Whether you are an an agent just starting out or a well-established insurance provider, generating and nurturing new leads is often more difficult than you may anticipate. If you’re hitting a wall and unsure about how to get more insurance clients, here are some tips to help you establish a culture of lead generation that works for your agency.
Here's how to get more insurance clients and reach your long-term growth goals.
Some things market themselves; cars, clothes, and fragrances are all an easy sell. Insurance, however, can be a difficult thing to tackle. There is a misconception that lead generation in the insurance industry is incredibly expensive - but it doesn’t have to be that way. By using the strategies below, you can cut down on your agency’s costs and increase your ROI in the long-term.
How to Build a Referral Culture That Generates Long-Term Growth
Far too many agents are focusing on high-cost, low-yield prospecting activity. For example, they might purchase internet leads that cost $800 for 100 leads ($8 per lead) and then hire someone to follow up and convert those leads. This activity may generate 2-4 auto policy leads, and of those, likely only half will renew after their initial 6-month policy.
The ROI of this type of lead generation is not how to build your agency for long-term growth.
The best way to set your agency up for growth is by getting referrals. Referrals are the holy grail of prospecting for businesses. According to a study by U Penn, referred customers are significantly more loyal, and bring in more profit, than customers acquired through other means. If you are seeking to grow your client base, a good referral culture among your clients can be a source of exponential return.
When you have a referral culture in your workplace, clients are encouraged to refer qualified leads to your agency. Part of that encouragement includes providing amazing customer service and getting your team on board to consistently follow up about referrals. Creating a referral culture requires that your team is invested in the success of your agency and in maintaining the loyalty of your clients.
Many agents say that asking for referrals feels like they are invading their client’s privacy as they slide a piece of paper across the desk asking for a list of names. They are right when they say they are invading because they are going about referrals the wrong way.
The Right Way to Encourage Referrals
Establish a culture that says, “Around here we ask for referrals.”
Train yourself and the rest of your team to always be asking for referrals. According to the Harvard Business Review, 47% of companies respond to inquiries after 24 hours--or not at all. The truth is that you rarely get what you don’t ask for. If you haven’t already established a good follow up policy, you may be losing out on clients who would otherwise be interested in working with you.
Provide your client with a fantastic experience
From the moment they step on your parking lot until they walk out your door, their experience with your agency should be pleasant, productive, and easy. While working with them to understand their needs you need to empower and educate them in order to build trust and show that you care about them and their circumstances.
Validate the value they received
Review what you discussed, what solutions you were able to find, and what further recommendation you are sending them home to think about. Help them realize that the entire experience they have been through is completely different than any insurance meeting they have had before.
Don’t ask for a referral, ask for an introduction.
You are looking for a warm introduction, not a cold lead. Many referrals have no idea why you are contacting them. Instead, ask to take your client and their friend out to lunch, coffee at Starbucks, or some other kind of direct introduction. Getting introductions will lead to a much better opportunity to turn referrals into new business.
Review what worked - and what did not.
The most critical step in transforming your business is to hold yourself and your team accountable by establishing a Lessons Learned review after every meeting. Review what worked in the meeting and what could've been done better. Discuss what changes you might need to make for referral requests to be more effective. Over time you will continue to refine your process, and soon you will be exceptional at acquiring referred clients and driving a very high ROI.
As we stated before, and we will state again, the most important thing you can do when creating a culture that encourages referrals is to put your client first. Clients will appreciate that you're addressing their needs quickly and efficiently - and if they feel cared for, their good experience will transform into a loyal clientele who refers more business in the long-term.