At the end of the month, do you add up how many people you tried selling to versus how many deals you closed? The ratio may be disappointing if not downright rotten, but the good news is that it’s normal not to be able to close most of your leads. The truth is that a 50% success rate is actually pretty phenomenal. Do you know what that means? It means a lot of phone calls, tons of persistence, refusal to get down about your losses and faith in winbacks. Organizing your leads into lists based on priority, probability and how often you should make contact will be useful. We’re here to help make that happen.
Be prepared. Every interest in your product should make you do a little research before you call. Let’s say you get insurance leads from an insurance technology company like SmartFinancial. Before you even think of picking up the phone, do a little search on that person. The best way to know who you’re dealing with is to find him online on LinkedIn or even Facebook. The more you are able to form an idea of the person you’ll be talking to, the more you can mentally prepare to convince this person to buy insurance from you.
Speak with every single lead. Don’t discriminate because you see a strange name or a city that seems too far from you. Also, remember to forget the 5-mile radius rule! Everyone’s connections are virtual so it doesn’t really matter where they live (unless there’s a state you purposely exclude). And don’t get caught up in petty politics. Who cares if your prospect is red or blue. Everyone’s cash is green.
Act fast. After receiving a purchased lead, you shouldn’t wait more than 10 minutes to call. If you can’t get through on the phone, send an email half hour or an hour after leaving a message.
Follow up even if the lead doesn’t call back. It’s pretty customary for people to get far too many insurance calls at once when they start their search. That doesn’t mean that this lead may not be a good fit, only that his or her phone is ringing off the hook and they’ll eventually settle with one agent. Call a couple of times the first day and if the lead doesn’t get back to you call or email every other day for a couple of weeks. The worst you can hear is no, but don’t stop pushing until you hear something. You need to be consistent and stand out from the rest.
Qualify your leads. In most cases referrals go a much longer way than other forms of lead generation so after you make quick intro calls to all your new leads, you should reach out to those prospects sent to you by existing clients. Give these people as much of your time as possible because their conversion probability is very high.
Keep the focus on the client. Not only do you not want to waste a prospect’s time by talking endlessly about you or the company, letting the client talk -- and asking relevant questions -- paves a path for discovery. You’ll learn what this client wants while mentally preparing how you will convince him/her that you can deliver. Listening is also the only way to find out exactly what products he/she may need. They may have only expressed interest in auto insurance but after talking for 10 minutes, you may learn that he/she needs several kinds of insurance -- if not now, then down the road. This is an excellent prospect so settle in, be kind and charming. And listen.
Don’t interrupt. Not only is it rude to interrupt when someone’s talking, it’s also very aggressive. You’re also getting in your own way by not letting the prospect tell you what he or she needs. The lead came to you to resolve their issues. They are there to unburden themselves Whenever you can, let the lead feel like they are in charge of the conversation.
Convince clients you can remedy their pain points. Just like a physician who has listened to a patient list all their ailments and symptoms, you can list the ways that you or your company can help this lead based on the information they just gave you -- but only after they’ve finished talking. Make sure that you let the prospect know that you have been listening and are responding to their direct concerns and needs when you propose the type(s) of insurance you are selling. After you are done proposing a financial strategy to safeguard the prospect’s assets, ask if they think you are able to help them with what you propose. This is a nice way to get the lead to close the deal for you. If at this point, he or she shows any hesitancy, you can make your arguments to ease their mind.
Remove leads that are not a good fit. After calling each and every lead, you will have a good idea of where each prospect is positioned along the sales funnel. Separate the more urgent ones (the ones where the lead seems ready to buy) from the leads who seem more interested in trying to beat a rate you already know you can’t compete with. You will not be throwing out the latter list: You will revisit the clients with the cheap insurance in a couple of months, to stay in touch, and also to see how they feel about the service they’ve been getting from their cheap carrier. You better believe many clients leave one insurance companies for another for reasons other than nickels and dimes. We’re not here to tell you to waste your time on a lead that will maybe go nowhere but nothing is permanent and people jump ship all the time. Besides, a catch-up phone calls needs to be no longer than 7 to 10 minutes at most.
Use filters when buying leads. Buying leads has become standard for most agents and agencies. Not all leads are a sure thing but filters can weed out the less likely leads or ones you simply don’t need. For instance, if your agency does not do business in certain states, make sure to use the filters instead of yelling at the customer service rep for sending you “useless leads.”
Reconnect with leads who turned you down. Things may not have worked out for you in the past but your old prospects needs may have changed or they may be feeling disappointed in the carrier they decided to go with after filing a claim (this happens vert often). Why not set yourself up as the guy or gal the prospect runs to kicking and screaming? Yes, you can save the day by closing this lead down the line. Your main goal with this prospect should be to let him/her know that you’re there for them if things go south by calling or emailing a couple of times a month. Who know what percentage of these people will convert and sign on with you, but one thing’s for sure: some will!