How to convert internet leads to sales

By Dan Kitajima 12/14/2014

After selling over 2,700 policies in 2014 agents around the country have started to ask me how my team is selling so many policies each month.  Well the short answer is that I invest in internet leads. I often hear “Internet leads are a waste of money and time”.  “It seems all the numbers are wrong numbers”.  “The return on investments is not worth it because each lead is too expensive”.  Well all these statements are true… If you are not good at selling internet leads!

Be Patient

When you first start purchasing internet leads it is sort of like learning a new sport.  You are not going to be good at it in the beginning!  How was your form when you first tried shooting a basketball?  I’m sure your first day at baseball practice you didn’t hit any homeruns.  I am amazed to find how many agents simply give up after spending $100 on internet leads.  Well here’s what I believe… it takes a lot of practice to get good at closing internet leads!  And oh yeah… you are going to have a lot of people yell at you… Move on to the next one.

Understand that your ROI is not going to be good at first

When you spend $5 to $15 per lead and you make $50 to $150 per policy sold and if you can sell 10% (a great goal) guess what?  Even if you are good you are not making that much money!  But why did we all get into the insurance business anyways?  That’s right because we get paid off the renewals too!  So if you are not making money off the 1st policy period that’s okay because you are going to make money next year.  Having a long term approach to internet leads is critical because initially the cash flow is not going to be there.  Just like starting off in any business you have to spend money to make money later.  The insurance companies understand this the most.  With the cost of advertising and paying agent’s commission and etc. companies I suspect they spend $2 for every $1 worth of new business premium.  Why because if the retention is good we will all make money in the future.

Be Quick

Now when you first receive a quote what should you do?  When I first started working on internet leads I practically dropped everything I was doing at the time to work on the quote right away.  Why?  Because as soon as you receive the lead the clock has started ticking and soon the lead will not be fresh anymore.  If you are the 5th, 4th or even the 3rd agent or broker to reach the client your closing ratio has decreased already significantly. Client’s don’t really like purchasing insurance.  They also sure as hell don’t like talking about insurance all day long.  So if you are the late in responding the chances are they are already burned out talking about insurance and very possibly irritated (Most prospects didn’t expect they will instantly get 100 calls). So how can you be the quickest?  I recommend working on your quote speed.  Meaning be able to provide a quote quickly!  We live in the information age so if the prospect inputs all their information in their quote they rightfully expect you to have the quote ready by the time you call them.  So if it takes you too long to have a quote ready you will not be prepared if you do get a hold of them.  You can not call them without a quote ready.  What are you going to do?  Try to ask them how their day is going?  Talk about the weather?  I strongly recommend not talking about anything that doesn’t have to do with their quote.  Get right to the point!  They don’t want to be your friend (You do after you sell them the policy), they most likely went online because they want to have their insurance situation taken care of efficiently. One way to get quicker at quoting is learning all the short cuts on your keyboard.  Toggling is a must as you go from screen to screen.  Copy and paste by control + C and control + V is a must as well.  Play around with your keyboard and learn your short cuts!  Ideally you should be able to quote without even touching your mouse.  Again the quicker you are able to finish a quote the better chance you are giving yourself.  Just like in almost all sports, if you are quicker you have a tremendous advantage.

Do not be desperate

Okay I know you just spent $10 on that lead and you have tremendous sense of urgency to sell this policy to the prospect.  Well this is probably sales 101 but you have to make sure you don’t sound desperate at all.  This can be hard for new agents because you have to be quick but you can’t hurry.  You rushed to get the quote ready and now that you got a hold of the prospect it is easy to sound like you are in a rush! Calm yourself down and talk normal. Try not to talk fast.  The last thing anyone wants in a buying situation is feel rushed.  Lean back on your chair and change gears.  Sound friendly and professional and ask the right questions (more on this later).  Sound like you sell 10 policies each day and try to make them feel like you are helping them instead of selling them.  I like to talk about follow ups later but I actually feel you should not follow up as much as most people think.  Again following up too much can make you sound desperate which is the last impression you want to make.

Hit them from all angles

You got the quote ready as fast as possible and you called and left them a message.  Now what you want to do is email them the quote and mail them the quote as well.  We don’t text them anything (it seems a little too desperate but please let me know if it works for you) but I do believe we need to hit them from all angles because prospects will not buy from a voicemail (not matter how professional you sound).  They will listen to your voicemail, see your email then receive your quote in the mail and then maybe they will call you back!  Most of the sales we get are from call backs.  It is possible to call them and close them on the first call (You have to amazing but it is possible) but the most common scenario is when a client calls or emails us back after receiving 3 “touches” (any combination of voicemails, emails and mail) that they see or hear from us.  This may sound the opposite of what I just said previously but we really have to walk the fine line between becoming too desperate and being enthusiastic about helping them with their insurance.

I have heard many agents will rather not mail them the quote because it cost them extra money… Are you kidding me?  If you have spent $10 already what is another 40-something cents plus the cost of paper and ink?  If you are cheap you shouldn’t be buying internet leads.

There is so much more to talk about but that’s all for now!  Hope these tips helps you sell more leads and I’ll try to find the time to give you more tips in the future.  If you have any tips of your own or have any questions please feel free to email me at Happy selling and remember… “Scared money don’t make money“.  Good luck!