5 Innovative Ways to Get More Leads

1. Appeal to a broad market needing insurance

Let’s say you buy insurance leads from a lead generation company and you like how they work. You like the higher rate of conversions and the fact the leads are pre-qualified. It’s a nice way to do business – but – you feel like you are missing out on the person one-on-one leads you source yourself. You want to get out and meet people face-to- face.

That’s easy enough with a bit of creative thinking. For instance, new homeowners are always in the market for insurance and often other insurance products relating to their new purchase, such as life insurance. New homeowners can always be found online by using Google for your area and searching for new homeowners in your area. Or you can specify this is the traffic you want when you buy leads from a lead generation company.

Revisit your company books and check and recheck all your existing customers, as they tend to be a good source of repeat business in addition to bringing in new customers. For instance check the files for milestone events such as the birth of a child or grandchild, milestone birthdays (like turning 65), new vehicles added to the family, the anniversary of a policy or even a change of employment.

All that information is at your fingertips in your filing cabinet. Just mine it with diligence and see what good results you get.

 

2. Love buying from a lead generation company but want to also try other things

If you love your leads from your lead generation company, but want to try other methods of finding leads on your own, why not consider mail back newspaper inserts? They are not that expensive and when combined with purchased leads, may save you marketing dollars.

Mail back cards are small, postage paid postcards that people can simply fill out and drop in the mail. Some people prefer making contact with an insurance agent that way rather than receiving a phone call. It also gives them the control to contact you instead of having you contact them when they may not be ready to buy insurance – yet.

One other source of leads that you may be able to take advantage of is engagement/marriage notices published in your local newspaper. Many newly weds need home insurance, life insurance, car insurance and other types of policies, including health insurance for the new family.

Simply being innovative in finding new leads and combining them with purchased leads is bound to give you a solid customer base to grow your agency and help people find the right insurance for their needs.

 

3. Want more leads? Even old ones may be worth working

While you’re on a roll with your creative lead sourcing efforts, why not consider getting old leads from another insurance agency that may be going out of business? Find out if they have old leads you could buy.

It would be worth the investment of your marketing dollars because those leads may not have been worked, may have been abandoned just before they made a decision to buy or are fairly recent and have not been worked at all.

Even old leads may pay off because even though they might have been contacted once or twice before a few months or more ago, they may still be interested in buying insurance. A new agent contacting them and spending chat time with them may well result in a conversion. Never turn your back on a creative lead source if you enjoy working all the angles to get your agency rolling and a force to be reckoned with in the long haul.

 

4. Insurance websites are crucial tools for lead generation

Let’s face it. Getting walk-in traffic to an insurance agency is a difficult task, but it’s even harder to get people to make an appointment to come and see you if your website is as old as the dinosaurs or messy and confusing. You want a potential customer to walk in the door and be impressed with your online presence, your social media skills, your sharp and precise explanations about insurance terms on your agency website and your professional approach to doing business.

If you don’t ensure your website is up-to-date, has fresh information, a compelling presence, and looks sharp and ready to do business in a highly professional manner, people are not going to even consider asking you for a quote, never mind call to ask questions. We can’t say this often enough, your website is not just a placeholder on the Internet. It is who “you” are, how you do business, a reflection of you and how you run your agency.

Your website is not just about your business, it is also about you. It is you, the personal you, that is selling insurance. If people don’t like what they see on the website and don’t get a good feeling about the business or you as an agent, they are not going to buy. It’s just that simple.

Tend to business in all the ways that it counts and that includes a striking online presence that says you mean business. And if your website needs resuscitation, get a new one and do it up right.

 

5. Partial to cold calling or meeting people and talking shop?

Some insurance agents like cold calling and meeting others to talk about insurance. Selling is a social endeavor in many ways and whatever seems to work the best for you when sourcing leads, go with it. There is no absolutely right way or wrong way to work leads, just so long as they are worked sincerely, with enthusiasm, and with the goal of finding the best insurance policy for a client.

