At my agency, it’s me plus four team members, so we each take 20 COIs. Then, we divide those by four because we are working on these on a 4-week cycle.
Simple math tells you that we each visit 5 COIs per week (25 total for the agency) and, after four weeks, we’ve hit all 100 COI targets on our list.
Step 3: Time Block
This is CRUCIAL!
Agents and Team Members love to talk about getting things done. However, the reason they fall short of consistently executing their plans is due to their failure to time block.
My block of time to visit 5 COIs each week is Tuesday morning from 10-12.
NOTHING else gets scheduled during that two-hour window. Every single week on Tuesday, between 10-12, I do nothing other than focus on my 5 COIs for that week.
Each Team Member has a different date and time, but they use the same commitment to protecting their time block.
Tip: The Importance of Staying Consistent
Consistency is King when it comes to winning with Centers of Influence and gaining community insurance referrals.
Referrals are all about “top of mind” awareness. When it’s time for someone to “shop their insurance,” or when a person is asked who they should insure with, the answer is typically the first name and face that pops into their head.
So the concept is simple: keep your name and face in people’s heads!
Also, people refer people they like and trust. The number one ingredient required to build relationships and trust is time. So again, you have to stay consistent with this process. The more times they see you, the more they will like, trust and ultimately refer you to others.
Step 4: Make the Most of Your COIs
You have identified 100 Centers of Influence, split them equally within your office and time blocked a schedule where you will visit all 100 once every four weeks.
Now, what do you say when you stop by to see them?
We want to be likable. And let’s be honest: most people do not like salespeople and nobody wants to be sold anything.
With that in mind, under no circumstances are you doing anything other than just introducing yourself, saying “Hi,” and leaving a few goodies or gifts from your agency. That’s it.
Everybody at my agency has personalized notepads, post-its, pens and business cards. We leave a few of those at each stop, as well as an imprinted Agency gift. During the summers it’s can koozies and chip clips. In the winters it’s ice scrapers. And late Fall it’s wall and desk calendars.
Our only mission is to be seen, smile, introduce ourselves and let them know, as fellow businesses in our community, that we wanted to share some goodies with them.
As time goes on, you will mix up the goodies you bring. For some, you’ll include fresh-baked cookies or candies, something extra special or personalized. After the first few visits, the people in these offices will start to look forward to seeing you every four weeks. Over time they will make small talk and you’ll get to know each other. After you leave, be sure to take notes so when you return next time you can ask specific follow-up questions.
Once the relationship is built, you’ll start asking when they hold their team meetings and offer to bring coffee, donuts and bagels to morning meetings or pizzas to afternoon meetings. At their meetings, all you ask for is 90 seconds or less to say “Hi” to the group, let them put a name with a face and tell them if you can ever do anything to make their lives easier, don’t hesitate to call. And if they find value in the service you provide, please don’t keep you a secret.
People refer people they like and trust. This process will not happen overnight. It will take several months to accomplish, but it will undoubtedly be worth it when dozens of referrals are coming your way month after month from your Centers of Influence.