It’s time to say goodbye to Internet insurance leads.

Did you really want more leads from the Internet anyway?

For a long time at TrustedChoice.com, we talked in terms of leads. All of our performance metrics were lead-based:

  • Leads generated – number of insurance buyers delivered to agent search results.
  • Email leads – number of emails to Advantage subscriber agencies.
  • Phone leads – number of phone calls from Advantage subscriber agency profiles.

Leads. Leads. Leads. Personal insurance leads. Commercial insurance leads. Life insurance leads.

Everything we did, everything we talked about, was leads.

It’s time we stop thinking in terms of Internet leads, and start focusing on “Online Referrals.”

Leads are cold and impersonal. The independent insurance industry wasn’t built on leads, it was built on referrals. That’s why today, TrustedChoice.com doesn’t talk about leads.

We only talk in terms of referrals. This isn’t just fresh lipstick on the same pig. Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve made several major changes to our platform to more accurately match insurance buyers with local independent insurance agents with an appetite and expertise for that line of business.

Five Reasons Why It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Internet Insurance Leads

We created the short video above to provide independent agents with a better understanding of the TrustedChoice.com “Online Referrals” methodology.

If the video wasn’t enough to convince you, here are five more reasons its time to say goodbye to leads:

1) Cold Leads = Cold Calls

Why don’t we like cold calls? Because we don’t have any rapport with the prospect before our first contact. We get the same feeling from leads we buy online. Our strength as independent insurance agents is building a trusted relationship with insurance buyers unique to our agency.

This isn’t the case with the prospects that TrustedChoice.com sends to your agency. We don’t randomly send new leads, rather we allow insurance buyers to get to know your agency. When they’re ready, insurance buyers choose your agency, making them a warm online referral.

2) Leads Are Hard Work

We often assume that referrals are “teed-up” business. We don’t have to hard sell referrals. The person is calling our agency because a friend, relative or client has already done the hard work for us.

Leads are random, cold and impersonal. We have to sell leads on our agency, on ourselves as professionals, and then on the coverage we wish to offer. Leads are hard work.

3) Leads Are Expensive

Leads don’t come for free. We have to pay for leads. We either pay for leads in money or time, but no matter how we generate leads, there is a cost.

Referrals are free. All we have to do is be great at what we do, and referrals happen.

No one likes to pay for business.

4) We Don’t Prioritize Leads

We naturally don’t prioritize leads. This is especially true with leads that come from the Internet. According to Forbes, 71 percent of Internet leads are wasted. Much of this has to do with internal follow-up processes. As stated above, most businesses do not prioritize Internet leads because they’re perceived to have low value.

Because of this, Internet leads are often mishandled in terms of response time and follow-up coordination. Thus, the Internet lead is lost, turning the entire process of Internet leads into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here at Agency Nation, we’re currently working on a program that will help independent agencies set up an inbound, online referral sales handling and follow-up process.

5) Leads Are Shoppers

The classic assumption of leads, especially Internet insurance leads, is that these individuals and businesses are price shoppers. They don’t care about relationship or coverage, but instead focus on nothing but price.

On the contrary, referrals care about the relationship built with their insurance agent and the professional guidance they receive.

The Rub

At TrustedChoice.com, we understand our responsibility to portray independent insurance agents with the respect and dignity they deserve.

We understand that independent insurance agents don’t want more leads, they want referrals. That’s why we’re constantly tweaking our website to attract targeted, warm online referrals.

This is our mission.

Do you want more online referrals?

Thank you and good luck,

Ryan Hanley

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