Finding free life insurance sales leads

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop

Have you ever tried purchasing Internet or telemarketing leads? Were you disappointed in the overall results? How many appointments were you able to set out of every 10 sales leads you bought? How many of those appointments actually turned into a sale? How many of those sales actually resulted in an issued policy?

Even the most successful agents who buy life insurance leads are only converting around 3 percent to 10 percent of their leads into sales. Even at only $10 per lead, it means that each sale is costing you somewhere between $100 and $333. If you buy 100 leads at $10, each that's $1,000. If you only make three sales, you spent $333 per sale.

Buying leads is the most expensive way to grow your business, and should only be used during slow times as a supplement to your other lead generation methods. This strategy should never be used as a primary source of leads.

Let's take a step back and look at what you are actually doing when you are buying leads. You are going to a third party that is talking to someone who has no idea who you are, and that third party is now telling you that the person is interested in what you have to offer. The best sales coaches will tell you that sales is not about selling your product, it's about selling yourself. And, then, in many cases, that third party is going to sell that same "exclusive" lead to someone else. The good news is that there are better and more cost effective ways to get the life insurance leads you need and want.

Who are your best prospects?

Before we get into finding free life insurance sales leads, it's crucial to determine who is a good, qualified prospect for your products and services. The main concern is making sure you are spending your time communicating with the people who are the ideal prospects for whatever you are offering. There is nothing more frustrating than making 100 phone calls and not setting a single appointment. This can, and does happen when agents think they can call just anyone, because they think everyone is concerned about whatever they are offering.

Just because someone should be concerned about something, doesn't mean they are. It doesn't mean they will see you or buy whatever you're offering.

So the questions are:
    1. Who are the ideal prospects you should be contacting regarding whatever you are offering?

    2. Who do you have the best chance of setting an appointment with?

    3. Who has the need, the ability to pay and can be seen on a favorable basis?
As you read the following, remember that I'm not saying that some of the other people aren't good prospects. This means that you want to contact the people with whom you have the best chance of setting an appointment and making a sale.

Let's use supplemental retirement planning using life insurance, as an example.

Is your best prospect someone who owns a home? Probably. They have likely been able to save in the past, and probably have the money to put away for retirement if they can see a need to do it now. Plus, doesn't it tell us they are willing to look at the long-term? Our ideal prospects are people who own a home.

Is someone who owns a $300,000 or larger home our best prospects? Probably not. Many of these people have family incomes of over $125,000 and are inundated with calls from financial planners and advisors. It's very likely that they are going to be harder to see. Our ideal prospects are probably people who have homes worth $300,000 or less and income of less than $125,000 per year.

Is there a minimum income requirement? Ideally, we are looking at a minimum family income of around $50,000 per year.

What else makes someone our best prospect for a supplemental retirement plan involving life insurance? If we are going to market life insurance, don't they need to have someone to protect? A family that is dependent on their income? Our ideal prospects are people who are married and have children living at home.

Cash value life insurance builds best when you have 20 years or longer to contribute. So, our ideal prospects are people who are under age 40. If they are under 40, they probably have young children.

Finding free life insurance sales leads

Now that we have identified the ideal prospects to contact for retirement planning with life insurance, where do we find them? Can we get a list for free?

Would you agree that families with young children tend to live in the same neighborhoods? You can locate these neighborhoods fairly easily by contacting your local real-estate broker or by just driving around.

Once you find the streets you're looking for, go to your local library or the Internet and look for "criss cross" or reverse directories. Three common ones are the Hill Donnelly, Coles, and Polk Directories. They have every street listed, with the names of everyone on the street and their telephone numbers. Plus, they provide lots of other good information.

Make a copy of those names, addresses and telephone numbers and you have a free list of your best prospects for a supplemental retirement plan, involving life insurance...

Now, what can you do to set an appointment with these people?

The old standby of cold calling consumers isn't a viable option anymore, because consumers are fed up with getting calls from salespeople who won't take no for an answer. Many of these people have registered on the "do not call" directory, and just about everyone today screens their calls.

Since you really can't cold call consumers anymore, one way to get this free list of people to call you is by sending out a sequence of letters, but they had better be really good insurance prospecting letters with a powerful "grabber" and a great headline.

Use a powerful grabber on your insurance marketing letters. Maybe a $1 bill, a $2 bill, a $1 million dollar bill or even foreign currency. Or maybe something like wooden nickels, band aids, watches, magnifying glasses, shredded money, phony diamonds, etc.

I know it may sound gimmicky, but test results from millions of mailing pieces over the last half century prove that, without a doubt, grabbers and well-written headlines significantly increase response.

In your letter, you'll want to offer a free financial audit or your free report. The idea is to get them to call you so you can legitimately follow-up with a phone call and set an appointment. Or, you can invite them to your free education workshop.

By sending out a series of well-crafted sales letters to the right people in your local area, you are now building your image, brand, and credibility. The more you keep your name and services in front of these people, the easier it's going to be to get them to respond to your offers. This doesn't happen if you are buying leads or using a telemarketing service from a third party.

This is just the first step to establishing yourself as the trusted advisor in your local community and becoming the advisor people want to see.

*For further information, or to contact this author, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.