Buying online insurance leads has been a positive – and lucrative – approach for many agencies in recent years. But it will not work for every business. Making sure you get a return on your investment requires a proactive and, frankly, aggressive effort. If you fail to take advantage of the potential sales that come from using online insurance leads, there is no one else to blame when money is lost. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can lose money buying online insurance leads. Here are some common errors and what you can do instead to avoid these fatal errors.
Wait to Follow Up
When you purchase insurance leads online, chances are that you are not the only agent receiving the information. That means time is of the essence if you want to make contact before three or five or nine other companies receive the same information. If you wait to follow up, your competition can get the potential customer’s ear before you do. By the time you get around to emailing or calling the lead, he or she may have reached a fatigue level with talking to agents, and you have missed your window. Not only that, you will have established your agency as one that does not value good customer service and does not have responsive agents.
Instead: Link your cellphone to your email so that you will see leads come arrive in real time. Take the time to respond to potential customers right away, before other agents get a chance. Harvard Business Review’s tips for understanding the customer experience concludes that leads usually hire the first company that responds to their inquiries.
Expect a Sale Every Time
Many agents believe that buying online insurance leads is a guarantee that every one will end up with a sale. They fail to follow up appropriately to inquiries and then get frustrated when revenue doesn’t result. Because they can only think about closing the deal, they are not focused on the customer’s needs or answering their questions. If, when talking to leads, it seems as though they are not ready to make a purchase, impatient agents will discontinue the conversation and then complain to the online insurance lead provider that their service doesn’t work.
Instead: It is important to recognize that every lead is not going to generate a sale. Sometime people just want information to help them make a future decision. There still is an opportunity for a sale down the road if you continue to check in and keep the relationship going.
Only Follow Up in One Method
There are many different ways to share information about your agency and your insurance offerings to potential customers. But many agents using online insurance leads rely on phone calls as their only method of getting in touch. Sure, a phone call is great, but people often don’t retain information they hear as well as they retain information they can read multiple times. On the other hand, if an agent sends an email with lots of great information but doesn’t pick up the telephone and call, he or she is missing out on the best method for an authentic interaction.
Instead: You should always interact with leads in at least two ways. A quick return phone call is the first step, and then a follow up email with more information is next. If you don’t hear back in a few days, you can send another email or call again. Just don’t overwhelm the lead. Remember, you might be just one of five agencies he or she is in contact with. Be persistent but not a pest. There might be some other avenues for contact as well, such as through your agency’s Facebook page or other social media platform.
Focus Exclusively on Making the Sale
No customer likes to feel like they are prey, no matter what industry you work in. When you are buying online insurance leads, you will alienate potential customers if all you focus on is making the sale. By answering their questions too curtly or by constantly steering the conversation back to purchases, you will be wasting an opportunity to establish a helpful and trusting relationship. Your goals in these types of conversations don’t match; they are looking for help, you are looking for revenue.
Instead: Establish yourself and your insurance options as resources for all your leads. Answer their questions in a positive and upbeat tone. Remember that you are opening a conversation, not a hard sales pitch. Tell them about caveats before they even ask. You are much more likely to make an eventual sale if you listen to the lead’s needs and offer helpful advice that doesn’t focus on the bottom line. Leads will be more likely to trust you in the future and return to you for their insurance as they get older.
Don’t Review the Prospect’s Information Beforehand
In the rush to answer a lead’s inquiry as quickly as possible, you might not take the time to fully familiarize yourself with their information. They likely had to fill out a form on the online insurance website, so the basic details are there. Potential customers will be turned off if you ask for basic info again, believing that you don’t care enough about customer service to do the most basic research.
Instead: Be sure to look at the information on the inquiry form. If you have to ask for any part of the information again, be sure to tell the lead that it is just for verification purposes. Be prepared with the right responses depending on what the customer indicated they wanted to know more about. You might find out from their information that they are not a good fit for your agency or services, and that can save you the time you would have spent on a phone call.
Concentrate on Price Only
Many potential customers you talk to when you purchase insurance leads online say that they just want to know about price. They insist that they are looking for the best deal and don’t seem to want any more information than that. Some insurance agents oblige by simply sending a price sheet or talking about annual premiums. But price is only one aspect of the comprehensive process of selecting insurance. Unfortunately, most leads ask about price simply because they don’t know enough about insurance to ask any other questions.
Instead: You will serve yourself and potential clients better if you focus on the value of each insurance option rather than the price. Previously, QuoteWizard highlighted the concept of value selling and advises salespeople to explain the benefits of each option extensively. Then it is just a matter of matching the values and benefits of each plan with the goals that the lead is interested in. It is up to you to portray each possible choice in a way that engages the customer but also provides a source of revenue for your business.
It is not difficult to lose money buying online insurance leads. By failing to respond quickly, focusing only on sales and being unrealistic about closing every deal, you can quickly waste your investment with an online lead generation service. However, by following some of the best practices above, you can maximize your marketing budget with solid sales tactics.
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