Lead generation is the lifeblood of all successful businesses. Without leads, you have no customers, and without customers, you have no revenue.
But how many of them convert to sales? One out of 10? One out of 100? What if you could make that rate closer to 95%? Sounds impossible, right? The average conversion rate for closing leads depends on many factors, including your lead or call source. That being said, there is a two-step process that will help you close more business, and it's perception isn't what you think!
The first step to closing 95% of your leads or calls is:
Qualify your consumer as quickly as possible and remove all calls or leads that do not fit your filters, or your specified lead type.
Lead vendors have varying degrees of return policies, and some (like ours) provide sample scripting to help qualify a call or lead. If the person does not match your filters, there is no point having a 5-minute conversation with them.
Here is the easiest, and most efficient way to accomplish step one:
- Qualify your leads/calls before doing anything else. If a filter doesn't line up, then you just saved yourself some time.
- After that, make sure the person you are speaking with is the person who has the insurable interest. Not only legally, but as a savvy employee, your team should recognize when to call it quits.
Now, you would be surprised to find out that many times consumers close after 1 follow up call, or will call the agent back a day or two later then they have had time to discuss with their partner. Just because the consumer did not close on the first call does not mean that it's a "bad lead".
In fact, I have even seen agents keep a lead that might not fit their filters today, but will fit them in 2 months and because the team did such a great job handling the call, they know in 2 months the likelihood that the consumer will choose you is increased as you've had a 2 month head start of exposure over your competitors!
This brings us to step number two:
Create a super-powered follow up strategy without being too pushy.
You'll want to provide the quote to the consumer as quickly as possible so they have all the information they need to make a sound decision. Think about it like this.... when you go shopping and walk into a store, most people are greeted with "Hi there, let me know if I can help you with anything". Now think about a time when that same kind introduction was followed up with them following behind you asking you every few minutes if you need anything, or have any questions?
This happens more time in phone sales than we may want to admit, however nothing loses a client faster than hounding them. When you have a consumer who maybe not ready to buy today, we all know that setting a follow-up call helps along the sales process, but also sets up the expectation that you will do your part without being too pushy.
Remember that lead from 2 months ago that you've stayed in contact? If you've been having a good follow up strategy, the time has come to close the business, but now because of the relationship you've built, you've found out about other insurable interests that you can write a multi-line policy! Patience pays off.
In fact, we have seen that often times many leads and calls will actually close on the 6th-10th day after being submitted as a lead.
Now for the Inside Scoop...
Now for the inside scoop, direct from a marketers mouth. I have worked with insurance agents and brokers nationwide for over 7 years, and in that time, I have been lucky enough to meet some incredible agents but even more so some of the most talented sales people of my life. One of the most shocking comments I ever heard at a trade show was "I don't return leads because each of them are an opportunity!"
Think about that for a second. Imagine never returning a lead or call (despite it not being exactly what you were looking for) for fear of missing out on an opportunity. While a brazen statement, it's not as far fetched as you think...
Assume you work with any modern lead or call vendor. The likely scenario is that you are working with a vendor who not only generates their own internal traffic, but also traffic from different advertisers. Now these advertisers use all sorts of methods to get consumers to call in. Some are amazing, legitimate, and accurate on filters. But some may not be so great and offer some scam promotion to get the consumer to fill out the form. Yes, it is the job of your provider to find you people actually shopping, however if your vendor does it then becomes the responsibility of that agent to turn that interested person into a loyal client.
Often times, consumers see a commercial or hear something from a friend or neighbor about an insurance company, and like an ear worm the consumer gets stuck thinking that is the ONLY agency that can help them. As someone using a lead source, you need to remember that each lead or call is an opportunity with someone who is looking for a product similar to yours.
Each Lead is an Opportunity
So yes, while you might get a call or lead that misses their continuous coverage filter by a month or two, or maybe they have an at-fault accident rolling off their record in 4 months, but each lead is an opportunity. If you're looking to grow your business, it doesn't happen all at once, but slowly over time.
Sure, you might pay for a lead or call today that doesn't close, but maybe they do next week, or the week after that, or even 6 months from now. It happens more than you think because we've seen it as marketers. But keep in mind that those who come in with a winning attitude about the lead generation process may get a "bad" lead today, but with a little care and nurturing it will turn into your sale tomorrow.
I know fatigue of lead gen companies exists, but also realize their are passionate marketers out there whose sole job is to see your success. When you tap into the lifeblood of lead generation, do it in a way where each and every lead is an opportunity and in no time you'll end up closing 95% of your leads.
Tell us what you think! How do you handle your leads? Any tricks that you do that others might learn from? We want to hear from you!