Always Be Marketing!

If you ever worked for a traditional life insurance agency (Northwestern Mutual, New York Life, Mass Mutual, etc), they tell you to “always be prospecting” when you’re not in front of clients.  As life insurance agents selling over the phone, I would say that anytime you’re not on the phone during business hours, you should “always be marketing”.

Did you know that only HALF of my day is spent selling and the other half is spent marketing/helping other agents?   All the business you see coming from me in my “Sales Challenge” (click Sales Challenge under categories if you haven’t) is from my marketing efforts.  I don’t buy leads anymore because all my previous marketing efforts are paying off right now.

The reason I started marketing is because I didn’t see myself calling internet life insurance leads for the rest of my career.  Internet leads afforded me a nice lifestyle and gave me the freedom I always wanted, but it was a constant stream of money going out every month in order to see income 1-3 months later.  A string of bad months could have killed my career.

Can you make a good income only working internet leads?  Hell yes you can…if you’re consistent and have the money to spend on internet leads.  Do you want to rely on an outside source for all your income?  Probably not.

In order to make a great living and have longevity in this business you need to market yourself WHILE you’re selling internet leads.  With the short term goal of not having to buy internet leads.

Think of internet life insurance leads as a launch pad into your business.  You use them to pay the bills and refine your sales skills in the beginning.  Once the selling becomes natural, you have your systems in place and you have that confidence of “I just need more people to talk to”….that’s when you need to start marketing.

This takes a lot of effort.  Efforts that won’t pay off for months sometimes…but they will pay off if you’re passionate about it and you keep pushing.

Let me give you some examples of ways you can market:

Develop a Niche and Own It!
There’s one guy out there that only works with pot smokers and gets them to his website.  I know another guy that only works in the federal market and sells life insurance through a payroll deduction slot they have available.  Another agent I know targets retiring government employees and doing FEGLI (federal employees group life insurance) consultations over the phone.  What about targeting private pilots, scuba divers, skydivers or the armed forces?  Each of these run into challenges in the market for life insurance – become an expert and market to these people.  Become the go-to guy in a niche.

Generate Referral Business
Agents always seem so timid about going after referral relationships and I don’t know why.  You’re building a business and you need to make connections.  Here are some ideas to generate referral business.  Target SBA lenders – their clients are required to carry life insurance and they usually need it with a quickness.  Position yourself as a high risk life insurance specialist and call State Farm, Farmers and Allstate agents and ask to work their declines – their underwriting guidelines are awful and the majority who are declined can get coverage elsewhere.  What about going after fee-only financial planners?  They aren’t allowed to receive commissions so they refer out their life insurance recommendations.

Market Your Website
Agents always ask me how I get so many leads from my website.  Well, I market.  I reached out to other websites and did guest blog posts.  I got featured in online publications as an expert.  I became a student of SEO.  I did the things most life insurance agents never thought of doing.

You’re building a business.  Every business owner needs to market to stay alive.  If this is intimidating to you, you’re not ready to start a business yet.  Keep selling to internet leads.

However if you have that confidence, start brainstorming a market.  When youfind that market, research it and know that market inside and out.  Then put together a strategy to find your ideal clients, for them to find you or for them to be referred to you – find a list to call, develop a website, partner with an association or do something to catch their attention.

This takes time, but it works.  Are you willing to put in the work?