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Prospecting without Leads Versus Selling with Leads

Not everyone has money for leads, and that’s ok. The truth of the matter is that there are many agents that sell final expense successfully, without a lead. I actually know a final expense agent that has been selling face to face for years, and swears that he has never purchased a lead before. This dude simply works a cold list and door knocks everyone that he sells. Now here’s the kicker! He actually makes over $100,000 a year doing this and only works a few hours each day he is in the field, five days a week. His system is based on working during a specific time of the day and targeting a specific segment of the final expense senior market.

One of the ways that this can be done is by purchasing a targeted list and door knocking it. This is what my door knocking friend does. You can actually have the list company email you names in order of house number and street, zip code to zip code. You can pick age range and annual household income of the prospects that you want to work. The importance of having your lists customized in this manner is so that you can tighten up on the target market that you want to door knock. In other words, instead of just speaking with people that are 50 to 80 years old, you can work with seniors that are 60-70 years old. I’m not saying that this is the best age group for door knocking, but the idea of controlling the list in this matter is very nice.

Another nice thing about having complete control over your list is that you can actually get the list set up by address. Let me explain! You can print the list to have all the filters that you want and then set it up so that you can park in a neighborhood and door knock one name at a time, in order of address. You can go up one side of the street, and come back down the other side. Selling final expense in this manner will cut down on your time in the field as you are able to see exactly who you want to see.

The company that I recommend for lists is called List Shack. The reason that I like them is because they know how our industry works and will scrub the list in any way you want. If you want a list that has scrubbed phone numbers, they can give you that too. That way you can actually use a dialer to help you set appointments and know you are working a list that is legal to call. There is nothing wrong with sitting on a dialer for your phone days in order to set up appointments for your field days. This is totally doable as long as you are the type of person that is good on the phone.

Keep one thing in mind. It’s a lot harder for someone to be rude to you in person than it is for them to be rude on the phone. Most people are quick to get rid of phone solicitors and have their brains set on auto pilot to get rid of anyone that calls, unless they know them. This is why there are insurance agencies that teach their agents to only door knock with leads. Especially new agents! They know that a new agent can be deterred by a bad day on the phone and could actually never make it in the field if their phone experience is not good. This is why I also suggest that even if you are working a lead program, it’s important to door knock your leads until you are comfortable with calling them.

I still think that you are better off door knocking from a cold list than using a dialer to set up appointments. The activity level in door knocking has been tried and true and is very effective for making final expense sales. People have been doing this for years. Agencies thrive off of this type of activity because it works.

The bottom line is that most seniors between the age of 50 and 80 that have an annual household income under $50,000 are getting direct mail cards all the time. This makes it easy for you to have something to open with, while door knocking. What you can do is stop by and ask them why they didn’t fill out the card that was sent to them. Here are the steps to this type of prospecting.

Only door knock in counties where there are no laws against door to door prospecting.

Park in a spot that is close to a few of your prospects. This is important because you want to leave your sales book in the car.

Door knock with the list and a copy of the lead card in hand and ask the prospect why he didn’t mail back the card.

Let him know that since you’re already there, it will only take a few minutes for you to show him the plans and that he might be surprised at what you can do for him. The idea is to get in and make your presentation!

When you look at raw numbers, this can be very profitable for the right person. It’s definitely not for everyone, but you would be surprised at what you can accomplish if you just decide to do it. I know that there have been times in my life where I was so desperate, that the mere desperation brought out the best in me. Desperation can easily be one of the strongest motivators for anyone breaking into a new business. Yes, it does take persistency and hard work to be successful at door knocking a cold list, but again, many agents do this and make a really good living at it. Here is a break down with some numbers.

  1. 25-30 Door knocks a day can get you 3-5 presentations.
  2. 3-5 presentation can get you a sale or 2.
  3. If you do this, 5 days a week, you can end up with more than 20 sales a month.
  4. 20 sales a month can easily turn into that six figure income that you hear final expense agents speak of.

Anyone that has the work ethic to do this can be successful. After a month or 3, you can start adding l eads into the mix and actually spend less time prospecting and more time selling.

This is how the big boys play the final expense sales game. The one thing that I have learned about our business is that leads are the lifeline of the final expense industry. Having leads is a game changer and is the absolute best way to get in front of prospects, and this is why I make sure to have a fixed amount of direct mail leads to work every single week. Here is our cold door knocking script!

Hello Gene, my name is Douglas Massi, how are you doing today? Well, Gene, the reason that I am here is because our office sent you a little card in the mail in reference to the new state regulated programs designed to pay for your funeral and leave money to your family that can be used to pay away your final expenses. Anyway, since I have your name on my list here, I know that you didn’t return the card. Why is that? Well, Gene, if we can sit down for about 5 minutes, you might be pleasantly surprised and grateful that I am here and I promise not to pressure you into buying something that you don’t need or want!

