Prospecting cannot be sporadic. It must be a regular part of your business – just like quoting, follow-up case management and customer service. By establishing a disciplined approach to marketing, agents can establish a regular flow of leads that results in appointments with strong prospects and, ultimately, new sales.
The following are five basic rules for successful prospecting.
Treat prospecting as a regular part of business
Far too many agents view prospecting as a tedious chore. As business professionals, most agents understand that some activities must be done routinely. For example, issuing quotes and submitting policy paperwork are required business activities.
Though not typically viewed as a core business activity, prospecting is no less important. So, if regular prospecting leads to new customers and increased revenue, why don’t more agents embrace it as a regular part of business? One reason is that, unlike quoting and case management, prospecting is not necessarily guided by installed software or corporate systems. As a result, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to begin. However, continued business growth dictates that prospecting cannot be ignored. It must be approached with the same level of discipline as all other major business activities. The key is establishing a few basic processes and executing them regularly.
Identify a targeting strategy and lead sources
The prospecting pot of gold begins with a quality lead source. Targeted lists based on desired geography and demographics are good starting points. Lead lists can be developed using specific demographic data including ZIP code, household income, education level as well as “predictive indicators” that rank lead prospects on their likelihood of responding or purchasing, based on actual marketing results.
If limited in-house resources are still an issue, there are numerous lead sources as well as outsourced service options available. For example, agents can purchase a list and have a service provider contact the leads. Only those consumers interested in receiving a quote are forwarded to the agent’s office. Other options include prepackaged or customized direct mail campaigns or Internet-generated leads.
When selecting lead sources, agents need to consider the associated support and follow-up requirements. For example, Internet leads should be contacted the same day the lead is received, if not the same hour. On the other hand, responses from direct mail campaigns typically arrive two to three weeks after the campaign is mailed. So, you need to prepare your staff, or be prepared yourself, to contact these prospects within a day or two of receiving their lead.
Develop key messages and execute marketing campaigns
Every insurance product has a unique selling proposition for a specific group of prospects. By using targeted lead lists you know exactly who you are targeting, so the marketing message should be tailored for that specific audience.