Posts Tagged ‘online leads’
Why Upgrade Your Selling Skills?
With all the advances in communication technology, our ability to access information 24/7 has never been greater. It would follow that it MUST be easier and quicker to make a buying decision. I submit, that in many instances, buyers face information overload and decisions are delayed or put off because the decision making process has become more complex. Additionally, the recent economic downturn has made buyers more careful with their available financial resources.
As the buying decision grows more complex, it is essential for those that sell to upgrade their selling skills. To achieve long term growth, you must constantly evolve and improve as a salesperson.
The sales environment has changed. All of us face compressed time issues. We wear multiple hats at work and spend more time interacting with work thru email and text messaging on our mobile devices, which equates to more hours of work! Not to mention normal family activities and functions, that result in a busier 24 hour+ hour day! Maximize your points of contact with a client, don’t waste their time and they will appreciate it and be more willing to listen to your message in the future.
Prospects are more savvy. They grow immune to the same old worn out phrases, expressions and pitches; at some point it just becomes background noise. Find a way to brand yourself as a unique resource, an industry expert and person that provides value and a solution to their needs.
It requires multiple contacts to get the prospect to a point to make the buying decision. Your competition is out their working too! It can take 6-10 points of contact over an extended period of time to get the sale. Utilizing a customizable Drip Email Campaign provides timely, consistent communication with a prospect as they work through the decision making process.
Contact us at AgencyIQ and let us assist you with designing a unique, powerful drip email campaign for prospects, cross selling to existing clients and higher retention ratios for long term customer relationships.
Why Aren’t You Closing On Leads?
Think about your selling style. Do you overwhelm the prospect with your company’s credentials, your credentials, never take a breath between questions or truly listen to the answers? One of the hardest things to learn in sales is the power of silence! How many times has someone “talked” a customer out of sale…. In my experience, far too many! Review these thoughts and see if they help your close ratios.
- Provide Value – don’t focus the discussion on the “features”, yes they are important, but spend more time discussing why your services add value, meet a specific need of the client and benefit them by doing business with you.
- Listen to Your Lead – ask a question and “really listen” to their response before you start formulating your response in anticipation of what you “think” the customer is going to say, they may surprise you! We have only ONE mouth and TWO ears for a reason…. Use them accordingly.
- Stop Talking About Yourself – the lead is not really interested that you are a top producer, #1 in your Division, or in the President’s club. They want to know what you can do for them and help meet their needs in the most cost effective means. Focus on them; people like to hear their name and talk about themselves, you’ll learn a lot about them if you give them a chance.
- Review Your Lead Providers – if you buy online leads, review the close ratios by lead provider on regularly scheduled intervals. Look at bounce percentages, watch for stale lists and see who is giving you the higher ROI.
- Mine Your Database – you’ve invested time, money and resources to generate leads, so don’t give up on them too early. Take a long term approach to earning their business. Using a drip email campaign program like AgencyIQ will keep you in front of the lead on a consistent, long term basis. Using AgencyIQ’s powerful, customizable drip email system is an automated, cost effective tool that will help you improve your ROI and conversion ratios on those valuable leads.
Give AgencyIQ a call and let us help you get the most out of your leads and increase your close ratios!
SPAM, SPAM, SPAM,SPAM……
If you happen to be a Monty Python’s Flying Circus fan, the word spam brings a smile to your face and fond memories of their quirky British humor. But for most us, SPAM can create all kinds of heartburn, headaches and worries. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 set guide lines for the use of the internet to send commercial emails. How does this affect your email marketing campaigns? If you follow a simple set of guidelines as outlined by the FTC, you will be in compliance and worry free! Check out the list below:
• Don’t use false or misleading header information
• Don’t use deceptive subject lines
• Identify the message as an ad
• Tell recipients where you are located
• Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future emails from you
• Honor opt-out requests promptly
Take a few minutes to review your emails and you will probably find you are already complying with these requirements. AgencyIQ has gone to great lengths to make sure that all of our clients comply with the CAN-SPAM laws. If you have any areas of concern about your emails, use a simple rule of thumb…. If you received this email, would you feel like you were being mislead, could you find the sender if you needed to, and could you stop the messages if you wanted. There are a number of individuals and some organizations that are extremely concerned with being found in violation of this law, some to the point of nearly paralyzing their email marketing efforts. If you have specific questions regarding this Act, click on the following link http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/business/ecommerce/bus61.shtm to go to the FTC website for specific guidance. This law is not designed to cripple the use of email for commercial business purposes… it was created to ensure the responsible use of a powerful marketing channel. At the end of the day, email marketing is a significant tool in your marketing arsenal and when used correctly and responsibly, you have no worries. Now, hit the Send button!
CALLING IT QUITS
Mike Modano, the star forward for the Dallas Stars hockey team, has probably played his last professional hockey game. I was one of the fortunate few to be in the stands for his last Home game appearance. What a night to remember: Modano had an assist on a goal, scored the game tying goal late in the 3rd period and scored a goal in the overtime shoot out to win the game against his nemisis the Anaheim Ducks! Talk about a story book ending to a career….. And a perfect end to a career spent with one organization for his entire career, playing key roles as leading scorer, team captain and mentor and elder statesman in the locker room as his career ended. A truly humble player and man, Mike gave back to hockey and the community; generous with his time, money and talents, the city of Dallas is better for his involvement over the last 16 years. The Dallas Stars have some mighty big skates to fill with Mo’s departure.