  • Only have the list in your hand with your medical questionnaire and a pen
  • Be clean cut and shaven
  • Dress comfortable but look professional
  • No tie, no jacket

I wear my company ID when in the field and especially while door knocking as it looks more official and professional than not wearing an ID. It’s important to have your driver’s license handy along with your insurance license. You also want to travel as light as possible. I suggest having a sales book that is streamlined with only a few carriers in it. Just make sure to have another sales book with backup carriers in your car. You don’t want to walk around with the heavy sales book that I use in the field. If you find yourself in a situation where you need access to carriers that are not in your book, just go back to the car and drive back to the prospects house. Being prepared with a plan b and plan c is important as it’s always a good idea to think ahead. The one thing that you will learn is that being organized is important in our industry, even if we’re just talking about your mobile office.

Looks are very important while doing this activity as there is nothing more deterring than someone who appears disheveled or is lacking in basic hygiene. Think about this. If you walked in on your grandmother while she is on the couch speaking with a salesman, how would you feel if he looked like he was a mess? How would you feel if he looked professional? Does he have good hygiene? Does he sit up straight and look professional? Would you want to join in on the conversation or would you want to get rid of that guy?

This is all very important because as a salesperson, you would definitely want the family to be a part of the presentation and to accept that you are a good thing and can help them. The last thing you want is for them to see you as a bad thing just because you were too lazy to shave or brush your teeth.

Good posture and strong body language can also be essential to the success of any door to door salesperson. In our business, people often connect insurance agents with business professionals. This is why it’s important to have this all around essence of professionalism and to look like you fit the role. Remember, we are not the cable guy that can get away with wearing shorts.

Now, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t wear shorts but I don’t recommend it. Interesting enough, I have an agent that is very successful at selling final expense and he does it wearing shorts. His mindset and personality makes it possible for him to get away with that, but he does not do cold door knocking from a list. He works the same direct mail leads that all of our top producers use.

When it comes to body language and posture, I truly believe that it’s important to practice these tools. Yes, proper body language and posture are tools. Do as much research as you can on good and bad body language. You will realize that you probably are doing a lot of things that can easily turn people off and deter them from purchasing anything from you.

When it comes to working leads, nothing beats the value of being on a fixed cost direct mail lead program. With direct mail leads, you can target the exact senior market that we want to make presentations and sell to. The best thing about having leads compared to not having actual leads, is that with leads you already have people that expect to hear back from you. Remember, without leads, you are simply trying to create your own lead at the prospects front door. This is why having direct mail leads makes final expense sales a lot easier and can be the difference between failure and success.

I highly recommend for any new agent to do whatever it takes, in order to come up with the capital to be on fixed cost leads. With 30 brand new direct mail leads, you can make over $100,000 a year in our industry. The idea is to set appointments off of your leads and then door knock anyone that won’t take an appointment or that you can’t reach by phone. You will find that a lot of people are just sweet as pie in person as to when you called them, they just wanted to get rid of you.

My experience with people that tell me off on the phone or that hang up on me is that they are usually totally different in person. Not only that, but if you are afraid that they will remember speaking with you and might just tell you off again, let me assure you, that rarely will happen. Most folks don’t remember the call and will usually not bring it up.

In the case where they do remember the call and you are door knocking with the lead in hand, and they say something like, “didn’t I tell you last week that I didn’t want anyone coming to my house?”, all you have to do is say, “sorry ma’am but that wasn’t me”. You can also just say something like, “oh my goodness, I’m so sorry about that, but since I’m already here, it will only take me ten minutes to take care of this, you know what, I’ll give you the short version instead, can we sit down somewhere really quick?”.

With direct mail leads, you can do really well in the final expense sales industry. Here are some numbers below that are easily attainable. You can also check out the video on our free YouTube channel. The channel is called Final Expense Trainer and the video I suggest watching is called “How to turn $580 into $70,000 to $100,000 Annually”. Here is the link for you to copy and paste, share with your colleagues, etc:

Watch the video here:

  1. 30 Direct Mail Leads = 12 to 16 sales presentations
  2. 12 to 16 sales presentations = 5 to 8 sales
  3. If you are doing what we teach you, each sale will average at least $50 monthly or $600 of annualized premium
  4. If you average 6 sales off of every 30 leads you will make over $100,000 a year even after 20% of the business falls off the book in the first year.

Keep in mind that the only way for these numbers to work is if you have the right commission levels. This is why we offer any agent with the capital to be on our weekly direct mail lead program, first year commissions of 110% to 125%. Remember, commission levels vary as these numbers also depend on both the carrier, and product they are offering.

The crazy thing that I did was create a system using an appointment setter to help with seeing more people and making lots of presentations. You have surely heard of agents using appointment setters but what we do at United Final Expense Services Inc. is completely different. What I do is take about 50 to 60 leads a week, and turn that into around 25 to 30 appointments.

This is why I have been able to write over $400,000 of annualized premium in a year. 100% final expense life insurance sales! Yes, I will gladly show you how to do this as I have with some of the highest producing agents in the country. Believe me when I tell you that this does not come easy as you must have the right combination of direct mail leads, carriers, commission levels, and a really good appointment setter. Without one thing or the other, you will likely fall flat on your face. Yes, I can provide all of this along with the training that goes along with the entire process.

Douglas Massi

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