It’s going to be the buzz word of the century. COVID-19, The Coronavirus, The pandemic. Right now, it has the world’s economy in shambles and people are fearing for loved ones’ well-being. It will go down as the great interruption of the 21st century.
With schools shut down and businesses operating remotely, any sense of normalcy is all but forgotten. Along with personal lives, this same impact is being felt in industries across the country. The insurance industry is no exception to this, and what insurance agents need to know during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be laid out.
As a lead company that runs marketing campaigns nationwide, we have experienced the digital impact of this virus first hand. We have generated leads digitally for over 10 years in numerous verticals including Medicare supplement, individual health, commercial, and group health. We are seeing wild disruptions in how consumers typically interact with insurance agents in every one of these verticals.
However, we are discovering trends that could help agents maximize sales during this turbulent time. Your adaptation to these discoveries and use of available tools will make the difference.
The impact in numbers
The signs are all around us. At the time of writing this, there has been a 36% drop in the US stock market in a span of 5 weeks. Video streaming rates are so high that some companies are decreasing quality by 25% to save bandwidth. And in some cities, maximum capacity of patients and exhausted resources have become a reality for healthcare workers.
These extreme statistics are a reality for the entire country. Granted, most are not as severe as those surrounding the medical industry. However, the impact is still considerable.
In the insurance industry, we know that variability in traffic is inevitable. Even when there isn’t a pandemic, our average variability is 3% from day-to-day. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has settled in the United States, we at Benepath have seen as much as a 33% variability in impressions and traffic. An 11x difference. Through discussions with the competitors in the insurance space whom we have a relationship with, we discovered this variability has been universal.
What’s startling is we do this professionally, we specialize in it, can you imagine what the impact is for agents who try to do this on their own?
What does this mean for agents?
Here are the top 3 topics of conversations our sales team and customer service staff is having with clients:
- Closed offices
- Need for supplemental traffic
- Market uncertainty
We’ve seen call centers close their doors temporarily and large agencies having to adapt their standard procedures. While a frightening reality for some workers, this is an opportunity for agents around the nation capable of working from home.
With call centers closed and large agencies’ productivity slowing, fulfillment opportunities now move in the direction of independent agents and smaller agencies to field the demand for insurance. In short; while your personal life may be experiencing disruptions, your sales trajectory doesn’t have to.
However, for agents who typically operate out of an office serving clients face-to-face or visiting their clients’ homes, adjustments have to be made. The question is how do you get “in front” of these potential clients. Social media and advertising are great ways to do this normally, but like previously stated, nontraditional consumer behavior creates a unique set of challenges in the current sales environment.
So what can you do?
It’s time to think from a perspective of how your clients are spending their time. Because consumers are forced to minimize typical life distractions, consumerism is in a cycle unique cycle compared to standard trends.
To start, adopt new technologies. With the common availability of video chat systems like Zoom, BlueJeans, Skype, FaceTime and so many more, the option of getting “in front” of your client doesn’t have to stop because you can’t be there in person. You can even utilize social media messengers, texting, and personalized video presentations to get your message in your customers hands.
Now may also be the time to work with a digitally focused lead company like ourselves. Companies who have been adapting to this unique set of challenges from the beginning have a leg up compared to most smaller marketing teams or general marketing agencies. At Benepath, we understand where insurance consumers are going to get their insurance coverage needs fulfilled. Because of this, we have started to field a surge in consumers turning to online means to do so.
Another option is to express your availability to your network of clients and offer incentives for referrals. Your clients are on the phone and engaging through social media with their family, friends, and business acquaintances more often during this period. If you can secure head space in those clients, the likelihood of a referral if the topic of insurance comes up increases.
Lastly, make yourself available. Consumers will have new questions, new concerns, and uncertainties about their coverage. The more effectively you defuse their anxieties, the more likely you are to develop a relationship with them that will outlast this pandemic. That directly lends itself to sales down the road.
Resources to help you
We pride ourselves in our motto; Together we succeed. We stand behind this now more than ever. As a community, an industry, country, and part of our interdependent world, we need to support one another. To play our part, we compiled these tools and articles to assist you in these trying times.
- Agent Lead Calculator – This tool allows an agent to quickly calculate how many new clients they need in order to achieve their goals (or needs in these circumstances).
- Agent Guide– This guide lays out disposition data that agents we partner with have reported back to us. Based on best practices and compiled data, we present our findings to help you succeed with your insurance leads.
- Best Places to Find Online Classes – We compiled a non-bias list of online sources to find classes in skills you want to learn or improve. This may be the perfect tool to help you adapt to the current conditions.
- Harnessing the Power of Referrals – As discussed above, we believe that the power of referrals could benefit you greatly during this time. In this blog post, we discuss best practices for gaining referrals through your network.
- Maximize Productivity – Have you heard of Covey’s 4 Quadrant Theory? It’s a simple process to maximize the productivity of your time. Successful professionals across all industries use it to organize their personal and professional lives. It’s time to apply it to yours.
- Outbound Sales Cadence Insights – Every agent has developed cadences that work for them, but could they work better is the question you should be asking. We recently developed this guide to help audit your sales cadence and provide you with tips to implement better ones.
We are here to help
This compilation is just a sample of the beneficial tools and documents we create for insurance agents.
We are confident that you can make it through this. If you are in need of a partner to help drive profitability or just want to talk about the benefits we can provide to your business, contact us at the number above or fill out the form on the side bar. Together we can help you achieve your goals.
Together we succeed.