I started in this industry in 1999 as an internal agent for Network FOB. I have personally made thousands upon thousands of cold calls over the years and my agents have made many more. I would like to tell you I have the magic formula for generating a book business, but I don't. What can tell you is that I have spent years trying out different techniques and ideas, some have worked while others have been large failures.
In the beginning of my career I loathed making sales calls. When business was down I started a process called a "sales push." The idea was simple enough. Locate a list of leads and dedicate short term effort to opening some of those leads. When time permitted I would work the phones and try to drum up business. I didn’t like making calls, the rejection is tough to handle. One bad call can crumple your confidence. When I finally woke up from my mini-depression I would realize I'd wasted my day on the internet.
I justified the sales effort as only temporary. It would soon be over. Looking back I was trying to convince myself to make sales calls when I was at my lowest confidence. Truth be told when my business was down I was too. I often spent about a week getting used the idea of selling and more often than not that week turned into two or three. When I finally would get started, I would often have a momentary influx of business and I would stop selling and tell myself things had turned around. A couple days later I was back where I started, getting used to the idea of selling again.
Sometime around 2007 I started to rethink about my sales process. In the prior five years my business went up and down. I managed to painfully build it back up every time. I was tired of rebuilding my book and I knew that thinking month to month was not going to cut it anymore. I knew that I needed to change my perception of sales calls. I needed to accept that selling should be part of my daily routine and not a lackluster effort when required. I started compiling small batches of leads and working those leads on a daily basis. The call count was manageable and there was never a operation reason that I should not be making those calls. My petty excuses on why I could not sell today were eliminated.
Accepting this was difficult but in the end I'm glad I did. I had to accept that my lack of effort was the reason I wasn't growing. What was a small book of business is now a large book. Sure there are still ups and downs, but my client base is now more diverse. That diversity has lead to some exceptional months of production. My sales effort is ongoing and I never stop selling.
There has never been a shortcut for hard work. Bite the bullet and commit — in the end you'll be happy that you did.