing piece of business that they’re looking to write and funnel through the BGA’s channel.This insight is simple, but it’s vitally important for the BGA to keep in mind. Furthermore, many of those producers who eventually decide to move forward and contract with an IMO do not have a specific case at that moment that they’re looking to place.Thus, because there often is no immediate contact, it becomes even more critical for the IMO to have a firm, tightly managed follow-up protocol in place. It is relatively easy to institute a system for responding to agent inquiries without requiring additional hires or the purchase of resources, and if marketing executives and recruiters were to execute on this concept, then efficiencies, closing, contracting, and producer activation would rise. And we believe it would rise significantly. Optimize the agent recruitment and producer activation funnel. While it’s not news that strong follow-up is essential to a growing business, the follow-up opportunity that exists in the field of agent recruitment and producer activation appears far greater than many of us in our industry ever imagined. If you’re as surprised as we were by these results, we encourage you to take a serious look at your own agent recruitment and follow-up system. It’s important to honestly evaluate what you’re doing well and where you could stand to improve. We’re here to help. Agent Link is ready with the predictive analytics and in-depth knowledge to help your organization claim the quality prospects that 80% of people are letting fall through the cracks. Give us a call and see what we can do for you. P.S. If you’d like to learn more about the results of our secret-shopper study and how they can inform a follow-up initiative, our e-book, “Agent Recruitment and Activation Secret Revealed: What Only 11% of BGAs and IMOs Understand, and How to Avoid Being Among the 89%” offers an in-depth look at the topic. Download your copy here: -Senia Gramajo

Mass emails are not the way to connect to a prospect and build a relationship. (You wouldn’t build a relationship with your future spouse with generic texts or flowers that trigger their allergies.) Your prospect may not be ready to write business today, tomorrow, or next month, but they may be ready in a year, and when the positive interactions haven’t happened, that producer is no longer a prospect for your company — they’ve found someone else who has put in the time to build trust with them. Hello? Is anybody out there? Imagine checking out a company’s website, reaching out for information, and never hearing back. If that happened, you obviously wouldn’t trust them and definitely wouldn’t do business with them. So why would a prospect do business with a company that behaves this way? You might think your recruiters are behaving differently, but when we conducted a secret-shopper survey of 164 different BGAs and IMOs, we found some startling results. As many as 53% of the BGAs our secret-shopper requested information from failed to contact us at all! In the words of the licensed agent who reached out to them: “Of course, there is a 0% chance of converting a prospective agent to a producing agent on your override statement if you fail to respond to their inquiry.” Only 47% of the BGAs responded to our request at least once, and only 26% of them actually used a telephone and called us back.The other 21% simply sent emails, many of which were automated. In addition, only 16% of them followed up with us on the same day we requested information. With these types of interactions, you can imagine what an agent on the other side is going through.They must feel like a lonely astronaut in space, wondering if anyone else is out there. How can I help you? To implement the interactions that will ultimately turn a prospect into a producing agent, you must start with a mindset shift. When it comes to how you view prospects, rather than looking for the potential value a prospect is adding, turn your focus toward how you can provide value to them. Rather than automated marketing, it takes sequences of valuable information that recruiters reach out to prospects with, such as a free report or webinar that actually tackles a challenge they are facing. In addition, these interactions must be consistent and positive to build trust. In the eyes of a prospect, they begin to see that a recruiter isn’t just focused on closing them but on delivering value to them.That’s what creates the trust factor. When those interactions happen consistently over time, the prospect begins to see the recruiter as someone they like and can trust.Then, when the agent has a pressing need, who will they think of? The person who took the time to build trust with them.

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