Every day I get messages like this:
Agent: “John, your marketing ideas are great… unfortunately I need strategies that are easy, cheap, and will sell policies today. What secrets have you been holding back that fit this criteria?”
Me: “Hmmm…I could try to get you a job at the GEICO call center…”
I don’t really say that. I usually try to explain that no worthwhile marketing brings overnight results but that’s good because the harder it is, the greater your competitive advantage if you can execute. (I do believe this).
But this week I thought to myself – why not give ‘em what they want?
At some point every agent needs a few quick sales to make a quota, get a bigger bonus, or keep the doors open. Why not put together a list of ideas for you to reference the next time you have to ask yourself,
“How Can I Sell As Much Insurance As Possible As Soon As Possible?”
For the most part, these are not long-term strategies. You can’t harass your friends, clients, email list, and spouse 100% of the time and be consistently successful. But when you’re in a bind, this list will provide actionable ideas to give yourself the boost you need to make your numbers and get your bonus! (You might want to bookmark this article for later)
Who knows… One idea from this page used at the right time just might make you an extra $10,000 bonus at some point in your career!
1. Offer A Bonus For Quotes
I put this tactic first because it can complement all the other ideas below. Offer a reward for someone to get a quote from you. You can give something like a gift card, cash, a free pizza, or a charity donation for anyone who gets an insurance quote.
If nothing else, this reward gives your producers and you a segue into a conversation about getting a quote that is focused around an immediate benefit to the prospect.
Legally, you should give the reward to everyone whether they buy or not and and every state or region has it’s own laws about how much you can spend so do your research first.
2. Offer a Reward for Referrals
Just like #1, I’m putting this one near the top because it will help with many other ideas below. Again, be aware of any legal limitations to the type or value of rewards you provide for referrals.
Offer the referral reward regardless of if the person buys to encourage the referring behavior. When someone recommends your agency and you don’t make the sale they’ll probably never do it again if you don’t show your appreciation.
If you’re going to do gift cards, team up with another local business like a car wash or restaraunt and buy them in bulk to save some money and build local karma.
3. Post to Your Agency Facebook Page
Now would be a pretty good time to cash in one all the work you’ve done getting Facebook likes, huh?
Make a post about the prize you’re offering for quotes or referrals and click the “Promote This Post” link under the message so more people will see (it’ll cost a couple bucks).
Include a call to action with your phone number and/or a link to the quote form on your website. Use Google Images to find an attention-grabbing picture for your post like a monkey talking on the phone.
Whatever you do, make sure the message you post emphasizes the prize, is funny, or in some way brings value to your fans.
DO NOT POST SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
4. Cross Sell Your Existing Clients
The easiest sales you can make are to people who have already bought from you. You already know everything about them and it’s likely that more lines of insurance will get them multiple policy discounts!
You also have a reason to call them. You can call to verify your contact information, let them know about a discount they may qualify for, or double-check their existing discounts. While you’ve got them on the phone, let them know how much they’ll save if they bundle their policies.
Run an audit on your book of business to identify key opportunities like parents without life insurance, renters without renter’s insurance, self-employed individuals without commercial auto or general liability coverage, etc.
5. Follow-up On Your Old Leads
Dig through your old leads and call them. Use the expiration date information you have to start with the prospects who you know are renewing soon and then move into those that are expiring next month.
If you don’t have the capability to sort them by expiration date then just look for the ones you were working 6, 12, 18, 24 etc. months ago before working the rest of the leads.
Since you weren’t able to sell the policy the first time, make sure you start the conversation with a new discount they may qualify for or a rate increase from their current carrier or something that explains right away why you deserve another opportunity.
6. Use Your Email Contacts
Looking for people you can email about your quote or referral reward program? It doesn’t get any easier than diving right in your email address book.
Formulate a friendly email that is focused on the value to the recipient and copy and paste it into a message to everyone in your email contacts list.
7. Buy Facebook Ads
Ever wonder how companies get those little ads on the right margin of your Facebook page? It’s really easy to do yourself and you’d be surprised how easy, quick, and cheap it is to set up.
What’s great about Facebook ads is that you can target them geographically and demographically so they’ll only be shown to the types of people you’ll be most likely to have the best rates for. You can also send traffic directly to your online quote form.
An ad sending Facebook users directly to your insurance quote form isn’t really what Facebook wants so they probably won’t show your ad for too long, but you could probably get some quotes out of it before they stop showing it.
8. Ask Your Friends
Sure it’s obvious, but if you need to make sales talk to your friends. Be honest about how important it is for you to make sales right now if they don’t seem to be in any rush and if you’re reaching out to friends for referrals follow this advice:
Don’t just ask for referrals – tell your friends who your specific ideal client is. This accomplishes 3 things:
- It makes the referrer think of actual people to refer instead of just “anybody”. This results in far higher referral rates.
- It gives the referrer confidence that you’ll have good rates and well-suited products removing their risk of looking bad to the referred person.
- It saves you time since the referrals you get will be better suited to your rates, products, and agency.
9. Buy Internet Leads
You probably already know I’m not a huge fan of internet leads but I do believe they can come in handy from time to time.
You’ll spend a lot of money, face a lot of negativity, and it’s not an investment in your brand, but if you need sales this week buying internet leads can get you there.
Probably should have mentioned this sooner but setting up a big office sales contest can be a huge boost for sales and will compliment all the other ideas on this list.
Get your entire staff involved (not just the salespeople) and keep in mind that the three things everyone wants are:
- Time Off
11. Buy More Insurance on Yourself
I’ve helped agents write thousands of dollars in premium on themselves. I’m not proud of it, but when you need a few more policies to make a number you do what you need to do.
