When most people hear the word “telemarketing,” they think of interrupted naps and dinners and of suspicious offers that sound far too good to be true. The birth of do-not-call lists effectively closed down many telemarketing operations. But the technique of cold calling to find health insurance leads is still alive and well, and it may be more effective than you suppose.
Unlike traditional telemarketers, who encouraged people to buy their goods or services immediately, the job of an insurance telemarketer is simply to generate quality leads. The health insurance telemarketer asks the respondent–who may be an individual or a small business–if he or she is looking for a different health insurance plan. If so, the telemarketer offers to have a licensed health insurance agent call to discuss insurance needs and provide a free quote.
The telemarketing agencies pass on only the names and contact information of people who have agreed to be contacted for additional information about health insurance. In other words, your insurance agents will be spared the time and trouble of cold calling. They’ll start out with a list of quality leads who have expressed interest in the product they are selling.
When you work with a telemarketing company, you usually agree to purchase exclusive health insurance leads. In other words, the company is generating the leads specifically for you, not for you and your top ten competitors.
Although experts agree that using the right telemarketing agency to generate leads can be very effective, they also caution that not all telemarketing firms are created equal. Avoid companies that use computers or automated symptoms to place the initial calls to potential customers. Automated systems are not able to screen leads nearly as effectively as a live human being, nor can they gather information regarding any specific questions or concerns the lead may have about his or her insurance coverage.
Also, make sure you work with a company that provides you with a list of leads promptly, no more than a day or two from when the lead was generated. If possible, ask the company to provide you with leads as soon as they are confirmed so that your insurance agent can follow up with them on the same day.
Don’t pay for leads that are more than a few days old. By the time your agents get to make contact with “stale” leads, they may have forgotten all about agreeing to be called for follow-up information and a quote. Also, since people tend to move quickly when their insurance is at stake, leads that were promising a month ago may have already resolved their insurance problems by the time you get to them.
You can spend your advertising dollars effectively by hiring an experienced telemarketing firm that employs trained humans to generate health insurance leads for your insurance agents. Just be careful to avoid the potential pitfalls.