4 months ago, I kicked off this blog with a sales challenge. The goal was to document my applications with an explanation of why I used a certain carrier and/or helpful information of how I got the sale. You can click on “Sales Challenge” under categories to see the full history.
The Challenge: Submit $80k of premium in 20 weeks (5 months)
The Result: I submitted $85k of premium in 15 weeks (4 months)… which included 10 days out of the office.
Really pumped with my results because I only spent 3-4 hours a day selling in order to hit this goal. The rest of my time was spent marketing and helping other agents grow their business.
Throughout the sales challenge, I had agents call me and ask what I’m doing to generate business. This seems to be the most common question, so I’ll address it. I attribute all of my marketing success to the EZlife platform (no paperwork or processing) combined with inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing for Life Insurance
I personally market online for life insurance (I don’t buy leads) and generate referral relationships over the phone. This is where all my sales came from during the challenge. However, what I do isn’t the only way to go about inbound marketing…it’s just the way that I choose to do it.
I know other agencies that do radio and podcast advertising that work for them. Others advertise to niche markets in magazines or newsletters (think federal employees, scuba divers, diabetics, etc.). I know one agent that leverages a PR agency to get her interviews in newspapers, magazines, tv or radio and that gives her all the business she can handle. I know several agencies who buy access to opt-in email lists (affiliates) and generate their leads by consistent email blasting. Then you have the big budget agencies that advertise on TV – think SelectQuote and Matrix Direct. You also have SEO, PPC and media buying. I can go on and on. It’s all inbound marketing and it all works if you do it right.
I personally have several referral relationships in place as a portion of my inbound marketing. Here are some example relationships you can go after:
- Approach Farmers and State Farm agents and ask for their life insurance declines. Position yourself as a high risk life insurance specialist and lean on your agency underwriter. I’ve placed several good sized policies this year from these referrals.
- SBA loan officers. Life insurance is required for their transactions. Let them know you can get it done quickly, handle the collateral assignment and have access directly to you.
- Equipment financing agencies. They require life insurance for their clients to secure loans as well. Think doctors who finance their big purchase medical devices for their practice or contractors who finance big machinery purchases. These are lay downs.
- Fee Only Financial Advisors. They aren’t allowed to receive commissions and need to refer their life insurance recommendations out. Be that person.
One of my 2013 goals is to delegate my leads to other agents and go after more referral relationships. Referral sales are the easiest of any lead out there. I don’t know why more agents aren’t going after these. 1 good relationship and you no longer have to buy leads again. This is lucrative stuff!
Now more than ever, agents who sell life insurance over the phone need think about generating leads themselves and not rely on the life insurance lead providers out there. Life insurance leads should only be used to launch your business or supplement your inbound marketing efforts while they grow.
If I had to start all over again, here’s what I would do:
- Work aged life insurance leads with a dialer for as long as it takes to get used to selling life insurance over the phone and get rid of any call reluctance. Getting experience selling, field underwriting, quoting and taking applications over the phone is necessary to build your confidence and efficiency. Aged leads are the most cost effective and quickest way to get this experience. Once you have this down, your only “pain” becomes finding more people to sell.
- At the same time as working aged life insurance leads, I would develop referral relationships (as mentioned above) via cold calling, emailing and networking. I wouldn’t stop until I had a consistent flow of referrals.
- Learn OR pay someone to do your inbound marketing once you have the confidence and fundamentals of selling life insurance over the phone down.
I believe every agent needs some form of inbound marketing to grow their business. I realized in this sales challenge how important it is to start working on it immediately. Once you find your inbound marketing niche, your business runs on autopilot and you can start scaling it.
My Next Project for Agents
Again, the biggest 2 questions I’ve had from agents following my Sales Challenge is “how do you generate your business?” which I covered above and will continue to cover in depth on future blog posts….and “where can I get training?” which is my next project for selltermlife.com.
I’m putting together ALL of my knowledge and resources for selling life insurance over the phone and combining it with video training. Everything I’ve learned in the last 5 years from selling over the phone will be available in 1 spot online for agents to access.
I imagine I won’t be done with training resource until year, but I’m organizing it as we speak and will start recording videos soon. This will be free to any agent that currently writes business with me.
Thanks for following me in my sales challenge. I had some good feedback from agents over the last 4 months that encouraged me to keep writing. Traffic to the website is growing so it makes me believe I’m helping a lot of agents out there. Stay tuned for more training blogs and don’t forget to sign up for my e-mail newsletter.
Congrats on surpassing your goal for the sales challenge!!! I want to thank you for all your wisdom and your willingness to share and help independent agents life myself. You have inspired me and I greatly appreciate your help in connecting me with Chris Huntley here in San Diego. I am having success and am taking your advice and working on building my own referral relationships! THANKS AGAIN JEFF!!! – Ellen Edwards
Thanks Ellen! Good to hear from you.
And you’re welcome! Glad it’s all working out for you. Chris is a great mentor in this business and knows his stuff… I’m happy for your success.
Amazing and very motivating challenge. Being 25 year old agent I feel like I saved good few years of learning the hard way to sell life insurance via phone and web with all the stuff you covered.
Mack – Whaat!? You’re only 25? I wish I knew what you know at age 25. You’re well on your way.
I am glad I stumbled upon this blog. This is a great article, I’ve digested quite a few articles so far. Keep up the great work Jeff!
Thanks for the inspiration! I also know a guy who kills it selling medsupps from aged leads as well.
Justin – Thanks man and sorry for the late reply.
I also know a couple guys killing the med supp market with aged leads. Many med supp agents don’t know you can filter aged health insurance leads by age – go for 65+ and BOOM – you have an aged medd supp lead.
I really have enjoyed the blogs on here. I discovered your website about 2 weeks ago, I’ve been selling life insurance for about 3.5 years now, I’m 24 years old and I started at Farm Bureau. I’m now on my own and loving it. I sell 95% over the phone. I wouldn’t change that for anything, but I’m still developing my inbound marketing system. I just wanted to say thanks for the encouraging posts.
Andrew – No problem. Glad you’re getting something out of this blog. It may take some time to get that inbound marketing system dialed in, but keep pluggin away…you’ll get there.
Thanks for commenting. It keeps me motivated to put my thoughts down on this blog.