The pandemic lockdown seems to be an on-again, off-again thing. One day we are eating out and shopping, the next day we are wondering if going to the gym is such a good idea. That little voice in the back of your head may be saying: “I’ve got to make a living! I’d better get back to prospecting.”
This can be tricky, though. People might not be in the mood to talk business. Yet, believe it or not, this is also a time of opportunity. You want to be the first name that comes to mind when they want to talk business. As an ethical person, you don’t want to profit from the misfortune of others. At the same time, the pandemic is a reminder of our own mortality, and it’s a great reason to be in touch with friends and clients.
Seven tactful prospecting strategies
- Call your extended family. These are the folks you would normally see at weddings, reunions and birthdays. None of these gatherings are happening now. Call them up. How are they coping?
- Call every client. You have the time. You care about them. They will be happy to know you are thinking about them. It shows you care about them as real people. They just aren’t a policy number. It’s a good time for a review.
- Past prospects. Everyone has them. Do they sit in a drawer? Are they online? Maybe stored in the CRM system? A lot has happened in the first seven months of this year.
- LinkedIn connections. You have plenty. Send a short, personal message to each one. In addition to showing your concern, you will build for yourself a picture of how different people are coping with the pandemic. They might need help or know someone who does.
- People who weren’t ready to buy. Maybe they were waiting for their tax refund check or money that was coming due elsewhere. It wasn’t the right time when you were last in touch. What’s their thinking now? Start by getting their feedback on where they think the economy is going.
- Layoffs. It’s in the news constantly. You have friends and clients who work at these firms. Were they affected? As a financial professional, you want to stay on top of changes in people’s situations. As a friend, you want to help.
- People you met on vacation. Do you send them cards at Christmas? How about being in touch now. They love travel. You love travel. No one is traveling. It’s something to talk about.
What might you learn?
You might learn about illnesses or deaths in the family. You are concerned. You will call and send the appropriate greeting cards. Beyond these problems are some other serious concerns.
Putting insurance policy proceeds to work. You won’t blurt it out, but as the insurance professional they know, they should make the connection.
Layoffs from work bring their own set of problems
As a compassionate person, you want to help them find their next position. You know people. You also have LinkedIn connections you can share. Layoffs often mean rollovers of retirement plan assets. Although their former firm might not be hurrying them out of the company plan, they might want to put as much distance between themselves and their former employer as they can. They might want to cut this tie.
There’s a lot to be said for being proactive. You are reaching out. They might have been wondering about you but didn’t call. You are communicating “You are important to me.” They might ask business questions now or you might bring it up later. Calling shows you care.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.
This originally appeared in the MDRT Blog.