The hardest part of business for a life insurance agent is finding good leads. No matter if you know life insurance inside and out and can explain the nuances of your product with impeccable clarity, you cannot survive as an agent without leads. Additionally, if finding leads was not challenging enough, there is the fact the life insurance market is notoriously saturated. Hundreds upon hundreds of agents compete for the attention of precious few qualified prospects. Getting in front of these prospects before your competition finds them is vital if you want a lucrative, long-term career in this business.
The good news is numerous methods exist for finding life insurance leads. As for which of these methods is best, the answer depends on the individual agent. Different lead generation methods are going to work better for you than others based on your local market, level of competition, sales style and the niche you are targeting. The following methods represent the best ideas to consider for finding life insurance leads. Below each method is a description of how it works, along with its pros and cons.
Company Life Insurance Leads
Perhaps the easiest way to assure yourself of a steady lead flow as an agent is to work for a company that provides its reps with leads. Many life insurance agencies use the promise of leads to entice prospective agents during the recruiting process. While the idea of not having to prospect for business on your own is alluring, the pictures companies paint about their lead programs are almost always more attractive than the reality.
Working for a company that provides sales leads offers several benefits. First, you do not have to risk your own money on leads that might not convert to sales. Companies that offer leads typically do so without charging agents up-front fees. Second, not having to compare lead providers and lead costs frees up more of your day to do what actually makes you money: contacting prospects and selling them life insurance. Lastly, because your employer is the one spending money on these leads, it has a vested interest in you closing as many of them as possible. This means the company is much more likely to provide support and assistance if you encounter difficulty in the sales process.
However, the fact that company leads have no up-front charges does not mean you do not pay for them. When you receive leads from your employer, the company almost always lowers your commission in exchange. If you are just starting out and you have shaky sales skills, this might be a good deal for you; paying for leads on your own could cause you to burn through your money quickly before earning any significant commissions. For good salespeople, however, company leads tend to cost more in forfeited commissions than what they would pay up front for third-party leads.
Company leads also have a reputation for being old and worked to death. The turnover rate at most life insurance agencies is astronomical. The average new agent lasts less than 90 days. When an agent quits, the company reclaims his leads and often redistributes them to the next batch of new agents. By the time you get your hands on a company lead, it is possible that it has been called already by a half-dozen or more ex-agents.
If your company does not provide leads, or if it does but you are not happy with the quality, third-party companies exist whose sole business is selling leads to life insurance agents. The way it usually works is you give the company your zip code, how far you are willing to travel to meet with prospects and how many leads you want to order. You pay up front, and the company gives you a stack of leads within your specified geographic boundaries.
The biggest benefit of buying third-party leads is the lead provider, unlike an employer that provides leads, does not take a hefty chunk of your commissions in exchange. For a salesperson with a high closing rate, the lead cost becomes a small fraction of the commissions he earns. Another benefit offered by most lead generation companies is the ability to specify lead attributes such as age, income and desired benefit amount. Some companies offer the choice between exclusive leads, which means they are only sold to you, and nonexclusive leads, which means they also get sold to other agents. Exclusive leads are much more expensive, but you have less competition for their business. (For related reading, see: Want to Sell Life Insurance? Read This First.)
The main drawback with third-party leads is the risk. You pay for them up front, which means if you do not sell any of them, you effectively have a negative paycheck for the week. New agents who have not yet honed their sales skills are particularly susceptible to this risk.
Finding Prospects on LinkedIn
To acquire new customers from LinkedIn, you have to know how to use the site to its full capabilities.
Make Your Profile Robust
You want your profile to stand out. By the time a person is done reading it, he should feel like he knows you as a person and a professional, even if he has never met you. First, upload a picture that exemplifies you as a professional. This means no beach pictures, no pictures with friends and certainly no selfies. While you do not need a glamour shot or a top-dollar photographer, you should pay the small fee to have a professional headshot from a reputable studio.
Next, take the time to write a thoughtful summary. Your summary section should provide rich details about your professional background. This is where you tell visitors who you are, why you got into life insurance sales and what you have accomplished in the field. Without a thoughtful summary, many visitors do not continue scrolling to read the specifics of your job history. (For related reading, see: 7 Top Ways to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile.)
Speaking of job history, do not simply list job titles and dates of employment. This section should read like a resume, with bullet points highlighting your accomplishments in each position, but make your writing more casual and conversational. This does not mean devolve into text-speak, but you want your visitors to feel like they are having a conversation with you over coffee, not reading a boring rundown of your professional accomplishments.
Do Not Simply Join Groups, Engage
The site’s group search function allows you to find groups related to your industry, your college and even your hobbies. Simply joining these groups is not going to build your network or get you leads. By joining the discussion and contributing thoughtful comments, you gain the trust of others in the group and establish yourself as an industry expert. When you are considered an expert, professionals in related fields feel confident sending business your way; having someone like you in their network makes them look good by extension.
