The newest break through in insurance prospecting is online leads. The prospect goes to a website and requests to have an insurance agent contact them. These leads have an average close ratio of 15-20%. This is with a quick response and a lot of persistence.
The average agent will call on a lead two to three times and send two to three emails over the course of the first 5 days after receipt of the lead. At that point, the lead will then be put in a pile for approximately one month, then moved to either an expand-a-file folder or thrown away to a trash can. If the leads are worked through email only, the email will remain in the folder until deleted. With a 15% close ratio, that leaves 85% of the leads to be deleted or filed away forever. The average insurance lead costs $8.00. Out of 100 leads (or $800), 85 are being disregarded or thrown away. Costing the insurance agent $650 in loss! Does the premium for these leads exceed this number? Somewhat, but realistically, without utilizing these leads correctly, the agent is going to loose out on a goldmine of revenue. Utilize these tips and watch your numbers rise;
1. Respond Fast: Consumers today are impatient. The internet has offered consumers a life on demand. We can order a pizza online and have it delivered in 30 min. We can order holiday gifts and never have to wrap them and have them delivered straight to the recipient; we can shop for clothes or order furniture from our cell phones. Why should it take 24 hours to 3 days to get a return phone call when we “order” insurance online? The consumer sees online shopping for insurance similar to “ordering” insurance. Respond quickly and efficiently to maximize your ability to make contact. 24 hours will find 10 other agents calling, the prospect exhausted and not wanting to talk to anyone at that point.
2. Respond in multiple ways: An auto responder is key to getting to the prospect quickly. Letting your prospect know that you are in receipt of the information and working on their quote reassures them that you are efficient and have their best interest at heart. Make contact by email and by phone multiple times to reach the prospect at their convenience and in the method that they prefer. Some people will read all the emails and take care of their insurance by email and never talk to anyone. Some people will be offended when they don’t get a call. Still others will back off from the process and make their decision when the phone slows down. Stay with your client for at least 30 to 60 days by both email and phone to deliver consistent and stable customer service.
3. Keep responding for the long haul: Attempting contact for five to ten days will not get the close ratio’s you desire. Stay with the lead for at least 30 to 60 days on the front end. Some people were shopping and won’t make a decision for at least 30 days. Some people wait till the calls die down to really think it through. Everyone shops differently. Our shopping habits are as unique as we are. But multiple exposures over a long time increase name recognition and creates an environment of stability.
4. Try again at renewal: Even with superior selling persistency and skill on the front end of the sale, most agents don’t follow up at renewals. Agents know that the prospects generally renew at the same times every year. Pull the past leads and market to these prospects through post cards, calls or emails again to utilize the resources they provided to you. Normally, the prospect is not bombarded with calls at this point and more open to talking about their insurance needs.
5. Get a system to decrease your time and organize your leads: Utilizing a CRM system will allow insurance agents to get the auto responders, organize the information, track phone calls, emails, and make notes on their marketing efforts. In the future, these leads can be pulled on again to market to down the road. This is the most important factor to maintaining your investment in online insurance leads.
Working online leads is hard work, it is not an open hand of business as most agents think it is. But with persistence, a positive attitude and the right sales model, agents can make online leads work for them.
By John Benson