Having been in the online lead business since 2003, we’ve heard some recurring assertions about insurance leads over the years. In this article, we’re going to take a look at four of the most common online lead myths and tell you why we respectfully disagree.

Myth 1: You should generate all of your own leads.

File this myth under Wishful Thinking. You can start with family and friends, then branch out to neighbors and others in your community, but where do you go from there? If you want to keep growing your book, at some point you’re going to have to get help to generate more leads. That may (and should) mean that you ask current customers for referrals. But it can also mean signing up for lead generation services like Hometown Quotes.

When you partner with  lead providers(notice the plural tense because you should be testing multiple providers), you can choose how many leads you receive during the week and on the weekends, and if you’re going out of town or don’t want leads for a period of time for any reason, you can put them on hold. It’s basically a pipeline where you control the flow. When you need more leads, you can get them. This is a great way to ensure that you’ll always have leads to work.

Myth 2: The majority of leads are junk.

We agree that some companies sell online insurance leads that are junk. They may be months old, out of your sales region and/or generated through questionable methods, including prospects who aren’t even looking for insurance. Our quibble with this statement is the inclusion of the words “the majority.”

While there may be some lead generation companies out there that supply agents with less trustworthy leads, there are also lead providers who work hard to provide high-quality leads. Those higher-quality leads are composed of consumers who are actively shopping for insurance online. After these individuals fill out a form with their information, they are put through our qualification process, and, if they pass muster, they are sent to you in minutes. It’s hard to get leads that are fresher or of higher quality than that. And in addition to controlling the number of leads you get, you can also select filters like location, income level, type of insurance being sought, etc., which means you can screen out leads that you’re not interested in.

Myth 3: It’s about lead generation, not lead management.

Purchasing leads that have been thoughtfully generated is important. But no matter how good a lead is, you still have to make the sale. How you work any lead can determine if a prospect converts or not.

For instance, timing can be very important. When you get a referral from a current customer, you may not feel a huge sense of urgency to contact the lead right away unless the referrer says something like, “She’s online looking right now and wants to lock in her insurance today.” In that case, you’d probably call her right away. When you purchase leads that are generated in real-time, that’s how you should think of them—as immediate opportunities. If you don’t contact a lead quickly and the prospect chooses to purchase her insurance elsewhere, the problem really wasn’t with the lead; it was how that lead was managed.

In cases where the lead is not ready to buy, or has already purchased insurance, your lead management process should really start to kick-in. This is why having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Nurturing Process is crucial. Unless the individual has asked you not to contact them again or to remove them from your email list, place them in an email drip campaign and build that relationship. That way when it is time for them to renew their policy, they are already familiar with your brand and likely to hear what you have to offer.   

Myth 4: A good agent will automatically know how to convert an online lead.

As with any other skill, there is often a learning curve when working with online leads. No matter how good you are at selling insurance, working with leads is a numbers game. The more prospects you engage with, the more you are likely to convert.

To help you learn how to work with online leads, we have created this website—Hometown University. Here we provide easy-to-digest articles that contain tips and ideas about everything from how to close leads, to how to run a successful agency to the latest in technology that can help you grow and succeed. In addition, when you sign up for leads with Hometown Quotes, you’ll be assigned a regional director whose job is to support in several ways: answering questions, serving as a sounding board and offering advice based on the best practices of our most successful agents. You’ll have plenty of resources to help you gain the expertise you need to convert online leads.

Do you have other preconceptions about online leads that you’d like to discuss or questions about how to get the most from online leads? Let us know. We’ll be happy to share our knowledge and work with you to make the most of your lead buying strategy.