Closing Insurance Sales – The Important Numbers Game

Insurance trainees are meaningless fed a truckload of time consuming number schemes developed by the company masters above. The incredible part is that these trainees are brainwashed into they believe the numbers are true, their career ends, or both occurs. What is the difference between insurance trainees and sheep. Well sheep willingly follow behind a…

Insurance trainees are meaningless fed a truckload of time consuming number schemes developed by the company masters above. The incredible part is that these trainees are brainwashed into they believe the numbers are true, their career ends, or both occurs.

What is the difference between insurance trainees and sheep. Well sheep willingly follow behind a leader that protects them from harm. Insurance trainees also follow a leader. However, their leader plays all sorts of number games into their head until they lose their way or voluntarily jump off a cliff. Then why does the sales manager, seeing the pattern repeatedly, not change it? He can easily find more insurance trainee sheep when some go astray. Remember your leader never considers your logic. He will only accept his logic and that of the insurance company.

Examples of number games insurance agents are instructed to routinely participate in:

1. Write out a 100 name list . This list must be completed before you sign your contract. On it are 100 names of friends, relatives, and associates to contract. Agent logic: Why bother those that you know are not interested at this time period, or lack the funds or health to make a purchase? Between driving time and giving your out of a presentation, easily 2 to 3 hours are lost. The build up tension and rejection are not easily restored by sleep.

2. Complete 50 phone conversations daily . Agent Logic: 4 hours, or longer, on the phone might get you one forced appointment, or an easy appointment from a lonely person. Forced appointment prospects have a keen way of disappearing just before your appointment time. Rescheduling often leads to a second no show. Only occasionally you will be in the right place at the right time.

3. Schedule 8 appointments weekly . Agent logic: 8 appointments would be fantastic is the manager's projections actually materialized. You are going to have no shows. Many objection-stopping interviews will occur. How many sales are actually being made? Moreover, are you writing enough weekly promotions to meet your contract requirements?

None of these numbers, and the many more that you will be given, make any professional sense. You did enter the business thinking of being a professional, right. Well then why are you working as a part-time telephone solitor and part-time wild goose “lead” chaser burning up your car and wallet?

Your sales manager is often the type that wants you to work your butt off while he rests his. Magically sales will appear once you start working much harder. The number mazes somehow never seem to have financially rewarding endings. Enough of this cheesy stinking sticky way! No sales professional in your office is following the trainee route.

It is time to realize that quality is what counts . Quality always trumps quantity. A quantity of 250 phone calls can lead to 8 shaky appoints that manage to hold, yet end in only 2 long winded, objecting overcoming sales crediting you with $ 400.00 in agreements. In comparison, the office insurance pro may make 10 calls, go on 3 appointments, and finalize the week with $ 2,000 in agreements.

After clearing your head, you can realize that because time and quality are so important in insurance sales, only one number is really the one to focus on. That number is your closing ratio. The percentage of sales that you make when factored into full presentations. STOP: Agent Logic is Required. Increasing the number of presentations does not need increase sales or your closing ratio. You can talk more, fight more objections, yet you might end up with false hope and less money.

SHOW ME THE MONEY HONEY Yes, there is a quick proven way to success. The two things that must be added are quality, and new sales techniques. Spend your time learning, revising, shortening, and practicing your sales skills. You must be confident in yourself that you are dealing fairly by helping quality prospects. Your goal is to keep developing your closing skills, as you never reach perfection.

Higher quality leads are obtained by NOT using time-consuming telephone prospecting. An internet source or seasoned list broker can help you develop quality leads without the major time waster – cold calling. Needless to say, quality leads translate to quality presentations with a sufficient opportunity to close the sale.

Closing ratios using traditional quantity garbage might be as low as 20%. In contrast, an insurance professional who has mastered many closing skills might have an 80% closing ratio. Does the pro make 4 times more. NO. Often it is 6 times more. Sure, they sell 4 times more often, but as a bonus of experience and confidence, the policies average a higher premium. As an added toping, there are frequent occasions when multiple policies are sold during the same presentation.

You chose to become an insurance sales agent to make money and have a rewarding career, Forget your sales manager's smokescreen numbers. Closing more insurance sales by increasing the sales ratio, is the important number you need to be concerned with.

In case, you are wondering. Look at the true numbers that need to be reckoned with. The survival rate numbers of insurance sales managers are some of the lowest numbers around.

Annuity Brokerage, is it Worth It?

