The Big Sandwich: Why Insurance Agents Should Buy Leads

Fran Majidi
April 24, 2019
lead generation for insurance agents

Let’s answer the age-old question, “Why should I buy insurance leads?” with another question: “Why should I buy a sandwich when I can make it myself?” Seriously, this is a perfectly appropriate comparison. As an insurance agent, you should be generating your own leads (i.e making your own sandwiches) most of the time, whether it be through advertisements online, in print, radio or television. However, you still need to buy leads.

The goal for the agent is a sale. For the hungry person, the goal is a sandwich. So, let's explore the best way to get that lead (the sandwich).

Stay with me...

Ingredient 1: Cost

Now, there are several ways to close an insurance sale but it all boils down to leads, leads, and more leads. Buying leads and live-transfer calls are two legitimate ways to increase your chances of closing a deal. So, what’s stopping you? The cost of buying leads, the worry that you’re cheating somehow, the lack of a guarantee on said leads, and, oh, did we mention the cost? Yes, paying for leads that are not guaranteed is really the part that bugs insurance agents. Now let’s go back to the hungry-person scenario. Remember the two options: making or buying the sandwich. The number one reason most people make their own sandwiches is the cost. Most of the time, however, you’re paying close to what it costs to buy a ready-made sandwich from Subway. Often, the cost of all the ingredients (including the mayonnaise and the pickle, lettuce, tomato, etc.) adds up to make your sandwich just a little cheaper than the store-bought one. Now, let’s consider the time it takes to make the sandwich and the dishes and utensils you will dirty and have to wash. The gap between the homemade sandwich and the store-bought sandwich narrows down even more, right? Now, think about what goes into generating an insurance lead. You better believe it costs money (more on this below in Ingredient 3: Marketing).

Ingredient 2: Time

It’s hard to quantify time, really, but most of us know we have too little of it. It’s actually more productive and cost-effective to buy leads and spend all day contacting them and following up than it is to sit behind a desk and learn all the ways you can optimize your website to generate organic traffic which may or may not bring in actively shopping insurance buyers. There’s no denying that selling insurance is a numbers game, so what do you think you should you be doing most of the day? Yep, you guessed it: calling prospects and following up until you close as many leads as humanly possible. Time is money, and money is time when it comes to buying leads.

Content marketing, email marketing, paid search marketing...You do know that there are humans specializing in these areas of marketing on a career track, don’t you? You’re not a marketer, you’re an insurance agent and most insurance agents cannot afford to buy services from a professional marketing company (aged sirloin sandwich with a dollop of creme fraiche and caviar on top). Look at what your competitors are doing (or services they’re buying). Compare that with the cost of buying leads that will help you grow your business.

The success of an insurance agent depends on an innate talent to win over and help people as well as a wide network of people to sell insurance to. No, your close rate will not magically be much higher once you buy leads; it will mimic the close rate you’re at with your organic leads -- unless you alter your selling style.

Ingredient 3: Marketing

The fact of the matter is that marketing is a soft science at best and weak sales at worst. While blogging and sending out press releases are great ways to get people to know what you’re trying to sell, this time-consuming activity is really only meant to reinforce name recognition and brand awareness to generate more sales eventually. Yes, we said eventually. Rarely does content marketing yield sales. For the time it sucks you’d think there would be some instant gratification!

Doing your own blogging and social media is the equivalent of making your own sandwich. Buying a lead is like buying the sandwich (mayo and pickles included). The marketing behind the leads is already done for you and taken even a step further with Google AdWords on the part of the lead company. The active websites pages and blogs do a little dance with the active Google ads, triggering action on the part of the shopper to fill out a form or make a call. If you want to do all of this yourself instead, know that not only are there costs involved, but there is no guarantee you will close with the organic leads you generate yourself either. Which bring us to the golden question: Why would you expect there to be a guarantee with bought leads or a live call?

“I’ve Bought Leads and They Didn’t Work for Me”

Okay, so you bought the sandwich and decided you don’t really like bologna. Try buying a different kind of sandwich next time instead of banning sandwiches of all varieties from your diet altogether. Seriously.

Not all leads sources are the same. Each one generates leads made up of different pools of people because each lead company attracts a certain type of person (conservative, progressive, hippy, businessmen, etc.), just like every brand attracts a certain demographic. If buying leads from one company didn’t work for you, you should try another and another until you find the one that nurtures you the way you deserve to be nurtured.

Cut the Sandwich and Do Your Part

For you to get the juiciest leads, you’ve got to follow the guidelines set by the lead generation company. For one thing, learn about their credit system and don’t lose it if you get a bogus lead or two because it’s just bound to happen sooner or later. A good lead generation company like SmartFinancial will have a generous credit and refund policy in place, but don’t try to take advantage either. The relationship you’re building with your leads producers should be a lasting one.

You also have to have a sense of urgency. No, don’t map out leads on your calendar and let them run cold. You need to hustle just as hard as if you baited the prospect with an expensive direct-mail campaign. Actually, you have to be even hungrier...

With your account executive you’ll be building the best and tastiest leads ever. It takes trial and error to get the perfect balance of meat, cheese and veggie in a sandwich. Very similarly, you will actively work with your leads exec to place the right filters. You’ll test and try other filters until you find the right combination that yields business for your agency.
Whenever you’re ready for lunch, contact us at SmartFinancial.