The key to being a successful agent is not what many agents are taught. Some believe its training; the more product knowledge you have the better you will be. Others believe its products; you need to represent companies with great companies. I believe the key component to an agents success is the effectiveness of his prospecting for potential clients.
There is a big difference between sales and marketing. Sales is a process that moves a client to make a decision. Marketing is what exposes your company and its products to the world. The better a company is at marketing itself, the more sales it will have. Look at some of the companies that market effectively today (such as McDonald’s, G.E.I.C.O. and Progressive to name a few) and see how their sales are a direct reflection of their marketing efforts.
Through marketing Insurance companies produce leads. I have written a few articles on leads so I wont repeat the info here. A lead is when a potential client inquires about your company or your product and an agent contacts them to answer their questions and hopefully get a chance to make a sales presentation. This has proven to be a very effective method of reaching new clients.
Although many insurance companies say they have “leads” what they really have is lists. When I trained real estate agents in prospecting we would identify the area we wanted to list houses for sale, get lists of the homeowner in the area and call them with a simple script; “my name is Joe Blank and I work for Real Estate Company. Have you thought about selling your house either now or in the near future,” Depending on the answer we would respond accordingly.
When agents call from lists they are in essence doing the same thing. Yes you have demographic info and you can call to give them a pitch about your company. But this is not a lead because those customers did not call in or mail in for info. Statistically the ratio of people who agree to an appointment from such a call is dismally small (1-2 % if you are good). This means that most agents will get very frustrated calling these people who mainly have no interest in getting with a sales agent.
To become more effective in your insurance career, try to call leads for appointment and lists when you want to prospect because you have free time. If you try to make a living off of just lists, I can guarantee your insurance career will be filled with many frustrating days, low sales totals and a need to find a more financially rewarding job.