Offer Your Knowledge for Free
The LinkedIn forums provide a place where you can offer industry advice to those searching for it. Make use of this function, but do not come across like a pushy salesman. As you answer more questions and contribute more knowledge, you can expect people to contact you for help based on the expertise you have shown.
Maintain Relationships With Your Contact List
If the only time you contact the people on your list is when specifically asking for leads or referrals, you are doing LinkedIn wrong. Reach out to those on your list when they need help with something, or simply to say hello, wish a happy birthday or congratulate on a recent promotion. When these contacts have life insurance business to refer, they are most likely to send it to the agent with whom they enjoy the most active and meaningful relationship.
Watch for Important Life Changes
Sometimes a seemingly trivial social media post can provide an important cue that a person needs your services as a life insurance agent. Take the ever-present sonogram picture, for example. A new arrival signals a huge increase in a person’s financial burden over the next 18 years. This is an ideal time to reach out to this contact, once again in a non-pushy tone, congratulate him on the big news and let him know you are there for anything he needs. (For related reading, see: Implementing a Small Business Social Media Strategy.)
Networking With Other Professionals
Networking with other professionals provides a great way to procure life insurance leads without cold calling, relying on overworked company leads or spending your own money. Most cities have networking groups where professionals from different industries meet on a weekly or monthly basis to socialize, trade marketing strategies and refer business to each other. These groups are often diverse. Your networking group might feature a personal injury lawyer, a tax accountant, a chiropractor, a personal trainer, a plumber, a physical therapist and you, a life insurance agent.
Suppose the personal trainer in your networking group is guiding a client through a set of bicep curls when the client makes an offhanded comment about a recent medical scare, and then says his kids would not be able to afford college if he were gone. The tax accountant might be helping a client with retirement budgeting when the client casually mentions his savings are insufficient for a proper burial. If the networking group functions like it is supposed to, both of these professionals have your business card on hand and use the opportunity to recommend your services to their clients who obviously need them. In exchange, when one of your clients comments about needing a plumber or wanting to get in shape, you return the favor by recommending a group member. (For related reading, see: 10 Tips for Strategic Networking.)
1. Raffle off an Apple TV — If you’re participating at a local community event, raffle off an Apple TV. Collect people’s information on the raffle forms and boom! There’s your leads. Why an Apple TV? It’s an Apple product so you’ll look cool and modern. They cost under $100. And they’re not as popular as an iPod or iPad so some people will be intrigued enough to strike up a conversation about what it does.
2. Internet Leads — Of course internet leads are frustrating and expensive but there’s no easier way to contact people who are shopping for insurance right now. I recommend using several lead providers while tracking your close and contact rates. That’s the only way to know for sure which ones have the best leads in your area. There’s a ton of sketchy lead companies out there so be careful — Here are the best:
All Web Leads
3. In-House Telemarketing — Don’t make the mistake I see a lot of agents make with in-house telemarketing by having one person do it all day long. I’ve seen a lot of good producers get burnt out that way. It’s more sustainable and productive to have your producers telemarket for an hour or two each day at the best times of the day.
4. Lunch Table Quotes — If you know anyone who works at a company with lots of employees, ask them if you can setup a quoting table in their workplace cafeteria. Make it clear that you’re not going to pressure or interrupt any of their employees, but you’ll setup a table and a sign advertising free quotes for anyone who wants to save money. Pitch it like you’re doing them a favor, not the other way around.
5. Criss Cross Directories — There are companies that specialize in developing accurate contact information for everyone who lives near your agency. There’s a list or service for just about every type of insurance you might be wanting to sell, or just get the contact info for everyone in the zip codes you care most about. Here’s two of the biggest companies in the space, Cole Information, Haines
6. Insurance Website Bible Book — If you haven’t read The Insurance Website Marketing Bible yet you’re missing out on a great FREE resource for insurance agents. It’s a FREE book you can download with a bunch of great ideas for marketing your website and there’s an entire chapter devoted to lead generation. If you haven’t read it already download your free copy here.
7. Get Old Leads From Agencies that are Closing — If you know an agent shutting down their agency or selling it over to someone else, ask if they have any old leads you could buy off them. Chances are decent they won’t care since they’re leaving the industry and may be open to a fair cash offer. While you’re at it, make sure to ask what’s happening to their phone number. You might be able to make an offer for that too, and forward it to your line…. just a thought.
referrals-from-accountants8. Fishbowls — Yup, I said it… fishbowls. Talk with other local businesses, especially those that are really close to your agency and offer to pay for the cost of a gift certificate to their store once a week or month if they collect business cards for the drawing and give you the contact information. Or just offer to convert the leads onto a spreadsheet for the other business owner in exchange for letting you have the information.
