Blog #34: Happy Holidays from InsMark

No business — just some joy with a great video.

And I hope Santa is good to all of you.

happy holidays from InsMark image linked to youtube

This is the final Blog for 2013; we’ll be back on January 7, 2014, with a major announcement.


More Recent Articles:

Blog #33: Referred Leads – How to Use Them Effectively

Blog #32: Documents On A Disk™ is Now in the Cloud

Blog #31: IRA Rescue Made Easy

Blog #30: Six Sales Ideas For Life Insurance Producers
(Steve Savant Interviews Bob Ritter)

Blog #28: Notes to Those Beginning to Sell Financial Products

3 Reasons Why It’s Profitable For You To Share These
Blog Posts With Your Business Associates and
Professional Study Groups (i.e. “LinkedIn”)

 

Robert B. Ritter, Jr. Blog Archive

 

Blog #33: Referred Leads – How to Use Them Effectively

(There are no InsMark presentations used in this blog.  It is a an informational blog only)

Getting Started with InsMark Training Video

Bob Ritter's Blog #33 referred leads how to use them effectively man holding card image

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OK, so who is Paul Barber?

And who is he addressing when he shows a card with “Jack, you can’t afford not to talk to Bob.”

A short story from my third year in the business . . .

I started cold in the New York City market straight out of Williams College with a degree in nothing remotely connected to selling anybody anything. And it was a struggle for a couple of years, but I tried very hard to get referred leads and was getting better at it. Then I met Paul Barber, a very successful business executive who took a real liking to me. He was my first really big sale, and he subsequently gave me three referred leads, all of whom bought large policies. In the next two years, Paul led me to over 25 new prospects, and all but a handful bought large policies. By then, several of Paul’s referrals were also furnishing me with leads, and I never made another cold call. Within six months, I was the top producer in a large MassMutual agency in the New York area. Paul was still giving me referrals when I suspended my agency operations many years later to form InsMark.

Paul would write the note that’s replicated in the photo above on the back of my business card. I would then send a letter of introduction to the referral and attach the card (no emails in those days) face up with Paul’s short note showing. I rarely got turned down for an appointment when I called.

Referrals are clearly the best kind of new contact as they ease the “Who are you, and what do you want?” aspect of approaching a cold prospect.

Power Leads

What you really want to get from a referral source is a “power” lead.

Take the example of Bill Taylor, the CEO of a book publishing company, who refers you to Tom Jackson, the head of the printing company used by Bill’s company. Alternatively, you are doing business with Tom on another matter, and he gives you Bill’s name as a referral.

Both are good leads, but which one is the power lead? You can always determine this by checking the power flow. If the referral goes the same way as the power of the relationship, it’s a power lead.

In my example, who has the power? Bill does, since he controls a flow of business to Tom. The lead from Tom to Bill is nice, but Bill is not nearly as likely to see you on Tom’s recommendation as the other way around. Some of the best power leads usually involve following the consistent flow of money, i.e., money power = lead power.

Can Tom furnish you with power leads? Probably — Bill is just not one of them.

Another great referral is an authority lead, e.g., a CPA or an attorney gives you a referral to a client. This lead has a very high power index.

Another is a “best friend” lead. Often the strength of this lead can flow in either direction.

Another is to someone who is being mentored by your client, particularly if the recipient is an up-and-coming mover and shaker.

Referred Lead Strategies

Some say to ask for referrals even before you make the sale. I disagree. Wait until you have a client; not a prospect, as the leads will be more significant coming from a client.

Before you ask for referrals from any client, try to learn where that client:

1) spends (or invests) a significant amount of money on a regular basis,

2) is a senior adviser to another individual, or

3) has strong personal relationships with other individuals.

Then aim your referral questioning in that direction, and try to turn the conversation into a serious discussion. Several power leads will likely bring you more commissions than the sale you just made.

And remember, it is only natural — even for cooperating clients — to respond as follows when you ask for referrals. “I can’t think of anyone just now but, if I do, I’ll let you know.” Don’t settle for that; respond with these questions:

Can we think about it together for a few minutes?

Who is the most successful person you know?

Who just complained to you about taxes?

Who is the smartest [redheaded] person you know?

Who just started a business?

Who just sold a business?

Who do you mentor?

Who just got married?

Who just had a child?

Who has a physically or mentally challenged child or grandchild?

Whose kids are recently out of college?

(All of a sudden, there’s freed-up cash flow.)

Of course, less powerful leads are certainly better than cold prospecting, and a whole lot better than no leads at all. Just be sure to get your share of power leads — they always exist with your good customers.

Final rule: Always report back to your referral source with something like this:

“Thanks for referring me to Tom Jackson. We did some serious business that I know you understand I must keep confidential. I suspect you’ve thought of a few others that I may be able to help. Will you share those names with me?”

-or-

“Thanks for referring me to Tom Jackson. We were unable to find any areas where I could help, but I sure do appreciate the lead. I suspect you’ve thought of a few others that I may be able to help. Will you share those names with me?”

If you convert a referred lead into a new client, try really hard to get that new client to give you a note thanking the person who referred you to him (maybe on the back of his or her business card). That will open up even more leads from the originating source the next time you ask. (And always ask in person!)

If you are diligent about securing referred leads, a few of your clients will likely develop into centers-of-influence and become a steady source of new power leads.

In your search for developing key centers-of-influence, the
immense referral potential of these individuals is why you must always report back to clients who give you great leads — like my good friend, Paul Barber, gave me.

