Finding leads is important whether you’re a new insurance broker or someone who has worked in insurance sales for years. Leads are a big part of the insurance business – and a likely key influencer in your personal sales success.
If you don’t have leads, you could struggle to stay on track for your production goals. Your business volume could fall off as your customers move, pass away, or choose to go elsewhere for their insurance needs, whatever the reason.
Leads are particularly important for those just starting out because you may not have already developed a book of business, a process for nurturing leads, or a network for sharing them.
With that in mind, let’s look at some tried and true methods for insurance brokers to get leads.
Spreading the word about yourself and your insurance business will certainly help you attract new customers (and maintain existing customers, too). Proven ways to self-promote include going to insurance-related networking events and hosting events on your own. These could include insurance seminars, monthly lunch-and-learns (or breakfast-and-learns), speaking at local events such as a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, or taking part in service organizations like Rotary or the Lions Club.
Networking events can help you meet others engaged in insurance who may specialize in (or target) markets that differ from your own. Examples include health care professionals like pharmacists, doctors, or others who may regularly see individuals who have a need for or are shopping for health insurance. If you build a rapport with these professionals, you may find you can share or trade leads with them.
Hosting your own events will also help you establish credibility as a go-to health care and health insurance expert. That, potentially, can enable you to build a pipeline for future referrals. Be sure to distribute a “comment card” where attendees can write in the name, address, and phone number of others who could benefit by attending a future event. Or, encourage them to “bring a guest” to your next event.
Do You Have A Website?
If you’re not already online, get there ASAP. If you are online, you can improve your site by adding quality content. That will help you “be found” when prospects are searching online for information about insurance. Consider the addition of industry influencers to your site to generate traffic and enhance your online social media – particularly LinkedIn.
Be sure your site includes a “Request for Information” to make it easy for prospects (or existing clients) to ask questions. The more you do to build your online reputation, the more likely leads will follow.
Revisit Old Leads
If you’re new to the business, you may not have “old” leads. But if you’ve been in the business more than six months, you may have spoken with someone months ago who merits follow-up. There may be a dozen reasons why a prospect from last year didn’t decide to buy. But if your lead was during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (October to December) or the Affordable Care Act annual open enrollment period (November to January), you can try again this year. Rates filed for the public exchanges are up for 2018, so there may be a lot more comparison shopping this year. That presents you with new sales opportunities.
Ask for Referrals
Don’t forget your current customers could be a source of referrals or additional business. Don’t be afraid to ask. Consider setting up a referral program that offers a monthly reward. (All of those who give you a lead are entered into a drawing for dinner or another prize.)
Stay ahead of your clients’ needs. For example, you could know someone approaching Medicare eligibility who needs to shop for a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan. Or, there may be a new business coming to your neighborhood that needs to shop for employee coverage. You could know someone whose spouse needs to shop for a new individual plan because of a loss of employer-sponsored coverage. Your ongoing, quality customer support can significantly affect your future referrals and word-of-mouth lead generation.
If you’re working in partnership with a general agent, additional resources may be available to help you, such as direct mail services or discounted lead lists.
If you’re considering the purchase of leads, the broker newsletter LifeHealthPRO (now a part of ThinkAdvisor) suggests you ask a few questions in evaluating a lead-generation firm:
• How long has the company been in business? (Longer is better; 10+ years is good.)
• Do any of your peers or agency colleagues use the company? (What’s their experience been?)
• Does the company take part in industry publications, forums, and events?
• Does the organization offer training to help you nurture and close leads?
Price is certainly a consideration in selecting a lead resource, but quality is more important.