Everyone that is fortunately enough to have extra money would like to have that money quickly accumulate more and more money, until it doubles, triples, etc. Is it worth it for the agent or annuity marketing firm to pursue the right to obtain a commission for convicting the client to invest? There are pitfalls and…

Everyone that is fortunately enough to have extra money would like to have that money quickly accumulate more and more money, until it doubles, triples, etc. Is it worth it for the agent or annuity marketing firm to pursue the right to obtain a commission for convicting the client to invest? There are pitfalls and there are rewards.

Competition: ANNUITY VS OTHER INVESTMENTS In today's world a prospect has a wide range of financial types of investments in which to place his money. Among the choices, include Bank CDs – certificates of Deposits, Various types of Annuities, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Life Insurance Value Building Policies, and of course sticking the money under the mattress. Evaluating the true amount of risk the client must take opposed to the possible gains is possibly impossible. Especially now, when the national economy easy can swing one way or another.

Competition: ANNUITY SELLER VS ANNUITY SELLER Insurance agents sell annuities, and many variations of annuity contracts. Banks mild pressure clients with higher accounts to consider an annuity. Investment firms with one to over 13,000 representatives push annuity products while looking at the client's future. In turn so does everyone who calls himself or herself a financial planner. Despite this, the largest competitors are the actual insurance companies offering annuities. Few annuity sellers realize that more annuities are sold directly by the insurance companies, than with all the total annuity sellers combined.

I remember back when, being strict pressured as a career agent on all the advantages why my clients should be buying annuities. After numerous presentations, as a believing career agent, I collected a $ 1,500 IRA premium. My reward was a whopping $ 45.00 total commission.

Is it Worth it for an Agent to Sell an Annuity Plan? If the person selling the annuity worked for a career life insurance agency, then answer is determined by the size of the annuity. A sales rep can not survive on tracking down clients, and suggesting annuities when the commission payout is $ 45.00 to $ 60.00 total on a sale. However if the financial needs of an existing client were reviewed, and the annuity purchased was at least $ 25,000, the answer would be different. In the scenario, if the commission were 4%, the career agent payout is enhanced to $ 1,000.

What About Annuity Brokerage? There are many Annuity Brokerage Firms, Annuity Wholesalers, and Annuity Specialty Marketing Firms that benefit the semi-independent agents and independent brokers. Had the same sale rep mentioned above contracted with one of these firms, check out the difference. Often the compensation is at a 6% to 10% level. Selling a similar annuity contract as a broker, the insurance rep is rewarded with a $ 1,500 to $ 2,500 cut. A significant difference. Frequent selling of annuities makes it advantageous to use one of the annuity brokerage sources.

Hanging Out an Annuity Marketer Sign Consider all the various types of annuity, health, and life insurance brokerage types of firms. Of these, more marketers and recruiters fail at getting enough production agents than with any other product. That is at a very wide margin. The King annuity marketers must earn their place. First, they are consistently recruiting brokers to sell a line of various annuity products. Listed below are other reason small brokers should seriously think before attempting to compete.

King Annuity Marketers There is not an army size squadron of king annuity-marketing firms. In fact, less than 50 dominate the national scene during any six-month time span. Their large production capabilities have insurance companies hunting them down. Moreover, getting the king bee's production often means throwing a lot of honey and money to sweeten the pot. As the total points (commission percentage) are higher than the others, they wisely pass out higher paying contracts to greedy brokers. The annuity brokerage business is given to the bulk of the current big name insurance players. An additional bonus is the insurer paying for full-page insurance and financial magazine full-page color ads promoting the hot annuities. Rathermore they are rewarding with co-op recruiting funds as either 50/50 or paid in full compliments of the insurer.

Notice to Insurance Brokers with Integrity Here is a hush-hush, secret look behind the scenes. Some annuities are promoted as fiery hot and second to none. However, are they? Saying something is, does not make it so. Ever wonder why some jumbo annuity marketing firms fiercely promote one or two plans so hard? GREED. Here both the marketing firm and insurance company share the guilt. Certain annuities are cleverly designed to provide both the marketer and insurer with higher cash rewards. This is never mentioned to the brokers. The record companies used to be accused of “payola”, not too far off of a similar concept of pay to play.

Smaller Annuity Marketers Sometimes these firms can provide you with a superior product. This is often a reliable annuity outside the range of the top 50, with a longer history performance in the market. As you should know, a professional sales rep sells the client the plan backed by the company that the representative endorses. Therefore, annuity brokers must be careful to take care of themselves and their clients. However, for a career life insurance agent, in the long and short run the insurance company can be declared the winner. Annuity marketing tip: The response from prospective agents and brokers to annuity products is less than half that of other insurance products. Bait in brokers with other plans, earn their trust, and then introduce them to your annuity line.

