Truck Insurance LeadsDoes your trucking insurance agency leverage telemarketing to set up in profile appointments with demographically selected prospects in your targeted geography? If so, how successful are your initiatives, and is there anything your agency can do to refine them? For example, are they producing 10 or 20 in profile appointments per month? And if your trucking agency is not leveraging an appointment setting initiative, why are you ignoring this pipeline filling opportunity? Let’s review some of the key tips, techniques and best practices to ensure an effective appointment setting campaign:

  1. Call Script: It all starts with an effective and concise script. Synthesize your value proposition. Think of it this way, if you had a 30 second Super Bowl commercial, what would your agency tell the viewers? Why should truckers (whether they are owner operators, small fleets or large fleets) speak to you about their insurance needs? What do you bring to the table that is uniquely helpful to these targeted prospects? You may require multiple versions of your call script, especially if your prospects range from owner operators to fleets with 50 or more power units. And you should have a list of the 10 most common objections, with responses, to improve caller effectiveness. For example, do you insure tow trucks, ambulances, or cranes? These and other questions/objections and answers should be available to help the appointment setter(s).
  2. Prospect List: Your agency needs to use an up to date DOT prospect list with fleet size and X-dates. If you don’t have one, there are many sources which offer these (varying in quality from adequate to good). Scrub your clients and active prospects from this list, and note that it’s often better to do this on a monthly or quarterly basis, than an annual pull, based on target geography,  X-dates and fleet size.
  3. Lead Handling: Even the best leads will fail to close if your agency lacks a formal lead handling process. This doesn’t have to be automated, it just has to be followed and tracked! Once an appointment has been set up, which producer will manage that appointment, and how will they follow up to ensure the best possible close ratio? And of course, how will it be tracked. Check out this blog for more tips on insurance agency lead handling.
  4. Appointment Setter: Last but not least, is the appointment setter. Your appointment setter will make or break your lead initiative. And one of the challenges for some agencies revolves around hiring, managing and training this resource. Further, most agencies will only hire one appointment setter, and industry standards show that only one in three callers are likely to succeed in this challenging position. At a minimum, your appointment setter should have:
    • Telemarketing experience
    • Trucking insurance experience (or training)
    • Call script training and practice
    • Lead handling training
    • A professional demeanor
    • Ability to consistently deliver your call pitch (20 plus times per hour)

Trucking agencies with sufficient time, tools and talent can bring this lead generation initiative in house. Those agencies that cannot, should consider outsourcing this opportunity to the trucking lead gen experts at StartUpSelling. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Calling Tips For Agencies and Brokers

  • Posted on October 17, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency LeadsEven with all of the insurance web marketing methods available to generate insurance leads, many brokers and agents still leverage the traditional cold call to set up appointments with prospects. While it can be challenging for many agents, cold calling can still be an effective tool to contact and validate potential insurance leads. You can combine the old and the new by utilizing both innovative online techniques and B2B cold calling to build your book of business. Some would refer to this as warm calls, because the prospects are familiar with the agency, as they’ve been receiving information via email or social media prior to the call. But for the purposes of this blog, let’s refer to this initiative as a cold calling or appointment setting initiative.

Develop A Target List or Subscribe to a List Service

There are many list services and specialty list providers available to agents and brokers, such as Judy Diamond for group benefits to the more generic D&B, Hoovers and InfoUSA for general agencies. The goal however, for all agencies and brokers is to create a comprehensive suspect email list with all associated demographics, by market, region, company size and title.

Cold Calling Tips

Begin by determining the number of prospects you need each month to achieve the desired number of new clients. For example, if you need 8 new prospects appointments each month, and you can set up an appointment every 4 hours of calling, you’ll need to spend 32 hours calling each month to generate these 8 appointments. If your close ratio is 25%, you’ll add 2 new clients each month, once the initiative is in full swing.  Many agencies and brokers lack the time to do their own cold calling, in the scenario above, that would be a solid 8 hours each week. In these cases, they can outsource the initiative to an insurance agency marketing and lead generation organization. For those agencies and brokers which have time to do their own calls, here are a few tips that will help agents get the most out of their cold calling:

  • Thursday is the best day for contacting and validating leads
  • Wednesday is the second best day for contacting and validating leads
  • Tuesday is the worst day for cold calling
  • On average, 8-9 am is an optimum time to reach prospects
  • And 4-6 pm is also a good time to reach and validate prospects
  • Have a well rehearsed script with a clear call to action for all outbound calls

Don’t underestimate the power of cold calling (or better yet warm calling) to generate appointments and insurance leads. And if you need more help with insurance lead generation, make sure your next call is to StartUpSelling at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance lead generation and web marketing review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, Insurance Leads, insurance social media marketing, insurance web marketing
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Improve Insurance Lead Generation with The Prospect Scorecard

  • Posted on October 13, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Prospect ScorecardWe recently published a blog about Buyer Personas. Once your Buyer Personas are complete, the next step in your qualification process should be performed using The Prospect Scorecard.

