Let’s Talk About Customer Reviews & Testimonials

Review and testimonials. They’re what many agents are chasing, unless the reviews are the kind that will send customers running in the other direction! Some companies (including agents) even use fake testimonials and reviews in order to lure people into working with them. It might be tempting to throw in a couple of fake good reviews and testimonials on your Facebook page or website in order to increase your traffic and grow your business, but is it worth it?

The Impact Of Reviewsthumbs up with different colored speech bubbles around it

Approximately 93% of customers read online reviews before deciding to work with a business or buy a product. 31% of customers say they will even spend more on a product or service with good reviews! In addition, the better your customer reviews, the higher your website will rank in search engine rankings.

People Can Spot Fake Reviews

Have you ever put the term “fake reviews” into a search engine? Thousands of answers to the question “how do you spot a fake review?” come up on Google, indicating that people are catching on to fake reviews. About 82% of consumers have read a fake review in the last year, and for 18-34-year-old consumers, the proportion is even higher, with 92% saying they’ve seen fake reviews; and studies show that 90% of people can spot a fake review when they see it. Not only that, but 54% of people say they would not buy a product or service if they suspect it to have fake reviews.

Businesses who post fake reviews will not only lose possible customers, but they will then suffer from a bad reputation. We all know that with a bad brand and reputation, you might as well kiss your business’ success goodbye.

Fake Testimonials Are Actually Illegal

Fake testimonials are not only very deceptive, but posting them is actually against the law. Under 15 U.S. Code § 45, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has the power to stop and penalize parties “using unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.” False advertising falls under this law, including false reviews and testimonials. Fake reviews are not based on real customer experience and so are meant to mislead customers.

red bars going downwards on a graph with a blue arrow about the bars pointing downward
Not only are fake reviews illegal and you can get penalized for them, but you will lose a lot of business.

The bottom line is that posting fake reviews is just not worth it. Everyone spends so much of their lives on their phones these days, which makes it easier for them to distinguish fake reviews from genuine ones. You might get busted sooner or later – and, honestly, there should be no need to fake anything. As an agent, customer service is your best asset, aside from knowledge of the insurance industry. Your job should revolve around helping people find a great plan, keeping in touch with them, and making sure they are happy. When a customer is not happy and leaves a bad review, which will happen once in a while, that’s okay, you just need to deal with it in the right way.

In order to stay ahead of bad reviews, address any you get with a comment saying you would love to speak to the customer to see how you can make things right, followed by a phone call. Show that you are willing to fix the issue and keep your customers happy- this will build your reputation and result in great reviews!

If you would like more positive reviews on your website or Facebook page, don’t be afraid to ask your customers! One study found that 68% of customers will write a review if they are asked. So remember, it just isn’t worth it to post fake reviews, they are more damaging than helpful. Instead, keep your customers happy and they’ll be more than willing to help you out with a positive review!

Top 3 Reasons Agents Fail

Selling insurance is easy, right? Sure, if you’re a veteran and have been doing it for years. But for most agents who are just starting out, and even for some who have been selling for a while, it can be a struggle, and many will fail. It is actually estimated that about 80% of new agents will fail within the first 3 years. If you are aware of the reasons why agents fail, then you can avoid these mistakes and become successful in the insurance industry.

Expecting A Lot In The Beginningillustration of a man in dress clother with his head on his laptop keyboard

This is the biggest mistake you can make as an agent. It would be great to get into the insurance business and flourish right away. But that is not realistic. Selling insurance is a slow and steady race, because of the time it takes to build a customer base. In order to get that customer base, you have to put effort into building a website, creating a social media presence, doing email marketing, and more to get your name out there and get your business known.

But even before you can build up your customer base, you need to get leads, which can take quite some time. In order to get leads that are exclusive and ready to buy, you have to put in a lot of work, including knowing how to speak to customers, and showing superior customer service skills. Benepath can supply you with great exclusive leads at a low cost. Our leads simply fill out a form on our website and are ready to speak to an agent about their insurance options.

