Most insurance agents assemble prospect lists from a plethora of sources, some very traditional, while others are derived from state of the art, leading edge techniques. Prospect lists form the basis of the insurance agent lead funnel, and create the fundamental foundation for the agent pipeline. An enhancement for an agency prospect list is a lead source, which can include the web leads or bulk purchase of leads from a lead source vendor. These web leads are often sold to several or in some cases many agents, and if this lead generation method is selected, the agent must make sure the leads procured are targeted and in profile. Some agencies have a dedicated relationship with an insurance marketing agency, and the leads derived from dedicated campaigns should also ensure strict adherence to the agent and agency prospect criteria. There are state of the art cloud computing solutions agents can use as their list repository, PC based databases and simple Excel spreadsheets which are often used. Some prospect list and lead sources that even notify agents of changes to key personnel. Increased functionality and sophistication typically correlates with an increase in budgetary expenditure.
No two list sources are exactly alike; some sources of insurance agency prospect lists offer much higher quality than other sources. I've seen and used many sources for insurance prospect information and can definitively say that the quality of information is critical to your success as an agent or agency. Once assembled, the quality of the list is then directly related to your time investment and sales conversion ratio. Here are several key points that all insurance agents should consider when choosing a list source or purchasing web leads.
- Information must be current – outdated information means wasted time. Check your insurance prospect or lead source to see how often they refresh or update their lists.
- Information must match – for example, 'Mary Smith' may be listed as a contact, but the email address is '[email protected]'. Do not assume the name matches the email provided. Get samples in advance to ensure the information matches.
- Emails must be good quality – a B2B eMarketing campaign to a list full of personal emails (Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc) is going to fail and can cause spam issues for your agency domain. Again, try to get sample records in advance, some vendors' offer 10 – 100 "live" prospect contacts (or leads) for free as an introduction to use their services.
- Focus on the fields that count – lists often include dozens of fields, but do you really care about "secondary SIC description", "credit rating", "global HQ postal stop" and other useless bits of information? Focus on the information that will yield the best results. Simpler is better, make sure the contact, direct phone, email and renewal date are in the list and are accurate.
- Create a prospect scorecard, identifying and quantifying the attributes of your ideal prospect, then target this profile specifically.
- Incremental traditional additions – Agents often add prospects to their list through networking events, referrals and other sources. Agents should make sure they are working on prospects which are in profile and cull prospects who do not fit the profile criteria – you can accomplish more effective prospecting if your target prospect list begins and stays in profile
When purchasing a prospect list or insurance agency web leads, ensure that these closely match your prospect scorecard criteria, and that the lists are of the highest possible quality. Insurance agents have many challenges to overcome on the way to closing sales. Do not let your agency prospect list or insurance agent lead source be one of them.