10. Get a Better Website — It’s hard enough getting people to your agency website, are they impressed when they get there? If your website isn’t clean and professional nobody’s going to trust you enough to call or request a quote online. It’s easy and cheap to get an impressive website for your agency nowadays so it’s time to upgrade your online presence.
10. New Home Purchases — In addition to home insurance, new homeowners are great targets for life insurance and other financial products. Since the transactions are public information it’s easily accessible. Your local government website might have the information or you can always look into a lead service that provides information like this. Just Google «new homeowners list».
11. Online Marketing — It’s hard to find a better place to generate leads nowadays than online but it can be challenging to manage all the different aspects through different vendors. There are online marketing companies that specialize in insurance agents who offer complete online marketing packages that include everything, website, SEO, social media, email, PPC, etc. You can save yourself a lot of time and amplify results with a full marketing package from one trustworthy company.
12. Marriage/Engagement Announcements — A lot people who get married or engaged put announcements in the local newspaper. These couples are the perfect target for insurance agents because they’re often looking for new policies like life or home but they’re also entering a new life stage and should be more receptive to conversations about the value of a trusted insurance agent.
13. Mailback Newspaper Inserts — I know some agents that swear by this lead gen tactic. Mailback cards are small postage paid postcards people can use to enter their contact information and drop it in the mailbox. There’s no stamp needed because the post office bills you for the postage. All the agents I knew who liked this idea were captive agents getting the cards for free so if you had to pay for the original printing I’m not sure if the payback is quite as worthwhile.
blank-business-cards-for-leads14. Email Your Clients — Is your agency sending out a monthly newsletter? If not you’re missing a great way to stay in contact with your customers and generate new leads. Each newsletter is a chance to ask for referrals and cross-sell new products to every single one of your clients. If you don’t have time to make a monthly newsletter check out this email newsletter service for insurance agents.
15. Exchange Leads with Other Local Businesses — I’m sure most of the local business owners around you would love to get their hands on your customer list for sales leads. Of course you aren’t going to give that out to anyone, but if you can find a few other local entrepreneurs you can trust who also have lists of their own, consider exchanging information.
16. Buy a List — You can buy a list of just about anything. Want the fax numbers of all the chiropractors in your state? Mailing addresses for all the beauty salons? Whatever you want, there’s a list company that’ll happily sell it to you. Infogroup is one of the biggest providers and I’m pretty confident about their data quality.
17. Live Quotes on Your Website – You already know that people want to shop online for insurance, but can your website provide live quotes? In our experience here at InsuranceSplash, live quoting on your website works best for products that don’t need to ask too many questions to generate a fair price. Our website clients have had great results for life insurance especially. If you’re considering adding live quoting functionality to your site Check out NinjaQuoter. We’ve worked with just about all the online raters and they seem to have the highest converting forms out there.
18. Hire a Telemarketing Company — Why not leave it to the experts? The beauty of hiring a telemarketing company is that they often can provide the scripts, the phone numbers, the training and everything else and all you need to do is pay for the leads. The best leads are those that can be warm transferred so it’s highly recommended to only pay for telemarketing done on your behalf during the times when someone in your office can take over the call.
19. Your Facebook News Feed — I’m not saying your news feed is the place to go when you need to make a sale today, but if you’re an avid Facebook user and you pay attention you’ll realize that your news feed is full of sales opportunities. People having babies, getting married, buying cars, houses, and other cool stuff that needs insurance.
20. Pay Per Click Ads — Pay-per-click ads are the results you see above the normal results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing. They’re not always cheap in the insurance industry, but you bid against other insurance agencies for the traffic so the prices are generated by the market. For generating leads, it’s best to send the traffic to a squeeze page — a page focused on collecting the visitors information with no external links or anything else. (As opposed to sending traffic to your agency’s homepage). And if you need help running the ads work with an online advertising company that specializes in helping insurance agents.
camera-for-lead-gathering21. Networking Events — What do you call the 30 business cards in your hand at the end of a networking event? Leads. With any leads though, the key thing is your follow-up. I recommend using social media for most of your networking follow up since it’s quick and easily opens the doors to developing stronger relationships.
22. Sponsored Table List — Any time you’re sponsoring a table at a local community or business event ask the organizer for a list of all the attendees and the other sponsors. Of course the idea is to generate leads with the interactions you have, but if they might give you a list of everyone who shows up why not ask for it?
23. Hook Up With Accountants — A recommendation from an accountant is very powerful. It’s like your dentist recommending a toothbrush. It takes more than a casual relationship with an accountant to generate leads, but if you can gain their trust and help their business, accountants can be a really great source of leads. I know a couple agents who’ve grown considerable sized books almost exclusively from referrals from a close accountant friend so I know it can work.
