It takes a lot of work to create new connections for your insurance business. Cold calling, generating new leads, and asking for referrals are time-intensive tasks. You'll put in far more effort to get the ball rolling than anything you'll do after you land the sale. That's why one of the best things you can do for your insurance agency is to manage the leads you do create, so your closing rate is as high as possible.
Did you know that when you respond to leads within an hour it generates seven times more sales conversations for you? Imagine how much it helps when you're prepared to respond to a lead within the first minute.
When you consistently follow up with leads, continually reach out, and track information on connections created, sales confidence naturally rises. Taking the initiative to turn leads into paying clients creates an environment where your book of business continually grows. Here's how to do it.
Keeping sales as the primary objective of lead management will help you make the right decisions as you move leads through your sales pipeline. Here's what this might look like.
This is any new connection or contact you’ve created, received, or purchased. These leads can be warm or cold in regards to their openness to talking to you about insurance. In any case, this is your starting material. Your goal is to continually contact this segment of your sales pipeline, through phone calls, emails, and any other applicable method, until you can get the prospect more information.
Your goal for new leads should be to contact them as soon as possible. It's even worth using an auto-dialer to make sure you are the first person to reach out. How fast do you have to be? Well, it's really based on your competition. You just need to be faster than anyone else. Since you can never know how fast your competitors are really calling prospects, you should make it your goal to follow up as quickly as possible.
It’s important to sell the appointment before selling the product or service. Once you’ve reached someone on the phone and set a time to get them more information, you’re well on your way to closing an actual sale. Selling the appointment on the initial phone call (or in an email, on social media, or by any other method) is much easier than selling the policy right there and then.
Following an appointment where policy details were discussed, a quote given, and questions answered — assuming the person is a good fit for your services — the lead then becomes “qualified” for purchase. But that doesn't mean they're a sale yet. This segment of your sales pipeline will need consistent follow-up until a purchase is made.
Once someone has made a purchase, you have a good reason to pause a moment and celebrate. Feel good about your win and commit it to memory so you’re more likely to continue your forward momentum. Then, be sure to log any pertinent notes in your CRM and schedule your next follow-up call with your new client. After all, you want to make sure your clients stay with you for the long term so you can continually build your business from client referrals, upsells, and cross-selling opportunities.
Connect with your prospects with enthusiasm and initiative. If you contact a new lead within five minutes of receiving that lead, you are 21 times more likely to qualify that prospect — the first step toward closing your sale. In fact, 78% of sales go to the first person to respond to the lead. Thus, the faster you can respond, the more likely you are to win over a new client.
If you need further motivation, consider this: If you are the first insurance agent to contact the prospect, it allows you to frame the sales conversation. You can help your prospect understand the most important aspects involved in making a purchasing decision. When the prospect is ready to move forward, your chances of being the one they turn to are now that much higher since you took the time to educate them.
That's also why you should avoid taking on new leads when you're not ready to immediately follow up. Of course, this requires that you maintain a level of conscientiousness about your current schedule and sales pipeline demands. You never know the exact moment when a lead is ready to move forward. But, regardless of where they are in the process, the best thing you can do with a new lead is to get your name, company, intent, and reputation in front of them right away. Let them know that you’re available to help them whenever they’re ready.
One key thing to remember when reaching out to prospects is that you're delivering a service they need. Everyone requires insurance, after all. The real question is whether or not you’re calling at the perfect time for them to move forward or if they’ll need more time for consideration. That’s all you’re calling to find out, initially.
Keep in mind that you bring value through your insurance expertise. Begin a conversation by introducing yourself, your company, and the reason for your call. Let them know that you received their contact information and that you’re here to help. Be polite, concise, and focused on them. Ask how you can help them, then pause and listen. Encourage them to take the time they need to explain their situation and be sure to ask any relevant follow-up questions.
If you're gaining rapport with the prospect and it's clear your service can really help them, set an appointment. Offer the prospect two different days and times to connect, and get it set on both of your calendars.
It’s important to use CRM software, whether it’s a professional-level service or a simple system you set for yourself. The more organized you are in keeping track of conversations with leads, along with metrics involving your sales pipeline, the more you’ll be able to improve your sales process over time.
The first thing to track is your sales pipeline metrics. The more metrics you track — and the more accurately — the better information you have for systematizing your sales process (and thus watching your book of business grow). However, it’s better to simply start tracking some metrics, than none at all. Though all of the following metrics are important, the most critical ones are bolded:
The easiest way to track all these metrics is with a professional CRM. That way, you can integrate your lead generation sources directly into your system. The real value of tracking is the actual metrics you gain on the back end, which help you make better decisions moving forward. If you can save yourself the time of manually tracking every detail (by using a CRM), you create more opportunities for yourself to spend time doing what actually makes you money: contacting prospects.
Even if you're quick to reach out to a new lead, you won't always get through on the first try. If you don't immediately get a hold of the prospect, don't give up. It takes an average of eight contacts to set an initial appointment with a new lead, on average.
With each outreach attempt, keep in mind that it may be only one step of many. This attitude will help you stay positive, even if sales aren’t happening as fast as you’d like. You can also break up your eight-plus contacts into various methods: phone calls, emails, text marketing, social media, mailers, and any other method of outreach you can think of.
As you consistently follow up with leads, make a point to also track any conversations you have with prospects in your CRM. Specifically, make notes of any details concerning their family, home, work, or hobbies. On the one hand, leads represent potential sales for your company. But more importantly, prospects are people with lives that really matter. If you take notes on important details, you’ll always have a reason to reconnect.
When following up, find ways to add value to your prospect. If you’ve spoken with them before, bring up a topic you’d previously discussed, which automatically makes your connection relevant. Even if you haven’t talked with them previously, you can always share some interesting information on insurance that they might find valuable or helpful for their decision to purchase.
The best way to grow your business faster is to reach out to more prospects. While you’re building up a lead-management system and process that regularly generates business, Nectar is here for you with real-time insurance leads.
We deliver fresh leads directly to you — ones that just raised their hands to get more information, minutes ago. We give you the edge you need to close sales fast. Sign up today to get started with talking to real-time leads when you need them.
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.