Many who are engaged in sales often describe customers with such vague terms as “new,” “warm,” “hot,” “cold,” “likely,” and “qualified.” These do little to help you better understand your sales pipeline or convey likelihood of purchase to other members of the team. The Prospect Scorecard resolves this issue by enabling you to quickly track and rank your best prospects.

With the Prospect Scorecard, you can:

  • Create a simple numeric system to leverage your buyer personas
  • Assign numeric values to rank your best prospects
  • Create a simple qualification acronym to determine likelihood to close
  • Rank your prospects alphabetically, by Prospect Score and Quality Score
  • Color code prospects into Green, Yellow and Red categories, quickly identifying prospect status

Create a Prospect Scorecard to quantify your approach to pipeline building, using such key attributes at revenue, growth rate, client type (business or consumer), and market niche. Ask yourself: Are you targeting companies with $5m to $10m in revenue? Are your best prospects fast-growing firms (Inc. 500 list)? Are you selling to consumers? If you’re selling to consumers, ask yourself if they’re high net worth, middle income, younger or older. Do your business prospects fall into specific niche markets, such as banking, insurance, biotech, consulting, or education?

Our Prospect Scorecard template makes all of this simple. Contact Us at (518) 222-6392 and mention the Prospect Scorecard. We’ll send you one with our compliments.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Blogs Should End with a Bang Not a Whimper

  • Posted on October 8, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Web MarketingWe often say that great insurance marketing starts with a good blog. However, if your blog posts have a weak ending you are not optimizing the full marketing value of your insurance blog. Conclusions for blog posts are often misused, under-appreciated or ignored entirely. A good blog post ending will be short, engaging and inspire your reader to perform an action.

Get to the Point

Too many writers meander when concluding a post. It is clear to anyone who reads the blog that the writer isn’t sure who to wrap things up. Summarize the key points, be pithy and then drop the mike and leave the stage.

Be Engaging

The purpose of an insurance blog is to create a relationship with your readers. Think of it like a first date. When a date ends, you don’t just walk away and leave the person standing there. You make a joke, an insightful comment or offer a compliment. Hopefully your date will like you, consider it memorable (in a positive way), and want to see you again.

If you’d like your readers to want to see your blogs again, you can:

  • Ask an insightful question that encourages them to think about what you wrote
  • Challenge the reader to respond to an opinion you offered in the post
  • Offer a new way to think about the material you presented

Make the reader think about the information you provided instead of just reading it passively and moving on. Make them want to interact with you or discuss the topic with others and you have become memorable.

Inspire Action – Call To Action

If you become memorable to a reader then you have accomplished the first step in creating a successful relationship. The next step is to inspire the reader to perform an action. Using the dating analogy, you may invite your date to tweet you, friend you on Facebook, or ask for another date. For a blog post, you want to:

  • Ask readers to share the post on social media
  • Encourage readers to contact you with questions
  • Offer a complimentary service such as a coverage gap analysis or a compliance review

You don’t have to request the same action in every post. In fact, it is better if you use different calls to action, depending on the theme of the post and your goals. Then readers will see it as a legitimate request and not a sales tactic.

So be pithy, be memorable and inspire readers to engage with your call to action at the end of your blog posts and you will have a great start to an effective insurance website. And speaking of calls to action, agencies, brokers and wholesalers can reach out to the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary web marketing or insurance lead generation review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Leads, insurance social media marketing, insurance web marketing
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Use Buyer Personas For More Effective Insurance Lead Generation

  • Posted on September 29, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Lead Generation Insurance Agency LeadsI’ve discussed the importance of the insurance telemarketing script in insurance agency lead generation campaigns. Since you have only a short window of opportunity to deliver your pitch, you need a compelling script that enables you to quickly explain your value proposition and your top three differentiators.

Another key component of effective insurance lead generation is the buyer persona, which helps agents and brokers more effectively prospect niche market segments. By creating generalized representations of your ideal customers, you can address likely prospect goals and concerns and more cogently describe how the solution you propose is tailored to that prospect’s needs.

For each buyer persona, you’ll want to assign a name, a job title with key company information (such as size and type), and key details about the individual’s role. You’ll also want to include key demographics (such as age, gender, income, location), primary and secondary goals, primary and secondary challenges, and how your company can help this particular customer.

I suggest you engage your entire team in the process of creating personas. Include not only your marketing and sales people, but also anyone in your organization who has a perspective on who your customers are and what motivates them. Look for patterns and across your niche markets. Review all forms on your website and consider additional fields that will enable you to collect better “persona data”.

How many personas you’ll need to create depends on your agency and the number of distinct market segments you need to target. Between three and five for each segment generally is considered sufficient. Discussions, surveys and interviews with current and prospective customers also can be of great help in creating effective personas. Look for our next post as we further investigate buyer personas, and review the StartUpSelling Prospect Scorecard.