24. Motorcycle Dealerships — They’re selling motorcycles, you sell insurance for motorcyles. I guess it’s a pretty good fit, right? Remember that motorcycle dealers don’t want you to pay them commission, they don’t want to help their clients get great coverage at affordable prices. They want to sell motorcycles. Make it easy for them to sell more motorcycles and they’ll like you. Offer to drive to their dealership within 20 minutes to write a new policy anytime they need the coverage to sell a motorcycle.
25. Referral Breakfast Group — There’s referral breakfast groups just about everywhere. If you haven’t been to one before here’s how it works. A bunch of entrepreneurs (only one per industry) get together once a week to discuss business, network, and give referrals to each other. The nice thing about being an insurance agent in one of these groups is that it’s pretty easy for other members to refer your service since everyone needs insurance. The taxidermist on the other hand…
26. Hire a Telemarketer — If you really want someone in your agency to be dialing out all day long, hire someone specifically for the purpose. When their expectations are appropriate right out of the gate you’ll have a much higher chance of success. Keep the hourly pay low but make sure to reward the generated leads and sales generously.
27. Alumni Database — Does your college or high school have an alumni database? If so it’s a great place to look for potential people to reach out to. Where I went to school they even let you search by industry, job title, and location so it could be a goldmine of leads for the right person.
referred-by-stamp28. Blank Business Cards — Ever run into someone that could be a great sales lead or referral source and they don’t have a business card to give you? What happens? Most likely nothing. Carry around a few blank business cards and a pen so you can write that person’s information down and put it in your wallet. I suppose you’d better be careful doing this with a member of the opposite sex. It could be easily misinterpreted!
29. Informational Whitepapers — A «Whitepaper» is basically just a informational report that is considered to have some value. If you want to collect the email addresses of a specific demographic or people in one industry you can create a simple landing page that offers the downloadable whitepaper in exchange for the visitor’s email address. Warning: Make sure the topic of your whitepaper is really REALLY enticing.
30. Facebook Ads — If done correctly, Facebook ads can be very affordable and extremely effective. The trick is that you can’t just go straight to offering a quote. People aren’t using Facebook to get insurance quotes and they know they can get a quote whenever they want to anyway. To generate leads with Facebook, offer something people would want in exchange for their information. If online marketing isn’t your expertise you can also work with a company that specializes in online ads for insurance agents.
31. Chamber of Commerce — Chambers of Commerce are great for networking events and meeting new members of the community, but they’re also great sources for leads. Many Chambers will give their members a contact list you can use to find all the other members but if that’s not possible check their website for an online directory. Even if you’re not a member you should be able to use the online direcctory of most Chamber websites to find local businesses.
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32. Cell Phone Camera — The camera in your cell phone is an awesome way to keep track of new leads. While you’re driving around or walking and you see a business that would be good to reach out to snap a picture of their storefront or work vehicle so you can read their contact information. If you really want to catch their attention send an email with the image attached. It’ll stand out.
33. Home Depot Parking Lot — If you’re looking for contact information of local contractors just drive over to Home Depot or Lowes early in the morning. Snap pictures of all the work trucks with their phone numbers on them. The beauty of this idea isn’t about getting the phone number. It’s about having a conversation starter when you call up the owner. «I saw your vehicle parked at Home Depot this morning…»
34. Cross Promotional Events — Throwing a special event just for your clients can be a daunting and expensive task. If you want to ease the burden and get a lot more leads, team up with another local business for a cross-promotional event. All the businesses involved (it could be several) invite their own clients and let the cross-pollination occur.
refer-a-friend-events35. Referred By Cards — Make up some simple «referred by» cards that you can give to your clients. You handwrite their name onto the cards and ask them to give them out to people they know who you can help. The key to this strategy is to educate your customer about who your perfect customer is. Although it’s counterintuitive, the more specific you are about your ideal referral the better results you’ll get.
36. LinkedIn Ads — LinkedIn has been growing pretty quickly lately and their ad platform has some cool features to it. The best aspect for using it to generate leads is the fact that you can target people by their job so if you’re looking for human resource managers of businesses with over 50 employees you can target those people. Send your traffic to a squeeze page to capture the lead’s information.
37. Real Estate Agents — For obvious reasons, real estate agents can be a big source of lead generation for insurance agents. Remember that real estate agents are just like you, the only thing they need to have more success is more leads! Give them leads and they’ll give them back to you. Based on the numbers, one insurance agency should be able to support several insurance agents in a situation like this.
