Better prospects? Reverse engineer your best sales.



For commercial producers looking to grow their book, it's the classic reflex: to increase sales, increase the number of prospects you see. Holding all other variables constant, this makes sense. If you close 1 out of 5 opportunities, pitching to an additional 5 prospects means you should close an extra sale. If you're in a marketing or sales role, you've probably thought this way (I know I have).

But when you play the volume game, quality suffers. More appointments means less time for each prospect. To me, that's a losing proposition. Instead of working with more prospects, work with better prospects.

To determine who is a better prospect, reverse engineer your best sales. Reverse engineering is basically taking something apart to determine how it works. In the world of marketing and sales, it's a process of reflection to determine what makes a good customer, well, a good customer.

The idea is to build a profile based on a mix of behaviours and demographics. Then apply each prospect against this profile to determine their 'fit'.  Then only spend time working with the prospects who are the best fit.

Here are a few questions to get you going. These aren't exhaustive; I know you'll have much better insight (than I do) as to what makes a great customer for you. The key is to determine which questions yield the best insights.

Why did the business owner go with your offer?

  • sales service?
  • risk management advice?
  • price?
  • rapport/trust with the producer?
  • brokerage reputation?

What behaviours did the customer exhibit during the sales process?

  • Was the customer willing to invest time to work with you on solutions, or simply looking for 'the best price'?
  • If previously with another broker, why did they leave?
  • What triggered the customer to meet specifically with you?
  • Did they visit your website? What pages?

What is the customer profile?

  • what’s their revenue?
  • what industry are they in?
  • how many employees do they have?

Profiling is a simple concept, but one that’s not easy to execute. It's going to be an iterative process. And what you think determines a good prospect will likely change over time. The key is to learn from each sale, and then apply that knowledge to the beginning of your lead generation cycle.

Topics: Marketing