How to Strike It Rich With Online Insurance Sales
In January 2001, I made my online debut as a life insurance salesman. At the time, direct life insurance marketing was a novel idea, and I’ve since found that I’m increasingly being sought out as an authority on the topic. Someone asked me for my advice on how to start a life insurance agency from scratch on the internet. There are ten easy measures. How can one sum up the necessary vision for achievement into ten easy steps? How might these procedures be helpful without being boring?
It was in January of 2005 when I first substituted for a bowling league. My buddies helped me experience the joy of making strikes by giving me some basic pointers. Strikes are excellent whether the ten pins fly about like buckshot or slowly cascade down the lane. I was eager to practice the techniques contributed to my successful strike bowling. My ten-step/ten-pin comparison came to me all of a sudden.
Getting online life insurance sales is at least as thrilling as getting strikes, and it also pays off for you financially! The key to following these ten stages with excitement is having a goal that benefits you emotionally. Here are ten pins to knock over if you want to experience the exhilarating success of regularly making “strikes” in direct life insurance marketing.
Step one: learn the rules. Selling insurance through the Internet is different from doing so face-to-face. Traditionally, many life insurance salespeople have told me that the most challenging part was finding a new client and that closing the deal was a breeze. Getting a client “in the door” is the easy part of selling insurance online; the hard part is closing the sale and collecting payment.
So, how exactly does internet lead work? That may be contingent on their means of access to you. A search engine user submitting a quote or application form online is likely interested in doing business with the company. They are already your customers. Therefore, you had better take care of them quickly and effectively or risk losing them to a competitor.
Potential customers may have requested a quote from you after seeing or hearing one of your advertisements. Some leads are “incentive” leads because the prospect filled out a quote request form as a means to an end (another incentive). Some may not take that kind of leadership seriously, and you may be one of them. Those who aren’t interested typically back out before submitting the form, but most are asked for enough information to make it worthwhile.
You must visualize yourself in their situation to know how to approach someone. You risk losing potential customers if you don’t respond quickly enough to life insurance leads generated online. It would be best to reassure those who view the advertisement or form as a “nudge” that you can quickly assist them in obtaining coverage. Some potential incentive buyers will listen to you because they understand that everything comes at a cost. They can also get a reasonable insurance premium along with their other award.
It involves talking to leads to get to know them and earn their trust. People use the internet to avoid wasting time and effort, so you should treat their time respectfully. Simple solutions should be presented first if their needs aren’t particularly complex. They asked, regardless of how your leads found you. So, you have every reason to believe you can close the deal. You might expect to score big with online life insurance leads.
2. Be familiar with the regulations. To be effective in online life insurance sales, you need instant access to information about all available policies. Leads typically aren’t patient, so you should provide as much information as possible during the first call. Explain that if anyone else is offering them a quote without waiting for medical data or an introductory offer based on their health, that quote is likely inaccurate and could result in a blemish on their MIB.
Traditional underwriting insurance companies (rated at least A by AM Best) typically offer the best rates for people in perfect health. Similarly, health-conscious consumers should expect the best quotations from roughly three impaired risk carriers. If you’re in good health, you should know which three companies give the best prices for No Exam life insurance, and if you’re in poor health, you should know which three companies offer No Exam life insurance for people in your situation. You may quickly discover a dozen carriers’ underwriting rules, ratings, etc., and the options available will more than satisfy your needs. You’ll be able to approach your leads with more insight, earning their trust and allowing you to provide better service.
You need to know how each carrier operates, including whether or not a preliminary offer is necessary, whether or not the application may be completed online, etc., and the underwriting standards. It’s also important to know which health issues insurance companies cover. This may seem like a lot, but you can master it in just a few months. If you’re playing the direct life insurance marketing game, knowing the rules will give you a far better chance of success.
3) Invest in high-quality tools. Bowlers that invest in the proper equipment (ball, shoes, etc.) tend to have more success. A well-stocked office is a necessary condition for making sales. A multifunction fax machine that copies and scans in a tight space would be ideal. Modern web applications necessitate the use of a phone headset. Although a color printer is convenient, a black laser printer might help you save money. If a lead isn’t mildly interested, I don’t waste any paper on them. Therefore, having access to a reliable computer and a system for keeping track of leads is crucial. It’s helpful if your lead provider also provides lead management software. You might try My Documents, an online calendar, or Mail Merge if that’s the case. It takes a lot of leads to make a lot of money. Therefore, it’s necessary to build up a system to consistently keep track of them.
I recommend getting some business cards and stationery printed for the applications you ship out and the policies you bundle them with. You only get a few chances to make an excellent first impression; sending a letter can help. Send a message via voice mail. Offer free domestic and international calling and faxing. Ensure that you’re utilizing Adobe Acrobat Professional. Getting an email account associated with your insurance company is a good idea. If you can, you should have a website. To regularly land blows, you need functional and recognizable equipment as belonging to a professional.
