Insurance leads can be a great source of new business for many insurance agencies. Insurance leads vendors provide sales-ready prospects plus many handle the behind the scenes work like managing marketing programs, qualifying buyer interest, verifying contact information, and compliance. Nowadays they find prospects online, through live-transfers, via telemarketing services, and even on Facebook. And to many insurance agents, regardless of how they’re found, these prospects are their lifeblood.
On the other hand, call me biased, but I hate the idea of buying leads! As you know, our doctrine is that building systems that generate leads is the most effective. But I digress, in-house lead generation engines are not a feasible option for every insurance agency. And on the other hand, the best lead vendors are a godsend for the insurance agencies they serve.But after talking to so many agency owners, I can’t overlook the countless number of horror stories I’ve heard from people dealing with less than reputable lead vendors.
Some bought loads of leads with bad information and subsequently sent their producers up a creek.
Others got solid leads, but the delivery was inconsistent and made it hard to project a sales pipeline.
And a few got un-scrubbed and non-compliant leads that they worked and shortly thereafter received a letter of demand.
While there is no such thing as a perfect lead vendor, there are a few questions to help you cut through the fray and determine the best fit for your business. The goal of this post is not to disparage lead vendors, but to help insurance agencies separate the wheat from the chaff. Here are five types of questions you should ask before signing on with a lead generation service:
How do they generate the leads?
Every individual lead source will have positives and negatives that impact your agency’s return on investment. It’s important to understand the methodologies your vendors use and how they apply them to address problems exclusive to your industry’s and particular agency. The lead channels your vendors use matters; its arguably the most important question you can ask. Ask how!
How do they verify and scrub the contact information?
It costs you money to buy bad leads.
Imagine the time wasted chasing leads to false information? Or the devastating cost of violating DNC regulations? Not to mention the opportunity costs. With every vendor you must inquire into their returned leads policy and scrubbing procedures. You can’t afford not to.
Are they resold or exclusive?
Honestly, buying resold leads is unavoidable. At some point in time either you will knowingly or you will and you’ll have no idea you did. If you’re expecting exclusive leads, it’s important to ask how exclusivity is guaranteed. But if you purchase knowingly, you have to ask, how many times they’re being resold?
How will leads be delivered?
Lead delivery may seem like a random topic to cover, but as you already know, the longer you wait, the colder your leads get. With online leads, the early bird gets the worm.
It’s important to know, whether your leads be delivered in real time? If they’re resold leads, are all agencies receiving leads at the same time? Ultimately, how’s your vendor making sure your leads are delivered to you hot?
What kind of customer support is offered?
A point often overlooked is how invested is your lead vendor success. A good vendor is invested in your agency closing the leads they’ve sold you.
Are returns available for leads with bad contact information?
Do they provide sales scripts? Do you feel like they’re invested in your success? If you answered no to any of these questions, you’re probably not dealing with a good lead vendor.
If the leads you buy make up a significant part of your marketing mix, it’s imperative that you have a few solid vendors on deck [or learn how to never pay for leads ever again]. But finding quality providers doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Ask the hard questions to save yourself from future headaches! Have any internet lead horror stories? Know the best lead vendors? Let us know in the comments.