38. Car Accident Claimants — The claimants are the people your customers hit with their car. Obviously its important that your customers are well taken care of throughout the claims process, but have you considered the sales opportunity that might exist for the other party involved? You could reach out to them the same way you would reach out to your customers or maybe just send some direct mail after the claim has been peacefully resolved.
39. Local Athlete Autograph Session — Is there a local star athlete that could draw a crowd? What about bringing in a few guys from the local minor league baseball team? Put something together for the kids and you’ll draw their parents as well. And raffle something off so you can collect Mom and Dad’s contact information.
40. Get More X-Dates — In my opinion, asking for x-dates is one of the most underutilized weapons in the insurance salesperson’s arsenal. The thing I love about asking for x-dates is that it’s not pushy. You’re telling the person, «I want to help you with your insurance, but only when it’s important to you». How could you be collecting more x-dates every day?
41. Audit Your Book — Auditing your book just means filtering your book of business down by certain factors to identify ideal customers to target specific products to. For most established agencies, there’s more insurance to be sold to your existing customer base than anywhere else. Some common things to look for would be: milestone birthdays, new vehicles, job change, policy anniversary, child in the house, single-line policies, etc.
42. Facebook Get a Quote Tab — With everything you’re already doing on Facebook to get more fans and improve engagement, shouldn’t people be able to fill out a quote form right there on Facebook? Of course they should. If you don’t have an app from your carrier or a developer to help you with it, use an app like this to create a simple quote form.
search-engine-optimization-for-lead-gen43. Host a Webinar — Offering valuable informtion in the form of an online webinar is a great way to generate leads from the people who sign up. This is especially useful with commercial insurance because its even easier to develop educational content for a specific audience but you could do it for anyone as long as you’re able to put together interesting and valuable material.
44. Bring-a-Friend Event — Host a special event like a free movie or party that people will want to attend with the stipulation that entry is free for anyone who brings a friend. Collect the friend’s information including who brought them, and not only do you have a new lead, you have a new referred lead.
45. Live Chat on Website — How many people do you think visit your website but never contact you in any way? Believe it or not, the average insurance agent website never hears from more than 4 out of 5 visitors! Offering a live chat feature can engage a few more people that don’t want to pick up the phone or give away their email address. Just make sure you can have someone ready to chat!
46. Table at Community Events — Anytime there’s an opportunity to show your face at a local community event you, or someone from your agency, should be there. Invest in a nice cloth banner you can drape over the table with your logo on it and give away lots of free swag. Have something to raffle or give away in exchange for leads.
47. Apartment Complexes — I know renter’s insurance doesn’t bring in the big bucks, but it’s an easy way to get your foot in the door and a lot of people who rent today will be buying someday. Plus, if you can write the renter’s insurance you’ll often get a multi-policy discount for the auto which might give you the umph that you need to close the deal. How do you make the connection? Start by asking yourself how you could make an apartment manager’s life easier.
48. Lost Customers — I suppose this isn’t quite «generating leads», but how hard are you working those lists of former customers? Sometimes it’s hard to market to people you’ve already lost but as long as you didn’t part ways in a horrible explosive tirade, there’s always a chance they’ll come back A lot of people find the grass isn’t as green as they thought on the other side. Your old customers are some of the most valuable leads you could have.
50. Search Engine Optimization — If you ever want to know what it’s like to have more leads than you can handle, get your agency #1 rankings in Google. Your website doesn’t have to rank higher than the national brands, just the other local agencies. Do it yourself or hire an expert, but if you want leads you need to go where people are looking for insurance — Google!
50. Other Insurance Agents — Believe it or not, other insurance agents can be a great source of leads. You just need to find agents who can’t or don’t want to write the type of business you do. There’s a lot of different reasons another agent might send you a lead, For example, captive agents have to turn away lots of customers who don’t qualify for their carrier.
online-lead-gen-qa-websites51. Boat Dealerships — Unlike cars, boat dealerships are going to have a decent number of first-time buyers who might be looking for their first boat insurance policy so you could write a good amount of new policies with the right connection. Boatowners are a great market to sell to so think about what kind of joint marketing opportunities you could put together with boat dealers.
52. New Business Registration Websites — I can’t speak for all 50 states or any other region on the planet, but here in Florida there’s a website that displays every new businesses that gets registered. Your location might even let you filter by county, type of business, or some other metric that will help you target the best opportunities. Almost every new businesses has insurance needs.
53. Referral Lunches — Invite a business friend out to lunch with the understanding that you’ll both be bringing a lead for the other person. One of these lunches isn’t going to make your entire sales career but if you can get in the habit of doing it every week or a few times a month it’s going to add up. Make sure you always bring someone good for your friend.
