Insurance agents are like any other salespeople – they want great leads that they can turn into more sales. In the old, purely offline days of 10 years ago, the best customers tended to be the ones who were serious enough to seek out help first, not wait for someone to solicit them. That usually meant customers referred from word of mouth, or walk-in business.
In today’s online world, an inbound customer means something very similar: someone has come to a search engine, found a Web site with helpful information, then filled out a form to ask to be contacted for further help.
Unfortunately for the agent, most people aren’t searching for an agent in their geographic area at first – they may just type in a generic phrase like “life insurance quote” or “life insurance rate” or even just “life insurance.” When it’s time to get down to seriously considering a policy, they may feel comfortable enough to talk with someone in a call center a thousand miles away. More likely at that point, however, they would rather talk to someone locally who they assume will be more responsive and accountable.
But how will a local agent get a customer if they’ve gone to a national site? The answer is to be buying leads from a lead service that attracts these inbound customers and has local agents in their network follow up.
The dilemma in picking a service
Many services exist to fill the need for leads, and invariably they all trumpet to agents that their leads are the best. Clearly agents want the best return on their investment, but almost always lack real data or knowledge on what the differences are in lead quality between companies. They may try a company a friend has used, but still can’t judge how their experience will compare to others. Just like buying a new stock, they struggle with the conflicting forces of fear (of potential loss) vs. greed (of potential return).