of this series discussed how the health insurance industry offers greater opportunities for entrepreneurs and self-motivated individuals, while part two
delved into the first two tactics for higher lead conversion and expanding your business one lead at a time. This article examines tactics three and four.
Tactic No. 3: Persistence pays.
As noted in Tactic No. 2, many quality leads just aren't ready to close right away. They want to buy health insurance, but they're just not ready to pull the trigger. Maybe they're still looking for more information or exploring all their options. Maybe they're still building their comfort and trust level -- with you. Or perhaps they're preparing for an impending layoff, and the loss of their health insurance coverage. Whatever the reason, they're just not ready to buy now.
Unfortunately, many of these long-term prospects fall through the cracks and are forgotten as agents turn their focus to newer and "ready to close now" leads. So, they make one or two attempts to contact a hard-to-reach prospect or attempt a follow up. Then they give up.
That's too bad, because studies have shown that:
- It takes an average of five attempts to contact a lead
- 40 percent of quality leads will close with long-term follow up
- Up to 70 percent of leads are long-term in nature
The bottom line is that many of those abandoned leads will actually close -- with someone else!
The good news is that persistence marketing can be easier, if you have the right tools and system.
1. Your first goal is first contact. How many times should you try to connect with a new lead? Again, the average is five, but you should continue trying at least a dozen times. Until you confirm that the lead data is invalid or the prospect is not interested, you still have a potential client. So, don't be so quick to give up on them.
Tactic No. 4: Do stray from the pack.
2. A lead nurturing program. If your prospect just isn't ready yet, you'll need a lead nurturing program that will guide them to a buying decision -- and ensure that you're nearby when they're ready to buy. A drip marketing system, combined with a lead management program, is the ideal tool for lead nurturing.
3. Schedule future "touches." Use your lead management tool to schedule future contact, whether it's a postcard, phone call or e-mail. It helps to build trust, while keeping you connected with a genuine prospect.
Humans are ingrained with the herd mentality. This is most evident in business, where everyone seems to follow the same routine. When everyone else is doing the same old thing, straying from the pack can help you find underserved markets and generate more sales.
For example, many agents yearn for the nine to five, Monday through Friday workweek. Some turn off their lead flow during the weekends and off-hours. Others keep it on, but let those weekend or evening leads sit in their inbox until the next business day. But consumers don't necessarily shop during the regular business workday. Most consumers also work nine to five, and often need to wait until after hours or the weekend to shop.
This disconnect is a great opportunity for agents who are willing to work flexible hours. Shared leads that come in at night or during the weekend often have fewer agents calling them right away. If you're the agent handling that lead, you'll often have relatively less competition. In fact, we've found that leads generated on the weekends are 26 percent more likely to convert.
1. Flexible schedule. You can still keep it under 40 hours a week, but try adding weekday, evening and weekend hours into that schedule.
2. Automated first response. Use an e-mail auto-responder to send an immediate response as soon as a new lead hits your system. This initial e-mail will prepare them for your call and put your contact info in their hands. Plus, if you can't call right away, it can provide them with links to your Web site and quote engine.
3. Look for underserved niches. Keep an eye out for growing, but underserved niches. Maybe it's the Medicare Advantage or Supplemental market. Or maybe it's the local small business owners who want to give their employees access to HSA or guaranteed contribution programs. A good niche can be your ticket to increased sales.
This series explores the seven most effective methods used by top producers to help you immediately close more leads and submit more applications. Stay tuned to Producersweb.com as they continue to introduce the seven tactics. I recommend applying a single tactic at once, and building on your success over time.
Tactic 1: Speed Kills
Tactic 2: Get and Give Quality
Tactic 3: Persistence Pays
Tactic 4: Do Stray From The Pack
Tactic 5: Understand What Really Counts
Tactic 6: Never Stop Testing and Tracking
Tactic 7: Automate So You Can Close More
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