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This episode covers the current state of life insurance marketing and the magnitude of the opportunity in front of us for 2015 and beyond.
As we close out 2015, there’s a few opportunities agents haven’t fully grasped that I’ll also cover those in this episode.
Click Here to View the Full Transcript Jeff: Hey, life insurance agents, you’re listening to the Modern Life Insurance Selling podcast where we provide the tools to help you grow a more profitable life insurance business by selling online and over the phone from anywhere with an internet connection. Even if you’re alone in your quest to build your life insurance business, just know that there’s a community of life insurance agents at SellTermLife.com connecting and helping each other grow their business from home offices, coffee shops, [inaudible 00:00:30] all across the nation.
Jeff: Welcome to episode number thirty-eight of the Modern Life Insurance Selling podcast. I’m your host, Jeff Root. Today will be a solo podcast talking about the current state of life insurance marketing and the magnitude of the opportunity in front of us for 2015 and beyond. As we close out 2015, there’s a few opportunities agents haven’t fully grasped that I’ll cover in this episode, but first, like always, if you like what you hear and are listening in iTunes or Stitcher, please leave us a review. Also, if you have any questions or want any topics covered please use the send voice mail tab over at SellTermLife.com.
All right, there’s a lot of life insurance agents out there taking baby steps or on the fence to making the move to bringing their businesses online. If the latest LIMRA stats saying that eighty-five percent of consumers do some sort of research online and fifty percent of consumers purchase online and over the phone don’t convince you, let me reframe it for you. Agents are grossly underestimating what’s actually happening in technology today. We are experiencing the single biggest culture shift in US history. It’s going to change the way we sell life insurance and it’s already happening and agents are taking advantage of this today.
In every industry, not just insurance, there is wealth being created like we’ve never seen before because of the massive shifts in the way business is done and technology advancements. Any time there’s big societal shifts like this there’s a lot of money to be made. Decades from now, in my opinion, agents are going to look back at our time period and comment on how lucky we were to be able to take advantage of these shifts.
In the life insurance industry agents are either thrilled with what’s happening with technology or scared out of their minds. I could hear it in their voices when I talked to you agents on the phone. I can sense it in the emails I’m getting. No matter what side of the coin you fall on it all comes back to value. Do you provide value for your client beyond anything else out there? Do you value your client’s time? I can preach about the opportunity and spit out LIMRA stats about the opportunity ahead of us for hours, but it all comes down to you and what you can provide your clients.
Let’s get down to how to take advantage of these big shifts. There’s a lot of agents make the move online with nothing that differentiates them from the rest of the industry. It’s scary for me because a lot of these agents are going to fail. It’s just like the saying, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Simply building a website with no marketing direction is a waste of your time and money, and I see agents doing it all the time, spending a thousand, two thousand, three thousand dollars on a website, adding some content and waiting three, six months and saying, “Hey, why am I not getting any leads?”
Before you make the jump to get in front of this tidal wave of consumers headed online to research life insurance, think about what value you’re providing. Why would a prospect choose you over any other agent out there without ever meeting you face to face? What makes you memorable so they’ll come back to you to purchase life insurance when the time is right?
I like to compare it to a social outing. When I’m introduced to five new people and ten seconds later I couldn’t tell you’re their names. Even after I shook their hand, looked in their eyes and said, “Nice to meet you” I forget their names. However, if there is someone that stands out from the crowd because of a common interest I always remember their name because I have a clear motive why I wanted to remember their name.
Make sure you have that differentiating factor that will make a consumer remember you when they’re ready to purchase life insurance. What do you do well? What segment can you serve best, and can you articulate clearly how you can help that segment? What are you doing that no one else is doing? Highlight and focus whatever value you provide. That’s how you set yourself apart. Simply putting up a generic website saying you can get the lowest term life insurance rates, that’s been done. It’s been done. It’s out there. That’s not going to set you apart.
Beyond the value you provide it’s important to value your time and your prospect’s time. Beyond the health of my family and friends my biggest asset is my time, and I bet it’s the same for you and your prospects. Let me ask you an off topic question, and this will all circle back, it will make sense. Do you get annoyed when somebody calls you on your cell phone?
Think about it, you’re going throughout your day. Somebody calls you on your cell phone. You look at it. Are you a little bit annoyed that this person is actually calling you? If you’re one of those people who get annoyed, and I would hate to admit it but I’m one of those people too, I would guess that you’re up to speed with technology, because technology is in a place where somebody shouldn’t be bothering you on your time.
Think about that. This is what’s happening right now in our industry. People aren’t as receptive to phone calls as they used to be. I remember in the ‘90s loving to get phone calls, but now the telemarketing has jaded our view of answering our phones, and it’s so easy to communicate on your own time online via email or text, or whatever your preferred communication method is, it’s harder to get people to open up on the phone. We need to communicate with customer two-point-oh differently and on their time.
