Today an Edward Jones guy rang my doorbell.
It was 10:30 in the morning.
Now, I’m not exactly a morning person. What I mean is after my kids wake me up at 7:30 so I can drive my son to 1 school, then return home and bring my daughter to another school, I’m not exactly shaved, showered and wearing my Sunday best.
And since I rarely go to bed before midnight… well, you get the picture.
So what does this have to do with insurance lead generation?
Lead generation involves having (or using) a SYSTEM
Door to door sales may seem like a hopelessly old-fashioned way of doing business.
Besides the Edward Jones guy I’ve had AT&T ring my doorbell a half a dozen times over the past 9 months, ostensibly to get me to switch from Charter to their cable TV service. In both cases it’s a time consuming way of doing business.
And terribly inefficient.
To quote Dan Kennedy, it’s the type of sales situation where you show up as an “annoying pest rather than a welcome guest.”
Now, it’s not their fault.
In both cases they are either told to market this way, or it is suggested to them that this is what is needed to get more customers.
For the AT&T guy it makes a bit more sense, since he already knows I’m a Charter customer.
But the Edward Jones guy? What does he hope to accomplish? His goal was to get me to commit to something, in this case giving him my email address so he could invite me to an “open house” in a couple of weeks.
The problem for him is that I already know where his office is located.
I’ve lived in this town for 5 years and drive by that office several times a week whenever I go to my bank, get gas at the full-service station down the road, or have breakfast at the Blue Colony Diner.
So an “open house” wasn’t much of an offer to generate a “lead” — i.e. my email address.
But the deeper issue involves his system, or lack thereof. I mean, other than ringing my doorbell whenever HE feels like it’s a good time to “stop by” and hand me a brochure I’ll never read.
For example, how is ringing random doorbells in town allowing him to target the right prospects?
And what will his follow up strategy be, other than ringing my doorbell again?
Insurance lead generation simplified
Consider this… proximity to your business is no guarantee of success.
The guy I bought my life insurance policies from has an office in NYC. I’ve never been there. And the agent who helped me save more than 2k on home and auto insurance? His office is in Connecticut somewhere, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you where. We’ve only spoken by phone, fax and email. Yet I’m his very happy and grateful client.
Lead generation works based on an OFFER to a target audience in order to get people to respond with their contact information (i.e. become a LEAD) so that you can, in turn, follow up with them regarding your insurance services.
This is the essence of “permission based marketing.”
With me so far?
Now, when it comes to getting leads for insurance, especially from the web, you really have ONLY two choices:
- through another website (buy leads)
- through your site (generate leads)
All lead gen sites offer information by way of articles or generate traffic based on paid ads, and then drive that traffic to a lead capture page and web form.
In fact, we offer insurance agent marketing services by listing agents on our site based on the type of insurance they offer and geographical area. For more information click the link…
As for generating leads from your own site, that involves getting traffic to your site and then converting that traffic into a phone call or a lead through your website.
- If you’re getting traffic but no leads you have a “conversion” problem.
- If you don’t get much traffic you definitely have a “keyword and SEO” problem, and may have a conversion problem as well (you won’t know until you get enough traffic to test and measure).
Online lead generation and education-based marketing
Does this hit a bit too close to home?
You’re not alone.
In fact, here’s what a new client shared with us recently (completely unedited):
“Now THIS is what I call SEO!!! This brings up an important point for us… Some prospects in our line of work are far more inclined to use the web for research. Especially the hedge fund and venture capital crowd. That’s definitely worth thinking about in terms of coding around some of the descriptors contained in this inquiry.
So now we’ve had four leads through the website in two months, where we had no leads through the website in THIRTEEN YEARS!
Does that not say: ‘MICHAEL GUERIN ROCKS IN 50 LANGUAGES!!!'”
~ Josh Slavitt, Senior Policy Advisor – John Dunham & Associates
And if you think your prospects are “too sophisticated” for using the web to find you, or that they are only “browsers and tire-kickers” you are wrong.
The client of mine referenced above is a leading economic research firm that grew their business from word of mouth and old-fashioned types of marketing for years. After a while their growth stagnated — they wanted to “take it to the next level” and thought their site could help. By the way, their clients are big players in industry and large trade associations that routinely pay mid five figures to six figures, depending on the range of services required.
If potential clients of theirs are searching the web, how much more so is your next client?
So if your site FAILS to generate leads it’s not because too few people are looking, but because:
- your site is not getting found for relevant searches, or
- your site does not communicate a meaningful message (OFFER) when people find you
That’s basically it.
Lead generation, in general, involves:
- finding a target audience
- getting your marketing message in front of them
- using a “call to action” to generate a lead
- follow up and close the sale
And for each step we could break that down further (perhaps in future articles).
Now, when you talk about lead generation for the web that involves:
- targeting the right keywords
- getting found for relevant searches
- using language on your site in a way that prequalifies your traffic
- use a “call to action” to motivate them to contact you by phone or webform
- follow up and close the sale
When you put all the “moving parts” together you have a lead gen system, one that will work for you day in and day out, rain or shine, without having to go door to door ringing a lot of random doorbells hoping that someone, anyone, will answer.
Does that make sense to you?
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