54. Buy Other Agents’ Old Leads — I know a lot of agents having success by following up on old leads 6,12,24 months after the initial contact, but a lot of agents aren’t making the effort. Most agents let their old leads gather dust and it’s not hard to find some that would be willing to give up a giant stack of them for under a buck a piece. The best guys to ask are the old-timers who know they aren’t ever going to use those leads and are trying to squeeze every last dime out of their business before it’s completely worthless. I think we all know an agent or two like that.
56. Facebook Contest — Use a contest platform like Offerpop or Wildfire to run the contest and collect leads in exchange for entries into a sweepstakes or some other reward. The most successful contests are when participants are encouraged to share the contest with their Facebook connections.
57. Referral Kit For Clients — Create a referral kit to give your clients full of tools and information that makes it easier for them to refer your agency. Include «referred by» cards, everything we sell sheets, bumper stickers, magnets, T-shirts, and anything else you think might make it easier for them to send more leads your direction.
58. Host Seminars — Particularly useful in the financial services sector, seminars can be a great way to generate leads. Ask everyone you invite to bring along a friend and make sure you put on a good show. In addition selling to the seminar attendees, teach them how to identify good referral opportunities for you so you’ll get even more leads from your attendee’s friends. And don’t forget to offer some kind of food. Otherwise no one will show up!
59. Job Change Notifications — If you pay attention on LinkedIn you’ll notice messages in your newsfeed every time one of your connections changes jobs. There’s several reasons why a person changing jobs is a sales lead for an insurance agent. Just remember to say congratulations before you go straight into rolling over their 401(k).
twitter-for-lead-gen60. Q&A Websites — Sign up for websites like InsuranceLibrary or Quora where people ask and answer questions and get involved in the insurance related discussions. You may generate leads from the individual people you help but it’s even more likely that other people with the same questions will come across your answers in the future and seek your help.
61. Alumni Groups — Does your college have any local alumni groups where people get together and network? This can be a fantastic place to meet new leads since there’s such a powerful shared experience there. And if there isn’t one, you could be the founding member!
62. Door To Door — Nobody wants to do this one, but I promise it’ll work. Door-to-door lead generation will work for residential or commercial and you don’t have to do it yourself. You could hire a high school or college kid to hand out brochures and collect x-dates from anyone willing to give them. As a local agency, it’s important to take advantage of the face-to-face opportunities that exist for you. A website or 800 number can’t knock on doors.
63. Follow the Three Foot Rule — If anyone comes within 3 feet of you, find a way to give them your business card. By the way, it’s okay to temporarily forget about the rule when you’re in a public restroom.
64. Donations for Quotes — Offer to donate a certain amount of money to a local charity for every insurance quote you recieve during a certain period of time. Don’t just choose a charity and donate money for leads you would have recieved anyway. Find a local charity that will push it’s supporters to your agency. Check how many Facebook fans they have and make sure they use social media to push more quotes your way. And ask if they have a member list with phone numbers!
65. Voice Recorder — Want to gather leads while you’re driving in your car? Keep a voice recorder handy so you can record the phone numbers and business names of different commercial vehicles and storefronts you want to reach out to. Try to record as much information as you can at the time so you’ll have lots to talk about when you make the phone call.
66. Twitter Monitoring — Twitter has a neat little feature that lets you search for recent tweets occurring near your physical location. I wrote an article about how insurance agents can use it to generate leads. Basically you look for people complaining, discussing, or just mentioning insurance within 15 miles and engage them in a conversation with an @ message.
67. Free Small Business Consulting — If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while, offer free small business consulting to people in your community. It might sound like a big waste of time but I promise no one will send you more referrals and leads than your protege. And chances are they’ll be making friends with other new business owners with insurance needs you can satisfy.
68. Emergency Contact Verification Calls — Ask your property insurance customers for an emergency contact like a neighbor or nearby business for commercial clients. Don’t sell anything, but call the emergency contact to verify the information and let them know you’ll be sending out a magnet with your phone number for them to keep handy if there’s ever a problem with the property and they can’t get a gold of the property owner.
lead-generation-signs-agency69. Rv Dealerships — With the cost of gas nowadays, it’s a given that anyone buying a vehicle designated for recreation probably has some disposable income. One of the neat things about insurance for RVs is that most people don’t think they already know everything so they’re usually more open to learning about insurance, which means you should get plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your expertise.
70. Alumni Social Media Groups — Is there a Facebook or LinkedIn group for people who went to the same school you did? Sign up and see what everybody’s talking about in there. Even if you don’t ever engage with the group there’s a few other benefits, Your LinkedIn profile will look a bit more «esteemed» with an «Alumi» badge on it and people just might seek you out if they’re searching the group for an insurance professional. You never know.
71. Buy Leads From Insurance Lead Providers — There are a number of companies who specialize in developing leads for insurance agents like you. Check out this tool to find the best insurance lead providers based on your needs. You can filter by insurance line, lead type, location, popularity, price and more.