In our careers, we’ve all know a few Mike Modano’s. People that embody the spirit of our company, contributing at the highest level, team players, always encouraging those around them and bringing out the best performance of others through their example in action. You just can’t imagine how you’d survive without that person! Unfortunately, most organizations don’t plan ahead in anticipation of key personnel eventually leaving. Do you as a business owner have key personnel that you depend on to carry the load? We all do, but do you have a plan on how to move forward if/when they leave? Succession planning is usually way down the list of strategic planning activities, but it is vital to the sustained growth of an organization that you have a plan for replacing key employees. To keep your company vibrant, forward thinking and prepared, having a potential talent pool of internal or external resources is not only smart, it will save you and your organization a lot of heart ache when the day comes for a key employee to be replaced. As a owner/manager, it’s important to recognize the Modano’s in your organization and look ahead on how to deal with the void after their last “game”.
Ever hear the John Mellencamp song “Tumbling Down”? That’s what I thought of when the old Texas Stadium in Irving, TX was demolished recently. Being a native of the area and a huge Cowboys fan as long as I can remember, I could not convince myself to join all those who watched in person or on TV the destruction of a place that held so many memories. Landry, Staubach, Lilly, Aikman, Irvin, Smith, the Ring of Honor, NFC Championship games…. The list goes on and on. And yes, I do believe the hole in the roof was there so God could watch His team play! What was once a state of the art facility featured in numerous movies and mesmerized Sunday football viewers on TV, had, over the years, suffered from age, neglect and a public that demanded new heights of technology to keep their intrest. No lingering, slow demise for this former showcase, Jerry Jones, the eternal promoter, made Texas Stadium’s last hurrah another money making deal. It was even sponsored by Kraft Foods (I don’t get it… but they ponied up the cash, the single largest requirement). Faster than you can say “Kraft macaroni and cheese”, Texas Stadium disappeared in a cloud of dust, soon to be a distant memory of those who will remember her in her glory days!
Yes friends, even those monuments that seem indestructible on their christening day, have their eventual fall from favor and are replaced. So it is with the tools we use to run our business. Technology changes constantly, computers and communication systems require constant review and the software we use to manage our data is always undergoing tweaks and updates. Over the next few weeks and months, you will be receiving notices of important enhancements to the AgencyIQ operating system. Future blogs and newsletters will detail these enhancements that will make your lead management efforts more effective, efficient and increase your book of business. AgencyIQ is committed to delivering to our clients the tools you need to grow your business. Please look for these announcements and let us know what you think!!
Demystifying Online Leads
Insurance Agents are constantly looking for new ways to open discussions with more prospects. The online lead frenzy has been taking over the marketplace for the last five years and is getting some mixed reviews. We have to realize though, as a consumer in general, every product is pitched as the saving grace for our all our problems. Online lead companies are no different in their advertising than any other company. It is our job as consumers to test their claims, see through them, and to come out the other side with a way to find the happy middle.
Lead companies will paint the picture that the leads are coming to the agent waiting with baited breath for an insurance quote that will rock their world. As insurance agents soon find out, this is not reality. Lead companies are also portraying that buying online leads cuts down on competition because the lead is only sold to a select number of agents. These are all very misleading to the actual world of how online leads work.
Online leads are submitted by the prospect requesting information online. Most of the time, the prospect will walk away from their computers and get on with their day. In their mind, it is your job to get the quotes to them. Second, leads can be sold to a variety of agents. You may be one of 8, and the only captive agent in your area, but ask the important questions of how many national insurance providers are also subscribing to that lead. These major companies have computer systems that send quotes immediately, a team of call center operators, and electronic auto responders to make contact with prospects. It is important to do your research and find out how many agents of various providers are competing in your area.
These national providers will have systems that send out a quote immediately that is very low and does not include factors of insurance score, credit history or much else. This is a teaser quote to get someone to call or email and give that company a fighting chance for the business. Even if the quote goes up, the prospect was drawn to their customer service portal for that all important “conversation”. Make sure you know your competition. Know how they work and know what their goals are, it will help you counter their offer and get in there and be a strong resource for your prospect. Take a different approach to reaching your prospects. A personal agent can be more persistent, available, an insurance educator, a client advocate, and provide the personal service that an insurance powerhouse can’t. Some people are tired of canned service and don’t want to work with a national powerhouse. Remember that every prospect is different. The close ratio on the national level is 10% and they are happy with those results. They will pursue the business differently and do not deliver the personal service that an individual agent can. Remember that their 10% close ratio leaves 90% of the business still out for the rest of the industry.
Finally, realize that the sales game has changed with online leads. Agents today have to use their prowess in the areas of marketing and connecting with agents when trying to reach these prospects. There is good money in these leads and strong close ratios. But agents have to have the right tools to compete in this area of the industry. Today’s technology provides us with tools like a lead management system to help provide us with the necessary equipment to be competitive. Look for automatic importing of leads (stop data entering those leads!), auto responders (remember get there fast, get there often), ability to assign the lead to various producers, ease of setting reminders for follow up and even the ability to keep your quotes and prospect documents in one place. These lead management tools are vital for keeping you consistent with keeping your follow up steady, storing all your leads in one paperless system, and keeping up with your investment. Stop just throwing that $12.00 lead in the trash after 30 days.
Get smart and look at what the powerhouses in insurance are doing. Do you have to be a powerhouse? Absolutely not! Deliver the ease of service, the quick responses, the continuous follow up, AND service and your clients will have the best of both worlds. Your referrals will soar and your business will see success like never before. Utilize these online leads with caution…remember to keep a level perspective, and sell away!