There are many sales methods available and plenty of books to support them. There are whole sections in every book shop that focus on sales. Selling specific products, closing the sale, cold calling and so on. With the many types of leads that are available, the rules have changed. Selling is a constant process. We must always be focused on the person we are selling to and continue to do so.
Insurance agents purchase leads online and approach them in the same manner as any other client. This is the problem. Insurance agencies have used referrals, call-in’s, and networking. All of these methods ensure that the prospect is available at all times. Online leads are changing the game. An average online lead is four times sold. Some online leads are sold to national carriers while others are sold to individual agents. Agents must first ask the right questions to determine who they are competing with.
Create a process for contact that is varied and follow it. You knew the preferred communication method for prospects when they walked up to your door or called you by phone. This is not always true in today’s world. Many people prefer to conduct business via email or phone. Multiple exposures in both venues are important. In the first five days, most agents only make three calls. The lead is dead on the desk or in a file folder after that.
Multiple emails are necessary over the course of 30 to 60 days. Prospects may start looking for products long before they renew. Some prospects are searching because they “think” about buying a product. The prospect can be reminded of the name of both the producer and agency by staying in touch via email and phone. This will improve the chances of a sale. Although most agents view email and phone calls only as a sales opportunity, it can also be considered marketing. To ensure good customer follow-up, don’t email or call prospects unless they tell you that they have purchased elsewhere.
The second step is to assume the sale. You can use words to express your excitement about speaking with them soon, how your company delivers A rated service from AM Best, or about the services that your agency offers. You can make the difference between getting a call back or receiving an email. You should also include information if you are associated to a larger company for name recognition. A great voicemail message or email can make it easy for someone to return your call. It is important that you have positive expectations.
Third, make sure you return calls promptly and give accurate information. Although this seems obvious, many agents fail to do so. It is important to follow up. Prospects should know that their agent is serious about protecting their assets. Banks and law enforcement officers view insurance as a requirement, not as protection for a lifestyle.
Agents can show their prospects they value them by recognizing that insurance is meant to protect the prospect’s lifestyle. Unfortunately, people are used to receiving less than stellar service. Agents can surpass expectations and secure business by doing the right thing.
Create multiple marketing exposures. Agents charge anywhere from eight to fifteen dollars for each lead. These prospects provide a lot of information, and 92% never attempt to sell again after the original renewal date. The average lead cost is approximately ten dollars. Close ratios of 20 to 10 leads are approximately. Eight leads go dormant, and are never contacted again. Producers can then call for renewals, send postcards, or market to these leads again, increasing the close ratios dramatically. The AgencyIQ System is a great tool for agents who use it fully. Agents with multiple autoresponders, consistent phone calls and secondary marketing opportunities typically see a 35% closing ratio.
Although selling insurance can be hard work, these five principles will help you to grow your business. Online leads are an important tool for developing prospects. However, they will not be the only way to grow your business. You can make 2008 the best year yet by mixing up your marketing strategies and approaches.