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More Recent Articles:

Blog #32: Documents On A Disk™ is Now in the Cloud

Blog #31: IRA Rescue Made Easy

Blog #30: Six Sales Ideas For Life Insurance Producers
(Steve Savant Interviews Bob Ritter)

Blog #28: Notes to Those Beginning to Sell Financial Products

Blog 27: Don’t Buy Yet, I’m Not Finished Selling

3 Reasons Why It’s Profitable For You To Share These
Blog Posts With Your Business Associates and
Professional Study Groups (i.e. “LinkedIn”)

Robert B. Ritter, Jr. Blog Archive

 

Blog #32: Documents On A Disk™ is Now in the Cloud

(Presentations were created using the Cloud-Based Documents On A Disk.)

Getting Started with InsMark Training Video

Bob Ritter's Blog #32 Documents On A Disk is now in the Cloud image

Big news!

InsMark has released Version 21.0 of Documents On A Disk (“DOD”).  Not only do you have the new platform, but you also have access to key new features, all of which you can review below.

The new DOD:

  • There are 1,542 specimen documents with over 6,000 pages of material for just about any buy-sell, executive benefit, retirement planning, estate planning, and charitable planning concept you can think of.
  • Those 1,542 specimen documents are organized into 233 document sets that will add considerably to your technical library.
  • Each of the 233 sets includes a Highlights of the Plan written in layman’s language that can double as a Preface for many of your product illustrations.
  • The new Hitchhiker™ app is part of Version 21.0 and will be invaluable for developing relationships with attorneys and CPAs (more on this below).

Here are three quick examples of how the new cloud-based Documents On A Disk can directly assist your sales:

Case Study #1:  You are presenting a life insurance illustration for funding a Corporation Cross Purchase Buy-Sell with Insurance Owned by an LLC.  How long and hard would you look for a layman’s explanation of this concept -- and likely never find it?  The Highlight of this plan in DOD is a perfect companion to your illustrations for this buy-sell arrangement (there are 39 other buy-sell strategies).

Case Study #2:  You are presenting a Pension Maximization Plan to a retiring executive and would like to include a Preface outlining the features.  The Highlights of the Plan for Spousal Waiver of Joint & Survivor Annuity that is part of the Key Employee Benefit Plans section of document sets is perfect as a Preface to your presentation.

Case Study #3:  You are presenting a Wealth Replacement Trust in association with a Stretch IRA recommendation and would like a concise summary of the Stretch IRA and how it works.  The Highlights of the Plan for Wealth Transfer - Stretch IRA that is part of the Wealth Transfer Plan section of document sets can work as a Preface to your presentation.

There are hundreds of other possibilities for use of the Highlights of the Plans as an introduction to your product presentations.  Each Highlight you select for this purpose can be exported in an editable form so you can modify it to correspond precisely with your case.

In addition to the Highlights, each of the 233 sets contains a Technical Preface addressing the client’s legal and tax advisers, as well as all the specimen documents needed to implement the concept (Resolutions, Agreements, ERISA documents, Summary Letters, Checklists, etc.).

Many of the documents sets also have explanatory Flow Charts to enhance your product presentation.

See below for one of the hot new features of DOD, the Hitchhiker app.

Fees for Version 21.0:

Never licensed for Documents On A Disk:  Initial fee of $399 and $9.95 a month.

Licensees for Version 20.0 and lower:  $9.95 a month.  All the way back to Version 1.0 (1986) -- if you were ever licensed for Documents On A Disk, Version 21.0 is just $9.95 a month.  Use the promo code DOD4ME to waive the $399 initial fee.

InsMark Power Producers:  The new version has automatically been made available with no increase in fees for this exclusive group.

Click here to go to the DOD training website to learn more about Version 21.0.

Click here to order Version 21.0. (Don’t forget DOD4ME if you’ve ever had DOD.)

Contact Julie Nayeri at julien@insmark.com if you have any questions.

Hitchhiker™ App (one of the new features in DOD):

hitchhiker imageThe Hitchhiker app is provided as part of your license, and Hitchhiker will help develop and enhance relationships with other individuals outside of your profession.

Hitchhiker lets you create your own customized Hitchhiker link, and you can insert this link into any email or instant message that you send out.

When the recipient (likely an attorney or CPA) clicks on your Hitchhiker link, they go to your individualized Hitchhiker site that does two things:

First, it provides a library where only the “Highlights” for each of the 233 document sets in DOD can be reviewed and/or downloaded.

Second, your designee is then encouraged to request the specimen plan documents from you directly for any of the DOD document sets that interest him or her.

The value of this feature is that Hitchhiker lets you know what concept is of current interest to your designee and provides you with a specific reason to follow up for possible selling opportunities.

InsMark has no objection if you charge for documents that you provide to attorneys and CPAs although we believe the opportunity to develop expanded relationships with these individuals may well indicate no charge for requested documents.

Click here to learn even more about Hitchhiker including a video.

Click here to review five pages of additional new features that have been added to Version 21.0 of DOD.

Welcome aboard Version 21.0 of Documents On A Disk.  Good luck and good selling!

Important Note:  This information in this publication is for educational purposes only.  In all cases, the approval of a client’s legal and tax advisers must be secured regarding the implementation or modification of any planning technique as well as the applicability and consequences of new cases, rulings, or legislation upon existing or impending plans.

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Zero-Split-Case-Premium-Financing-click-here-to-receive-more-information
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More Recent Articles:

Blog #31: IRA Rescue Made Easy

Blog #30: Six Sales Ideas For Life Insurance Producers
(Steve Savant Interviews Bob Ritter)

Blog #28: Notes to Those Beginning to Sell Financial Products

Blog 27: Don’t Buy Yet, I’m Not Finished Selling

Blog #26: Exceptional Benefits for Outstanding Executives

3 Reasons Why It’s Profitable For You To Share These
Blog Posts With Your Business Associates and
Professional Study Groups (i.e. “LinkedIn”)

Robert B. Ritter, Jr. Blog Archive