Annuity Sales – How to Sell $5 Million in Annuity Premium Annually!

How do you sell Annuities with no clients? YOU DO NOT! Leads are the most important aspect of any annuity salesman's business. For some, generating leads is very difficult, especially in the economic dilemma that we are in now. The fact of the matter is, leads are out there, you just need to know where…

How do you sell Annuities with no clients? YOU DO NOT! Leads are the most important aspect of any annuity salesman's business. For some, generating leads is very difficult, especially in the economic dilemma that we are in now. The fact of the matter is, leads are out there, you just need to know where to look! Here are 2 great tools for generating leads.

1. Seminars! Please allow me to be blunt for a moment, if you depend solely on walk-in clients, you are likely one of the businesses I've been reading about in the paper about to ask for a government bailout! A major key in annuity sales is to take the annuity to the client instead of waiting for the client to come to you. This is where seminars come in. I would recommend 2 seminars a month at a local library. One thing to stay away from is holding your seminar at a restaurant. The reason for that is it would become far too expensive and people tend to become less alert after eating.

2. Internet! Buying Annuity Leads online is what I find to be the best way to produce leads that convert quickly. Honestly, I think it is absolutely hilarious that not every agent buys leads. Think about it, a client has gone online, requested information on annuities, and has shown serious interest in getting an annuity. Why would anyone let those clients go to their competitive agencies? The only logical answer that I can imagine is that they do not want to make money.

Understand How Bonds Are Rated and Their Default Rate to Attract Prospects and Referrals

I am not picking on bonds. I feel they have their place and are great for any portfolio. If you review the bond section of this manual you can find basic information. The truth is that bonds have historically higher failure rates than people recognize and you and your client need to know that there…

I am not picking on bonds. I feel they have their place and are great for any portfolio. If you review the bond section of this manual you can find basic information.

The truth is that bonds have historically higher failure rates than people recognize and you and your client need to know that there is exposure to loss when investing in bonds. Oftentimes a bond failure does not actually mean the bond is worthless. It could simply mean a restructuring or a delay in an interest payment.

When a bond fails to make the interest payment the value of the bond (how much it could be sold for) will decrease. The rating of the bond by bond rats (Moody's) can also fall and drop. It is important to know how this could affect your prospects portfolio and it could strengthen the need for more safety and security that an annuity can provide.

This is basic information regarding bond defaults and failures by category:

  • US Treasury: no chance for default.
  • Municipal bonds: investment grade bonds that have a very slight chance of default (one analysis shown less than 0.05% over a 30-year period).
  • Corporate bonds: investment grade bonds have a higher risk, but are still low.
  • Junk bonds: below investment grade and have much higher risk.
  • Foreign bonds: may have a high risk.
  • Unrated bonds: Highest risk of all.

The lower the rating the greater the chance of a bond default or failure. Here are numerous sources for finding additional information about bonds:

  • Moody's
  • Standard and Pour's
  • Bloomberg
  • Bond Default Newsletter

My favorite is Moody's. They will supply a bond default list that has powerful information available to us and it is free. Just log on and go to the ' Watch List' and you will be amazed how many companies I know are well on this list.

Using This Information Is About Being Informed.

Commercial Insurance Marketing – Overcome Price Objections With Five Strategic Steps

Despite millions of dollars spent in insurance company advertising, many business owners still base their insurance buying decisions price. Why do business insurance buyers focus so much on the price? Because …   It's a business purchase decision, which means there's very little emotional involvement and someone else (ie the boss) will verify that a…

Despite millions of dollars spent in insurance company advertising, many business owners still base their insurance buying decisions price.

Why do business insurance buyers focus so much on the price? Because …
 

  • It's a business purchase decision, which means there's very little emotional involvement and someone else (ie the boss) will verify that a good choice was made. Even if the purchaser would like to make an emotional decision, he can not.
  • It's a complicated, confusing purchase and most buyers do not want to appear ignorant, so they focus on the one thing they know. Price is comfortable because it's the currency for all other transactions.
  • Value-added insurance is hard to envision if it has not been experienced in the past. Your buyer thinks of insurance as his last claims experience – period. The value gained by investing in a better insurance program is difficult for buyers to measure.
  • Business buyers are time starved. They will not take the time to educate themselves to understand insurance options if they do not expect the gain in benefit to exceed the burden and time lost to learning.

