Chad Lutweiler joined his father’s Allstate insurance agency in La Habra, California 32 years ago, even before he was licensed to sell insurance. He bought his father’s agency in 2012 and has since grown the business, by adding a second location in Fullerton. He sells auto, home, renters and life insurance.
Lutweiler remembers the way things were done when he started. “The older generation didn’t really buy leads,” he says. “My father occasionally bought a few but no one had a plan of attack. And then, Allstate made so many changes so fast during those times, but he retired before leads became a popular option.”
Lutweiler says agents need to focus on marketing and cost to figure out how to close as many policies as possible. These numbers are also important when deciding how many leads to buy.
“We tried a few things,” Lutweilder says, “but SmartFinancial became an option that’s worked for us. We’re getting people on the phone, no bogus leads.”
Soon after partnering with SmartFinancial, Lutweiler began tracking how much money he was spending on leads and how many policies he was selling. After a while he determined that his ROI was worth the cost of buying SmartFinancial leads.
“It wasn’t until this year that we established a rhythm and process of working leads properly and closing deals,” Lutweiler explains. “It took us eight years, but we now know what we want our acquisition rates to be and what our close rates should be. We measure and track all of it.”
Lutweiler knows how many leads he needs to buy and nurture to get the ROI he’s determined to end up with each quarter. He works closely with Robert, his Account Manager, to follow a strategy that is right for his two growing agencies.
“Robert’s been checking in with us,” Lutweiler says. “He gives us some benchmarks. Doesn’t overpromise. He will tell you if you’re not buying enough or if your follow up isn’t working. He tells us what helps and what’s worked in the past. And we’’ve referred him to other agents.”
Lutweiler is quick to point out that he doesn’t sell a policy to every lead. “Typically, if there’s a problem, though, it’s not with the leads because the quality at SmartFinancial is good and high-intent. I like knowing exactly where the leads are coming from. With other leads sources it’s not so clear. They could be coming in from various sources and 20 websites and strange channels.”
Lutweiler’s agency buys data leads in bulk, because they work. “We’re happy buying shared leads from one vendor while focusing on spending less than $150 per sale. Our contact rates are so high!” He admits though, that the challenge is getting the person on the phone to stay on for another 30 seconds to get a quote. “It takes some coaching, and Robert knows what works for other agents that buy leads from SmartFinancial.”
Chad Lutweiler’s 6 Tips on Using SmartFinancial Insurance Leads
1. Set Expectations right. Don’t think you can buy 2 or 3 leads a day and they will all magically be sold. Once you know what your numbers are, you will have a better perspective on how many leads you need to buy. We know we’ll close 3% based on what we’ve sold in the past. We know what to expect. If you want to spend $5000 you know you’ll get a certain number of leads. Know your close rate. Know Your acquisition cost.
2. Spot check the leads, by making sure they’re getting the right follow-up for a couple of months before ex dating them. If you don’t spot check, the sales guys may not stay organized and follow up. It’ll take more than 1 or 2 calls the first couple of days.
3. Create a process to know when the leads came in, how many times you’re following up. Create a formula for that.
4. Give it 30, 60 even 90 days before stopping the follow-up process.
5. Trust the process. Some are one-call closes but you can’t expect that all the time.
6. Think of cost-per-sale. It’s a different way to look at leads. Understand what that number is. The lower you can get that number, the better. High numbers may show that you need more training and guidance from your Account Manager.