Are you new to insurance leads and need some guidance on how to get the most for your money? You'll likely want to learn about the pros and cons of internet leads versus live calls because there is a big price difference. You'll also find that there are many lead providers out there, and we'll tell you what to look for when shopping around for the right one.
Auto insurance leads are the most commonly purchased type of internet leads. While product lines like Medicare supplements, life insurance and home insurance also have a market, auto insurance leads have the biggest. That doesn't mean that you can buy homeowners insurance leads and sell auto insurance, but buying auto insurance leads is what most insurance agents are doing to stay competitive.
Do I Have to Buy Auto Insurance Leads to Succeed?
The insurance industry is quickly changing, and buying auto insurance leads is nearly a requirement because you need to meet lots of new prospects all the time. A warm market of hometown quotes made up of family and friends gets tapped out very quickly. You may get referrals from a sale here and there, but to be successful, you need to have a few deals cooking at the same time.
Cold-calling has a lower conversion rate and you can only meet so many people on LinkedIn. That's where insurance leads come into play.
Many clients at SmartFinancial started buying auto insurance leads only recently, when they realized that digital distribution was the only way to bring home a paycheck during the pandemic. Many of them now boast a high conversion rate.
How Can I Distinguish Between Lead Providers?
Maybe you bought auto insurance leads in the past and ended up wasting your time and money. Many of the clients who work with SmartFinancial came with horror stories about experiences, no refunds as well as simple mismanagement and zero customer service.
SmartFinancial's emphasis is on the relationship between agent and account manager and the process of working together to increase sales each month.
SmartFinancial's Internet leads are shared by fewer agents than most of the competition's. There's also a generous refund and credit policy. Not all lead providers are the same. The best way to find out which has the best auto insurance leads and customer service, you'll have to test them out.
How Does SmartFinancial Get Auto Insurance Leads?
SmartFinancial has a robust content marketing plan and a team of SEO writers who create articles that people shopping around find useful. After finding answers to important insurance-related questions answered in the article, the readers who elect to compare auto insurance rates will fill out our brief form, which asks for all the information you'd need to generate a quote. Once that form is submitted that reader becomes a lead.
SmartFinancial also runs advertising campaigns relevant to auto insurance shoppers, who fill out the forms as well. SmartFinancial gets the best traffic with the best contact rates in the industry. After all, the quality of prospects comes from quality marketing campaigns. Your sales skills are still the most important tools to turn prospects into consumers.
What Are Insurance Lead Filters on Internet Leads?
Filters cover the factors you require of an insurance lead. For instance, if an agent doe not writes policies for high-risk drivers, that agent can filter out those consumers. An account manager will go over options to get the prospects you want while advising you based on your needs and budget.
You don't want to overload your account with too many filters, however, or else you'll get very little access to shoppers. Whether your target prospect is homeowner quotes, like one zip code in San Diego, or you want to meet people all across the United States, you can get the business you want. Discuss using filters in greater detail with your account manager and see what your options are after you sign on for SmartFinancial's Services.
What Are My Options for Insurance Leads?
Let's start with the most affordable kinds of quality leads, shared leads, and then exclusive ones, which cost a little more. And finally, the most expensive, live transfers, which are pre-screened in SmartFinancial's contact center and have the highest response rate and closing potential because contact is already made and the caller has been screened according to requirements and filters. Your account manager will review your options and pricing with you to decide which strategy is best for your agency and the product line or lines that you sell.
Shared Insurance Data Leads
SmartFinancial's competitors generally share one insurance lead with about five agents. SmartFinancial usually shares an insurance lead with three or four. With this said, your agency still has to jump on shared internet leads as soon as you can after they come to your email inbox and/or text message. Not only are there a couple of other agents competing with you, there's also the possibility that the active shopper has also given their information to another insurance comparison website.
The takeaway here is this: Always act with urgency when it comes to every single prospect. The faster you are to respond, the more likely you'll get the prospect's business. The longer you wait to make contact, the less valuable the insurance lead. With that said, no lead is without value, even if they sign up for insurance elsewhere.
Many agencies buy shared leads in bulk for their producers and even to train new producers and new agents because they are very cost-effective. You may be able to grow your book of business this way.
A Word on Aged Leads
Aged leads can be profitable, and agents write policies by contacting them. A smart insurance agent will have a good management system in which they mark each unsuccessful call as an ex-date. You can ask the prospect for permission to call just before renewal to see if they want to switch insurers then.
You can also mail marketing materials. In fact, you may be ahead of the game by contacting the lead before they start itching to compare for a lower rate. If you sell Medicare products, you can pitch your line the following year.
Exclusive Insurance Internet Leads
If you decide you would rather pay more and have less competition, exclusive data leads may be the right product for your insurance lines. With these, you'll be the only agent to contact the prospect. Even then, you still have to act fast, calling as soon as a lead's information lands in your lap.
You also have to keep calling until you get the lead on the phone. Don't leave a message. Calling more than once often allows someone who doesn't recognize your number to realize that it's an important call.
