For a new and growing insurance agencies, increasing sales is of utmost importance for both survival and expansion. Everyone knows the more leads, the more sales you will have. The challenge is, how do you get more leads? The problem for many agencies is they do not have a consistent plan for lead generation. When I screened new agencies for direct appointments, one question I always asked was, “what is your sales and marketing plan for new business?” The most common answers I got were, “we network,” or “cold calling.”
Don’t get me wrong, networking and cold calling are valid methods of getting leads, but they should not be the strategy, but rather a tactic within an overall strategy. They should be part of an overall lead generation plan.
Imagine a large a city like Los Angeles or New York. How many roads lead into that city? Your goal for lead generation is to become that city. You want to build several roads for customers to reach you and for you to reach your target customers. Unlike the city, heavy traffic is a great thing for your business when it’s filled with qualified leads.
The first step is to increase your S.O.B., or source of business. If you are only getting business from cold calling or your networking group, that is not enough to increase your lead flow. Below are 7 strategies to increase your S.O.B. and generate more leads.
1. Lead Generating Website: There is a big difference between an effective lead generating website and just a functional website. An effective website helps you generate and capture leads. For starters, it should feature a good “about us” page, which was discussed in detail in the previous blog, “Why the About Us Page Isn’t About You.”
Depending on your target market, your website should also include the following:
Request for quote: Create a lead box for prospects interested in obtaining a quote. The lead box will capture the lead so you can follow up with the prospect to generate the quote. Leadpages, is what I use to build my lead capture forms on my websites.
You can customize a lead box to capture the basic information you need to follow up with a prospect. It can also be integrated with your CRM (customer service management software), or agency management software so the lead is automatically fed into your system of choice.
CTA (Call to action): A call to action is a reason for someone who visits your website to take action. It could be a simple “call us” with a phone number, or a more strategic process of offering a giveaway for something of value in exchange for the prospects contact information.
A giveaway could be a simple PDF or videos that the visitor would find valuable. Like “10 ways to keep your homeowners insurance cost down,” or 7 things you need to know before you shop for life insurance.” Again, this process can be developed and managed easily within Leadpages.
2. Drip Campaigns: So what do you do with prospects you’ve spoken with that were not interested in working with you, or with the quote you provided? An important tactic is to place these prospects from all of your lead capture methods into a drip campaign.
A drip campaign is where you enter your leads into an email marketing system like, Getreponse, or MailChimp, and set the emails to go out on a recurring basis. A word of caution, don’t just blast your prospect base with sales pitches. That’s the quickest way for a prospect to opt out. Send valuable information intermixed with product information.
A drip campaign keeps your prospects warm. If something goes wrong with their current agent, you may be the first one they call since you are top of mind. Your emails may also trigger a need for them to reach out to you. Lastly, by keeping your prospects warm, it will make your follow up phone call easier and more successful, when you approach them again next policy expiration date.
3. Circle of Advisors: Do you have a “circle of advisors” you team up with? What is a circle of advisors you ask? It is a group of trusted advisors that a business or individual would typically need. These advisors provide services that require trust and relationship with their customers. These are individuals you trust with your clients and have the same trust in you with their clients.
Why develop a circle of advisors? Besides the obvious answer of increasing your S.O.B., the fact is the leads from these advisors will typically close at a high rate. In addition, you are now in a position to support your client in more ways than just insurance. This is how you move beyond an agent to become an advisor. If your client has other needs, you can refer them to someone that will take care of them properly.
Who should be in your circle? It depends on your line of insurance, but should include some of the following:
4. Expand your network: If you don’t currently belong to a networking group, consider joining one. The obvious benefit of networking groups is the ability to receive leads. Unfortunately, not all networking groups are built the same. Also, not all locations of networking groups are built the same.
Things to consider when exploring networking groups
Be a guest at multiple groups and different locations. Join the ones that you believe will benefit you the most. Can’t find a group that you like? Consider starting your own group. Find other potential members that sell complementary services or products to your target market. Sometimes, these become the best networking groups.
5. Riches in the niches: In a previous blog, “You Talkin to me…,” we discussed the importance of targeted sales and marketing messages. The more you can narrow down your target market, the more you can concentrate your sales and marketing efforts.
By focusing on niches, you can begin to establish yourself as the expert or thought leader for that industry or market segment. You can also begin executing other lead generation tactics when you focus on select markets. This includes:
6. Lead generation services: There are many companies that provide lead generation services that send warm leads to you or even have a lead call routed to your desk. Although lead services companies tend to be pricy, they may be valuable especially if you are seeking an immediate boost in leads.
Companies that are specifically insurance focused like, Contactability, tend to provide better leads,. There are also generic shopping sites, like Buyer Zone, that provide a lead to several companies to battle for the client.
If you choose to use a lead generation service, choose carefully and set a budget. Also, make sure you set up a drip campaign for the leads that don’t convert, which may be the bulk of the leads.
7. Your clients: Your clients are usually the best source for leads and is also the source of business many agencies forget about. Not only will clients likely buy for you again, their referrals close at a very high rate. The problem is many agencies don’t have a systematic process of cross selling and seeking referrals.
Tactics to increase cross selling and referrals:
By all means, this is not an exhaustive list. Nor do you have to do everything on this list. The key is to identify a few tactics that can help you round out your lead generation strategy. Find the ones that work best for your situation and experiment. By following through and increase your source of business, you will be able to increase leads and get more sales.
What’s worked for you? We’d love to hear from you about tactics that’s worked for your agency. Please share in the comments below.