Most insurance agents looking for lead generation services know that data leads have been bought and sold regularly in the insurance industry for the past 10 years or so. When agents first stumbled upon data leads companies selling auto insurance leads, it was as if it was too good to be true, especially for the agents who dared to be the first to see if they work. For these pioneers, buying data leads was like hitting gold! Health insurance data leads and life insurance data leads were great, but auto was the big moneymaker, especially if leads were priced right. It suddenly became easy to sell in bulk without spending time networking and marketing to prospects.
The same holds true today, but many agents assume that the competition is too steep now due to the Internet of Everything. That’s only true if you buy shared leads, and even then, for the low price you’re paying, putting the talk-time in to get in contact with all of the leads you buy (and following up 8 to 10 times over the course of the next month) will still result in a strong return on investment. If done consistently, you should yield a better ROI than if you don’t buy insurance leads.
Are the Big Carriers Buying Insurance Leads?
Yes, the large insurance carriers and agencies are buying insurance leads regularly, and some work with companies like SmartFinancial to subsidize leads for their captive agents. How that works is that the agent buys a certain amount of leads and gets reimbursed for a percentage of the cost from that carrier. If you’re a captive agent, ask your employer if they are willing to do the same for quality organic insurance leads.
Let’s be clear: you get what you pay for and data insurance leads work to grow your ROI. However, it’s become trendy to invest in live-transfer calls -- and don’t get us wrong, there’s a reason why they are the most expensive -- but for the people who want to buy in bulk and see a high rate of return for a smaller investment, data insurance leads are the way to go.
What Is Lead Generation?
As regressive as it may sound to go over what lead generation is, it’s important because knowing what you’re buying allows you to fully utilize the leads you buy and understand their value. According to a leading marketing website, Marketo, a lead is “a qualified prospect that is starting to exhibit buying behavior.”
Whenever you attend a networking event and you take or give someone a business card after discussing a quote, you’ve got yourself a lead. Each inbound call with someone on the line asking for an insurance quote is a lead.
There is never a guarantee that any lead will buy, but the more leads you generate or buy, the more you will sell. The effort you don’t have to make is the built-in cost of bought leads.
B2B Lead Generation: Insurance Data Leads
Take a look at your inbound calls and drop-ins: What were the investments you made to create those leads? Most agents use postcards, print advertisements and, increasingly, digital ads or radio spots. Do all the calls you take turn into sales? How about the drop-ins? Or what about the business cards you’ve accumulated after hours spent networking? Do they all pan out? It’s unlikely, but you will notice that you have a pretty consistent percentage that you sell, like 50% or 70%. This is your close ratio.
When you look at how many sales you made you know your close ratio. Consider how much you spent generating those leads and how many leads you’ve gone through to make these sales. Only then do you know how much you can spend on leads to make a profit.
Expect to have the same close ratio with bought leads, not more and not less. Buy enough leads to ensure a healthy ROI at the end of each quarter.
Shared Leads Get a Bad Rap
Shared leads are a beautiful thing for the seasoned producer and the novice producer alike. If you’ve got new producers you want to train, the cost of these leads is low and you can hone your new hire’s skills using recorded calls.
As for the seasoned producer, getting a bulk of shared leads just means showing off. The sheer volume of leads you’ll be able to buy and the competition they face while they strive to win will keep these folks on their toes.
The number one pressure for an agency is to have producers sell while building trust with their clients, which means selling the products and services, not selling based on price. Whenever you can, buy good organic leads and offer competitive pricing when you quote prospects. Don't be unrealistic and offer discounts. Are all lead generation companies the same? No, you’ll notice if you work with different companies that you’ll get different demographics for prospects and you’ll have more success with one company over another. The ideal leads are solid, organically sourced and pre-screened leads.