Act Local, Target Global

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Time was, I was just a 'local agent.' It was important I worked in the town, heck the same neighborhood, as my clients. Wow what a difference five years makes.

Today I have clients across the country. My promise to each of them: "I'm not next door, but I'm always a phone call/email away."

In fact I get fewer objections now than when I started. The secret? Perhaps three come mind:

1. Setting expectations up front: Tell folks the work you do, and the kind of relationships you have with clients. While I never name drop, I do reference many examples of working with clients in a virtual way, available by phone/email/fax.

2. Walking the walk. If you promise to be responsive, keep your commitments. I never let a phone call go more than 24 hours before being returned, and stay on top of all deadlines. High degree of organization? Sure. But the upside from an agent perspective is that I have a much broader net.

3. Lastly, I find working with people in different regions of the country works really well to keep my business 'dancecard' full. I work with East Coast clients in the morning, Midwest midday and West Coast in the afternoon. Just one agent helping as many folks as I can in any given day!

For the last several years, I have moved from working with folks within my same town to becoming a non-resident agent licensed in over fifteen states. Some states are simply too difficult to become appointed to sell, (Florida, for instance, requires appointment by County.) or have products simply too different from the way I'm used to working (New York and New Jersey, for example.) But I was pleasantly surprised to learn how consistent most states behave and work when it comes to providing life insurance, medicare and annuity products. It was actually in working with a client who spent Winters in warmer climates that first inspired me to broaden my horizons.

Now, for the last several Winters, I too have spent 4-6 weeks each year in these warmer climates, all the while never really missing out on the work that needed tending back at my home office. It's been a great added benefit!

So look into expanding your turf. Hopefully you have an office that doesn't need to be 'babysat.' Most office complexes have virtual or shared arrangements where a receptionist can be your partner, fielding calls or inquiries while you are away.

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