Understanding the headaches and frustration massive insurance agents suffer by cold calling people day in an out after paying for worn out insurance leads.
I am compelled to write this article about Internet Leads, Life Insurance Leads, Health Insurance Leads, Homeowners Insurance Leads, etc. and why it has been a huge waste of money and time for the majority of insurance brokers and agents in the insurance industry. I am grateful for such a great resource like EzineArticles which is a powerful tool in communication to the masses!
Agents all over the United States are constantly bombarded with solicitations daily with new lead programs from many different insurance lead providers. I have a friend who is an insurance agent and owes her insurance company money for insurance leads. She is required to buy a certain portion of leads on a monthly basis.
Feeling the pressure from your own insurance boss to close more deals i call this The Greatest Scam of all Times when it comes to (Internet Insurance Leads). Internet leads or leads generated by companies online are about 90% frivolous = trash. The great big lie that we only share these leads with one other insurance company, but when you eventually call, the bottom line is that 5 to 7 others called before you. Wolves in Sheep clothing is what i call these camouflaged as exclusive leads.
Decent insurance leads come to light about once every 20-25 leads. That is a minimum of $350 to run into that decent lead. This does not include the greatest expense, labor and time spent on19 to 25 other leads that did not pan out. This can be burdening on the insurance agent who is not good at closing and has issues dealing with rejection. After calling so many insurance leads and getting the big NO I AM NOT INTERESTED, and the agent apologizing to maintain his integrity, after saying sorry so many times, they begin to feel sorry.
So what specifically these insurance lead generating companies are doing wrong? What is happening with the conversion rates? As you continue to read i will disclose some hidden secrets.
Would you like to know the insurance lead generating companies that are literally giving insurance brokers and agents tons of garbage no good leads? if you do a query on google, msn, yahoo and many other search engines, you'll find that a vast majority of them dominate top rankings in these search engines for terms like heath insurance leads, mortgage leads, life insurance leads and more.
One way these major companies generate leads is buying these positions on the search engines with (PPC) pay per click advertising. Many companies invest aggressively in search engine optimization to technically dominate good positioning on search engines (Organic Listings). Paying several web masters to aggressively design lead capture pages to generate leads is also a tool used once they are dominating top search engine rankings. Mind you a good portion of them do not know much about the Insurance Business, but generating the leads, they master it!
If you have a hefty budget to invest on (PPC) Pay Per Click, companies like Google AdWords will place your insurance website at the very top almost immediately as long as your a good bidder above other pay per click participants. The average cost per click on Google AdWords for the keyword 9life insurance) is between $18-24 per click with no guarantees! of any conversions.
These big lead generating companies will then sell the leads to brokers or insurance companies that funnel these leads to their brokers at a fraction of the cost, but multiplied many times over, so their investment brings in a big and chunky (ROI). So how does it happen? Well, everybody down the line will pay $15-20 a piece, So what was a $20 investment initially is multiplied by 10 = $200! And who gets the real headache? The client by 7-10 agents calling them and giving them a speech on why they are the best, then they outbid each other.
As many companies use various ways to generate these leads, there are several tactics, sometimes suspicious, sometimes legal and sometimes straight bogus, but that is another story!
Using natural search results, which are found further down the pay per click links, about 3 links lower on the organic section. If you do a search on Google typing in (life insurance quote). Usually the first 3 sites are pay per click advertisements, below you will find the natural search results. Major search engines have been weeding out the Spam, but there is a good portion that persist and most likely continue to Spam as long as SEO (search engine optimization) professionals are getting paid!, the job will get done.
These lead generating sources get to the top of natural search engine listings without knowing much about insurance policies - but hiring experts who master SEO (search engine optimization), link building or link exchange and all the technical ways to gain prominent positioning.
Companies are also lead brokers, another bogus way many websites are accumulating these leads to sell to the masses is from other websites. Websites that have prime positioning and get good amounts of traffic easily will cut a deal with companies and become (commission affiliate brokers) that sell leads at wholesale prices. Why are these leads bogus? Because they generate leads by spamming, hacking and buying dead lead lists to redirect them to the affiliate sites and the list goes on, doing whatever it takes to generate leads.
