In this candid interview, Jeffrey Seders, an insurance broker based in California, relates why he has partnered with Professional Prospecting Systems for 6 years to help grow his insurance business!
Q: How long have you been working with Professional Prospecting Systems?
Jeffrey Seders – I think that goes back to mid – 2004. Yeh I think it is 2004.
Q: How has it helped your business?
JS – As an independent producer I’m always under the gun to basically be bringing new people in the door while I also have current clients that I have to service and its always a trade off in any day between what my priority is; am I servicing my current clients or am I going after new business.
In the past before Professional Prospecting Systems,
I would get all gung ho about doing a new marketing program and I’d start down that path and doing well for 3, 4, 5 weeks then some crisis with a current client would come up and all my efforts on marketing would go out the window while I dealt with that crisis and by the time I got back to it I had lost all continuity.
So by outsourcing the telemarketing portion of it, the appointment setting portion of it, that’s going on whether I’m servicing a client or whether I’m playing golf.
Somebody is making those calls for me and that is the most important aspect of Professional Prospecting is that when I first started in this business 25 years ago you were able to literally call somebody and get them on the phone.
As we all know, we have all these screening processes now that make it much more difficult and much less prudent to use my time to be on the phone doing these calls.
So it doesn’t make sense for me to be on the phone. I need to outsource these calls and have and have a professional do it.
Q: What had you done before using Professional Prospecting Systems, did you ever try other services?
JS – Well I tried . . . my first instinct was to hire somebody to sit in my office to make phone calls. I thought I could train them to do it but I soon discovered that I couldn’t train them to do it and that the return wasn’t that great..
I mean they’d sit in my office and fiddle with something then they’d make a call then they’d fiddle a little more and I wasn’t getting enough activity from it. I couldn’t be the bad guy and enforce a strict regiment, you have to make at least 12 calls an hour or 24 calls for hour, you have to make this number of calls or your not worth while. So it was a difficult training process – more difficult than I expected it to be.
Q: You’ve been with us for 6 years now – what sort of changes and innovations have you seen over those years in your program?
JS – Well the program s still fairly basic and still fairly straight forward and you’ve gotta make the calls and get thru the screening process and you have to build a way once you find somebody that’s willing to pick up the phone and listen to you or return your call.
You have to find a way to stay in contact with them – so it wasn’t just a one time conversation but they understand that your business has been around and it’s going to continue to be around and may be of service to them in future.
So the email stuff we’ve started to do is very, very good. The recorded presentation is very good, so all those things are new from a stand point of how technology has evolved and it is important to put into the basic basket of tools that you use to stay in contact with your prospect.
Q: In terms of Return on Investment – how would you describe to somebody who hasn’t done this before what to expect in terms of ROI and how does this evolve over a period of months and years?
JS – Well in my business if you take a look at the client I just got from the emails, the golf email we sent out – what does an email cost? I don’t even know – it’s ridiculously cheap. What is the email in terms of cost? $50 per month (David – we charge about $50 per mass email)
So I’m being charged $50 per month and I’ve got one client out of that so far that will probably bring close to $1000 a month in income so is that a good ROI – yah – really is.
Q: But if you go back to the beginning if you’ve ever kept stats – what kind of return did you get in terms of growing your business?
JS – For every $1 I put in I got back $10 minimum. The very first client I ever went to see on a Professional Prospecting appointment gave me their business. The very first one. So when that happens when I first got involved with Professional Prospecting Systems – as a new telemarketing service to me – and I had bad results with telemarketing and telemarketing services that I didn’t do personally – and I go out to meet this group and I get the business and after the meeting I’m thinking I’m paying $500 or $1200 a month at that time and to have this calling done and the very first appt I got generated $600 a month in revenue so I think its all downhill form there. I just have to get a few more of these and I have this whole program paid for and the rest is profit.
My very earliest appointment, a 7-8 life group, is now a 130 life group on both coasts of the country. So it’s not just the immediate reward, it’s the reward of these clients through time because my business is not a one time sale – its not selling this widget today and worry about selling another widget tomorrow – its’ about getting a client and generating a revenue stream over time that will grow based on bringing in more clients over time but also based on the success of that individual client in their own business.
So they can expand; that group now is paying me probably … because now I have service arrangements with other people to help me with that is probably paying me $1500 per month.
OK, and that is the message that we try to get across to any client that it does pay off . . .
JS – If you’re going to be in the heath insurance business in America here you have to take a long term perspective on this – because the business has a minimum of a 2 to 3 year leaning curve for anyone trying to get in to it.
One client is not going to provide you with the revenue you need to make a business. You have to go out and get the client – and keep the client and no matter what there is going to be some attrition, companies are going to go out of business – companies are gong to be bought or merged – you’re going to lose them – you’re going to make mistakes and they’re going to can you.
All of these things happen so you have to assume that you’re going to have probably a standard 5% attrition rate and it can be as much as 10% so you have to make an effort to both expand and replace the clients that you have currently to grow your business . . .
Q: Why did you stick with Professional Prospecting all these years?
JS – Well the reason I stuck with Professional Prospecting Systems is because you guys have fundamentally changed my business in a lot of different ways.
When I first came to Professional Prospecting Systems I was working in Act. It was through your advice that I joined up to SalesForce (www.salesforce.com), now all my business is through SalesForce, all my record keeping is in Sales Force – and that’s been a very good tip.
Go To Meeting- the thing that we’re using now – I didn’t know it existed I’m using this thing in my business it’s getting to be . . . it’s not on a weekly basis it’s on a daily basis.
The technology stuff that you’ve brought to me has been very well received and very important for my business.
The other thing is the telemarketers that I’ve worked with through Professional Prospecting have all been professional.
Now I’ve talked about how difficult it is to train somebody to do this business; – if you make 100 calls and you only get 5 people that actually want to talk to you it can be very hard on your ego. It is not a highly paid position and you tend to get a lot of turnover which means you’re back training again etc. All the people I’ve worked with at Professional Prospecting Systems have been doing it a while, know what they are supposed to be doing and continue to do it.
I mean what do they say, 90% of any job is showing up – well they continue to show up and that’s great – I mean you are professionals – that’s what you’re looking for in telemarketers; somebody that you’re not going to have to retrain every 90 days.
So those are the big reasons; technology insights that you’ve brought to me, the marketing insights that you brought to me and the actual quality of the people that Professional Prospecting uses on a daily basis.
Q: And what about your territory – have we protected your territory over the years?
JS – You’ve always called me if there was another insurance broker that wanted to do business with you in my area – you’ve always called me and asked me what my thoughts were.
Actually years ago – a colleague of mine – ran in to you he was looking for telemarketing services and he saw Professional Prospecting on line and he saw my testimonial on line about Professional Prospecting Systems so he picked up the phone and he called me about you guys and unfortunately for him I had to call you and tell you not to do business with him because he’s in the same market that I’m in.
But you definitely protected my area and you have worked with me very, very honestly and with a lot of integrity.
Professional Prospecting Systems
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