71. Project 100 List For Staff — Whatever it’s called, you’ve probably already heard of something like the project 100 list, where you write down 100 people you know and could reach out to. Ask your staff to create the same list. At the very least you should be doing this with new staff members so they can get practice and build comfort with a more nurturing audience.
72. Out-of-State Agents — Embrace any opportunity you get to connect with agents in other states. Especially neighboring states. When their clients move to your state they’ll want to send them to a good agent that will take care of them and the more agents across the US that think of you when their clients move to your state the better. Try to at least get a LinkedIn connection with every agent you personally meet from another state.
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73. Local Forum Websites — Get active in local online forums that cater to people in your community. You don’t need to spend all day online posting messages about nothing, but if you just try to be helpful and answer questions other people have you’ll be generating a lot of local Karma. Make sure to include a link to your agency page in your signature (if allowed) or your profile page.
74. Ask People If They’re Happy — With their insurance. It’s a very simple question that you can ask anyone right after you explain what you do for a living. Preparing a few simple questions and talkpaths about insurance to use in everyday situations can make a huge difference in the number of leads you generate over the course of any given month.
75. Trade Shows — Trade shows can be a great way to generate leads if you’ve got insurance products that fit the trade and aren’t afraid to talk to industry professionals. As the insurance guy, you’ll probably have the least interesting table at the show so do whatever you can to get people’s attention.
76. Lost Sales — How many old leads are you sitting on right now that didn’t closed the first time around? Reach out to those old leads at least once a year and don’t quit until you find out they’ll never qualify for anything you sell, they tell you to drop dead, or they drop dead. And always keep good notes on the leads you don’t close. 12 months from now you’ll be glad you did.
blog-for-lead-generation77. Your Family — It goes without saying that your family is probably going to buy their insurance from you. But when it comes to lead generation you can get a whole lot more from them than just a few policies. Make sure your family is well educated about all the types of insurance you sell and the types of clients you’re looking for. The better you can teach your family to refer your agency, the more leads you’ll get.
78. Annual Policy Reviews — A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, right? Don’t lose sight of all the x-selling and upselling leads you have right within your existing book of business. Offer every one of your customers an annual review and use part of that conversation to talk about your referral program.
79. Improve Your Signage — Let’s not forget about the most obvious things. Is your agency’s sign clearly visible to street traffic? Is the phone number easy to read? Do people who drive past your agency every day know you’re inside there selling insurance? Can you put signs by the road during the day and take them in at night?
80. Conversion Rate Optimization — Conversion rate optimization is the process of displaying different versions of the same pages on your website to see which version results in developing more leads. While A/B and multivariate testing require a lot more traffic and conversions than the typical insurance agency website gets, it still wouldn’t hurt to look at your website from time to time with a critical eye on how to make it easier for leads to contact you or get a quote.
81. Mortgage Brokers — Mortgage brokers are a lot like insurance brokers in the sense that they’re both limited mostly by the number of leads they can get their hands on so it makes sense for insurance agents to work with mortgage brokers. Make mortgage brokers happy by giving them the two things they want most from insurance agents: more leads and deals that don’t get hung up by the insurance.
82. Be a Guest Speaker — There are plenty of local community groups that encourage guest speakers at their meetings. Business groups are the first thing many agents think about but there are lots of other groups that will let you stand up and share a valuable message with their audience. Try to get a contact list of all the attendees and follow-up with them shortly afterward.
83. Entrepreneur Groups — Put a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs together and what do you have? A room full of insurance leads. But don’t join the group to sell policies or talk about the insurance needs of an entrepreneur. Be a resource of knowledge about marketing, networking, customer service, and all the other things you’re forced to perfect in the insurance business.
84. Start a Blog — If you don’t already have a website that makes it easy for you to blog then you should look for a new insurance website today. The amazing thing about the internet is that leads will find you if you have the answers to their problems and you publish them online. A blog is simply the easiest way to generate and publish content.
85. Establish Lead Generation Goals — It’s a common mistake in sales to set goals based around sales instead of setting goals around the actions that lead to sales. Create very specific goals for generating leads like, I want to generate one brand new lead from a complete stranger every day or I want to capture one x-date from an existing customer every day. Be specific with your goals and make sure they’re attainable.
86. Encourage More Online Reviews — When shoppers come across your agency profiles on sites like Google, Superpages, and especially Yelp, the number and quality of business reviews can play a huge role in whether or not they contact you. If you don’t have more reviews on each of those sites than your competitors you are missing out on leads. Look into automated review generation systems that weed out the unhappy customers like this one. Don’t fake reviews though — you’ll get caught and your listing will be banned!
lead-generation-sales-contest87. Publish Content for Insurance Shoppers Online — On your agency’s website, publish content that would be helpful for someone shopping for insurance. Ask yourself, «what questions do people have when they’re shopping for insurance?» and then write articles, create videos, or make some other type of content that answers these questions. Keep creating useful content for them and the leads will find you!
