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Will this make me look desperate?

June 7, 2018

Making extraordinary efforts to meet prospects shouldn't be viewed as weakness. On the contrary, they show buyers the passion you bring to your work.

Bart Shachnow

Sales Performance Director

As Sales Performance Director, Bart, with the help of his team, develops and delivers a broad range... About this expert

Insurance Broker
I have had many discussions with brokers who are concerned that an attempt to set up a meeting with a prospect, given the perceived time, effort and/or expense that may be involved, will make them appear “desperate.” I can relate — I’ve been in many similar circumstances. However, I also believe strongly that in-person meetings are ultimately crucial to advancing the sale and developing the kind of personal relationships that are key to success in our industry.

In this context, your initial dialogue with a prospect may sound something like this:

You: So we’d love to have the opportunity to meet with you and your team. Based on our research, we believe we have some potential ideas that can help you consolidate your insurance program and get broader coverage at a more attractive price. When might be a good time for us to meet?

Prospect: Well, hold on, I appreciate your interest, but you guys are in Philadelphia and our office is in Dallas. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to go to the time and expense of coming to see us when we’re not really sure whether we’re going to move our program …

Does some version of this sound familiar? This is where some salespeople get cold feet and grow concerned about coming across as desperate. They shouldn’t.
 
I’m assuming that you’ve made the calculation that pursuing the account is cost-justified over the short, middle or long term. Given that, it’s important to base your strategy (and response) on the following:

1. Convey a sense of enthusiasm and passion about your pursuit of the account (more on that in a moment).

2.
Provide a rationale for the meeting and how it works to the benefit of both parties (you and your prospect). This rationale could be based on why and how you cost-justify going to the time and expense of arranging such a meeting. 

So, picking up from where we left off, the dialogue might sound like this:

Prospect: Well, hold on, I appreciate your interest, but you guys are in Philadelphia and our office is in Dallas. I don’t think it’s necessary for you to go to the time and expense of coming to see us when we’re not really sure whether we’re going to move our program …

You: I assure you it’s very much worth our time. We work with many companies like yours and have substantial experience knowing what works and what does not work. If you are agreeable to a meeting with us, we’re going to share some ideas and strategies that we believe you will find very effective. We understand that we’re taking the risk that you could take those ideas to your current broker to implement, but our success rate in winning an account like yours very much justifies that risk. In addition, we’re very excited about developing a business relationship with your company because we’re confident it will be a mutually beneficial, long-term proposition. So what time and date might be most convenient for you and your team?

Of course, any time you’re taking on this kind of expense with no guarantee of success, make your effort as productive as possible. This might mean looking for other potential prospects in the area, gaining a better understanding of the local business environment and competition, and searching for any competitive insights that could create more opportunities for you on your trip or enhance your credibility at the proposed meeting.

Be bold, confident, enthusiastic and passionate about what you do. That mindset will be picked up by your prospect and could make the difference between getting an appointment — and winning the account — or not.