As little as 25 years ago, insurance agents had to keep track of client interactions with pen and paper. Finding the answers to a client’s questions could take hours, and it was easy to let prospects slip through the cracks without any follow up. It’s little wonder, then, that insurance agents today appreciate all the new forms of technology available to help them manage leads and customer relationships, find quotes quickly, and provide an online space where customers and prospects can come with questions and concerns. Of all the technologies available, insurance agents have chosen the following ten as their favorites:
1. Web Sites
Statistics show that 58 percent of insurance agents have their own websites. If you use a professional designer and copywriter to get a website going, the upfront costs may seem excessive, but once your website is launched, the cost of maintaining it is usually minimal. Better yet, having a website means that customers and prospects will always know where to find you. Monitor your website and respond to emails and other communications promptly to build trust among your insurance leads.
2. iPhone Apps
You can use iPhone apps to make calls, send emails, take payments, look up quotes, manage communications, and do just about anything else you could do on a computer. Since your iPhone is usually with you no matter where you go, you will always be in a position to help clients.
3. Customer Relationship Management Software
The quickest way to lose a customer to another provider is to make him or her feel ignored. Customer relationship management, or CRM, software allows you to program regular contacts with your clients. These contacts can take the form of email, telephone calls, online surveys, or regular newsletters – almost anything will do as long as you stay in touch.
4. Quote Engines for Life Insurance
Some 34 percent of agents use quote engines to provide customers with quick quotes on different types of life insurance packages.
5. Quote Engines for Health Insurance
These quote engines are also popular among 1/3 of agents.
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6. Lead Management Systems
Much like customer relationship management tools, these systems are set up to make sure that insurance leads receive regular contact. Many agents get busy and forget to follow up with leads, even though research has shown that it can take up to seven contacts to make an insurance sale. Lead management systems, used by about 30 percent of insurance agents, prevent viable leads from being misplaced and ignored.
7. Real Time Leads from Vendor
Although real-time leads are expensive, if they receive follow up within an hour, they are the most likely to convert to sales.
8. Email Marketing Service
Using an email marketing service saves insurance agents valuable time and also takes the guess work out of lead follow up.
Auto-dialers dial pre-programmed numbers and alert the insurance agent when they reach a live person. About 20 percent of insurance agents use auto-dialers. Their benefit is that they can save the insurance agent valuable time making calls that go unanswered or that reach a machine. If there is a deficit, it is that many people don’t like to answer the phone to find themselves on the line with a machine and will hang up before the agent can get on the line.
10. Aged Leads
A little over 15 percent of agents buy aged leads which are just real time Internet leads that are now a few weeks or months old. Aged leads are inexpensive, often costing only a few pennies each. For that reason, many agencies use them to train new agents or to test-market a new sales pitch. The problem with aged leads is that they have a relatively low conversion rate but advances in prospecting technologies have allowed agents the ability to overcome this and win the numbers game in a big way.