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Warm Marketing

I'm freshly licensed to offer financial and investment products, such as insurance, loans, and mutual funds. I have very little experience with selling, save for a short stint at door to door canvassing during college for an environmental PAC. The folks at the office I'm working out of encourage warm marketing techniques for their sales force. Basically, they encourage everyone to sell to their friends and family first, and grow a referral base from there.

Our products are extremely helpful and often free up money in a monthly budget (i.e. better insurance price, better loan payment). However, I'm not having much luck working with my warm market.

It all boils down to a very tumultuous relationship that lasted 6 years that I left a couple of years ago, and I ended up losing contact with all my friends. You know how when you're miserable you don't stay in touch with people right? Well, I'm not miserable now, but I didn't maintain many excellent relationships and friendships that were strong say 8-10 years ago.

I know that a big part of the problem is my confidence is a bit low, and I've struggled with making new friends in a new city now that I've been out of this bad relationship for 3 years. Basically, I only know people locally at an acquaintance level, if that, and I feel that I don't have the right trainer/support system at the office to help me deal with a market of acquaintances.

Sorry if that was all TMI, but does anyone have any tips for approaching acquaintances and people on the street? Just blurting out things like "I can help you save 200 to 500 a month on your family budget!" seems schemy and desperate. - by La_pro
Who is your ideal client? - by Jeff Blackwell
I'm freshly licensed to offer financial and investment products, such as insurance, loans, and mutual funds. I have very little experience with selling, save for a short stint at door to door canvassing during college for an environmental PAC. The folks at the office I'm working out of encourage warm marketing techniques for their sales force. Basically, they encourage everyone to sell to their friends and family first, and grow a referral base from there.

Our products are extremely helpful and often free up money in a monthly budget (i.e. better insurance price, better loan payment). However, I'm not having much luck working with my warm market.

It all boils down to a very tumultuous relationship that lasted 6 years that I left a couple of years ago, and I ended up losing contact with all my friends. You know how when you're miserable you don't stay in touch with people right? Well, I'm not miserable now, but I didn't maintain many excellent relationships and friendships that were strong say 8-10 years ago.

I know that a big part of the problem is my confidence is a bit low, and I've struggled with making new friends in a new city now that I've been out of this bad relationship for 3 years. Basically, I only know people locally at an acquaintance level, if that, and I feel that I don't have the right trainer/support system at the office to help me deal with a market of acquaintances.

Sorry if that was all TMI, but does anyone have any tips for approaching acquaintances and people on the street? Just blurting out things like "I can help you save 200 to 500 a month on your family budget!" seems schemy and desperate.
I did door-door cold call sales for 20 plus years. I quickly learned that "warm calls" are not as productive as promoted. I made more sales with strangers than those who I knew.

1 Often, we don't want to intrude on a friendship to make a sale.

2 While we have many people we have fun with, we would not necessarily want to engage in business with them.

3 There is often competition with friends which stops the sale.

4 With having a history with others, our strengths are preset but so are our weaknesses.

5 While "warm calling" is a good way to start, eventually you run out of them and begin cold-calling anyway.

There are many more issues regarding "warm calling," so even if these friends were present ask yourself: how many would have actually bought? how many actually had a need? How many most likely have insurance in place, cannot qualify for a loan or have discretionary funds for investment?

Jeff asked, who is your ideal client? That should always be your determining factor.

Now, why did you have a "short stint" with door-to-door sales? If it was because of the feeling of rejection, that may not go away for you. I say may not because with time you will find a way to "handle" it. But how long is that going to take?

I am a realist here and avoid telling people what they want to hear. I defeated rejection but was never happy selling. That is why I am giving you this view.

Relationships seem important to you because they are a focal point in your discussion. In sales you must have a thick skin to withstand the "No's" which explains why sales people make very few "real" friends in business. If you are driven to make everyone your friend, you will fail and reignite your depression.

Training will never alter who you are at your core. Habits and certain behaviors always change but there is also a part of you that must stay consistent. If not, your current sense of identity would disappear.

Make a list of what you like and dislike about the type of selling your engaged in now. Maybe all you need is to sell something else or be a part of the industry but in a different capacity.

Really study who you are and who you must be to generate your income goal. If there is a match--great! If there is a disconnect--reconsider.

Sales is not magic. It is hard consistent, dedicated work.

I hope that helped. - by John Voris
The folks at the office I'm working out of encourage warm marketing techniques for their sales force. Basically, they encourage everyone to sell to their friends and family first, and grow a referral base from there.
I urge you to follow John's advice on this. I want to add something regarding your statement which I quoted above.

There is a very high attrition rate in your industry. The advice that the "folks at the office" gave you is the same advice that the vast majority of new people in your field are given. And--the vast majority don't make it. - by Gary A Boye
There are other souces in which to create a warm market.

For instance, you can join a business networking group like BNI or join a local chamber of commerce and attend their networking functions. It may require an investment and take a little work to make these avenues warm but once cultivated then they can be very helpful. The monetary investment and the time investment will be very well worth it.

It is also important to remember that you cannot attend these functions with a "ME" attitude. You will have to give to get in these type of organizations.

Good Selling!!! - by Sell4alivn
Here's my 2 cents. Warm marketing in your field isn't really viewed much differently today than an invitation to an Amway meeting. (I'm not against Amway...I enrolled 3 different times and know one of the founders - Rich...it's just an example.)

It reminds me of a great army recruiting poster (not official): "Join the Army, travel the world, meet interesting people...and kill them.

Having said that, I like the activity of "giving" in networking groups as sell4alvin advises.

If you can find a copy of "Opening Closed Doors" by Richard Weylman, you'll uncover a wealth of new ways to approach many markets. I have a 1994 version which is highlighted, post-it noted, written in, beaten and almost falling apart.

It's still on Amazon (what isn't?) with used copies as little as 1 cent.

It's a great ideas starter. Read it with pen and paper - those old tools - in hand. Forget the past. Focus on the customers now and their needs.

Good luck!!!! -- MM - by magicman
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