What’s your best idea to meet others and talk about insurance? Be creative and try setting up a quote table at a large company – in their breakroom or cafeteria. You’d need permission to do so, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Ask to set up a quote table and make it crystal clear you are not pushing anything, but simply offering to provide an insurance quote to anyone who may be interested.

Have a sign on your table that says something like having a good insurance policy can save you money, or free quotes to anyone interested in checking out how to protect their family in case something happens. Table traffic based on curiosity provides you with many opportunities to engage a potential customer. It’s worth a try and you lose nothing by being there.

Looking for Cheap Insurance Leads? You Get What You Pay For

We’ve all heard that old saying, “You get what you pay for.” The moral of that homily is never more graphic when it comes to buying a cheap tool to build a project. It breaks down or just does not work the way you wanted it to work and you end up having to go get a good, reliable tool that gives you the results you want and need.

Cheap tools and insurance leads have a lot in common. If you buy cheap leads, that is precisely what you get – chewed up leads that have already been worked by up to seven other agents. A waste of your time and definitely a waste of good marketing money. Focus your spending on the good stuff, the exclusive to you only leads that have a high conversion rate because they are pre-screened and pre-qualified.

True enough, exclusive high quality leads are a bit more expensive, but they are worth the investment. It’s like another old saying that rings true: “You have to spend money to make money.” Buy the best in leads; get the best in consistent customer conversions. Is it worth paying more? Yes. Your agency’s bottom line and your sales record definitely reflect what high quality leads can do for your sales track record.

Here’s another way to also look at it. You are in business to makes sales, make a living and help others. The only way to accomplish that is to get the best leads possible. Leads that you know are going to convert, either fairly quickly or within a six to eight week time frame. If you work those pre-qualified leads like a trooper, you get the results you want – quickly. Why waste time sitting on the phone chasing someone who has already spoken to numerous other agents? Go for the gold to get the gold. It’s just that simple.

AEP is Here for Medicare – Work it to Your Advantage

This is the perfect time to focus on your Medicare customers. The Medicare Annual Election Period is at hand.

It can be confusing for your regular and potential clients to keep the various annual election periods (AEP) straight. For Medicare Advantage/Part C and Medicare prescription drug plans there is an annual period to sign up, disenroll or change coverage for a plan. That period is October 15 to December 7.

However, if leads you are working with during this period did not sign up for one of those plans when they were first eligible for Medicare, referred to as their initial enrollment period, the AEP is their chance to make changes. Having said that, there is an exception to that general rule of thumb if the lead qualifies for a Special Election Period. (SEP)

What changes can your new and existing Medicare customers make during the AEP?

Even though your agency has sold and serviced Medicare plans for years, and frequently works with new leads, it never hurts to have good information on hand when speaking to customers. Education is a crucial part of your job.

In general, here is what existing and new Medicare customers may do during the AEP:

  • Opt out of prescription drug coverage
  • Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan
  • Switch from one drug plan to another
  • Switch from Original Medicare, parts A and B, to Medicare Advantage
  • Switch to Original Medicare from Medicare Advantage
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another

It’s important to note that any changes made during the open enrolment period do not go into effect until January 1 of the following year and your customers need to know that information.

The disenrollment period is January 1 to February 14 every year and new customers and converted leads can make changes during that period such as, switching to Original Medicare, Part A and B from Medicare Advantage.

The rules and regulations and dates and timing of when to start and stop or switch plans is considered to be one of the most frustrating things older Americans have to deal with every year. With the right approach to customer service, a thorough understanding of your products and the necessary educational component for your customers as part of your smart marketing plan, you are bound to garner numerous conversions from leads and keep existing clients happy.

3 Simple Tips When Selling to Internet Life Leads

When it comes to using internet leads, there is a distinct set of tasks associated with the lead when you receive it. One of those tasks will be choosing how to approach the prospect on the phone. Literally, we must choose some words to say that get us to the desired outcome. When it comes to “things to say” we either have things to say that work or we have things to say that are really just words. It can be like driving at night without the headlights on; we are driving, yes, but a critical element is missing – and that will affect the outcome. It will also become tedious, unproductive, and demoralizing.

