How Insurance Agents Can Win in a Soft Market – Part 2

How Insurance Agents Can Win in a Soft Market- Part 2

As we mentioned in part 1 of this post, telemarketing is a sales strategy being used by the most profitable and successful insurance agencies.  What about email marketing? Most producers don’t have time to keep their name in front of an expiration date, let alone an active client.  The agencies that have success are designing professional emails that encourage prospects to take action. It can take anywhere from 8 to 11 connections before a prospect may realize who you are and what it is you’re offering.  It’s imperative in today’s world to send a personalized series of emails that nurture your leads.  Even if 20 to 30% of your leads become clients, you’ll be ahead of your competitors.

Another factor to consider with telemarketing in a soft market is your agencies hit ratios. Hit ratio will depend on the class of business, geography, size of the business and reputation of the agency within the community.  Let’s say for example that hotels, which happen to be SIC code 7011, is our list target since you may have a market.  Historically in this class of business, it is very difficult to reach a key decision-maker, so does that mean we’d avoid calling them?  No, not at all! Your agency should call this industry knowing that the cost may be a little higher due to less leads.  Eventually you’ll insure enough accounts that when the market cycle hardens you’ll be in the driver seat.

Another nice attribute of using outbound calling is that the cost to acquire the new piece of business goes down every year you renew the account.  The average life of a commercial lines piece of business is 6 to 8 years.  According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, there were approximately 28.2 small businesses and 17,700 firms with 500 employees or more in the U.S. as of 2011. Using Dunn & Bradstreet data, there are approximately 18 million businesses in the U.S. today. This is a good barometer for you to sink your teeth into when attempting to project lead flow.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are certain industries that just won’t yield extraordinary hit ratios, such as real estate, lawyers, dentists, restaurants, social services, and a few others. However, by utilizing the Insurance Telemarketing services and Email Marketing service in place at Neilson Marketing Services, you can expect to see a substantial growth in your x-dates as well as your appointments.

One of the most common questions agencies have about our telemarketing services is “How many sales can we expect from appointments?” This is dependent on numerous factors; what’s the sales skill of the producer selling and marketing the account?  Does the insurance carrier have the proper pricing and coverage available for you to compete?  Are you selling price only, or does your producer understand how to sell your agency the intangible based on service?  On average, most agencies will quote approximately 40% of appointments that they go out on. So in your projections, keep this in mind when you’re touting a 30 – 40% close ratio.

For more information or to sign up for our services, please contact us at 1.800.736.9741.

Jeff Neilson, President

With over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, Neilson Marketing Services and co-founder Jeff Neilson has put his expertise to work for P/C agencies, MGAs/MGUs, wholesalers, S&L brokers, and program administrators nationwide.

With Neilson Marketing, he has implemented the gold standard in insurance telemarketing for more than 5,000+ agencies, brokerages, and companies across North America with customized, targeted lists, qualified leads, appointment-setting, relationship marketing programs, response tracking and analysis, and sales center consulting.

Jeff’s responsibilities as President of include overseeing the optimization of the online portal to enhance the already widely successful virtual wholesaler/MGA/S&L broker Storefronts for maximum lead generation and conversion.