As an insurance agent, you always hope to close some deals pretty quickly and line up other prospects for more opportunities. If your calendar were filled with nothing but appointments, you'd probably consider this scenario a sort of career paradise. But, how do you get to that level? It's all about finding leads and how you follow up with them.
The insurance business is a bit different from other sales positions. Whereas other salespeople might see 85% of their prospects with an immediate need, insurance agents need to target a potential customer's policy renewal date. This future focus means a follow-up strategy is critical to building a profitable book of business. What's more, develop a great follow-up system, and you just might find that sales nirvana you've been looking for. Read on for some tips on how to get there.
As an agent, the unique nature of the insurance business mandates that you have a sound lead-management strategy in place. If you think about the insurance sales pipeline, the lead delivery system might look more like an assembly line. For instance, you may run into raw prospects with whom you strike a chord, but their homeowners insurance policy doesn't renew for seven months.
On one hand, it can be a little discouraging. But on the other hand, you're always going to need future sales. If you find methods to maintain that connection you made with that client, it will be easier to discuss business when the policy comes due. So, the objective in lead management is to constantly find warm prospects and keep them warm until you can make them customers.
Now you understand the importance of follow-up. Yet, you still need ways to turn that commitment into action. Here are some concrete ways to execute a lead management strategy for your agency.
It's sales 101, and it may sound trite. But if you can find something to supercharge your next conversation with a prospect, chances are good that they'll remember you when you call again a few months later. Sometimes topics like television series or sports come up in an initial conversation. But, if possible, home in on a personal event.
So many people remark that they can't focus on your conversation or insurance at the moment because they have something big in the wings. It might be a wedding. It might be a vacation. Whatever it is, make a note of it. Recalling that milestone will open up a massive door in your next chat.
When you do follow up and the second question you ask is how that cruise to Hawaii was, it should be smooth sailing from there.
As an insurance agent, you need to walk a fine line between being relevant and being a nuisance. If you feel like you made a good first impression with a prospect, a phone call is a good idea — sometime in between the first contact and the upcoming renewal date. Make sure you don't use impersonal emails or instant messages or texts at this stage.
That call might function as a wellness check, so to speak. It's a non-threatening follow-up call to make sure the prospect's situation hasn't changed. It's also somewhat of a diagnostic call to ensure that their temperature is still warm for a potential carrier switch. Thus, your potential customer won't feel pressured, and you've helped the relationship along.
This call helps determine if there's genuine interest or you need to cross the prospect off your list and move on to the next.
Out of sight, out of mind. The phrase applies to sales careers as much as it does anything else in life. In the insurance sales world, all agents might seem the same to the average person. So, agents who have several touches with a prospect stand a good chance of converting a potential customer to an actual client. You'll just need a varied approach.
Before and after the first follow-up call to a prospect, you should have other ways to keep your name in front of that person. Emails are an inexpensive, efficient means to reach many people with minimal time and effort. Hand-written thank you notes are pretty rare in the digital age. Imagine the impression they may make on a valued prospect.
Highlight your social media presence with links to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., in every email to potential customers, and you'll help place your agency into their subconsciousness.
Your first contact with a prospect sets the foundation for future interactions — and, hopefully, a fruitful customer relationship. You don't need to record trivial matters regarding that conversation. But do make notes about personal details and business-related facts. Use customer relationship management (CRM) software to keep everything under one roof (more on that next).
Policy and financial documentation will serve two purposes. From a sales perspective, you'll want to be able to make valid comparisons to the products the prospect already owns. If you do convert a prospective client, notes about coverage requests or any changes will help you from a compliance standpoint if a dispute with that customer arises.
After each conversation, make time to add notes to a customer file, even though it may seem like a bit of a burden to squeeze it in. In the long run, you'll be glad you did.
In the digital age, it's difficult to overlook software as a valuable tool. Tech can help make your job easier while saving you time and money. By spending fewer hours on administrative tasks, you can concentrate on sales and marketing. Depending on your level of comfort, you can ease into using CRM applications or run with them at full speed.
With the number of transactions you'll encounter in insurance sales, CRM software is a must-have to record all activity. As customer relationship platforms evolve, these apps become more user-friendly. Nowadays, you can typically upload new information you've received by text or email.
If you could learn how to use these tools, you'll quickly see how the software will help you allocate much of your workweek to the most productive pursuits.
Agile. You hear this business buzzword all the time. It doesn't just apply to large corporations. You can apply it to your insurance career simply by understanding that adaptation is necessary when prospecting. If the phone or email lists you're using aren't producing expected results, you'll need to find lead sources that do work well for you.
With agile processes, you shouldn't wait long to implement new prospecting strategies. Being flexible entails zeroing in on which direct actions produce sales, and which don't. For example, if you buy a list of 500 prospects and you only convert three of those names to customers, that's less than a 1% conversion ratio. That metric suggests you need a Plan B.
Continuing to spend time and money on ineffective prospecting methods fits the definition of insanity that you've likely heard a few times.
If there's one thing that can make the whole follow-up process easier, it's raising the quality of the leads you're receiving. You might be buying outdated lists with invalid phone numbers, bad addresses, or inaccurate renewal dates. Even a few minutes spent navigating toward a dead end is time better spent talking to a prospect who's available and ready to buy.
If these types of potential customers sound too good to be true, they're not. Nectar specializes in real-time, warm leads that put you on the phone directly in contact — or even on the phone with — a live prospect who has confirmed that they're looking to switch insurance companies or purchase a new home, life, or auto policy. With the heavy lifting already done, you can focus on closing the sale.
There isn't a single agent who doesn't dream of ringing up a sale at the first point of contact, and Nectar makes the dream a reality.
All of this advice will help you when you're following up with prospects. The irony is you may use these tips a lot less when you take advantage of real-time leads and live call transfers from Nectar. It's difficult to find a better lead than one who's on the phone and willing to become your next customer in one easy touch. Contact Nectar today for more information so you can work smarter, not harder.
This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.