Over years of engaging prospects who appear in my inbox, it seems that there are a number of “flavors” when it comes to what kinds of calls we engage in. What I mean is that depending on who we are dealing with, we select from a number of approaches when we want to move the call along, and those approaches tend to repeat every now and then. This is because the type of prospect we encounter also repeats every now and then. This lets us practice on the “type of prospect” so that we get smarter as we go from the one yesterday to the one today. Put short, we learn as we go. Take these three approaches that come up often enough when the potential buyer picks up the phone.

1)      Sell the approval.

Selling the approval means that you would aim to sell the outcome of underwriting. Not the policy features, your service level, the cost of coverage, the carrier’s reputation, or any of those things. Not that those things aren’t important. However, we can get wrapped up in one or more of those and never actually ask that the prospect tune in on what we want. We want them to apply with us. What happens when they apply? They eventually will be approved if they were going to be at all. And the best way to get the approval to happen is to sell the approval. Example: “Dave (the prospect), based on what you just shared with me, I can see that you are likely a preferred risk –  and possibly a preferred plus risk. One of those is yours. The best way to know the exact cost of your coverage is to let the approval process happen so that  we can know your actual rate class. Once you know that, you will know the cost of your coverage to the penny. From there, you may adjust the face amount to match your budget. So, let’s get you approved!”

The key to this approach is that you are not asking the prospect to accept your guess of what the approval will be. They want to know the exact cost, right? Well, so do you, and what is the one certain way to discover what the cost is? Get them approved!  If they buy the suggestion to get approved to know the actual cost, then they are also buying the process right up to the end, where they pay for the policy. And, at the same time, you left an “out” when you mentioned that the cost could be adjusted downward on approval. This last bit leaves room so that the cost is determined by the buyer, ultimately.

2)      Cut to the chase (with impaired risk).

Cutting to the chase means that we often cannot nail down the eventual cost or rate class. Dave has 3 maladies, one is lower back pain, and he has HBP which is not yet under control for about 2 years. Then, there are 6 medications, and Hepatitis B. Since you can’t nail down the rate class on the phone (which means you cannot nail down the cost, either), you punt with this: “Dave, the best way to know what the final outcome will be is to actually avoid quoting a specific number and simply find the right carrier for you given the set of conditions that you mentioned, submit an application with no money, apply for more than you actually may accept, get the result, and then you will know your actual rate class and cost. From there, you may lower the face amount to account for any ratings. Done this way, we get all the info that you want (cost…) but you will only pay what you can afford to pay.”

* The key to this approach is that you are being as factual as you can be when you admit that you don’t know what the outcome will be. How can you be, without blood and urine and medical records? Add to that the fact that you would rather get to the truth in a credible way rather than guess your way to it. Sound familiar? Fact is, with this much varied impairment, (complete with pain and unstabilized HBP for 2 years) it is nearly impossible to guess what the outcome will be (plus the effects of the stuff that they may not be telling you about). One thing is certain: this one will be rated! How do we get to the numbers that are at the heart of the deal? Cut to the chase and get the carrier to tell you the rest of the story, which means skipping to the approval. Literally, you might say this: “Dave, there is no way to accurately know the cost of your coverage. Anyone who tells you that they know how much it will cost – at this stage – is guessing. Here is how we can avoid that. Let’s get you approved.” For those of you who are familiar with informal inquiries, yes, that will work, too. The difference is that with this approach, we are not getting back to the prospect after consulting with carriers and waiting days for the 4 or 5 carriers to get back to us. We are moving forward with the application without the “getting back to you” part.

3)     Get off the page; say things that you know, that the prospect can’t possibly know. Be the advisor.