Not Having Enough Training

An insurance agent needs to know their stuff, which means you must constantly learn what is new and what has changed in the industry. How can you get more training and education? There are plenty of online courses available. You can also join a network of agents who can help mentor you.

Focusing On Making Money Instead Of Providing Great Serviceillustration of two magnifying glasses over a money bill.

We get it, you want to be successful and make a lot of money. But choosing to chase money will only end up hurting your business, and you will lose out in the long run. Customers will see that you do not care about their needs, especially if you are pushy about selling plans without showing your customers how valuable they are. Selling insurance is a service-oriented business, and about building relationships, not just making sales. You need to be ready to go above and beyond to meet your clients’ expectations, and keep your relationships going.

If you want to become a successful agent, great! It takes a lot of work, you have to be educated in insurance, take your time, and know how to run a customer service-based business. If you’re looking for exclusive leads, Benepath has got your back. To get more information, fill out the form on the side of the page, or call 866-368-0377.

How To Be An Adaptable Agent

The insurance industry is always changing, and this past year has shown just how all the variables that can come into play require adaptability. As an insurance agent, you have to be able to quickly adapt to any changes in your industry, whether they are changes in plans, insurance companies, rules and regulations, or the needs of your customers. Being adaptable will help your business grow in the long run, because the more flexible you are, then the more successful you will be. But how exactly can you be adaptable?

woman's arms sitting at a desk in front of a laptop with a cellphone next to it and a tablet next to the cellphone
Technology is always evolving, so it is important to keep up with it to make comparing plans easier.

Keep Up With Technology

Technology is constantly developing, growing, and changing. People have grown to rely on technology for almost everything: keeping up with friends, finding answers to their questions, getting directions, and shopping – and that includes shopping for insurance! Your customers are looking for convenience, so if you do not keep up with new technology, you will find yourself struggling to sell insurance.

Stay on top of all of the ways to make selling insurance as convenient as possible for your customers. Learn how to share your screens with customers, create a website and keep it updated, and make signing up customers online an easy option for them.

Expect The Unexpected

If there’s one thing you’ve probably learned over time as an insurance agent, it’s that you should always be ready for the unexpected. The pandemic is a great example of the unexpected! When it hit, agents had to adapt to selling insurance solely over the phone and through video meetings. Adaptable agents, who transitioned easily to selling over the phone rather than relying on face-to-face interactions, were much better prepared to continue selling through a difficult situation.

Always be ready to tackle any obstacles to selling that are thrown your way, which brings us to the next tip…

Embrace Challenges

How you look at a tough situation will determine how successful you are at tackling that challenge. If you approach a challenge with a positive attitude, you are more likely to have an open mind and find the solution more quickly, and not get frustrated. Being frustrated, annoyed and angry will only lead to giving up, and that’s not an option in the insurance business. After all, it’s not always easy trying to find the perfect plan that meets all of a customer’s needs, and you are bound to be faced with angry customers or periods of rejection.

illustration of scissors cutting the t off of the word can't

Take a deep breath, take a break, and come back to work on the challenge with a clear mind. It will make a world of difference, because not everything is going to come easily to you, no matter how long you have been doing the job.

The best way to be successful in any business is to be adaptable. Keep up with the latest technology, with any changes to insurance companies and their plans, and most importantly with your clients. Leads all have different needs, and learning to adapt to them is very important to having happy, satisfied customers. And if you do end up with unhappy customers, learn to take on their feedback so you know what you need to improve. Remember, if you are struggling to find exclusive leads that are ready to buy, Benepath can help. We provide exclusive leads that are sent to you and only you. We also provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry. To get more information, fill out the form on the right side of the page, or call 866-368-0377.

SEO Tips For Insurance Agents

The rules for how to best utilize Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, are always evolving. In order to improve the quality and quantity of traffic to your website, you need to stay on top of these rules and have a basic idea of how search engines use algorithms to choose which sites they will show to people. In most cases, customers are not going to be searching for your company specifically, so you have to know what keywords they are likely to type into the search bar. There are billions of websites on the internet, and it can be challenging to know how to beat your competitors at the search engine ranking game, so here are some tips to help make your website stand out.

