Your Last Cold Call – Car Wash Churning out Insurance Leads

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In a previous life, I was a commercial real estate mortgage broker. My job was to make 150 cold calls a day to real estate owners, insisting that my bosses brokerage can actually get them cheaper rates and save them money. The company I worked for broke off of a major player in the space, and insisted this is the way to make millions in commercial mortgages. It is a numbers game. Call enough people and you will find customers, close deals, and make money. The system worked. It worked for them, and it worked for me. I actually closed a few deals, and learned a ton along the way. What I really learned was that the deals I ended up generating were the difficult ones to close that required creativity. This experience educated me to a degree that I wanted to stay in the real estate industry forever. I was always committed to learning and understanding more and more and trying to find the next shortcut or angle that wasn’t saturated by the overly saturated market already. I was only 18 years old, and I actually believed my bosses that playing the “numbers” game was the way the win the commercial mortgage game.

You know what I really learned though? I learned that I hate making cold calls. Cold Calling Sucks for Everyone Involved. What I didn’t learn until many years later is that Cold Calling is probably the least efficient way to find customers and leads in any industry.

So, this column will be dedicated to sharing quick, simple, free or cheap, strategies to boost sales, attract customers, and grow your business without wasting time and energy making all those annoying cold calls.

Today’s strategy is from an Insurance discussion forum online posted by a fellow Mark Rosenthal who has a website that shares prospecting ideas for insurance agents and shared this great prospecting idea for P and C Agents he encountered.

In this own words, “t was at an automatic carwash place where you stay inside of the car while it gets washed.
The agent was offering a free $5 wash if you allow him to give you a quote on your car insurance before you leave. He takes you V.I.N. number and by the time you get dones, he has you a quote on car insurance.
I was able to speak with the guy in some detail and he told me that if he buys 100 washes at a time the place gives him a big discount. I’m shocked at how little the place charges him.”

This reminds of the story of how Michael Bloomberg got started in his business. He would buy several cups of coffee and walk the hallways of major stock brokerage houses early in the morning. Whenever he saw a door open and a broker reading the newspaper, he would offer him a cup of coffee and shmooze with him for five minutes. Now he is one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

There are a couple things at play here, and they can be applied to any industry. First of all, the law of reciprocity. When you share yourself, or a gift or even free information with someone, it is built into nature that they will feel a need to reciprocate to you in some way or another. It is not proportionate, it is not consciously, it is simply that we are emotional beings and we want desperately to connect with others. When others open the door to connect with them in a friendly and non threatening way, we open ourselves up to connect.

MIchael Bloomberg offered Coffee, Mystery Georgia Insurance Agent offered a free car wash. What can you offer to someone who probably has 5 free minutes to invest in a new relationship.

What you need to remember is that business is a series of processes and relationships.Genuine relationships. You need to be sincere, and really want to help the other person. This insurance agent felt confident he could save his prospects money. Bloomberg knew his product would help them trade stocks better (actually I think it was a computer terminal or something or other…)

When you open yourself up to connect, and treat your customers like friends, you will find your business start to grow organically and never have to make another cold call again.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $50,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

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