Ready to overcome these barriers? Here's how:
 
1. Evaluate your policyholders' needs so you can build an offer that hits their hot buttons.

In the words of James H. Gilmore, author of The Experience Economy, “A company's goal should be to learn more about what each customer needs so that it can close the customer sacrifice gap, which is the difference between what individual customers settle for and what each wants exactly “ .

If you take the time to learn your customer's pain points and hot buttons, then you will know how to structure your offering so that it is worth more to your purchaser. You may find that some items with high received customer value, have low delivery costs. You will not know without research. Customer research is not cheap, but it's a necessary element of long-term profitability. You'll want a survey to identify general perceptions and focus groups to dig in to key issues. Segment your policyholders as narrowly as possible for developing your research and your offering. It's easier to tailor value-added offerings for smaller segments with homogeneous needs.

Use your research to determine how to communicate your offering so that it's easy for the purchaser to measure the monetary worth of the value gained by working with you. Industry specific examples, case studies and testimonials are essential for helping insurance purchasers envision something they've never experienced.

2. Create a unique value proposition (UVP) that is client-focused and differentiating.

 
A while back, Progressive Auto Insurance did something unheard of in the insurance industry. It provided its customers with price quotes from the competition. Then, it counseled customers to go with the company that could save them the most money – even if it meant not going Progressive. Why did they do it? Because it was unique, it generated attention, and it cultured an amazing amount of customer loyalty. This is an example of differentiation in action. What can you do to surprise and delight your customers?

3. Pave the way for sales with brand awareness.
In Brand Leadership , authors David Aaker and Erich Joachlmsthaler discuss a causal relationship between brand and stock return. They cite Equitrends brand power research, which found that firms experiencing largest gains in brand equity saw their stock return average 30 percent. The authors suggest that the brand equity / stock return relationship may stem from brand equity's tendency to support a premium premium, which contributes to profitability. They state, “When a high level of perceived quality has been created, raising the prices not only provides margin dollars but also aids perceptions.”

Create a high level of perceived quality through consistent marketing and communication programs. One specialty carrier was able to decrease its marketing budget by 35 percent while at the same time tripling its revenues and boosting brand awareness within its target market. This company started by calculating the cost per exposure and cost per lead for each of its marketing activities. Here's what the company learned:

  • Tradeshows and golf sponsorships had extremely high cost per exposure and cost per lead.
  • Advertising had low cost per exposure, but high cost per lead (it was hard to identify that any leads were generated)
  • Direct mail had moderate cost per exposure and the lowest cost per lead – plus prospects and marketing activities could easily be tracked through the sales cycle.
  • Published articles had lower cost per exposure than advertising and high cost per lead (again it was hard to track leads)

The company drastically revised it marketing approach attending four tradeshows per year instead of 28, sponsoring five golf tournaments each year, instead of 22, eliminating the bulk of its advertising, and allocating the majority of its marketing budget to direct mail and published articles.

This company used a 'pull' marketing approach, marketing directly to the policyholder prospect. Because the company operates with a limited number of agencies, it was able to co-brand many of the marketing efforts with its designated agencies, so everyone benefited.

Sending direct mail to policyholders may not work with your business model. Neverheless, you can take a combined approach – 'pulling' policyholders through published articles in their industry trade journals, and 'pushing' brand through a direct mail campaign with designated agents. The key is to eliminate activities with high cost per exposure and high cost per lead, and replace them with activities that generate strong return-on-investment. Expenses are controlled, but a perception of quality is established making it easier to command a higher price.

4. Groom your internal culture to deliver your marketing promise.
 
The mantra at Disney is, “Marketing creates the brand but training brings it to life and keeps it refreshed from customers and employees alike.” If you've experienced Disneyland, you've seen the mantra in action. Disney delivers its marketing promise! If you're not already aligning your hiring, training, policies and procedures with your marketing promises, you need to start now – your retention rates depend upon it. Consider these statistics from Frederick Reichheld in The Loyalty Effect:

  • It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as to retain one
  • Most companies lose 20-25 percent of customers each year
  • If attrition is cut five percent points, a company can add 25-75 percent in profits to it bottom line.

Imagine … Fred Smith's insurance company promises excellent service, but when he phones with a coverage question, he's placed on hold for five minutes. Frustrated, he tries the use the Web site. When he submits the question form, it errors out. He can not tell if it went through. Could this be your company?

