Internet leads are different from other sales leads. They are generated differently. They are delivered instantly. Most importantly, they represent a different kind of prospect. Not surprisingly, an effective sales approach for Internet insurance leads differs from the approach for traditional insurance leads.
An Internet insurance lead is generated by a consumer who uses a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN to find a website that offers information about whatever the person is looking to buy, such as insurance or a loan. The lead then completes an online form, asking to be contacted. These circumstances set it apart from others. An insurance lead represents a proactive person who is actively seeking to solve a problem. Their interest is high, and they are expecting to resolve their problem quickly.
1) Focus. Even on the phone-without visual cues-the prospect can detect stress, worry, or impatience in your voice. Make certain you have a positive attitude when you call. If you have been having a bad day, give yourself a little pep talk before you call. Remind yourself, that the road to your success passes right through your prospect’s phone. You are building a business, and the person you are about to talk to can help you meet your goals.
2) Call instantly. An Internet insurance provider can “scrub,” enhance, and deliver the lead via email in a matter of seconds after it is completed by the consumer. If you call the lead as soon as it is delivered, you may be able to speak to the person while he or she is still online and in the ultimate buying frame of mind. If you choose to have your insurance leads sent as batches or if you were not in the office when the lead arrived, be sure to jump on the lead immediately. Waiting even a half an hour can open the door to a competitor, if the consumer has filled out a form on another website. Be first, and you will be sure you have done your best.
3) Email, too. One of the things that set an Internet insurance lead apart from other leads is that it includes the prospect’s email address. Be sure to leverage this important advantage. Create a strong email that introduces you and expresses your eagerness to help. Be sure to phrase the email as a response to the consumer’s inquiry, reinforcing the fact that they initiated the contact. Remember, the person behind the Internet lead spends a lot of time on the computer and conducts a great deal of business online. It may be their preferred method of managing information, including sales information. Turn this to your advantage. Be sure to include several points of contact in your email signature: phone, fax, mailing address, and website address.
4) Call until you make contact. Failing to reach a new prospect can be deflating. To avoid emotional ups and downs, have a plan for calling new insurance leads at least six times a day. Your best chances to reach a person in the office are right before the workday begins, 7 to 9 a.m., around lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and around quitting time, 5 to 7 p.m. Leave a message on the last call of the day. Start again first thing the next day. Keep calling until you make contact.
5) Use the Internet to your advantage. Successful sales people do not sell, they serve. They convince the prospect that they are on their side, advocating for their best interest. It is easy to establish a service posture with Internet leads, because you are responding to their request. Be sure to mention their Internet search as you introduce yourself. You will come across as not only as a service professional, but also as technologically advanced and, as such, especially qualified to help find the best solution for them.
6) Stay aggressive. A service posture is not a passive posture. Dig into the problem, ask questions, listen carefully, and keep the conversation focused. Speak directly and a little bit louder than the prospect to project confidence. Smile as you speak; a smile can be heard even when not seen, and it projects warmth and honesty. Never assume the business is yours. Stay in charge, continuously selling yourself, your company, and your solution.
7) Ask for the commitment. Once you and your prospect have agreed that a product meets their needs, ask the client for a definite commitment. Suggest a positive next step, such as emailing the documents to be signed or setting an appointment. Do not hesitate to ask for a commitment. You have earned it.
By Michael Williams