At least a tenth of these websites that dominated search engines for any given term do not know much about insurance, nor do they have content that provides value for the consumer!
Other common problems with insurance leads that are generated are screening issues and pre-qualifications, but most companies will boast that they have screened clients very well, which, after speaking with insurance agents and brokers, their experience claims it not being true!. Speaking with insurance agents and brokers doing research, i found that approximately 85-90% of the leads from these Internet Lead Companies left false contact information, they really were not interested in an insurance policy, all they wanted was a price figure for comparison purposes, or would submit their information only to say (sorry, it's just too much money for me right now) when the policy came in (per requested!). Here you see a lot of wasted manpower. Even companies that have an effective follow-up system, with the most aggressive rates in the industry, dedicated assistants and staff members, technological and underwriting resources at their fingertips - even this makes it a complex lead program to work.
So where is the Insurance Industry headed and what will come of all this? Fact!, People are shopping online daily. They go to these insurance lead generating websites, fill the application, and next thing you know an agent calls them with hopes of closing a deal. Now, the client has numbers that was quoted to them. However, that Insurance Agent RARELY gets a chance at closing a deal. Now the Insurance Agent is chasing a lead and is focused on a misconception. If the client is truly interested in opening up a new policy, now using those quotes goes back to his existing insurance agent, finds one online locally or calls up a friend or family member and discusses theses numbers which in return get refereed to a trusted local insurance agent by word of mouth recommendation.
So there you go! Insurance is usually sold by word of mouth recommendation from trusted associate resources, friends and family members. It initially cannot be sold via the Internet, but using this reliable resource for local insurance companies is vital to their business. If you have an insurance business and your website is not positioned where your local consumers are seeking out information, then you are subject to other insurance agencies intercepting your local leads. Now it balls down to closing skills and providing useful value and great quotes to have the client determine whether or not you are a reliable firm or agent to do business with.
Insurance companies easily say that their best foot forward is implemented in acquiring good solid leads with the best intentions, therefore the leads they provide are well worth the money and if any bad leads exist, they will either refund your money or replace them.
Unfortunately these lead generating companies blame insurance brokers and agents for not having the proper ability to provide quality information with enough value that will lead the consumer to closing themselves, nor have the competitiveness that these online insurance companies show them when quoted for an insurance policy. Most of the time they refuse or make an excuse to why they will not credit you, because there was or is (enough contact information provided to you) which most of the time never gets a response from the client.
This is a challenge for most insurance companies purchasing these leads. If you have 8-10 agents calling the same client, now it IS time to compete and when this happens, fraudulent quoting becomes a common denominator due to competitiveness among insurance agents. Many insurance agents will say anything in order to get that person to walk in the office, sign a deal or outbid another quote. When this happens it leads to unattainable premiums and false claims based upon a clients true rating! Too many variables such as A+, underwriting issues or backdating all play a part in a true quote for a client, so there is a big loop hole in luring the client to fill in the application which ultimately harbors corruption. When the smoke clears and months have gone by, the client is more likely to take the policy because at this point he/she is exhausted and overwhelmed with waiting, they just want it to end it. Bottom line, the lowest pricing usually closes the deal, not the insurance agent who gives the accurate quotes.
This is very unfortunate for many honest and ethical insurance agents who strive to provide the best value. However, the solution to this is in assuring your positioning on the internet with top search engine rankings and be in the way when your consumers search for information concerning insurance quotes. Who better to find than the local insurance company in the neighborhood.
Are you still thinking about buying leads online? Think again!
If you are a broker and your insurance agency has slowed down, and agents have left you slowly but surely, i have a question for you! What kind of search engine rankings does your website have?
If you are a (Broker or Agent) and you are looking for Quality Insurance Leads that call you direct, i recommend you start using Web 3.0 platforms like YouTube, Myspace, Facebook etc. to initially have some immediate viral exposure and work on getting your website to the top of search engines where your potential clients are digging for your information.