Not Business as Usual, and We Are Not Alone
May 12, 2023 by Joyce MacDonald
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve gotten used to social distancing and the alternate ways in which we now must communicate with new underwriting prospects: Zoom meetings, emails, and e-newsletters. The challenge is to stand out from all of the other media salespeople in your market who also are working to get the attention of the business owners and decision-makers that you’re pursuing.
When you need to get close while keeping your distance, here are ideas to establish and maintain connections and relevance while attracting new prospects.
What underwriting information are you sending to your prospects and how often are you reaching out to them? Position yourself and become a resource to your prospects. If you think you’re going overboard in your mailed or emailed communications, think about making your website’s underwriting pages the place for news, updates, and tips about underwriting, promotions, marketing, and advertising. Some businesses and prospects are knee-deep in alligators, so to speak, and don’t have the luxury of time. They may not have an annual plan right now. They’re doing what they need to do today. Make sure you provide them with information that can help them meet their challenges. All it takes is having one of your ideas or suggestions turn into a success for the prospect and you’ll have made a huge step forward in cultivating your relationship.
Whatever steps you’re taking, double your efforts. Double your prospecting and outreach. Communicate like never before. Now is the time to try approaches you haven’t or normally wouldn’t try. Be bold, or, as it’s said, “go big or go home.”
If you’re sending prospects an email or two each month, ramp it up and send one each week. Start a newsletter filled with information about underwriting. Prospects will want to know “what’s in it for me?” so include the benefits of being an underwriter. If you’re already sending out a monthly newsletter, increase its frequency. Share other underwriters’ success stories. If you have case studies or testimonials from your underwriters, include those. A written testimonial is a great tool. If you have audio or video testimonials from an underwriter, that’s even better!
With a deeper understanding of your prospect’s needs, you’ll be able to understand how your various media and promotions can help them. You can also provide additional value by digging into your personal business network to benefit your prospects. You have contacts with underwriters, companies and solutions that your prospects don’t. Be proactive: Before a prospect decides to become an underwriter, offer to introduce your prospect to one of your established connections.
Review your underwriting sales process, step-by-step, from start to finish. Look for ways to take the initiative. Your prospect’s to-do list and high priorities mean they don’t have time to schedule follow-up calls with you. Make it simpler for prospects to participate and engage with you. Take the lead and inform them of the next steps. Offer dates for your follow-up with them. Since the best way to sell is the way a buyer buys, it’s critical to have a good understanding of their buying process.
Staying on top of things takes the pressure off of the prospect and gives them one less thing to deal with and worry about. Follow through with your promises. Your consistency will be helpful in earning your prospect’s trust and loyalty.
The pandemic has definitely changed how we conduct business. What hasn’t changed is that your prospects still have business needs. Show empathy and be confident. You’ll start to see and enjoy favorable responses.
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