We now live in a world where information is available twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. People aren’t communicating only during business hours now. I can’t tell you how many after hours email conversations with clients I’ve had this year. Guess what? I email them back immediately, even if it’s after hours, because I’m working on their time. They’re ready to communicate so I’m ready. I know I will get their business because I communicate on their time.
It’s almost like consumers are beginning to expect us to be available on their time, and if we’re not they will find someone else who is. I think that’s one of the reasons why [Leeron 00:06:51] from previous podcast episodes, he pulls in several applications per week, and even more leads from his website chat from the weekends and late in the evenings, because he understands and respects other people’s time.
We’re also having luck contacting people who never pick up their phone or return emails or phone calls by texting them. That consumer obviously prefers to communicate by text and so that’s what we have to do. Is it convenient? No, we don’t like it but we’re on their time now and technology is pushing it so that we have to communicate on their time. Am I saying you need to be on point twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty-five days a year? No, but you should figure out a reasonable way to be accessible to your prospects and clients on their time.
The internet has made it so consumers almost expect a live person to be available by phone, chat, or email at 8:30 at night after their kids go to bed. That’s when they are able to go their research. That’s when they can get online. If you don’t do it someone else is. Think about how you’re communicating with prospects and be receptive to their preferred mode of communication.
Let’s shift gears a little bit and let me respond to the question, how are these independent life insurance agents crushing it online while I’m struggling to generate a few leads? It’s something I talk about with agents daily. Right now there’s a widening gap of successful agents becoming even more successful. Then on the flipside there’s even more agents struggling to make it.
You want to know that one theme that makes one agent better than the other, why these successful agents are becoming more successful and more and more agents are struggling to make it? Besides work ethic and investing in their business, they actually market in the year we live in.
Most agents aren’t marketing in the world we live in today. I look at agent’s websites and rarely do I see a mobile optimized site. We’re seeing over thirty-five percent of our traffic to our life insurance websites from mobile devices, tablets, smart phones, whatever. I see general rehashed content everywhere. Nothing is new anymore. Everybody is just rehashing, rewriting the same thing and ripping each other off, rewording it.
I have agents emailing me from their Gmail, AOL, and Yahoo email accounts. I see websites that look like they’re from the mid ‘90s. I found the reason agents aren’t marketing in the year we live in today is either time, money, laziness, or lack of education, and all those reasons are simply excuses. Every agent needs to be marketing to today’s consumer and this will always be evolving. I’m constantly changing the way I do business. It may seem wishy-washy to some agents, but I’m just keeping up with what consumers expect.
Our industry is archaic. The value of traditional prospecting and traditional media today is nowhere near as valuable as it was ten years ago. TV, radio, and email all still work, but not to the affect that they used to. Think about it, do you ever watch a live TV show anymore? I know myself and nine out of ten of my friends don’t. That’s what DVR is for, right? We record it and we watch on our own time, fast forward the commercials. Do you read every email in your inbox? I don’t. I know most of my friends don’t. I remember back in the ‘90s I read every single line of every single email. Now I don’t because the marketers have infiltrated our inboxes.
The attention of life insurance consumers, it keeps shifting. Right now we’re all in a battle for attention. You may be the nation’s best life insurance agent, but if you’re not getting attention it doesn’t matter. With that said, there is ROI in anything that people pay attention to, and that’s what every agent needs to focus on.
What are people in your target market paying attention to right now? That’s what you need to figure out and that’s where you need to market. Right now, where are the eyeballs and ears of your target market? It’s going to be different for every market and once you’ve figured that out …
I don’t have the answers to where your target market is but let me share with you where I believe the biggest opportunity in 2015 and the next few years lies. It’s not SEO. It’s not Pay Per Click or any media buying that we’ve been talking about in previous episodes. Those all work but I think the biggest opportunity and the most important thing any life insurance agent or business can leverage is data.
If you have a current book of business, leverage that data first. Too many agents are casting a wide net to try and generate brand new clients, brand new leads, just cold from their marketing efforts. They’re not adding any depth to their books of business by going after referrals or cross cells.
Facebook, LinkedIn, in other companies should be viewed by all life insurance agents as data providers that you can leverage, not that social media platform your children are obsessed with, spending hours a day on. Those are great data sources. Be absolutely tactical and surgical in using the data they provide can yield big results. I know it seems so abstract to ninety-nine percent of you, and that’s a good think because not many life insurance marketers are using data to effectively market.
What do you do with data? That’s a strategy you need to come up with yourself but be intentional with it and know that you need them to care about life insurance. I know agents absolutely dominating niches from data sources they found. I’ll give a few examples.
There’s a lifestyle risk an agent I know is targeting. I don’t want to out the risk as that would just be bad business and he would be very upset. He inquired with an association that the majority in this risk belonged to about advertising on their email list. He found out there was already a life insurance agency advertising that was paying them a hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars per year to advertise to that list and they’d been doing it for three years, so it must be working. That’s an agency who found a data source and its obviously working really well for them.
