If you want longevity in this business combined with increasing income, the only “stable” way to do this is:
Build your database of prospects.
There are major ups and downs in selling life insurance over the phone, especially during the first few years.
If you’re solely dependent on buying leads, every month is a roller coaster. Lead vendors are hot and cold with lead quality. If you’re marketing online, Google algorithm changes can blow you out of the water. Your referral source could pull the plug on the relationship. Even outside events like unexpected expenses for various reasons might make you dip into your marketing budget that keep your business running. My database of prospects is my only constant.
A list of a buying audience is the most important thing ANY business can have.
My database of prospects consists of 4 groups:
- Prospects (biggest portion)
– Prospects I qualified and never quoted
– Prospects I quoted and never sold
– Prospects who double opted into an email (via my network of websites)
- Media and networking contacts
- Referral Sources
How I keep in touch
I keep in touch with my database of prospects mostly through e-mail communication and a phone call every month or 2. My clients I keep in touch with, I send 2-3 emails per year and a holiday card that I mail. My referral sources, I send gifts. Over the last 2 months, I’ve sent a nice bottle of Macallan Single Malt Scotch, macadamia nut chocolates from Maui, personalized t-shirts and a “congratulations” basket.
People do business with people they know and trust. Take your prospects from:
Being cautious about you on the initial contact > liking you > knowing you > trusting you
All this can be done with nurturing your database. Just know that many of your prospects won’t buy until they know or trust you. It may take some time.
Tips on e-mail nurturing a database of prospects:
- Don’t try to sleep with them on the first date. Simply deliver value and let them feel comfortable with seeing your name every once in a while. When they’re ready, you’ll be the one they contact.
- Keep the emails short. I’m talking 2-4 lines. No one wants to read a novel from someone trying to sell them something.
- Keep it personal and don’t make it sound like a canned email. Make sure you utilize merged fields so it looks like the email is specifically meant for them.
- Don’t treat it as a “newsletter” with insurance news topics or ways to help them financially (big mistake agents make). It’s a 1 way ticket to opt-out. You’re simply keeping in touch.
- Add your picture and social media icons to the emails. Let them connect with you and know you’re real.
- Don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting responses. This is called nurturing and it takes patience.
- Concentrate on adding to this list every single day.
- Have some fun with it.
Segment your list as much as possible.
By segmenting, I mean tagging your prospects with different labels within your CRM or e-mail marketing platform. Here’s why: Sending targeted emails produces MUCH better results than “general” emails.
If you have someone looking for a GUL, tag them as “GUL”. If that same person is also a diabetic, also tag them as “diabetic”. I go so far as tagging the lead source and why they didn’t purchase with me (went with someone else, too expensive, etc). So a prospect in my database can have 1 tag or 10+ tags. This lets me send targeted emails throughout the year by sorting through the tags.
I’m going to have an entire article coming up dedicated to segmenting your list.
Last week, I sent an email blast to 47 people in my database with these conditions:
With any of these Tags: “GUL”
Without any of these Tags: “Client”
These are people who wanted quotes for GUL that weren’t already a client. I sent them a short email about AG38 and what it means to them – basically saying if you don’t purchase now, rates will skyrocket within 2 months and I linked to a couple articles referencing AG38 online.
41% open rate. (19 people opened the email)
5% unsubscribe (1 out of the 19 unsubscribed)
2 HOT leads.
I took 2 applications on 1 of the leads for $2600 in premium (husband and wife $50k GULs). The other lead I quoted via email from my previous qualifying notes and I haven’t heard anything yet, so we’ll see.
47 prospects doesn’t seem like a lot – but that’s 47 targeted prospects who would be interested in my message. Prospects who’ve seen my emails and haven’t opted out (which means they’re still interested).
It’s not the size of the list, it’s the quality of it.
Building Your Database
I don’t know of any IMO’s, BGA’s or uplines that are showing you how to build a database of prospects, however it should be part of a training program and is something I’m putting together for my group agents who are consistently submitting business.
If you’re selling life insurance over the phone and NOT building your database, you should start. Even if you need to use an excel spreadsheet to start, do it!
I’ll have more training on this later.
At the end of the day, your database of prospects is your biggest asset. That’s what you run in and grab when the house is burning down.
Why? Because it’s the best long term strategy for this business. Lead companies, referral sources and other opportunities come and go. Your database will always be there.