Insurance Leads Blog

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Find a Niche To Help You Sell Life Insurance

Life insurance is a competitive market and it has gotten very difficult for individual agents to compete in this growing field. Major insurance companies dominate search engine ads and have driven up prices on ad placements. This makes it almost impossible for your average life insurance agent to compete. There are ways for insurance agents to find life insurance leads that slip through the cracks. Agents must find a niche in the life insurance sector to focus on. This will help the agent narrow down their scope and allow them to compete for online insurance leads that may otherwise be dominated by big corporations and aggregators.

Some good niche ideas for life insurance agents

The following target markets are one's that we have observed agents using around the United States. There was no scientific research done as to which ones work the best or which ones provide the best quality of lead. This depends a lot on the type(s) of life insurance products the agent can sell and the application process available. For example, an agent that cannot fill out an application online might not be able to do business via email or, for that matter, by phone.

1. Diabetic life insurance leads - If the agent can sell life insurance with a company that looks more favorably on people who have diabetes , they will be able to market to this sector and compete on Google Adwords. Specific pay-per-click keywords like "diabetic life insurance" are cheaper than broad ones like "life insurance quote". An agent dealing primarily with diabetics can set themselves up as the local specialist in this field. This can help advisors stand out in the plethora of local life insurance agents.

2. Cancer life insurance leads - People who have had cancer sometimes find it hard to get life insurance. Some agents specialize in helping this type of client. Once again the success of this niche relies on the agents ability to sell a certain type of policy. If the agent can sell a guaranteed life policy they can insure a client who might otherwise have been denied by other companies.

3. Burial/Funeral life insurance leads - Many people are just looking for life insurance to help them pay for the funeral and burial costs of a loved one who has passed. While these types of final expense policies do not generate huge commissions, they can be a great way of getting your foot in the door with a family. Once you have done business with a client they are more likely to come back to you when they need something else, say an annuity.

4. Mortgage protection life insurance leads - Research shows that when people are buying their first home, or any home for that matter, they will do hours of research online. This is where a life insurance lead could fall through the cracks. Lets say you advertise for a keyword such as "mortgage insurance", which is much cheaper than other life insurance keywords. By using this keyword you can generate life insurance leads online without blowing your marketing budget. When someone is searching for mortgage information they might come across your ad on a site and inquire about the product.

These are just a few examples to give agents an idea of how they can generate online life insurance leads inexpensively by picking a niche to specialize in. You can use almost any type of medical condition as a target market as well as countless others.

So how can one tell what niche might be beneficial for their business in their particular geographic area. A quick and easy to do this is to simply google certain niches in your area. If you find that there are already other agents who have cornered the market in your desired niche you will have to pick a different sector to focus on. Do not get discouraged if you have trouble finding your ideal niche. It will take time to establish yourself as the go-to-guy for your niche market, but once you do you will be able to generate quality leads on the web.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Are You Selling Insurance Over the Phone? You Should Be.

It boggles my mind the number of agents I talk to who refuse to sell insurance over the phone. I completely understand that it is beneficial for many agents to sell insurance face-to-face to begin to build a relationship with the client(s). However, what about the people who do not want to meet in person. You should be ready for these types of leads, even if you are generating leads on you own. Selling life insurance over the phone can increase your annual sales and the ROI of your insurance leads.

Lets take a look at some actual numbers that might open you eyes to the benefit of selling insurance over the phone. This data was collected from an insurance agent who uses our aged life insurance leads for his marketing.

The agent buys 100 life insurance leads a month. He calls them, emails them, and sends the interested prospects marketing material thru the US mail. The agent makes, on average, 5-10 sales, per month with these leads. Of those sales only 1-3 are done in the office or at the client's home. The remaining sales are all done over the phone and email. This may or may not be surprising to you, but take a look at the actual commission that would have been lost if this agent refused to do business over the phone.

Average commission per sale $420

3 Sales per month in office. 3 Sales X $420 = $1,260 in commission.

5 Sales per month over the phone. 5 Sales X $420 = $2,100 in commission.

Total life insurance commissions per month $3,360.