Too often, the gap between the marketing promise and the actual customer experience is huge! While a small glitch on the website and an extended hold time may seem like small infractions, they're monumental if you are a policyholder with an alternate expectation.If you sell cut-rate product, then cut-rate service is expected. Think Costco – no one minds the lines there. But, if you sell quality, every moment of the customer experience must be quality, or you'll lose the customer at renewal.

5. Strategically focus your retention efforts to optimize pricing.
 
Enlist your actuary or financial analyst to identify and profile the revenue and cost to service for each of your customer segments. You can look at a number of segment types: by size, by industry, by agency, by policy type, etc.
Plot your customer segments onto the following grid, to determine how much time and money should be sent to retain each segment:

High Revenue / Low Cost to Service

  • Allocate largest $ for retention
  • Develop agency incentives
  • Refine service to better meet needs
  • Build relationship

High Revenue / High Cost to Service

  • Execute low cost retention activities
  • Find ways to reduce cost to service

Low Revenue / Low Cost to Service

  • Find ways to increase revenues – ie up-sell or cross-sell
  • Execute low costs retention activities

Low Revenue / High Cost to Service

  • Increase pricing or decrease cost to service
  • Consider ending the relationship

According to the Direct Marketing Association, retention rates tend to stabilize after the second purchase. The first purchase is a test. A two-time buyer is buying with full knowledge. This means that a two-time buyer (or someone who has renewed a policy once) is the best target for retention, cross-sell and up-sell efforts.

In their McKinsey Quarterly article, Race to the Bottom, Andreas Florissen, Thomas Vahlenkamp, ​​Boris Maurer and Bernhard Schmidt caution companies to carefully consider the 'willingness to fly into a competitor's arms' factor when looking a customer value, retention spending and price optimization. They say, “If a customer is the kind that switches easily, retention efforts are better directed at others, since the likelihood of success is small. an approach that cuts margins earned from all customers, even those that are less price sensitive.

In closing, there are several ways to change a price:
 
1. Change the price tag (the obvious)
2. Change the quantity (deductibles, limits)
3. Change the quality (coverage, service level)
4. Change the terms (service levels, payment terms, policy length)

The key is to be creative and strategic. Frame your price and provide the agents the tools that need to sell it. Make sure every value-added service is itemized with a monetary value. For example, if three accident prevention consultations come with the policy, assign a value for those. Make it easy for the buyer to rationalize a higher premium. Discuss short term vs. long term, and the importance of investing in an insurance partner that will improve experience ratios over time. Point out coverage that is different than the competitors so it's clear that an apple-to-apple comparison can not be made. Finally, remember to include testimonials, case studies and success stories in the sales presentation, so your prospect can visualize the benefits of you as his partner.

The buyers who are throwing up price objections are also spending $ 3 on their lattes and $ 300 on their sunglasses. You see – price is not really an objection – it's a convenient excuse when desire and understanding are lacking.

Internet Annuity Sales Leads

The definition of a lead is very simple; an invitation to a relationship. They are nothing more than that. Many agents think it is going to be a sale and when it is not then it unhappiness sets in. So how do we set up guidelines so the leads we invest our hard earned money…

The definition of a lead is very simple; an invitation to a relationship. They are nothing more than that. Many agents think it is going to be a sale and when it is not then it unhappiness sets in. So how do we set up guidelines so the leads we invest our hard earned money into make financial sense?

The first rule of working leads is the “Law of Large Numbers” this means it takes a constant flow over a fixed period of time to determine their true value to your business. If you use a few leads for your evaluation then you are going to fail and it is a classic mistake. I personally like internet leads much more than I do direct mail or other direct response leads. The reason is simple, they are delivered to my computer instantly. The person requesting the information expects to receive it quickly and promptly and the internet should be able to provide that service. There are many different types of annuity sales leads. There are two “secrets” in working internet leads:

1. Call as soon as possible! If you delay making the call the lead will get stale. The Internet provides instant response and making tat instant response is essential to successful lead marketing.
2. Exclusivity. Make certain you only deal with a lead generation company that provides leads to only you. In the past companies have sold and resold leads numerous times.

Internet leads allow you to outsource your marketing to a lead provider. This allows more time to focus on getting in front of people who will listen to your story about these wonderful insurance products.