The only advice I can give is to look for policies that won’t hurt your retention numbers later on if you decide to cancel.
12. Leverage LinkedIn Connections
Reach out to your connections with a private message crafted to be curt and professional including a call to action like: “Hey Jeff – Just realized I never got a chance to quote your homeowner’s insurance. When can I call you to discuss it?”
You can also click on your connections’ profiles to see who they’re connected to. Identify connections of your connections who would be a good fit for your products and send a message to the person that connects the two of you to provide an introduction.
You could also make an announcement on your LinkedIn profile about your quote rewards or referral rewards program. Make sure you make it a very time sensitive CTA: “Before 5pm today!’
13. Ask Your Family
Now that you’re in a bind it’s the perfect time to run through all your relatives and reach out to those who still have not purchased from you.
Beg and plead, but be careful what you promise or you might spend the remainder of this year’s weekends helping people move.
14. That Old Stack of Business cards
Most local business people have a pile of old business cards somewhere. You know the ones I’m talking about… the people you met at a networking mixer two years ago but wouldn’t recognize in a police lineup today.
Give them a call and pretend the relationship is stronger than it ever was. Ask about their family and when the time is right bring up the insurance. You don’t want to come off as too pushy too fast, but at the same time it’s not like you’re burning any profitable bridges by doing so.
If you can’t get through to them great, pretend you go way back and try to get a quote from the coworker who answered the phone.
15. Your Agency’s Next Door Neighbors
You know the more people you talk to the more opportunities you’ll have to get quotes so now that you really need quotes, it’s time to visit your neighbors and strike up some conversations.
Getting a quote from the neighbor isn’t bad, but businesses near you can be an even greater source of referrals! The dry cleaner next door might not make you rich, but he’s more likely to get a prospect in your door today than someone else across town.
Let them know you’re starving for quotes and come up with some type of exchange that helps everyone. More than likely there’s something they’re starving for too!
16. Pay Per Click Ads on Google
Pay per click ads for insurance on Google are expensive (usually at least $10 a click), but it’s a quick way to spend money to get people who are looking for insurance to your website.
If you’re handy with technology, you can setup a Google Adwords PPC campaign and have traffic on your site within an hour.
After you’ve hit your quota or gone broke, you can turn off the ads as quickly as you turned them on.
17. Hire a Telemarketing Agency
There’s plenty of companies out there that are running full-time insurance telemarketing programs that wouldn’t have any problem squeezing you into their mix.
They usually either transfer a warm lead to you right over the telephone or gather prospect information to give to you like an internet lead.
Warm transfers are better if you’ve got the capacity to take a call at any time but the lead info isn’t bad either because the information is now yours to prospect with for years to come.
Telemarketing leads are expensive, but at least they’re more exclusive than internet leads since you’re less likely to be competing against so many other companies.
I don’t have an insurance telemarketing company I recommend, but you could just do a search on Google to shop around.
18. Trade Policies With Other Agents
This might not work so well at year-end when everyone has numbers to hit, but if you find yourself under the gun mid-year and needing to hit a number consider reaching out to some of your colleagues.
If you need one policy to hit an important sales number and they don’t, maybe they’ll give you credit for one they’re about to write if you pay them back in the future.
Are you making a deal with the devil? Absolutely, but I’m trying to give you as many options as I can.
19. Send an Email Blast
If you’ve already got an active list of client email addresses for a monthly newsletter or some other email marketing, now is the time to take advantage.
Send out a mass email to your clients letting them know about your referral reward program. You could even add a bigger prize like a TV or a iPod that everyone who refers your agency would be eligible for.
20. Send Hot Quotes to Cold Leads
Do you have some old leads that won’t answer your phone calls, emails, or taps on their bedroom window at night? Send them a quote that gets their attention.
Add all the discounts, give them the least coverage and remove their at-fault accidents. Get it as cheap as you can and send it out to them. They’re not responding to you anyway, what’s the worst that could happen?
21. Use Twitter
Of course I had to add Twitter in here somewhere. I’m not a real big tweeter myself, but if you’ve got an audience that follows you post a message about your rewards for quotes or referrals program.
Encourage your audience to re-tweet your post for more exposure.
22. Get Your Spouse Involved
Ask all your friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors, college roommates, and everyone else out there but chances are no one has as much to gain from your success as your spouse.
For this reason, your spouse might be the one person who understands how important it is for you to make sales and will be willing to go the extra mile by sending out an email to all their coworkers, friends, and everyone else they know.
23. Ask Friends to Post to Social Media
Surprisingly, there are a lot of people who are very willing to help you if they only knew how. Make it easy for them!
Let your friends know you could really benefit from a post to their facebook account. Write it for them to make it even easier. Here’s an example:
My friend, FIRST NAME, does insurance for AGENCY/COMPANY, over in LOCATION. I’ve known him for X years and he’s an honest GUY/GAL who saved me RIDICULOUS AMOUNT last year. I promised FIRST NAME I’d share how much HE/SHE saved my family so please mention my name if you call HIM/HER to see how much he can save you. 305-555-5454
I’m sure you can come up with something better, but this’ll get you started. Just remember to keep it short and sweet.
24. Bind Future-Dated Policies Today
I’m not sure how your quota works exactly, but many insurance sales quotas go by the date the policy is bound, not when it goes into effect.
If you have a prospect that is already convinced to buy from you but they’re just waiting a few months for their policy to expire, talk them into an early signing.
Make sure you give them a reason for urgency that doesn’t involve your needs… entry into a contest, a discount that might go away, locking in rates that may change any day now, etc.
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