Let's face it. Love them or hate them internet insurance leads are here to stay. As I have noted in earlier articles, 2 / 3rds of insurance shoppers are going online to get quotes, and this trend is growing every day. We can not fight it. This is a consumer driven trend so we only have 2 choices. We can close our eyes, complain and look at our empty plates with our stomach growing or we can come to grips with the situation, develop a plan and get a slice of the pie.
Personally I see huge opportunities with the internet, and I'm not alone. Major insurance providers are turning to the internet and even building sales processes around internet leads. If you want to jump in and get a piece of the pie, here are 5 simple steps that can help you to be successful.
Step 1 – Do the math. It amazes me when I see how few agents actually take the time to run the numbers. Let's say you sell all types of insurance and the average annual revenue you bring in per new client is $ 1000 (includes cross-sells and up-sells).
If you bought 100 leads per week at $ 10 each and only closed 3% of them, how much money would you have made in a year? Would it shock you to know that would produce a net profit of $ 104,000?
What if you could only do half that many leads, but you could increase your conversion by just 1%? How much would you make in a year? 50 leads per week at $ 10 each with only a 4% conversion would produce a net profit of $ 78,000.
Now let's say you could only do 20 leads per week, but you are good at sales and get a 10% conversion. What kind of annual income would that produce? With the same parameters as the 2 previous examples you would produce an annual income of $ 93,600.
Step 2 – Develop a competitive advantage. As you can see your income is most affected by your conversion ratio. If you can increase your conversion you will make more money with less work. To increase your conversion ratio you need to develop a solid competitive advantage.
Remember with the internet there is no such thing as an exclusive lead. Even if the lead provider only sells the lead once, the consumer is likely to shop at several sites. This means you need to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by asking yourself the question, “Why me?” Put yourself in the insurance shopper's position and ask why they would choose to do business with you over everyone else. Make sure you have a good answer.
Once you have a good solid answer, be sure you communicate that to every prospect in your email, sales pitch and every other form of communication you deliver to your prospects. If you do this right, there should be no question in the prospects mind about who you are and what makes you special.
Step 3 – Find a good internet insurance lead provider. This can be a little bit tricky. There are some good lead providers, but also a lot of shady ones. Unfortunately the good ones have been hurt by the bad reputation of unethical companies. My best advice is to only work with companies that are willing to let you try some leads for free, but watch out. Make sure they offer enough free insurance leads give you a real feel for them. You will probably burn through the first few leads until you get a feel for them. I recommend working with an internet lead provider that will give you a minimum of 20 free leads. This way you can understand what you are dealing with before you start paying.
Step 4 – Measure your results. This one is very important. Make sure you track every lead and keep a tally of the results. Also be sure to track the time that goes into making a sale. For example, if you get 10 leads and only 1 conversions, how much time did it take to make that sale? The time would include the time you spent following up on the 9 leads that did not convert as well as the 1 that did. Next calculate the value of your time and include that with the cost of acquisition. Once you have these measurements, compare the results from your leads purchased with your results from other sales and marketing efforts. This will help you to see if leads are working for you and where you can best focus your time and resources. It is also a good idea try different lead providers so you can measure the results and see which ones are delivering the best return on investment.
Step 5 – Refine your sales process to improve results . As you begin working with leads and measuring the results, you will start to see patterns. These patterns can tell you a lot about your sales process. Are you reaching the prospects too late? Are you losing a good percentage after the first call? Look at the areas within your sales process where you see problems. Focus on improving these areas. This may sound obvious, but many agents fail to take a scientific approach to their business and suffer the consequences.
Remember developing a system that works takes time and effort. Be patient and keep working at it. By implementing these 5 steps and continuously refining the processes you should see improvements and working with internet leads can be profitable and even fun.