We’re living through a pandemic, and even when it becomes a post-pandemic world, people will still be greatly influenced by what we’re living through today. For one thing, we’ll all second guess whether or not we should shake hands with strangers, long after masks are no longer required in public spaces. There will also be hesitation about dropping in on people, hoping to entice prospects into getting an insurance quote. For agents who generated leads by attending many social events, things may not go back to normal -- at least not for a long time. But that doesn’t mean that people are not buying insurance or that you can’t meet new prospects all the time. You just have to do things differently. And when the coronavirus becomes a thing of the past, we bet you’ll still be utilizing the tips we’ve rounded up for you here.
Referrals are everything. If you like to talk, start making the rounds. Make it a point to call up the folks who would’ve paid large sums out-of-pocket had you not convinced them to buy a specific coverage. Contact the clients you helped every step of the way through the claims process. Contact beneficiaries who were paid out a death benefit smoothly and promptly. These people will remember you, and chances are that if you reach out to them for referrals, they’ll be happy to connect you with their circle of friends and family.
It’s also important to note that if you want the best outcome with a referral you will gently go over what you did for them, and ask if they know anyone who is in the same or similar situation. Ask the client to initiate the connection with the referral by sharing the experience they had with you.
2. Insurance Leads
Even before the pandemic, people were beginning to enjoy the convenience of shopping for insurance from just about anywhere, and chances are that they’ll continue comparison shopping online. Networking used to be a higher priority than buying insurance leads, but after social activities came to a halt during the COVID crisis, many insurance agents realized they had a stronger ROI from buying insurance leads than they thought they would. Buying insurance leads is also a form of networking when in-person introductions are just not an option or attendance can’t be guaranteed at conferences and community events.
The trick is to find a reliable lead source, like SmartFinancial, which not only offers quality leads but also offers a generous return policy. At SmartFinancial, you’ll be onboarded with an account manager, who will be your rock for the life of your account. This person will explain what types of leads you can buy and how to target the customers you want to talk to. Based on your budget and goals, you will work with your account manager to customize a plan designed to grow your business the way you want.
3. Your Website
You’ll want to add value to your website, which is also a source lead generation. To draw visitors to your site, publish blog articles that will come up in search results. To do this, you’ll want to learn the basics of search engine optimization so you’re using the right keywords. Every agency has a website, but you’ll want to have a clean site that has important information and easy navigation. You’ll need calls to action that will help prospects find what they need when they get there. On every page, it should be easy for the prospect to find a way to contact you. Create white papers with a contact form so you can follow up with leads. This is also a great way to begin building an email list.
4. Virtual Seminars
It used to be that holding an insurance seminar took many steps that included getting in touch with all of the prospective attendees and mailing out packets with directions, name tags and information about your insurance agency. While it may still be a good idea to mail prospects some agency swag -- t-shirts, pens, and what have you, along with materials about your agency -- holding seminars has become less cumbersome now that there are no reservation confirmations and no materials to supply to guests. People are also much more apt to attend a seminar from the comforts of home rather than having to drive somewhere to hear you speak.
Also, people now know that all they have to do is Google “virtual seminars” and they get a list of Eventbrite’s upcoming seminars with dates and times. If you cover many states and have a large territory, this may be a good option for you. All you need to create your own event is to use your Apple account or your personal Facebook account to get started. You will need to pay a fee to run the event, but think of this as an advertising tool as well. If you have a small territory and would rather hold the seminars for free, you can use Zoom instead.
This is your chance to show prospects your expertise in the areas of insurance that you sell. Another great way to broaden your network is to approach other groups and ask if you can join their panel of guest speakers. Popular topics are social security benefits, identity theft, cyber crime, estate planning and long-term care planning.
5. Cold Calls
You were hoping this wouldn’t make the list but there’s a reason this strategy is evergreen: it just works! It is important not to contact people on the Do Not Call (DNC) list, but otherwise, dial away! Hopefully, you have a crew of producers helping you, because you’ll be sure to make some sales this way. You’ll just have to grin and bear all the hang ups and rejections in between.
One important workaround with the DNC list is to primarily target businesses and business owners. How to avoid getting screened? Your best bet is to call very early in the morning and in the early evening. Weekends are also a good way to catch the boss working overtime.
6. Direct Mail
This is expensive and it will only work if you send out crisp, clean and persuasive letters in high volumes and to your target market. Buying the right lists matters. You must target the same list repeatedly, all without repeating yourself. It’s also important to personalize these letters as much as possible, a challenge if there ever was one! Don’t write a dissertation, either. Just get them to call you.
7. Local Newspapers
Do you have a local paper? Why not advertise in it? If you sell in the entire state, would it make sense for you to buy an ad in a major newspaper? Even more than direct mail, the cost of this type of lead generation is nothing to sneeze at, but it works to bring your agency some name recognition if you advertise regularly. Don’t expect to run an ad once to have your phone ringing off the hook, though. It takes time and consistency for this sort of promotion to work. Ideally, you’ll be placing an ad to promote a virtual seminar about finances (see tip #2), to get the most bang for your buck. After seeing an ad, a prospect may or may not call you, but if they see that they can hear you talk without any pressure to buy insurance, the chances of hooking that prospect are much higher.
8. Directories and Listings
Have you claimed your Yelp page yet? It’s not a bad idea to get active and respond to customers, whether the reviews are good or bad. How about Google My Business? It’s important for you to claim your business’s Google page and begin making the most of this free directory. If you optimize this listing, you’ll appear in local searches when prospects begin looking for an insurance agent. The more clients you ask to review you on Google or Yelp the better this strategy will work because you’ll rank higher in searches. You should also list your agency with Facebook Places, Yahoo!, Bing Places, LinkedIn and the Whitepages.
Once your website is optimized, having chat functionality will allow you to generate leads even when you’re not working (yes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week). You’ll have to set up “triggers” and “greetings” to engage prospects and gather the following information: name, email and phone number(s).
10. Social Media
You may use social media to post the blog articles you’ve been adding to your website. Or you may make DIY videos that elicit emotions or teach the viewer something about the insurance products you sell. There are many ways to use social media to your advantage. First, see which social networks your clients visit the most first and begin there. Stay consistent, post several times a week and always remember to use rich images and stay on brand.