Insurance Marketing Ideas – Checklist For 2009

In my business, I frequently receive calls and inquiries from agents who are looking for a big marketing breakthrough. When I ask about their marketing strategies and how I can help, they reply, “I'm not sure. Here's a newsflash: The next big thing is that there is NO next big thing. I do not mean…

In my business, I frequently receive calls and inquiries from agents who are looking for a big marketing breakthrough. When I ask about their marketing strategies and how I can help, they reply, “I'm not sure.

Here's a newsflash: The next big thing is that there is NO next big thing. I do not mean to be negative, but seriously, marketing results are rarely achieved with one sizzling hot activity. Marketing is not about one-hit-wonders. It's about consistently communicating with the right audience with the right message until that audience is ready to buy.

Effective marketing requires multiple mediums because people are different and they research, shop and purchase insurance in different ways. You'll always need some printed pieces because some buyers are not web savvy. You'll need a smart online presence, because 80 percent of insurance buyers go online to conduct pre-purchase research. You need exposure from third party vehicles such as articles, testimonials and case studies because some people never trust marketing-they prefer to gather information from less biased sources.

While there is not one big thing that will revolutionize your growth, several small things add up to big results if you do them simultaneously.

Here's a quick checklist to get you started:

ONLINE

– Have you updated your Web copy in the last year?
– Is the writing lively? Does it bring your company's personality to life?
– Are you using your online real estate effectively – placing the most compelling content “above the fold” and placing your most important calls to action in the top right quadrant?
– Do you have a method of continuously refreshing your online content (like an RSS feed or blog) so that you enjoy optimal search engine results?
– Are you using Google AdWords to drive traffic to your site?
– Does your site include a strong call to action that tells users what to do next?
– Does your site motivate readers to take the next step by making qualifying offers?
– Does your site have a short, easy-to-complete lead form?
– Are you using an e-newsletter to attract interested prospects and consistently stay in front of prospects?
– Are you publishing articles with online sources (such as Ezine Articles) to showcase your expertise and drive more traffic to your Web site?

PRINT

– Are your brochures, newsletters and other sales tools up to date?
– Do they look like and communicate the same messages as your Web site so that you're presenting a consistent brand identity?
– Is your unique value proposition obvious? Will the reader understand what's in it for her?
– Are your printed pieces about you or about your clients? To figure this out, look at the first page and count how many times “you” or “your” is said or infringed. Now, count how many times your company name or “we” is said or inferred. If you're talking about clients (and you should be), the “you / you're” number should be higher or at least equal to the “we / company” number.
– Do your printed materials include clear calls to action that allows interested prospects to respond in multiple ways?
– Do your printed pieces include compelling offers to motivate readers to take the next step?
– Do your printed pieces include a business reply card? If they do not, you're not really asking for the sale.
– Do your printed pieces drive prospects to your web site more information?

THIRD PARTY VEHICLES

– Are you publishing articles in magazines that your clients read, such as trade journals or the local business magazine? This is free advertising that if far more effective than any ad because it's perceived as highly credible.
– Have you developed client success stories (case studies) to humanize your offering? Everybody loves stories and they want to know what works for businesses like their. Case studies fit the bill.
– Have you bolstered the credibility of your print and online tools by incorporating customer testimonials?

Insurance Lead Generation – Don’t Forget to Make an Offer!

Imagine your top sales person calling on a cherry-picked account. He develops rapport, requests all the right questions, paints a compelling picture of your value-added offering and ends by saying, “Thanks for your time. “Wait! He forgot to close,” you might say. Yes, he did. And no sale was ever won without a close. Yet,…

Imagine your top sales person calling on a cherry-picked account. He develops rapport, requests all the right questions, paints a compelling picture of your value-added offering and ends by saying, “Thanks for your time. “Wait! He forgot to close,” you might say. Yes, he did. And no sale was ever won without a close. Yet, many marketers forget to close every day by omitting the “call to action” in their marketing materials.

You've seen close-less brochures. The contact information is buried in small type on the back page. In close-less Web sites, nothing instructs the reader about what to do next. So what does he do next? Nothing.

Here are some call to action examples:

  • Good: Call us today. You'll be glad you did.
  • Better: Do not wait another day to start saving money. Call, click or e-mail.
  • Best: Reply before noon on Friday and receive an extra $ 10,000 of coverage – absolutely free!

Calls to action are strongest when there is an offer to sweeten the deal. In insurance sales, we tend to rush right into the big stuff – When is your x-date and how soon can you get me your loss runs? Popping these questions too early hurts your chances. It's smaller to begin with compelling, low-risk offers that ease the prospect into your sales cycle.