88. Social Media Outreach — There’s so much advice and discussion about creating and curating content on social media that most agents are completely missing the easiest way to generate leads. Use Facebook as your agency and interact in a positive way with other local businesses and organizations. The best way to get people’s attention on social media is not by shouting louder, it’s by complimenting and supporting what other people are doing.
89. Be Really Nice to Carrier Employees — I used to work inside a major national carrier and you’d be surprised how much business gets referred from inside the company out to the «preferred» agents. It comes from a variety of situations, but underwriters, marketing reps, sales managers and other carrier employees are constantly referring business to local agents and it pretty much goes by who they like the most. So make sure all those people like you. It’s well worth all those times you’ll need to bite a hole through your toungue.
90. Review Clients’ Policy Endorsements — Another case of leads lying right under your nose is with the policy endorsements you’re already processing. Is someone in your agency reviewing all your existing customers’ policy changes for sales opportunities? I’d argue that almost any policy change could be considered a sales lead if you’re creative and resourceful enough.
91. Facebook Friends’ Birthdays — It’s pretty easy to get into Facebook to see all your friends’ birthdays. (not the fans of your agency’s page but your own personal friends). Send them a letter 6 weeks before their birthday that says, «life insurance will get more expensive after your next birthday!» Or forget about putting a card in the mail and just send an email, the information is right there.
92. Lead Generation Contest — Hold a contest in your agency to see who can bring the most new leads into your office’s sales funnel. You could setup the rules so the leads could come from anywhere or require that they come from a particular source (i.e. existing client x-dates) to force your producers out of their comfort zone into new lead generation territory.
93. Car Dealerships — Of course people buying new cars for the first time need insurance. Unfortunately, first-time car buyers aren’t the lionshare of new car buyers and they’re not usually great clients. However the simple act of buying a car is a tremendous sales opportunity for anyone because their insurance price is probably going to change and that’s enough to get someone thinking about making a bigger change of switching carriers. Make friends with lots of car dealers and see if they’ll hook you up with the current carrier and contact info of everyone who buys a new car.
local-businesses-for-lead-share94. Your Agency’s Next Door Neighbors — You might not like the idea I mentioned earlier of door-to-door lead generation but every agent should absolutely go door-to-door to meet the other businesses and business owners near your agency. Not only are those connections awesome leads, they’re also even better referral sources. Don’t ask them to refer your agency, ask how you can refer their business and follow through. The favor will be returned.
95. Get Friends Involved — Teach your friends how to generate leads for your agency. Make sure they know and understand everything you sell, teach them what type of clients you’re looking for, and help them to identify situations that would be ideal for referring your agency like when a coworker is complaining about monthly bills.
97. Get In Your Clients’ Cell Phones — People who don’t have your information handy are less likely to refer leads to you. And the more clients walking around with your agency’s number in their cell phone the better your chances are of getting a new lead referred to you. It’s easy to encourage since most people will agree that having their agent’s phone number in their phone is a good thing but if you don’t push it’s not going to happen.
98. Show Appreciation for Unsuccessful Referrals — I know a lot of agents that offer clients rewards and special attention for referring leads that result in sales. Obviously this is good but it’s actually more important to reward referrals that don’t result in sales. When the referral results in a sale the referrer is likely to find out their referral had a positive effect. When there is no sale and they don’t hear anything from you there’s a good chance they won’t be sending any more leads your direction.
99. Moving Companies — Do you know someone in the moving business? Can you get them to let you know about their new clients? Buying a home, moving out of state, getting married, getting divorced, or any of the hundreds of other reasons people move all have something in common: they’re opportune times to speak with an insurance agent. And since people will often let their insurance agent know about a move beforehand you can be a great referal source for a mover.
99. Caricature Artist — Next time you go to a marketing event where you have a booth or table bring a caricature artist with you. Offer a free caricature to anyone that gets an insurance quote or provides their information for a quote the following week. Reach out to the local art colleges to find an artist that will work for really cheap.
100. Lead Nurturing Process — Obviously different leads require different approaches. An active shopper should be sold to right away. But for leads who aren’t actively shopping, develop a process that nurtures the relationship. For example, if you know a lead’s x-date is 6 months away send them a couple helpful emails between now and then and a letter at the beginning of the month explaining that you’ll be calling on a specific day for the quote. If you’ve touched them 3-5 times without pushing for the sale that cold lead is going to be pretty warm by the time you’re ready to sell them.