If the agent did not make sales of life insurance over the phone he would potentially lose out on $2,100 of commissions. This is huge if you add this up for the entire year. Granted, there is a better opportunity to cross-sell insurance products in the office, but some people will refuse to come to your office. If you are not convinced I suggest you try this on your own. Do some research by trying to sell insurance over the phone for those clients who do not want to come into your office. I would bet you come up with similar ratios as we did in the example above.

I am not saying that you must only sell insurance over the phone (even though this can be done). I am simply saying that a successful agent will be able to do this. The first thing you must do is make sure you have a reliable fast way to take an application over the phone. I know for life insurance there are some carriers that have online application that can be filled out by the agent or client and E-signed by both. This allows for a very streamlined way of submitting new business.

There are several obstacles that you must overcome if you want to consistently sell insurance via the telephone.

Getting pass the Gatekeepers. This is the first thing you will have to do to even be able to make your sales pitch. Gatekeepers could be a secretary, family member or colleague of the person you are trying to sell insurance too. Gatekeepers should be your friend. If you treat them with respect they will reciprocate.

Evasive Decision Makers. This can be troubling, but you must not let it get you down. Assume that your prospect will vanish, occasionally during the sales process. Have a plan in place to overcome this obstacle.

Voicemail Messages. You must expect to get the prospects voicemail before you even dial the number. Jot down a few sentences about what you want to say before you call. This will help you leave a clear message. Make sure you speak clearly and repeat the key points of your message. You do not want your message to be too long or you will most likely be cut off by the machine. Also, try to avoid leaving messages on Friday as people will tend to forget come Monday.

When you actually speak with the prospect make sure to use as custom opener that grabs their attention. The first few words to the client are crucial. A good opening statement will hook the client and leave them wanting to know more. You will know if you have a good or bad opening statement by the number of "clicks" or "not interested comments" you get.

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Do not do this to the point of badgering the client, but make sure they remember you. If you have to use the old cold calling Rolodex system then do so. There is also new computer software that will help manage these leads. Email is another great way to follow up so you do not call the lead too much.

The final close over the phone should be relatively easy. They are either going to want to do it or not. This is a little different then a in office meeting where it might take some more tact. Remember, over the phone sales are transactional. This is not a bad thing. Get those people as clients and they might eventually come into your office where you can begin some better relationship building skills. First, just work on getting them as clients whether that is by phone or office.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Return of the Online Insurance Lead

When you talk to lead generation companies they will all tell you that the future for insurance marketing is in online insurance leads. They will tell you that younger adults do their shopping on the web. I do not disagree with this statement, but these same lead generation companies have not done the best in gaining the trust of online insurance shoppers. When companies first started generating insurance leads online the quality was fairly high. This is due to the fact most were retrieving leads via online ads on Google and Yahoo and only selling them once or twice. Since those beginning days the industry has taken a drastic downturn. Leads started being sold to 10-12 agents. Consumers were being bombarded with 10-20 calls a day in regards to their quote inquiry. Can you imagine if a major company like Amazon or Walmart badgered their consumer base like this. It would be their end. Unfortunately, nobody was or is policing the lead industry. All (or should I say most) of the companies do not have the agent's or the customer's best interest at heart.  However, there may be great changes coming. Lately, there have been whispers of better leads to come. Lead verification companies have started popping up around the web. Could these companies usher in the return of the online insurance lead?

Slowly, even the major insurance companies are implementing lead verification systems. These systems allow for good leads to pass thru to agents while filtering out poor quality leads such as duplicates, wrong numbers, and incorrect IP addresses. One of the companies leading the way in this reform is the website LeadID. I spoke a little about LeadID in a past post "LeadID Is Bringing the Word "Trust" Back To The Insurance Lead Industry". Their proprietary technology allows for buyers and sellers to come together in a trusted environment. They do not expose buyers, but simply allow for them to make real-time decisions based upon "origin and history flags" that are predetermined.