What is an offer?

As consumers, we are bombarded with offers every day.

  • Buy one, get one free
  • Save up to 65%
  • Enjoy a free iTunes download with your latte

Whether we like or not, these offers influence our decisions. Time and again, offers have been proven to lift response rates. Yet, in business, we often forget to make offers. Sure – we offer a free quote or a complimentary consultation. But so does everyone else. So what are you doing to motivate prospects to step into your sales cycle? If you're not doing anything special, you're wasting lead generation opportunities.

Here are a few small offers that lead to an easy first YES:

  • A subscription to your educational newsletter or tip of the month
  • A Loss Experience Analysis so that your prospect can see how his loss experience compares to others in the same risk classification
  • A FREE report containing valuable information to help your prospects improve profits
  • An educational seminar or Web conference
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Sales scripts
  • Selling tools
  • Industry calculators

A small offer makes it easier for your prospect to say YES, and is more likely to move an account through the sales cycle. And, since the insurance sales cycle is typically a year long, small offers provide a means for staying in front of accounts year-round, without expensive in-person visits. Business people are information-hungry. They are constantly searching for ways to do their jobs faster, smarter and better. They will respond to a small offer for valuable information much faster than they'll volunteer x-dates.

Should you offer price discounts?

Maybe. If low-price is one of your key value propositions and if you seek price-conscious shoppers, then price discounts are effective offers. Just make sure that your offer reflects your key value proposition and that it attracts the customers you want.

When and how should you make offers?

Seize every opportunity! You should include offers in your e-mails, on your Web site and in your direct mail. Test different types of offers to see what works best.

How can you get started?

  1. Think about your customers' pain points. What information or tools will solve their problems? For example, do they lose sales due to price objections? If so, give them a sales script that overcomes price objections.
  2. Think about your success stories. Can we tell a story (case study) about how one of your customers overcame an industry head with your assistance?
  3. Think about your expertise. What do you know that no one else does? Can it be packaged it into a qualifying offer?

Do not forget to sell it!

Many insurance marketers create a small offer but do not bother to market it. Make sure you're selling your small offers with all the same tactics you use to sell insurance. It's critical to get your prospect to the first YES. Your small offer is the key, so sell it strategically. Make your audience feel like it can not live without your newsletter, seminar or free report. After all, you can not make the sale until you get the prospect into your sales cycle.

How to Get Insurance Leads – The Struggle New Insurance Agents Face

Getting insurance leads is not a hard task at all. Simply go to Goggle and type in “insurance lead” and in a matter of seconds you have the hundreds of ways to get leads. Many companies online offer cheap leads or quality leads, although not all leads equal a sale. The consumer these days is…

Getting insurance leads is not a hard task at all. Simply go to Goggle and type in “insurance lead” and in a matter of seconds you have the hundreds of ways to get leads. Many companies online offer cheap leads or quality leads, although not all leads equal a sale. The consumer these days is smart. Millions of people use the internet before buying anything. Think about it. When was the last time you used the internet just to answer a question you had? Many people do this everyday and ofter buy a product that is related to their search. These people will run into additions from internet marketers. It is these marketers that can make the difference in your bank account.

How does internet marketers help me?

Common question, easy answer. You are a insurance agent who needs leads. Leads that let you contact customers for insurance purposes. These people usually want insurance but do not know much about what they want. Often causing you to spend more time explaining and less selling and making money. The internet has millions of people searching for insurance. These people already have been educated on the type of insurance products they can ask you about. They may have a few questions but you will be able to answer their concerns quickly. Internet marketers find these people for you. People who know what they want but need someone to help them. That is the reason why many leads are now coming from online sources. Educated people with access to the internet wanting to protect their home, car, life and family. These people see adds put up by internet marketers and click on them.

That's it. The work is being done for you. The best part of online leads is that you can get these leads moments after the customer has requested help. Think about that sales opportunity. The faster you get to these people the faster you will be able to guarantee a sale. Remember that these consumers want action now, not later. If you do not get to them fast, your sale is gone.

