The biggest success factor in a lead program is the ability to quickly connect and close with a prospect. While most agents are quick to connect, it’s more challenging to close. That’s why following up is such an important step.
Having a hot hand on the phones will give you a leg up when competing to contact a lead first. Calling within five minutes increases your chances of contact by 500 percent!
That first five minutes is a critical time for the consumer intent to purchase. Consumers submitting high-intent actions such as a quote request are seeking instant gratification. After about 30 minutes, consumer intent nearly disappears and decreases your odds of contact by 100 times. The prospect either loses motivation to buy, or buys from an agent who contacts him sooner.
Expecting consumers to buy a policy right then and there is often unrealistic. In the digital age, consumers educate themselves by gathering information from various sources. Their process includes:
- Connecting with multiple agents
- Learning about price, coverage, and the agents themselves
- Doing research on the internet
Being first is a massive advantage. The company who contacts the lead first closes the sale 78 percent of the time. American consumers in the 21st century demand instant gratification. However, instant gratification isn't limited to being quick to contact. It's also about giving the prospect what they want, and when they want it. Promptly responding to consumers, following up, and guiding them throughout their journey are key steps to converting a higher percentage of leads.
In a perfect world, agents pick up the phone, quote, and close a lead right then and there. In the real world, only five percent of leads convert right away. The remaining 95 percent need time to mature through a diligent follow-up process.
The reality is you’re not likely to make contact on the first attempt. You will connect with them on the first attempt only 39 percent of the time, on average. The other 61 percent of the time, it takes many attempts to make contact. The key is to not give up!
Even just a second attempt increases your chances of contact by 87 percent. You should attempt to contact leads eight to 10 times. Once you do connect with a lead, 95 percent of the time you will have to follow up to convert a buyer.
Often, you will encounter shoppers who want to switch their policy in the near future. They will be ready to buy soon, but are not ready to do so immediately.
Most agents lose their qualified leads because they expect a quick conversion. They don't always convert right away, and this causes leads to disappear. Converting more leads results from nurturing them at strategic points in a buyer's journey.
Confirming the buyer's timeline is key to creating a follow-up process for that lead. Are they months away from purchasing? Weeks? Days? Understanding their timeline gives you clear objectives for proceeding.
Prospects looking to buy within a few days should receive daily follow up calls and emails. Those waiting for weeks or months will need a more long-term, less aggressive approach.
Agents who practice lead nurturing close 300 percent more leads than agents who fail to do so. It's the agents who focus on nurturing who are most successful with lead programs.
Successful agents use lead nurturing as a way to provide value to the consumer. They do this by utilizing educational content marketing in their lead nurturing strategy. By educating your customers, you can guide their decisions and increase the chances of them buying insurance from you.
One of the best pieces to deploy in your strategy is content about your line of insurance products. Examples of this type of content are as follows:
- How consumers can save when bundling home and auto insurance
- The difference between term and whole life insurance policies
- How the ACA can affect health insurance options
The biggest advantage of this approach is that it's an excellent pretext for constant communication with that lead. When leads are in the weeks to months range of closing, keeping constant contact is crucial. At the same time, you need to avoid sounding too urgent or pushy.
This is why educational content is so effective. It keeps your leads engaged during the nurturing period, and your agency at the top of their minds at the point of purchase.
Effectively nurturing hundreds of leads at different points in a buyer's journey requires lead management software. This software is crucial to automating workflow so you deliver the right content at the right time. Before contacting a lead, you should implement an aggressive call and automated email schedule.
Quoted leads can be placed into three segmented lists to determine the method of follow up needed:
- Leads closing in days
- Leads closing in weeks
- Leads closing in months
The five percent of leads closing in days require daily calls and emails directing them to close. The other 95 percent of leads should be put in a nurturing workflow of educational content.
A rock solid follow up strategy during the nurturing period is to schedule a follow up call shortly after a piece of educational content is emailed. For example, after sending an email about various life insurance products, make a call the next day about the products. This is a great way to keep consistent contact with your lead without coming off as too aggressive.
Make the most of your leads by being enthusiastic and encouraging towards your prospect. You can create a trusting relationship by being quick to contact them, providing them with the right information, and following-up with any questions or concerns they might have.
Leads carry so much value beyond the first contact. Failing to nurture leads can cost agents thousands in lead costs, and hundreds of thousands in revenue. Maximize your opportunities for conversions by implementing a solid lead nurturing process and your close rate will grow exponentially.