TrustedForm is another website dedicated to lead certification. In fact they take it a step further and provide custom forms that companies can implement with their own websites to assure that leads are coming from one source. Think of this type of lead verification as taking a snap shot at the time the lead is created. Along with the customers data, the TrustedForm form will collect and store data such as IP address, Geographic location, browser, page URL, visit date & time, as well as the path the user took to get to the form. This is really amazing stuff for anyone who really cares about lead quality.

So what does this mean for agents?

Well simply put, it means expect better leads. I have started suggesting that insurance agents ask about lead verification before buying leads from a company. If they are reputable they will tell you that they are using a lead verification service. Do not let them fool you however, by claiming to have their own verification system in place. This can be done, but to me it seems much safer to use an unbiased third party to do this. In house verification leaves the door open for possible fraud and though we like to think of companies as being truthful, time and time again they disappoint us.

Will this affect the price of a real-time insurance lead?

To my knowledge, prices of real-time leads will stay the same. It does cost money for these companies to use lead verification software, but the added value of quality leads will reduce the amount of returned leads and therefore offset the expense. This means agents will not be asking for credit for as many bad leads so the lead companies will not have to spend extra marketing dollars to make up for those returned leads.

Why did it take this long for insurance lead companies to turn things around?

In my opinion, there were to main reasons lead companies did not hold themselves accountable for producing a quality insurance lead. First, most were greedy. This sounds harsh, but profit was a big reason lead companies allowed bogus leads to go to agents. The second reason, to be fair, was that good verification technology was not available at that time. For instance, LeadID has only been around since 2011. I am not saying this is an excuse for companies to produce poor quality leads, but it does play a factor in why lead quality suffered over the past few years. Affiliates new they could get away with generating false leads because there was no technology to catch them.

I truly hope this return of the quality online insurance will carry on to the future. Sure, there will still be affiliates who find ways to get past verification systems, but hopefully these technology companies can adapt and produce updates that will stave off as many as possible. As an agent who used to buy a great amount of internet leads each year, it is exciting thinking about once again getting quality leads. I will enjoy speaking with prospects who are actually wanting a quote or information. I expect this return to will be slow, but I think things are heading in the right direction. To my fellow agents, good luck and may good leads be with you.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Insurance Agents Should Go To LeadsCon

Twice a year the who's who of the lead industry meet for a conference called Leads Con. The first conference is held in Las Vegas in the Spring and the second takes place in the summer in New York City. Keep in mind, these conferences are geared for lead companies as well as other marketing organizations, but insurance agents and agencies can benefit greatly from attending one of these seminars.

So why should an insurance agent spend the money and take the time to attend LeadsCon?

First, there are several of the top insurance lead companies that have booths in the Expo Hall. Here you will be able to communicate with sales reps as well as a few executives. Try to go to exhibits of companies you have purchased leads from as well as ones you are unfamiliar with. When you visit the booths, carry with you a pen and pad to take notes. Introduce yourself and ask them all the questions that have been on your mind for which you have never received answers to. They will be more inclined to speak transparently about the details of their business in this environment. Inquire about special offers they will be running in the future as well as price changes that may affect your business. Dig deep and do not be afraid to ask tough questions.

Second, look for new marketing opportunities within the conference. There is a plethora of small to medium sized lead companies looking for new business. It would be beneficial to stop by some of these smaller booths to see what they have to offer. You might be surprised by some of the new innovative technology that is out there. Types of companies range from lead management systems to email marketing to direct mail. If nothing else LeadsCon will open your eyes to all sorts of new possibilities in insurance lead generation.

Third, there will be great informative executives speaking at LeadsCon. In the past, there have been CEO's from top insurance lead companies as well as executives from other types of lead corporations. These speakers are great! It is by far the best part of the conference, in my opinion. It is good to hear from companies in other areas of lead generation besides insurance. Sometimes you learn of marketing ideas that may not have been tried for insurance lead generation. Listen closely to all the speakers and you might just learn a thing or too.