Research

The best way to boost your website’s ranking is by doing some research. For example, you’ll need to research keywords and phrases that your specific audience uses when looking for answers online. You have to understand your audience and how they can benefit from your services. When you begin researching, consider:

hands on a laptop keyboard

  • Focusing on local search terms, such as “Florida commercial insurance,” so you can target customers who live where your business is located.
  • Making a list of relevant topics based on the insurance products you offer. Be sure to consider alternate terms that people may search for; for example, “business insurance” and “commercial insurance.”
  • Researching related keywords, for example the keywords that appear as suggestions in Google when you begin typing an insurance question or product.
  • Prioritizing keywords with higher volume and lower competition.

Using Keywords

Content is king, and when writing your content, it is very important to include your keywords where it makes sense. Use your keywords multiple times on your page or in your post, but only where it fits. Don’t just stick them in in random places! Consider placing your keyword(s) in your:

  • Page title
  • First line of your text
  • Subheading
  • Meta description, or the brief summary that appears below your page title in the search engine results
  • Picture captions or alt text (alternative text), or the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage

As stated, make sure that your keywords flow in your content, because search engines can penalize you for over-optimizing your page.

we want your feedback written in a light blue conversation bubble
One way to boost your ranking is by asking happy customers to write a review on your behalf.

Influence

Influence plays a large role in SEO and the success of your business. There are two main ways that you can influence people, and nudge them towards choosing your business:

  • Solicit online reviews- Positive reviews are compelling reasons for people to consider choosing to work with your business. If you have satisfied customers, ask them to leave a review to help get you noticed online. Having multiple positive reviews organically gives Google more keywords that will help in promoting your business. Don’t be shy – research shows that 70% of people will take the time to leave a review when asked.
  • Produce and promote content- Blogging and content promotion is crucial for your SEO. People want to work with companies that they feel are authorities in their field; one way to be viewed in this way is by blogging. Businesses with blogs generate about 55% more leads than companies that don’t have them.

Use Google My Business

Are you aware of “Google My Business,” or GMB? It is embedded right into Google’s search engine and using it is one of the most effective ways to rank high in local search results. With a Google My Business account, your business will be listed with its location, hours, contact information, and other relevant information. You can also show up on Google’s “map pack”; when someone searches for a business in Google, they are most likely to click on one of the top 3 – 4 businesses on the “map pack.” Build a compelling profile by using your best performing local SEO keywords in the business description, adding content like blog posts and images, and constantly updating your information when necessary.

Tips For Selling Insurance During Hard Times

Last year was an unusual year. Many people suffered, from business owners to employees who lost their jobs. Some small businesses had to shut down, which ended in them closing their doors for good and laying off their employees. All of this means that many Americans are facing hard times financially, so you might find that selling insurance is challenging right now. But we have some tips to help; after all, people still need insurance. You can help them, as long as you approach each sale with care and offer ways for customers to save.

Address The Importance Of Insurance

set of hands with paperwork in front of them on a table.
It is important now more than ever to explain the importance of being insured during tough times.

When selling during tough times, you need to make clear to your prospects just how important insurance is to their health and well-being. Help them to understand the possible consequences of going without insurance. Create different scenarios to illustrate your point. Remember, though, the goal is not to scare them into a sale, but rather to help protect them from the unexpected.

One way to highlight the importance of insurance to your prospects is to show them that not having insurance can lead to financial risk and loss for everyone, whether it is a business owner who chooses to cut back on commercial insurance, or an individual choosing to opt out of health insurance. A business owner who forgoes insurance can jeopardize their business, because all it takes is one lawsuit to lose everything they have worked for. An individual who chooses to remain uninsured can end up in medical debt if they have an accident or develop a chronic condition. Again, approach the matter with care and compassion, and make it clear that you are not trying to scare them, or they might feel like they are being bullied into a sale.

Look for Discounts

If current customers are thinking of cancelling a policy, or changing to a cheaper plan, sit down with them and see if you can find any discounts available for their current plan. There might be some discounts that you can apply that will help lower costs. For business owners, let them know that they might be able to save money by bundling their insurance policies. Even saving your client a small amount of money such as $5-10 can make a difference to them!

