Any seasoned salesperson knows this, but an attracted lead isn’t a closed one. Considering the weight accompanying life and health insurance purchase decisions, agents can find lead conversion even more challenging.
But what causes the breakdown between salespeople and leads? For starters, consumers don’t look to salespeople for expertise as much as they did previously. Between readily available online information, automated insurance quote engines and fractured consumer attention spans, establishing meaningful connections can be a challenge.
Furthermore, consumers expect personalized service on their terms, conditions and timetables. If they’re gathering information on life or health insurance, they might not be ready for a hard sell. Overly aggressive sales messaging at the wrong time can be a turn-off.
There’s also the “speed to lead” hurdle that health and life insurance salespeople must clear. If you don’t follow up with leads immediately after submitting a form, the edge in relevancy disappears. Even if the lead doesn’t answer or respond, sales agents must be persistent enough to remain vigilant. Unfortunately, IRC Sales Solutions’ “The Power of Follow-Ups” survey found that 44% of salespeople give up after a single unreturned email or call — and only 8% of them follow up more than five times.
Salespeople connecting with leads might be a familiar problem, but it is in drastic need of repair.
Where’s The Disconnect?
The forward momentum of the sales cycle rests on salespeople’s ability to build rapport and nurture connections. Especially in life and health insurance, trust and rapport win the day. These are pivotal decisions for customers with potential long-term impacts on them and their families, so they want to work with people they trust.
During this relationship-building phase, the ability to demonstrate expertise, credibility and authenticity is invaluable. As leads reveal sensitive information, agents can give customers more confidence by providing knowledgeable feedback.
To build that trust, salespeople must find a way to close that gap. For instance, consumers rarely find insurance policies time-sensitive, and they may put off a decision until they can shop around more. Salespeople can use that opportunity to step in to help educate them in a way that stays objective and genuinely adds value.
Otherwise, consumers will feel too “sold” to or begin to ignore emails and other communications. Engage with the intent to inform, and your credibility with leads can grow.
Keep Everyone In The Fold
How can insurance agents connect with and nurture leads more effectively and in a way that inspires confidence and demonstrates credibility? Here are three best practices to keep in mind.
- Don’t wait. Remember, it’s your job to bring in leads and nurture them through the sales funnel. Stay proactive so you can reach potential customers early and often.
Immediately after a lead submits a form, connect with them before their minds shift to the competition or other unrelated demands. Focus on quickly building the relationship and operating on the lead’s preferred timeline and availability.
If you can do so compliantly, follow up via text message when leads don’t answer your first call.
- Prioritize helpfulness. Keep service at the core of your outreach, and your leads will notice. In such a media-dominated world, authenticity is hard to come by — and your leads will appreciate that you truly want to be of assistance. Find out their pain points and serve up content that helps answer their questions and makes them feel more educated.
We live in a culture that focuses on value exchange. The more value you can provide your leads, the more they’ll be willing to give you their time in return. Remember that you exist to help leads — not the other way around.
- Be dogged. Too many agents throw in the towel after a few calls. Execute your phone call outreach at different times of day and on different days of the week. Every lead is different. Your goal should be to understand those differences and learn from them. If you can’t find out your lead’s communication preferences, establish a randomized schedule that helps you spotlight any patterns.
Stay the course until a pattern reveals itself. And be sure to track your follow-up communications as you go.
Lead conversion is an inexact science and never easy, especially in the life and health insurance business. By staying persistent, truly helping your leads, and maintaining a proactive mindset, you can dislodge leads from fact-finding mode and move them through your sales funnel.
Koby Hastings is the founder and CEO of Leadrilla, a self-serve digital marketing platform for individual sales agents, located in Lexington, Ky. He may be contacted at [email protected].
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