Last, attend LeadsCon to give yourself piece of mind when you decide to use a certain lead gen company. You can meet with companies, put faces to names, and eliminate the unknown aspect about buying leads from a company. It is one thing to read over a lead gen company's website or speak with a sales rep over the phone, but it is a totally different feeling when you can sit down with a company and go over everything at length.

I suggest that you try to set up branch off meetings with a few of the insurance lead companies that you are interested in doing business with. You could meet for lunch or simply pull a sales rep aside to ask questions.

Pricing for these conference can get a little expensive (anywhere form $695 - $1,195 depending on when you sign up), but if you are in need of a lead generation company it is well worth your money. Plus, you can tally the expenses up to your insurance business for tax purposes.

Helpful info: If you are currently buying leads from a company that will be attending LeadsCon, ask about Exhibitor Invitee Program. Sometimes these companies can get discounts for their clients and prospects.

Also, if you currently work for an insurance company, ask your superior directly to see if they will pay for your trip. I have heard of companies doing this before.

2014 Leads Con Exhibitor List

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Real Example of How To Get Endless Free Insurance Leads

It seems that for insurance agents the New Year can go in two different directions, either fast out the gates or lagging behind. You do not want to be the agent twiddling their thumbs at the beginning of the year waiting for clients to call you. If your current marketing budget is limited, but you still need to find a source of insurance leads then you might consider the Endless Free Lead system from Leads To Insure.

Most agents are familiar with insurance lead companies offering a one time bonus for new agents, but this is only beneficial for the first few leads. Some of these companies even force you to commit to buying a certain number of leads in order to receive the up-front bonus. This is not the case with the Endless Free Lead system. Agents who sign up with Leads To Insure will be given the option of paying for their leads as they come in or funding their account and receiving  a 20% bonus each time.

Let's break down the numbers and compare up-front bonuses to the Endless Free Lead plan.

Let's assume you are buying life insurance leads at $15 per lead. (Note: As of January 22, 2014 this is the price for a life insurance lead with Leads To Insure.)

Lead Company X offers 15 free leads if you agree to buy $200 worth of leads in the first month. Leads To Insure offers a 20% bonus on any deposit amount, for an unlimited amount of times, with no commitment.

So, at $15 per lead with Lead Company X you will get $225 worth of free leads. Then you must continue to buy insurance leads until you have spent $200 worth of leads in one month.

This means you get 28.3 leads for $200 or $7.06 per lead. This is pretty good if you only need 28 leads, but most agents need a constant stream of leads. Lets say you continue to use them for another 11 months buying $200 in leads each month. By the end of that year you will have received 174.96 leads and spent a total $2,400 for those leads. This comes out to $13.75 per life insurance lead.

Now lets compare that to Leads To Insure.

Lets also say you also spend $200 for insurance leads each month for 12 months with Leads To Insure. The leads cost is also $15. Each time you add money to your account you will be given a 20% bonus. Each month you will receive a $40 bonus and by the end of the 1st year you will have received a total of $480 in bonuses.

For the same $2,400 you get 192 leads after 12 months. This figures to be $12.79 per lead.

The bottom line

1. You will get $255 more in one year with Leads To Insure than you will get with Lead Company X.

2. You will get 17 more leads in one year with Leads To Insure than you will get with Lead Company X.

3. You have no commitment with Leads To Insure unlike Lead Company X who requires you to buy a certain amount of leads.

The goal of the Endless Free Lead program is to reward insurance agents and agencies who are loyal. If you are only looking to get some quick free leads then this is not the company for you. If, however, you desire a company that will continue to reward you for using their service than Leads To Insure is a good fit.

The longer you stay with Leads To Insure the better the Endless Free Lead system becomes.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Insurance Agents Should Spend Their Tax Return

Believe it or not tax season is here. In fact, I am already seeing H&R Block TV ads everyday. I hope every one's balance sheet has treated them well and that everyone is due for a big refund. I sure hope I am.

Before you get your heart set on buying that big screen consider what that tax return could do for your insurance business. Here are some great ideas to better use those refunds.