I know another agent who is writing applications every month from a Facebook ad campaign. He uses Facebook’s dark post. Those posts don’t show up on your page or news feed. He drives targeted traffic to his website through these dark posts. By targeted traffic, I’m talking his ideal demographic which I won’t say here, but I will make up and example so that you get the gist here.
Let’s say he’s targeting scuba divers that are thirty to fifty-five years old. They’re married and have children. You can get that laser targeted with Facebook ads. You can learn Facebook ads in a few days too. We actually have a comprehensive course in our community on how to do Facebook ads.
Another example and I’ll give an example that I’m doing right now. My agency is personally working a referral source where we’re getting, on average, a hundred and thirty leads per day with a niche medical telemarketing company. We convinced them to simply ask a question after they help their clients; “Would you be interested in speaking with a licensed agent about securing life insurance for your family?” If they say yes their information gets pushed to our CRM. This is simply leveraging the data of this company.
Those are just three examples of data to grow your business. I can do a whole episode on these but I could never give any details so I won’t. I’ll just say that there’s a lot of data out there that can be sliced and diced to your target market. This is simply marketing in the year we live in. These agents understand that traditional media and life insurance prospecting methods are becoming more and more outdated.
Technology is changing the way consumers communicate with us and how we need to get their attention. The agents that understand this and figure out their target market will continue to work these methods while other agents are still sitting with their website with a few dozen articles written, and wondering why they aren’t getting any of this action these other agents are seeing.
Let me leave you with this; you have a life insurance license and you have experience helping families secure life insurance. You may even have a great website, but guess what, that entitles you to zero new clients tomorrow. You have to earn them through getting people’s attention and that takes patience in era where everything is about instant gratification. Agents aren’t willing to give their precious time to research and understand their target market.
Learn some new marketing skills. You’d rather spend three thousand dollars on a nice looking website and expect prospects to appear out of nowhere. It doesn’t work that way. If you want to explode yourselves in 2015 and beyond, ask yourself these two questions, which we touched on earlier.
Number one, are you providing extraordinary value to your target market, the type of value where people remember you? Two, do you market and communicate to this target market in the year we actually live in? In other words, make sure you are evolving with your market. Marketing, technology, and communication have changed and will continue to change. This is my challenge to all of the listeners listening to this podcast.
Jeff: Now, for a peak into our community of life insurance agents over at SellTermLife.com, here are some of this week’s hot topics.
Jeff: This week in the community, we’re discussing LIMRA’s report of the future role of call centers, which is basically us, since we’re all selling over the phone. The report predicted that within five years, communication by phone will decrease, while the use of online chat, email, and social media will all increase, like how we talked about in this episode.
We also have an accountability mastermind call forming, where agents can open up about their struggles and challenges in their business and get feedback from the group on a live phone call. I’m a part of one of these and it’s been very helpful for my business, to not only get help with my challenges, but to learn from other people’s challenges as well.
There was also a very recent update that lowered Google search engine share in favor of Yahoo results. It’s just crazy how updates to technology can affect landscapes. It shows just how fragile relying on certain traffic sources really is. This was just a minor, minor change, but it’s a reminder of how things can change in an instant. We discussed what happened in the immediately bumps or decreases in website traffic a lot of us received.
Jeff: To join the conversation and discover how you can use a modern technique to sell more life insurance, work more efficiently and on your own terms, head over to SellTermLife.com. We’ll see you back next Thursday morning for another value packed episode of the Modern Life Insurance Selling podcast.
Jeff: Hey, life insurance agents, you’re listening to the Modern Life Insurance Selling podcast where we provide the tools to help you grow a more profitable life insurance business by selling online and over the phone from anywhere with an internet connection. Even if you’re alone in your quest to build your life insurance business, just know that there’s a community of life insurance agents at SellTermLife.com connecting and helping each other grow their business from home offices, coffee shops, [inaudible 00:00:30] all across the nation.
People in the episode:
Jeff Root: [email protected]
Mentioned on this episode:
STL Community Facebook Ads Training
Recent Action in the Sell Term Life Community:
We discuss LIMRA’s report on the future role of call centers which is basically us since we’re all selling over the phone. The report predicted that within 5 years communication by phone will decrease while the use of online chat, email adn social media will all increase.
We also have an accountability mastermind call forming where agents can open up about their struggles and challenges in their business and get feedback from the group on a live phone call. I’m a part of one of these and it’s been very helpful for my business to not only get help with my challenges, but to also learn from other peoples challenges.
There was also a very recent update that lowered Google’s search engine share in favor of Yahoo. It shows just how fragile relying on certain traffic sources really is. We discussed what happened and the immediate bumps or decreases in website traffic a lot of us received.
Learn how you can get access to these discussions, a powerful community of like-minded life insurance agents, and much much more by visiting the SellTermLife Community.
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