Don’t let that new inbound lead blow up in your inbox!

My friend Ryan Hanley capably responded to Anson Ross Thompson’s article, which was published last week, (read Creating a Less Responsive Insurance Agency is Unacceptable). I wanted to expand on a portion of this that is very close to my heart: how it affects your response to leads.

Before we delve into this, you need to answer this question and be completely honest. What is your agency growth plan?

  1. Are you waiting out the rest of your career and willing to lose part of your book year over year?
  2. Are you content with your book size and not actively searching for opportunities?
  3. Are you tenaciously hunting out policies to write and working to grow your business?

All three are completely valid answers. In fact, I’ve had conversations with agents who have told me all three of those responses recently.

If it’s one of the first two, then you know how you want to run your business and Anson’s low-stress use of technology may be perfect. If you’re in the third camp, then I’d like to instill a thought in your mind.

A new inbound lead is a ticking time bomb.

A young couple recently purchased a home. They now excitedly get to have their first experience with home insurance. They’ve taken this opportunity to shop outside of their existing captive agent, who they barely know. The time crunch is that they need the policy in order to complete their new home purchase. Two days is an eternity in that circumstance.

A new inbound lead is a ticking time bomb, particularly one generated from the internet.

It makes sense, if you think about it. That prospect has made a buying action. That’s the timer starting. The worst thing you can do is put it off until you’re ready.

The countdown is happening now.  The damaging explosion is them taking their business elsewhere.

Follow-Up Time Matters

It’s intuitive. You need to follow up with your leads in a timely manner. On the internet, that “timely manner” is now. It’s important that the buyer has chosen your agency to discuss their needs, but you will find their loyalty fleeting if you don’t follow through your side of the deal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a solo auto policy or a white whale with four homes, 18 cars and a yacht.

They’ll find someone else that’s interested in their money.  All you have to do is reach out, but you have to do it right now. I cannot stress that enough. A lead is a ticking time bomb.

If you believe online lead generation is a waste of time, reacting to them poorly will only confirm your theory. Reacting to them appropriately will tell you if they’re worthwhile and could give you a new way to grow your business.

Nearly half of all leads don’t get a response within 24 hours, if at all. The average response time? 55 hours. That is unacceptable in our industry, particularly with the convenience that technology grants us.

Continuing my analogy, the fuse for each lead is different. Granted, some people may be alright getting their follow-up call two days later, but how hard do you think that prospect is shopping in the first place? More importantly, the active buyers you want will have already purchased their coverage from someone else.

Conclusion

If you are in an agency that’s actively trying to grow, it’s difficult to rectify this mentality with the concept of eschewing technology or only checking your email twice a day.

A service-oriented agency that wants to grow needs to adapt to the new model of buying insurance online, and the best way to start is to adapt the mentality that will drive you to rapid action: A new inbound lead is a ticking time bomb.

Thank you,

Dan Herman

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