Suggest a Higher Deductible

blue arrows, one pointing downward and the other pointing upward.
Having a higher deductible allows people to save with lower monthly premiums.

If a customer is struggling to pay their monthly premiums because of financial issues, the easiest way to help is by suggesting they go with a plan with a higher deductible. High deductible plans will have lower monthly premiums, which can help them save more money each month, as long as they do not have an accident which will require them to meet their high deductible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused hardships for business owners and their employees, it has also caused hardships for agents. But if you follow the tips provided, and help people prioritize insurance, then you can succeed during these tough times.

Remember, if you’re looking for leads, one way to guarantee you’ll find them is by working with Benepath! Hundreds of leads looking for all types of insurance fill out our online forms everyday, and after they fill them out, we immediately transfer calls to our agents. Our leads are exclusive and offered in real-time, which sets us apart from other companies. Not only do we offer exclusive real-time leads, but we will even create a thank you page for you. This way leads know exactly who they are about to speak to before the call is transferred! To find out more, fill out your information on the bar to the side, or call 866-368-0377.

What Does “Ready To Sell” Mean?

When it comes to selling Medicare Supplement Plans, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Open Enrollment Period! There are over 11,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, which means not only opportunities to make a lot of sales, but also to earn a residual income. Selling Medicare Supplement Plans is a lucrative business that you can make a good living from, but before you begin selling, you must be “ready to sell.” Just because you are contracted with an insurance carrier does not necessarily mean that you’re “ready to sell.” There are certain steps that you have to take first.

computer mouse over the word license
Check your local state requirements to get licensed.

1. Get a Medicare License To Sell

Before completing any of the following certifications, you have to be properly licensed to sell Medicare products per your state’s Department of Insurance requirements. You must pass a state licensing exam and then apply for your license. Make sure to check with your state’s Department of Insurance for licensing requirements for your specific state.

2. Complete AHIP Certifications

America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, represents over 1,000 companies that offer insurance. In order to sell Medicare products, you will be required to complete AHIP training. The training is designed to educate agents on selling Medicare plans as well as on protecting seniors. When you receive this training, you will learn the basics of:

  • Medicare fee-for-service eligibility and benefits
  • Eligibility and coverage
  • The different types of Medicare plans
  • Compliance with marketing guidelines and enrollment procedures
  • How to detect and report fraud, waste, and abuse

Once you have received this training and are familiar with CMS regulations and guidelines, you will satisfy the requirement of insurers to sell their plans.

2. Complete Carrier Specific Certifications

illustration of a man in a suit motioning towards a certificate

Once you have completed the AHIP certification, the next step is to get certified with the insurance carriers you are going to work for. Some of the large carriers, such as Aetna and Humana, require individual product certifications in order to be able to sell their plans. You will be given three opportunities to pass their product certification test; if you fail all three times, then you will be unable to sell their products for one full year.

3. Finding Valuable Leads

Once you have completely passed all the certifications required, then the final step is to find valuable leads so you can start selling! The best way to do this is to work with Benepath, because we offer real-time, exclusive leads. Customers come to our site, they fill out our form indicating that they are interested in purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan, and then the lead is immediately sent to you in real time. You will receive a live transfer call, as well as a text and an email; they will even be linked to your CRM.

What sets Benepath apart from other companies is that our exclusive leads always expect your call. We provide a custom thank you page for each one of our agents: each prospect will see your information including your picture, your logo, and a brief description of you or your agency. We provide you with better tools, more guidance, and the best leads available thanks to our constant researching and technological advancement.

Mistakes To Avoid With Video Marketing

We live in a digital age. Many people spend large amounts of time on their phones, often scrolling through social media, looking up information, or watching videos. In fact, approximately 78% of internet users actively watch online videos. This means that video marketing can play a significant role in engaging with potential customers and attracting their attention. Shooting videos and posting them to social media or your website sounds simple enough, and many people will dive right into making them. But, it is a little more complicated than that. Here are some things you need to avoid when creating and posting videos.