1. Maintenance Your Vehicle

If you use your vehicle on a daily basis to get to and from sales meetings than you know your vehicle can experience some harsh wear and tear; door dings, cracked windshield, worn breaks just to name a few. This important piece of an insurance agents business can often get overlooked.

Depending on the state of your vehicle and the amount your receive back from taxes, you should look into investing in your vehicles maintenance. Look into fixing mechanical issues as well as cosmetic damage sustained throughout the year.

Consider the following before sending your car to the shop:

  1. Brakes
  2. Oil
  3. Anti-freeze/Coolant
  4. Door dings/scrapes
  5. Cracked windows
  6. Steering alignment
  7. Cleanliness of your vehicle

The cleanliness of your vehicle is very important. You do not want clients to see you driving around in a car covered in grease and grime. 

Also, I give you permission to buy a new car if your car is falling apart.

2. New Suits / Work clothes

If you are honest with yourself, you will probably admit to needing a wardrobe upgrade. During the year there is not much time for an insurance agent to think about shopping for new clothes. As an business man or woman your appearance is important. People feel more comfortable doing business with someone who looks the part.
Whether you buy a new suit or just some new dress slacks/skirts or dress shirts, your tax return money could go to good use by investing in a new wardrobe. 

Guy Hint: Take you spouse or significant other.

3. Give Your Office A Makeover

Once again this is something that often gets overlooked by insurance agents. I realize that some captive agents are limited to what their home office will allow, but there are still things that can be done to enhance the appearance of the office.

First decide what, in your office, needs updated the most. Here are some items in your office to consider updating if needed.
  1. Computer or Software
  2. Desks
  3. Chairs - This one can be important for you and your staff. It is not always about comfort. Make sure the chair is good for the spine. Countless hours are logged in these office chairs so they must be high quality.
  4. Carpet
  5. Wall color - painting the walls or installing new carpet can make your office look brand new.
  6. Fresh plants- it is always a good idea to have fresh oxygen floating around the office. They look nice too.
  7. Sign - check with your back office, but a new sign can call attention to your office.
  8. Music - this is optional and I realize it is not for everyone, but if your office is lacking excitement music can lift the spirits like none other.
4. New Website

I spoke a little about websites in a past blog, New Years Resolutions for Insurance Agents, but believe it is important to address here. If you do not have a website or if your website is out-of-date is important to get a website or update your current one. Your tax return could be a perfect solution if you are needing funds to accomplish this.

Some insurance agent's websites are managed by their home office which is great. That saves them money. For those of you who have to handle this task on your own it might be worth spending some money on allowing a professional to update your site. This way you know your funds are going to good use. These professional web masters will know how to make changes to your site to make it more visible on search engines. If a potential client Google's your name you want your website to be the first to pop up. 

5. Charity

Not much to say hear except charity goes a long way in the community. Whatever you do, don't give to charity for the publicity. Do it out of the kindness of your own heart. People will realize what you have done without you bragging about it.

6. Try A New Marketing Method

If you know of a certain marketing method that you have been wanting to try, but have not had the extra cash to try it, now is you chance. When you get your return use it to put money towards a new marketing system. If I had to recommend one, I would say online insurance leads. I know some of you are saying "I've tried those already." Well in my opinion, online insurance leads are going to make a comeback this year. 

There are awesome new services out their that are helping increase the quality of Internet driven insurance leads. 

We hope that you give us a chance to earn your insurance lead business.

7. Take A Vacation

Trust me...your an insurance agent... you've earned it! Take the wife and kids somewhere special. There are a lot of great deals during the winter months. Maybe somewhere warm?

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Like Us on Facebook for a 40% Lead Bonus


1. Like Us on our Facebook page.
2. Sign up for your free agent profile on our website
3. Add funds to your account.
4. We will give you a 40% bonus.

Example: Fund your account with $100 and we will add $40 giving you a total balance of $140.

We also offer Endless Free Leads. Receive a 20% bonus in leads each time you fund your account. Minimum deposit of $10.