Creating an Insurance Advertising Strategy

Marketing Tips to Advertise Your Insurance Agency: Which Mediums are Best for You? The marketing of your insurance agency is a time consuming and expensive process and it takes an extra amount of effort to coordinate this function. In order to achieve and gain recognition in this fast and competitive world we live in, you…

Marketing Tips to Advertise Your Insurance Agency:

Which Mediums are Best for You? The marketing of your insurance agency is a time consuming and expensive process and it takes an extra amount of effort to coordinate this function. In order to achieve and gain recognition in this fast and competitive world we live in, you will find more companies trying to find ways to increase their brand to gain that competitive edge. You know the old saying, “you have to spend money to make money.” So do not fall by the wayside. To try and help you determine the best advertising medium for your insurance business we will help show you the most common types of marketing and give you an explanation of each. Most importantly, before we go into showing you the ways to market your insurance agency you need to think about what your budget is and start from there. As you know, different mediums of advertising all come with a price. Your Target Market: What types of vehicles do insurance offer you offer? Do you offer health insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, etc? What is the age group of your target market and who exactly are you looking to offer insurance to? These questions and more you need to determine before opening up your wallet. Below are some effective marketing tips for your insurance agency.

1. Block line advertising in industry publications or trade journals: Many companies like to advertise in the same areas, so you need to be there. Since insurance companies are always looking to find new agents to join their company, they know that many “insurance agents to be” are reading these particular journals and periodicals. As with television and print ads, you'll most likely want to consult with or hire an outside advertising agency to help you build a campaign that best suits your agency and the insurance products you sell. The cost can vary depending on the kind of style of ad you want to create. A great way to be found is by having “reverse type” in your ads. Meaning you would have a black background with white writing, which gives you ad ad pop. If you prefer and have the money to do your ad in color, that is even better. Typically the cost of block line advertising is very cost effective and you have the freedom to dress up the ad as you wish.

2. Business opportunity advertising: Think of local newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. This is a very effective way to advertise and market your agency, since your company needs to build brand name recognition. The online version of the Wall Street Journal has over 4.5 million visitors. Now that's a big audience.

3. Television Ads: The most obvious and expensive forms of advertising is the television. Americans are glued to the television and you can find plenty of statistics that will show evidence of that. The average cost of a 30 second commercial is roughly $ 350,000. You can find local TV ad spots for much less, so shop around.

4. Local Movie Theaters: A local audience and a family type atmosphere is a great way for marketing your insurance business. Many types of insurance come into play here when you and the family are out watching the movie. Think insure your life, insure your auto, insure your health, etc. All these things come into play when parents are out with their kids. Make your ad suited for this audience. Typically these ads come up when you are sitting in your seat waiting for the movie to start. The ads you see are effective as people are constantly seeing your name out there. In 2007 Hollywood drew in over 1.44 billion admissions.

5. Direct Mail Advertising: There are companies out there that will do direct mail pieces to parts of your geographical area. A 10,000 piece mailing to your target audience could cost anywhere from $ 3,000- $ 10,000, depending on what company you use.

6. Advertising outdoor: Transit systems, bus benches, neon and electronic signals are becoming a great way for the agent to advertise. This is affordable, unlike television ads. And this targets the exact audience as most insurers provide insurance services to their local area.

7. Stationary advertising: A very great way of advertising is right through your business stationary and supplies. A nice way of showing good faith is to give your customers a pen with your office name and contact information. Another way of creating some repeat business is through magnet advertising. They can stick to your refrigerator. This goes a long way especially when people have gatherings for family and friends. You need to constantly be in the spotlight no matter the situation. The cost of stationary and supplies is a fraction of the price you will receive down the road from your potential customers. Other items that may apply to you could be, coffee cups, calendars, and golf balls, just to name a few.

8. Website Advertising: Let's face it, if you do not have a web-site for your business you really need to think about getting one and fast. With today's fast paced society coupled with advanced technologies, a website tells customers about you and it a quick and easy reference for customers looking for quotes of any type of insurance such as, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, life insurance and many others. You can easily create a one page webs-site simply with your contact information and maybe a short story about yourself within your community. If they willing to take that extra step and create additional pages, you may want to hire a professional, but for now if you do not have a website, create one. Even if you have to write it down on paper, at least you have it for a reference.

10. Online advertising: Companies offer zip code exclusive advertising and lead rights such as InsureMyHouse.com and InsureMyLife.org, which gives you a unique exposure on the web. They offer a local insurance agent directory for their sites visitors. As more and more people are using the internet and searching for insurance, it has become increasingly important in today's society to be advertising on the internet. 75 percent of households have access to the internet. This is a cost effective way to gain exposure on a national and local level.

Start Building a Game Plan – Once you see the benefits of each advertising medium, stick with what works. Stay within your budget and find the best approach. Finding the best option for you is going to be trial and error, but it will be the difference in building your agency.