Patience is a virtue, particularly when it comes to working auto insurance leads. While some agents are quick to return a lead if they’re unable to contact the consumer within the first day, a persistent contact strategy can often pay off weeks, months, or even years later.
Take Chip Raines, a State Farm agent operating in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Chip and his team of producers make a point of regularly calling their leads right after they purchase them, and then they continue to check in with them months down the road. In some weeks, Chip’s agency will earn a new sale every day from leads they purchased a year ago or longer.
Want to know how Chip’s agency is turning old leads into new policy sales? It just so happens that he was nice enough to share his best practices with us. Here are four tips for working your auto insurance leads and generating new sales long after you’ve purchased them.
1. Be persistent in the first month
Consumers are busy, and they don’t always pick up the phone the first time you call them. Chip’s agency uses a regular call cadence to notch sales in the first month after purchasing a lead. They call consumers several times a day during the first week after purchasing a lead, once a day during the second week, three times total throughout the third week, and twice during the fourth week.
Usually, if a consumer is not interested, they’ll tell Chip or one of his agents, at which point they’ll stop calling. And if the agency is unable to reach the consumer during the first month, they’ll try again after the first 60 days.
But what often winds up happening is that the agency will connect with the consumer and offer them a quote, but not be able to close the sale. Sometimes the consumer isn’t fully ready to switch carriers, and sometimes Chip and his team are simply unable to provide a competitive rate. However, when done correctly, these calls can lay the groundwork for the agency to close the deal in the future.
2. Find something memorable to discuss with the consumer in your next call
Chip’s team uses the initial conversation with the consumer to establish a relationship and to make clear that he and his team are available to serve that consumer’s insurance needs.
He keeps this conversation light and often asks the consumer to provide a fun fact about themselves—this provides Chip with an anecdote he can use in the next conversation to re-establish rapport. When Chip calls later, he can ask the shopper how their German Shepherd is doing or whether they enjoyed the vacation they were planning when they spoke previously.
The key here is to establish that you’re available to be a helpful resource and make the conversation memorable.
3. Gather the right information and take lots of notes
The other key to these initial phone calls is to ask the consumer the right questions and take lots of notes. How much money are they currently paying each month for insurance? What kind of policy do they have? Which carrier are they currently insured by? The answers to these questions will tell you when you can follow up with a better deal.
It’s also important to look at the consumer’s driving record, which you’ll see when you run a quote for them. Have they had any recent accidents or DUIs? If so, when do those come off their record? Chip records extensive notes on these questions inside his agency’s customer relationship management software and sets calendar events for every time an incident expires from a lead’s record. This way, Chip’s agency can be the first to contact the consumer when carriers are able to offer them a lower premium.
4. Reach out to the consumer when you have a deal for them
Once Chip has established a relationship with the consumer and gathered information on their insurance situation, the agency waits for the right time to connect with them.
Each day, a member of the team spends an hour going through old leads the agency has quoted to find consumers who might now qualify for a lower rate. If another carrier posts a rate increase, the agency will find the leads who belong to that carrier and attempt to offer them a more competitive policy. And if a consumer’s driving record has just cleared up, Chip’s team will reach out with a text or a phone call to let them know they’re now eligible for a lower premium.
By combining intentional relationship building with information gathering and the right timing, Chip’s agency regularly converts shoppers that they first quoted six months, one year, or two years ago. With the right contact strategy, Chip is able to extract as much value from old leads as he is from new ones.
Indeed, while some are quick to dismiss leads that don’t convert right away as low quality, the truth is that it’s all in the way you work them.
Want more tips for working your insurance leads? Reach out to your client success manager.
Every agent has their own secret sauce for closing policy sales, and Chip’s strategy is just one example of how you can generate a great deal of value from your leads, even when they don’t convert or respond during your initial attempts at contacting them. If you’re looking for more advice on how to get the most out of your MediaAlpha leads, set up a call with your client success manager.
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