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Why Your Lead Follow-Up Strategies Aren't Working

Sales Enablement
Aug 30, 2022
minute read
Nectar Team
Why Your Lead Follow-Up Strategies Aren't Working

The key to developing an effective follow-up strategy for your insurance leads is to have a good game plan. This applies whether your leads are highly motivated, word-of-mouth referrals, or they came from social media or online. The system you put in place needs to account for a variety of different kinds of leads from disparate sources.

Once you have a system, the only thing more important than executing it is revisiting it to evaluate your strategy and see how you can boost your results. The first step is understanding why some — or all — of your lead strategies aren’t working. Here are some factors you might want to change if your insurance lead follow-ups aren't turning into sales.

You Wait Too Long

Not only do people’s needs change, but their mindset and personal circumstances evolve, too — sometimes very quickly. Waiting too long to follow up can weaken even the strongest leads. Strike while the iron’s hot so you can mold a lead into a paying customer.

For example, if you get a lead from an online form, you should prioritize following up in your schedule. Their interest was highest the moment after they clicked “Submit,” and it diminishes with each minute that passes. Also, immediately after someone submits an online insurance quote form, they are often “in the mood” to make a commitment. By following up right away, you capitalize on their emotional momentum.

The same principle applies to leads from other sources: The sooner you follow up, the better. While there’s a chance their situation may change so that they need insurance even more down the road, it’s better to not take the chance. Get in touch as soon as possible.

You’re Over-Talking

The insurance sales process should involve more listening than talking. If you’re dominating the conversation, you’re likely missing out on key information. Your goal while following up should be to hand the reins over to the prospect, let them tell their story, and then show them how you can meet their needs.

If you’re used to doing most of the talking, here are some tips to balance out your conversations while following up:

  • Listen with the intention of understanding their story, looking for key points to reiterate when you get the chance to talk. When they stop talking, you can summarize something they said and then introduce a solution. For example, you could say, “So it sounds like you’re concerned about data security because you're transitioning to a hybrid cloud architecture. Let’s see which cyber insurance option you like the most.”
  • Designate a time when you’ll do the talking. For example, you could say to yourself, “I’m not going to start discussing options or insurance principles until they’ve talked for at least three minutes.” You could also set up a talking structure, such as a “sandwich” where you talk a little at the beginning and end.
  • Ask questions before deciding what to say, and then only speak in response to your prospect's answer. For instance, you can say, “You mentioned that another person’s restaurant was damaged in a fire. If that happened at one of your locations, what impact would it have?” Then, after they answer, only provide solutions that address the things they mention.

You Haven't Empathized With the Buyer's Experience

Naturally, you want to empathize with the leads you're following up with, and understanding what they go through can make it easier to put yourself in their shoes.

For instance, many leads come as a result of an online form they filled out. Their answers may get sent to several insurance companies. So if you’ve waited a day or more to reach out, they’ve probably already fielded several sales calls. They may have answered the same questions multiple times over and could be sick of the same ol’ rigmarole.

With this in mind, you should strive to stand out from the rest. Show them that you understand what they’re going through, perhaps even summarizing what their experience must be like as they search for insurance. When they sigh and reply with, “Yeah, exactly,” you’ve earned a valuable rapport that you can parlay into a commitment.

You’re Not Tracking Your Leads

If you’re not tracking your leads, you’re missing out on valuable data you can use to improve your follow-up process. By tracking information related to how or where you got your leads, as well as how and when you followed up, you glean data you can evaluate to improve your success rate.

For example, you can review your sales performance after a month has gone by, using metrics such as:

  • The closing rate for leads from different sources
  • The lengths of conversations
  • The times of day you call
  • Keywords related to customer needs that you can jot down during the interaction, such as “liability,” “property damage,” or “resiliency”

You can even keep track of the emotional state of customers, as well as yourself, during follow-up calls. If you find that when your mood is often less-than-ideal when a lead doesn’t pan out, you may want to save your follow-up times for when you’re in a better space. Or if customers convey agitation, impatience, happiness, relief, or other feelings, you can briefly jot these down and see if there’s a correlation between how they’re doing and whether you were able to close the sale.

You're Over-Selling

Insurance buyers are used to reading claims that a company offers “the best prices” or “everything” they need to secure their business. Advertisements with these kinds of phrases add little value to your marketing. It may be better to pull leads in by demonstrating subject matter expertise using an article, blog, or e-book that may apply to their experience.

For instance, a paid social ad on Facebook could include an e-book about how to launch a small restaurant. You can include the name of your company on the cover page and a brief call to action about your services at the end, but the rest is simply meant to educate the prospect about starting a restaurant.

Then, during the follow-up interaction, you’re speaking to someone who now trusts your insights and industry knowledge. That's a lot better than someone who distrusts your pushy sales-speak.

You’re Not Systematically Comparing Lead-Generation Strategies

Even if you can afford to implement several lead-gen strategies at the same time, you should treat each one like it’s an employee and you have a limited budget: You can only invest in the most effective solution. An actionable assessment depends on systematically gathering data about the leads from different sources and putting them head to head.

For instance, suppose you get leads from four sources:

  • Gated content you post on LinkedIn
  • Paid Twitter ads
  • A brief online quote questionnaire
  • Pre-qualified leads you buy from a provider

Make a spreadsheet that positions these lead sources next to each other. It can simply show the number of follow-up attempts and a percentage representing your success rate for each one. If you find, for example, that the leads you pay for have a higher closing rate, you may want to double down on this lead vector. That may boost your chances of seeing your percentages rise over time.

Without a systematic lead source comparison system, you risk doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

You're Too Friendly

While it’s essential to create a rapport with your leads, it’s also possible to sour the business relationship by being too friendly. This can happen for several reasons, such as:

  • Spending more time connecting with them than presenting the options they need
  • Coming across as someone who’s “cool" but not necessarily knowledgeable about insurance
  • Getting overly casual or even coming across as apathetic about your offering

To avoid becoming too friendly, you can reiterate to yourself that the person you’re connecting with needs insurance, and while a listening ear is helpful, they’re interacting with you because you can help solve a business problem.

At the same time, you don’t want to come across as cold and uncaring. If you find you’re drifting over a professional boundary, you can always adjust the conversation with a simple, “Hey, this is awesome, and we could talk all day, but let’s discuss your insurance options.”

You're Not Offering Enough Discounts

Even though discounts may only drop the cost of a policy a few bucks, several of them combined can get your lead past a price tipping point. The price they have in the back of their mind may be a psychologically determined one. It could be a nice round number, like $400 per month. It may also be a specific figure that another agent offered. Whatever it is, by applying as many discounts as possible, you can lower the price enough to get them to commit.

This, of course, will require asking plenty of questions, which is a powerful way of building a business relationship with a lead. In addition, as you dig to discover discounts, you show them that saving their hard-earned money is one of your top priorities.

Still Struggling? Start With Stronger Leads

Your lead follow-up strategy can only be as good as your leads, and with Nectar you get well-qualified leads, vetted according to your requirements. Nectar’s high-quality, real-time leads can make the selling process easier, resulting in more conversions and increased revenue. Learn how Nectar can get you better leads today.

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.


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