Don't ever give up after one attempt (or even two, three, or even five attempts). Each lead is different and each will need a different level of customer service. But one thing they have in common is that you need to keep calling until you get someone on the other line.
Live calls will be expensive but well worth it if you handle them properly. They are the most likely of all lead types to new business because before the call is sent to you, the shopper is verified by one of our call center concierge professionals. Our concierges review all the information customer entered on their form to ensure that the answers are accurate and the profile fits your appetite for risk and requirements for a credit rating.
When buyers gets transferred to you they want their quote ASAP or else they get frustrated. Be on the lookout for the number assigned to your calls (at SmartFinancial, it's always the same number). Instead of saying, "Hi, this Bob from Wonder Insurance," say "Hi, [insert lead's name from the contact information in your database], this is Bob with SmartFinancial and I'm ready to get you a quote today." After that, you can begin to establish rapport and gain interest in your insurance provider.
We've touched on the basics, but there are many ways your account manager will help you optimize your investment. Most of our agents see a progression in sales over time, after tweaking account settings for the most successful outcomes. Some of our account managers have done insurance sales and may be able to give you some tips on how to work leads.
The Pros of Auto Insurance Leads
If your lead provider is generating ads through PPC programs like Google Adwords or from organic search results, the quality of the leads will likely be quite high with potential to yield lots of sales, unless they have keywords that do not align with your targets. SmartFinancial has the most targeted searches.
Your vendor may work with affiliate partners to bring in large numbers of data. Many leads buyers often stress that they only want organic leads, but these types of third-party generated leads can often be rich too. In addition, if the leads company you're buying from says they get leads from multiple proprietary sites, that's a good sign.
A good vendor will have lots of relevant data on the prospect, which will help you figure out what product line to sell to that customer.
A good company will have a generous credit policy because they recognize that bogus leads do fall into the mix and should be exchanged for a good one.
A good vendor will have more positive reviews than bad ones and a smart response to the bad reviews. If the majority of insurance agents seem happy using the source, you're probably dealing with a legitimate company.
Your lead company should be able to bring clients to you from a specific geographic area that you can do business in. Even though the occasional prospect that does not live in the areas you've mapped out, you can be sure that your leads are going to be in prime areas.
You can control the volume of leads when using a lead generation company. It's nice to use a lead company heavily during dry spells and then get a steady stream of leads or live transfer calls during busier seasons.
With shared leads, a good lead company will have a good lead-to-agent ratio of 4 or 5 agents per lead.
You can place filters on the leads you search for, which helps control the quality of the lead. With that said, you're paying more per filter. The only way to know what works for you is by testing different filters and combinations of them (and no filter at all).
If you begin working regularly with your lead company, ask for a volume price. They'll probably be open to working with you for a good price on large numbers of leads. The more leads, the more chances at closing.
The lead companies that seem interested in your success are the ones to work with, whether they offer advice and content suited to your career growth or if they have extensive training on how to make winning phone calls.
If prices are too high, most lead companies will sell you shared leads at a much more affordable rate. With that said, you'll be competing with more agents on closing these deals so your chances of closing a sale are lower.
If you don't want any competition, buy exclusive leads, which your lead company will not share with other agents. Remember that shoppers want to compare auto insurance quotes so you will want to offer competitive rates.
The Cons of Auto Insurance Leads
When trying to figure out who to buy leads from, you can easily get confused. One colleague raves about an agent's service while another says they are the pits. And this happens with many leads companies. There are reasons why this happens. One reason is that the service may not be a good fit for a particular line of insurance or for a specific territory. For example, a lead generation company that has superior customers in auto insurance may not be as strong in the area of life insurance.
If your close ratio is low with leads you generate on your own, don't expect a spike in closing rates because you bought them. Your numbers will likely be in the same ballpark, give or take a few, and in fact, your numbers may suffer if you don't follow the leads company's guidelines. These guidelines are in place for a reason: to get a sale from each lead, preferably with a cross-sell or even up-sell.
You have to pay for leads, even though it'll still be cheaper than if you did your own marketing, wrote your own blogs, created your own videos and managed social media. Leads are not very cheap, unless you buy in bulk, which is not a bad idea if you want to do minimal work in creating your own database. You'll have to spend some money before you know for sure if your leads company offers quality leads or really poor quality ones. You really won't know for sure until you work with them.
Bogus or fake leads will trickle in, even with the best leads companies. They just come with the territory. As long as the company you work with has a policy of crediting these, you should be fine.
Even when you buy exclusive leads, sometimes other agents working them because the prospect filled out forms on several other websites.
Customer Service to Growing Your Book of Business
Commissions are not the only thing to consider in your first year of working with a reputable vendor. A good account manager will be very upfront about the fact that after the costs of the commissions are considered, you may only break even your first year. A strong insurance agency understands that the commissions from those sales over the course of the following years will be profitable. The trick is to balance new business with existing customers with the best customer service.