Shortly after my father passed away I went out into his office and sat at his desk. I just wanted to feel his presence. There were pictures of all his grandchildren, children, a few letters I had sent him throughout the years, but there…there in the bottom drawer was the secret to my father’s success in sales. I couldn’t help but smile as I held the huge stack of notecards!
Dad carried those cards everywhere he went. Well, he didn’t take them to bed with him, but he did set them on his night stand! And on those cards you would find his prospect’s name, phone number, and what they wanted to buy, sell, or both. He would also make a few notes about their occupation, family, hobbies, and interests. Lastly, he would make note of the date he contacted them.
I realize that in today’s technological world the notecard may not be your first choice to following up with your clients, but regardless of the tools you use the lessons behind the notecard is the same. My father taught me to use them when I sold real estate for him, because he said to be successful you had to do the following:
- Don’t call everyday but follow up until they buy or die!
- Understand what your client wants and don’t try to sell them something else.
- Don’t just build your business. Build friendships. Ask about their families & interests.
- When business is slow pull out the notecards and start going through them.
As I’ve launched my insurance career I try to focus on following up, not selling people more than they need or want, building relationships, and when business is slow I start going down the list of leads. Over the years I replaced the notecards with a notebook that goes everywhere I go! Yes I know there is computer software which I also use for keeping records, but when it comes to prospects…they go in the book. If I type something in a computer it tends to go out of sight and out of mind. When I see that notebook I’m reminded there are people I need to email, text, message, or call.
I keep a stack of my father’s notecards right next to my toothbrush so every morning I’m reminded of all of these lessons and many more. When I get to heaven I hope my father has incorporated Russell Realty and Insurance. We’ll need to focus primarily on auto insurance and real estate, because I’m guessing life insurance isn’t in high demand.