Getting off the page means that you sometimes benefit when you say things that are not published, but which are accurate, informative, and help establish you as an advisor
who educates instead of just sells. Example: Jesse thinks the price is the price and that the price shows on the quote. He does not realize that carrier A will ding him severely
for that marijuana in his system (Sorry, Jesse!). He has no idea that carrier B will see it more leniently. So, while the quote at preferred rates shows carrier A is less expensive, in the final accounting he will not fare well with that carrier, but he will with carrier B. He cannot know this, since he does not peer into the deeper recesses of carrier’s treatment of marijuana usage. But you do, and you do it every day. So be the advisor and educate. Capture interest. Cause them to listen to you. Cause them to buy from you, and that is
the key.

 

Kirby Thomas
Term.com

Effective Marketing Approach written by Kirby Thomas

Recently, Benepath sent out a social networking blurb. I am a “fan” of social networking, but sometimes I fall short since the task of managing several forms of social media can be time consuming. This is true especially when the number one thing on any given day is the all important transaction that occurs when we sell something. In fact, a perfect day can be described as one where I receive 1) a good lead, 2) a completed application that was previously sent out, 3) notice of a pending case just approved, and 4) notice that an issued case just “went paid.” That would mean that all of my efforts are paying off.

So, how does social media or networking figure into all of that? One way that it works for me is that I post articles and other items that appear online, such as at MoneyTips.com. This is a portal where consumers ask questions and I answer them. A couple of my articles appear there, too. But more to the point of getting sales moved forward, I use those articles and Q & A sessions as online items of credibility. I also use them as my in-house email auto-responder messages when I receive a lead and the prospect does not pick up the phone. They are used in follow up messages later, as well, to keep the dialogue open or to compel an action.   

We all want to encourage those to whom we’ve sent an application to return it. Rather than simply say “Hey, send that app back already!”, I send them a link to my article on “Simplifying life insurance products”, or the one on “How to get meaningful and accurate life insurance quotes.” Will she read it? She may, or she may not. But, having sent it, I’ve pointed to a well written topical item that this expert has posted on an objective web portal. I’ve kept my proposition from dying a quiet death by staying in front of her, and I did so without actually saying to her that it has been 5 weeks and it is time to get off the dime and send that application back.

The point is this: social networking supported by fresh content that sits on the web will give those who see my name something more to connect to. My approach to insurance, my picture, my intelligence, and my willingness to share useful tips and advice are all right there – in my own voice. The definition of a personal network is “a set of human contacts known to an individual, with whom that individual would expect to interact at intervals to support a given set of activities.” That interaction at intervals will require content that you wish to share across the network so that you don’t just say “Hello, it’s me”, but rather “Hello, it’s me. This is what I do when I am helping others. It may be the case that I can help you, or someone that you know. In the meantime, here is something that I’d like to share.” Next month, something new is there to share. Think of it as a message arc that spans weeks and months, and it is your job is to supply interesting stuff for those who are interested.

Am I a social networking expert? No. Am I a person who understands the power of effective marketing? Yes. Right message, right medium, right audience = marketing. Combining social networking with business objectives amounts to just that; marketing – but with a self propelling element that makes it so that you show up in places you never thought you would. Previous to now, your business card got stuck in a wallet and that was the end of the trail. Now, your message goes out and has the potential to keep on going. One day, I know that I will get a new prospect and when I ask “how did you hear about us?” I will likely hear an answer that I could not have guessed, since I have no idea how far (or where) the message went. My first thought will be “Perfect!”

Kirby Thomas
Term.com

Health Care Reform Ruling Coming Soon

A critical decision is looming at the end of the month which will decide the fate of Health Reform.

The ruling is to determine whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

It is argued that Congress can not force people to buy health insurance or tax them for failing to pay the penalty.

    There a 4 possible outcomes:

  • Uphold the law in its entirety
  • Strike it down entirely
  • Strip away key provisions
  • Delay a decision until after penalties for not having insurance are assessed

Predicting the outcome will be difficult, but one thing seems to be certain… the debate over the cost and delivery of health care in the United States will continue.

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