Put some money into it (4). You need to bowl to strike, and you need to work leads to close deals. That requires allocating resources to follow up on multiple charges every day. You won’t see any commissions for at least another month; it’ll be another six months before you see any meaningful data. But once you reach that point, you must begin meticulously recording your costs and profits for each lead. Suppose you commit to increasing your lead volume, raising your average premiums and application placement rates (all of which improve with experience), and controlling your expenses. In that case, your earnings will rise steadily over time.
After a while, successful agents realize that they may increase their income significantly by employing the help of other people. Having an assistant will allow you to focus on making sales. In this industry, time is money, and you may reach a point when you don’t want to do anything but sell. However, you need to be able to manage your own business, including following up on leads, tracking commissions, maintaining your computer, paying your expenses, and so on. Keep an eye on everything else, but delegate as much as possible to free up your focus for striking.
Five) Get off to a good beginning. Internet life insurance brokers have as much disagreement as bowlers over whether to email or call a potential customer first. A phone call is the appropriate next step after sending an introductory email to your prospects as soon as they are assigned to you. Candidates are waiting for your call, and you can build rapport with them much more quickly over the phone than through email. To provide an accurate price, you can ask the appropriate questions, and if all goes well, you can close the deal within the initial phone contact.
If a lead doesn’t respond to my phone contact within 24 hours, I send them an email explaining that I would like to meet with them to discuss their needs and provide a precise estimate. If I don’t hear back from them through email or phone after many attempts, I’ll send a second message with an estimate of the cost based on their provided information. Usually, if a lead doesn’t answer the first email, they won’t respond to any further emails, and you’ll have to start over.
Because you might keep missing individuals and then run into them at home, you can keep calling for longer. However, it would help if you established a guideline for the maximum number of messages you will leave before they begin to view your attempts at contact as harassment. The best way to obtain hits is to call your leads once you get their information, preferably within minutes.
Six) Approach from a good vantage point. If you aim for the striking pocket, you’ll receive a strike. There is a wide variety of coins in the internet lead pocket. For example:
a) trying to find the most affordable life insurance possible
b) attempting to find a reasonable pricing
c) not being able to get life insurance any other way
d) having experienced a situation that prompted them to consider purchasing life insurance
a) needing life insurance but dreading having to talk to a salesperson
f) seeking life insurance but unwilling to go through any other (such as an exam).
g) doubting whether or not they have the most excellent bargain possible (often with Term, while disregarding UL, which could be their most significant liability).
h) They want their partner/parent/etc. to apply because of their request
When did you discover the secret compartment? You’ve already lost them if you don’t catch their attention within the first few seconds. I address the caller by their first name, give my full name, and explain that I am calling in response to their online request for a life insurance quote. If you introduce yourself casually, conversational manner, you’ll likely elicit a reaction, which is the primary objective.
If they say, “I don’t remember filling that out,” I tell them that someone who knew them had to fill out the form (but not their health condition) and offer them some information about myself. In other words, respond! A sale might result from any response. Thank them for their time and move on to the next potential customers who are serious about purchasing your services or products if they respond negatively. You need not feel guilty about giving them the best service possible when they request.
When they do, follow their lead for a short conversation. I usually start a conversation by saying, “I needed a little more information from you to find the best quote,” if they don’t initiate it themselves. And I’m going to start with the basics. I might tell them, “I see you marked that you have diabetes,” if I notice that they have diabetes checked. When did you first realize that you have it? I’ll stay on it until we’ve covered it (or until they give a sign that they don’t want to talk about it any longer… you can always go back to it), maintaining a professional demeanor while still trying to communicate empathy through my voice. Without a thorough medical history, I usually begin by asking how much they would like to be quoted for insurance before discussing potential dangers. Guide them gently but firmly to the information you need to reproduce them while maintaining sensitivity and respect accurately. If the application is later denied (or worse, payment of the death benefit is contested) due to our reluctance to ask what the carrier needs to know, we have done no one any favors.
Find out their strike zone and play to that during the chat. Ideally, you’ll be able to persuade them to wait for a preliminary quote or have them apply instantly. You may have to sell life insurance online to a loved one.
Even if I’ve just made a deal, I always tell the customer I’ll follow up with an email with all my contact information.
Seven) Keep your word. After gathering the necessary information, you must apply the carriers’ standards for issuing (your brokerage will be a great resource here). You must, however, lead your customers by the hand so as not to lose them. Every week or so, I update my clients via email on the status of their underwriting applications. Use the discovery of new requirements as an opportunity to reestablish contact with clients and reassure them that you are keeping tabs on their projects (or probing for updates). The strike will be successful if you follow through.
Don’t trade strikes for taps, as in points 8-10. In bowling, the 8, 9, and 10 are used as “taps” more often than other balls. A tap pin will not fall over when you hit the strike pocket. Similarly, as many as 30% of the life insurance leads you to generate through direct marketing won’t buy from you. Try to pick them up, but don’t risk losing strikes. Once you’ve taken care of the first seven pins/tips for selling insurance online, the ball will start rolling.
Since 2001, Peggy Mace has been a direct life insurance marketing trailblazer. Please feel free to connect to this article as the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Agent of Outlook Life.
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