Forgetting SEOSEO spelled out on scrabble blocks

Learning how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works is important for ranking higher on search engines and bringing more quality traffic to your content. If you don’t incorporate proper SEO techniques and tactics, then there’s not much point to creating and posting videos, because not many people will actually see them. To get started with SEO, properly title your videos with keywords related to the content, take the time to fill out your video description, and add keyword tags that are relevant to your industry and your brand.

Not Including a Call-To-Action

If you create a video and do not include a call-to-action, then your customers will not know where to go to learn more about your business. A call-to-action is a simple direction that tells your customer exactly what you want them to do, such as “If you want to learn more, click here,” or “To read more on this subject, click here.”

Selling Too Hardcaucasian man yelling into a megaphone

A marketing video is not the place to go in for the hard sell. The purpose of these videos is to build a relationship with potential customers, as well as to connect with current customers. In the beginning of the sales funnel, customers are more interested in what you can offer them. So while you want to incorporate selling your product into your videos, the most important thing you can do is offer useful advice and try to grow awareness about your business.

Selling Too Late

If you put your selling points near the end of the video, then you risk losing your audience before they even get to the important part. Because people have short attention spans, they will want their answer immediately and may only watch the first few seconds or minutes of your video. Make sure that the most important parts of your message, including the call-to-action, are communicated in the beginning of your video, preferably in the first 10-20 seconds.

Posting Videos That Are Too Long

young caucasian man looking at his phone with one hand on his cheek
If you post videos that are too long, you will lose your prospects interest.

When posting videos on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube, you need to make sure they’re the optimal length. If you make a video that is too long, you will lose the interest of the audience. Once they click on your video and see that it is 10 or 15 minutes long, they’re only going to watch if they’re very committed; otherwise, they will make a quick exit. Studies show that people have a short attention span when it comes to media, so the optimal video length is approximately 2 minutes.

Posting Poor Quality Videos

Nothing is more irritating than trying to watch a poor quality video online. Posting poor quality videos will not only reflect badly on you, but it will also reflect badly on your business’s brand as a whole. Do not rush to make videos and throw them out there. Make sure you invest in good video equipment, plan your videos out ahead of time, and edit them if necessary. These days, even an iPhone will work to produce good quality videos, just make sure that the lighting is good, the audio is clear, and that the camera stays steady.

Content Marketing Funnel Stages

Spend any amount of time scrolling through social media or browsing the internet and you’ll see a lot of content that is trying to get you to buy something, sign up for something, or learn more about something. This type of marketing, known as content marketing, can play a huge role in attracting customers to your brand and business. Creating content like this is part of the content marketing funnel, which is a way to introduce leads to your business and then convert them into sales by “funneling” them through various stages of content. The content marketing funnel has its own place in the sales funnel, and can naturally push customers towards your product or business. Before jumping into creating content, though, you need to know the five stages of the content marketing funnel: awareness, evaluation, conversion, purchase, and repurchase.

2 megaphones pointing in opposite directions, one blue and one orange.
First you need to raise awareness of your business and get exposure!

Awareness

This stage is very important for businesses, because it is the stage in which you produce content that gets the attention of potential customers. After all, before a lead becomes a customer, they have to be aware that your business even exists! During this stage, you should be posting mainly on social media. Your content should speak to potential customers about what’s important to them. Engage with them as much as you can in order to grow your visibility on other people’s pages or walls. You can share interesting articles or videos (including those you have made yourself), write and share blog posts, and even create a podcast!

Evaluation

After coming across your content, customers will evaluate whether they need your product, and whether it will be a solution to their problems. This is the evaluation stage. During this stage, you should be trying to build trust with customers; the best way to do this is by providing them with all the information they will need to make their decision. At this point, they will hopefully be looking at your website, so make sure that you are SEO-optimized. You should also make sure that your service descriptions are up-to-date, and that your site includes information about your company, such as your background and values.

Conversion

call to action written on a black board with a stopwatch as the O
Make sure to include a call-to-action for prospects to request more information.

