One way for an insurance agent to find prospects to contact is to buy leads from a lead generation company. These companies generate and sell leads in several different ways:
Telemarketing insurance leads are generated through call center campaigns. The call center cold calls potential prospects and asks about their insurance needs. Those that express unmet needs or who say they would like to discuss insurance options with an agent are sold to various insurance companies. The advantage of telemarketing leads is that the generation company takes care of the cold calling so that the insurance agent doesn’t have to waste his or her time calling prospects that are not interested in or do not qualify for the product the agent is selling.
Lead generation companies frequently put up websites with basic information about insurance options. The people who visit the page are encouraged to submit their contact information so that an agent can follow up with a free quote and additional advice about the prospect’s unique insurance needs. Internet leads are valuable because they can be passed along to agents in real time. This means an agent may be able to follow up only a few minutes after the prospect expresses interest. The problem with Internet leads is that a prospect may request information from several different companies, so there is no guarantee that a lead will be exclusive.
Aged leads are insurance leads generated by telemarketing or the Internet that somehow slipped through the cracks and did not receive follow up at the time they requested information. The advantages of aged leads are that they are inexpensive and can therefore be used as guinea pigs to train new sales staff or to teach agents a new sales technique. The drawback is that aged leads are notoriously difficult to convert.
How Many Agents Buy Insurance Leads?
Not all agents buy leads. In fact, in a recent poll 28 percent of agents said that they never purchased leads, finding prospects in other ways such as referrals and cold calling. Sixty percent of agents said that they purchased leads once in a while or some of the time as a way to augment other methods of lead prospecting. Of the group surveyed, only 12 percent of agents admitted to purchasing leads every day.
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These statistics mean that over 70 percent of agents use purchased leads at least occasionally, so it is an option that insurance agents should be aware of and consider using if other sources of leads dry up.