If you are a broker or agency looking to update your marketing and grow your book of business, contact the insurance marketing experts at http://StartUpSelling.com or call (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance web marketing review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Agency Email MarketingInsurance Email Marketing can be a powerful lead generation tool for agents and brokers, one that should be leveraged, but must be well executed. Here are 5 popular posts relating to insurance agency email marketing, though there are dozens more available in our blogs and published Ezine articles.

  1. The Top 10 Insurance Email Marketing Questions Every Agency Owner Should Ask
  2. What Is The Can Spam Act – And What Does It Mean To Agents and Brokers
  3. The Who What When and Why Of Insurance Agency Emarketing
  4. The Top Insurance Email Marketing Spam Words
  5. Email Marketing “Worst Practices” – Insurance Email Marketing Mistakes

For updates and notifications, follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/alanblume, or call (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance marketing and lead generation review.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance email marketing, Insurance Leads
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5 KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE INSURANCE ELEVATOR PITCH

  • Posted on May 1, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance LeadsYou walk into an elevator and find your ideal prospect standing next to you. You have 30 to 60 seconds to convince this prospect that they should meet with you at a later date to discuss your innovative insurance services and solutions. What is your pitch?

  1. Solution: What challenges does your agency, product, services solve?
  2. Value Proposition: How does your solution deliver better value to your customers?
  3. Credibility: What can you say to demonstrate you or your agency are a leading authority in your field?
  4. Differentiation: What are the 3 key differences that you provide, that their current agency or broker does not? How are you different, unique, or superior?
  5. Call To Action: What’s the desired outcome of your pitch? Do you want a web meeting, conference call, on-site visit, quotation opportunity?

Practice your pitch until you are completely comfortable and confident in your delivery. And remember, for the prospect to believe you, you must emphatically believe in your pitch. Would you like to be speaking with your top insurance prospects? Call StartUpSelling at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance marketing and lead generation consultation.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, Insurance Content Marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Marketing and CommunicationMost brokers and insurance agency executives agree that a effective lead program will help drive their top line growth. And when it comes to insurance leads, there are some great resources available. Listed below are some popular blogs, on demand webinars and articles on this subject:

These are just a few examples of the insurance leads and marketing resources available from the StartUpSelling team. For updates and notifications, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/alanblume, or call (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary insurance marketing and lead generation review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance email marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Email Marketing and the Split Test

  • Posted on February 4, 2015
  • by Alan Blume
Insurance Email Marketingency Web Marketing

Insurance eMarketing

When it comes to insurance email marketing, split testing is an important tool, offering refined insights into email campaign optimization and conversion efficiency. A/B split testing offers a simple empirical approach to help optimize conversion rate (click-through rate) for insurance websites, landing pages, online ads or email campaigns. This blog will focus on split testing for insurance email marketing campaigns.

Insurance marketers would begin by creating two versions of an email campaign (A and B). The goal is to determine which of these has the more effective subject line. The test works best if the emails are identical except for one modification (in this case the subject line). Each subject line can be completely different, or a one word change can be measured. Insurance marketers can then measure the campaign fundamentals including open rate and click-through rate to determine which insurance email marketing campaign was more effective.

If campaign A yielded an open rate of 15% with 10 clicks, and campaign B yielded an open rate of 25% with 15 clicks, then the balance of the emails should use campaign B. With split testing, the initial A/B campaign should only be sent to a small portion of the email target list, for example 20%. The balance, or in this case the remaining 80%, would then be sent the higher performing email version (version B).

Agencies, brokers and wholesalers which lack the marketing staff or expertise to accomplish effective email marketing can contact StartUpSelling for assistance at (518) 222-6392.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
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Insurance Lead Handling Process for Agencies and Brokers

  • Posted on January 21, 2015
  • by Alan Blume

Many agencies and brokers have yet to formalize their prospecting and lead handling process. Agencies and brokers (or for that matter any business) should have the following critical elements in place when it comes to their insurance lead initiatives: Insurance  Leads

  1. Targeted prospect list (with emails whenever possible!)
  2. Consistent and professional methodology to contact these prospects
  3. Well defined (documented) lead handling process for each type of lead
  4. Tracking and reporting process for these leads (closed loop marketing)

Many agencies, brokers and their respective producers lack a consistent and well defined lead handling process. During our kickoff meetings, we help our clients create a closed loop lead handling process, to disseminate and track the inbound leads. As many clients receive 5 to 10 in profile leads per week, this is a very important aspect of an insurance agency lead initiative. After all, isn’t the idea to “Sell More & Work Less” or at least sell more by working more efficiently! For more information on territory exclusive insurance agency marketing and lead programs, visit StartUpSelling or call (518) 222-6392 for a one to one agency marketing review.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Leads, insurance web marketing
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