Once a customer has visited your website, you need ways to continue to funnel them towards making a purchase. This means that it should be easy and appealing for them to sign up to receive updates/more information. This is the conversion phase. Make sure you have a visible call-to-action, try using an email drip campaign, or even offer a free trial for your services to entice them to give you a try. By presenting potential customers with as much information as possible during this phase, you can help steer them towards a purchase.

Purchase

The average customer engages with 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep. If you have successfully led them through the funnel that far, then you have a good chance of making a sale. But once a customer has decided to purchase your product, you still need to keep the customer relationship going. This stage is all about continuing to engage with your customers and making them feel important so that they stay satisfied. Having great customer service skills will eventually get your customers coming back and referring you to others.

Repurchaseone hand coing out of a laptop screen with a credit card reaching towards another hand coming ojut of a laptop screen with a brown bag

After a customer has purchased from your business, you need to keep them coming back to you to use your services again. During the repurchase stage you will be focusing on developing customer relationships by continuing to engage with your customer. Stay in contact with them to make sure that they are happy, and if they are not, then see what you can do to make them happy. When you keep your customer happy, you will have a customer for life!

Showing Your Clients The Value Of An Independent Agent

Working with an independent insurance agent has a lot of benefits, and it’s important that your customers – and potential customers – know about them. You need to show them that independent insurance agents offer value that captive agents cannot. This will prevent them from seeking help from a captive agent, and from searching for quotes on their own. The more that people see the value in working with an independent agent such as yourself, the more they will continue to use your services, and the more likely they will be to bring others on board to use your services. Share the following benefits of working with an independent agent with your customers, so you can help them understand what you bring to the table and why they should consider doing business with you.

take it easy spelled out on blocks.
Take the weight off your customer’s shoulders by comparing all available plans within minutes for them.

Ease

70% of people say they would rather research and compare plans themselves than speak with an agent. They don’t want to be hassled or given the runaround, and they think that, by cutting out an insurance agent, they’ll get a quicker, easier transaction. It’s your job to show your customers how easy it is to do business with you. Highlight the fact that you can compare plans from multiple carriers for them in minutes, without any obligation, and that you’ll take the weight off of their shoulders by saving them time and frustration.

More Choice

Make sure your customers know what it means that you are an independent agent. One of the biggest advantages of working with you is that you can offer more plan choices from multiple insurance companies. Make it clear that you have access to multiple plans to meet their specific financial and medical needs, and that you can get them the most competitive prices. Show them how you are able to offer an extensive list of comprehensive coverage options, affordable prices, and possibly even discounts that wouldn’t be available to them if they didn’t work with an independent agent.

Personalized Servicetwo women sitting at the end of a desk with one in a business suit pointing at a laptop screen

Something you can offer your customers that other agents cannot is personalized service and unbiased advice. You work for your customers and not the insurance carriers, and can advise them to make the best choices based on their needs. Show your customers that you go the extra mile to truly understand their needs. Learn their names, treat them like a person, and thank them for their service. Customers might think that most agents just want to make a quick buck, but if you provide them with a more personalized approach, you’ll have a customer for life, and more referrals so you can keep growing your business.

Education

Insurance jargon is not easy to understand, but, as an insurance agent, you have the benefit of being educated on the subject. Let your customers know that you can thoroughly explain to them exactly how their coverage works, that you can help them with the claims process, and that you can provide strategic advice all along the way.

the back of a woman sitting down meditating in front of a sunset
Independent agents offer peace of mind by offering 24/7 assistance.

Peace Of Mind

Aside from convenience, the next most important thing to customers is peace of mind – they want to know that they’re working with the best agent and that they’re getting the best plan possible. You can provide this peace of mind by being there for them whenever they need help and by providing the best customer service possible. Tell them – and show them – that you are there to help 24/7, and that you are accessible through multiple channels. But also show them that you won’t overuse their contact information or harass them! Anytime they need help, make sure you are there for them. After all, without your customers, you wouldn’t have a business. Make them your number one priority, so you can keep your current customers and also gain new ones.

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