Today we’re talking about how you can double your insurance close ratios by making a few small tweaks to your follow up process.  Ready to take action?  I hope so!

So recently I ran across an article on Forbes about internet leads  (“Why Companies Waste 71% of Internet Leads“).  You can read the entire article here, (and you should, it’s pretty fascinating!) but I’m going to share a few of the research statistics that relate back to insurance sales.

In the article (page 4), they actually tested the response time of a large insurance company, although they don’t name which one.  They went to the company’s website, requested a quote, and waited.

It took SIX days for a call back and 11 days for the second call back attempt.  No email follow up was ever sent.

But after working with the company on their lead follow up, they were able to increase their close rates from 3.2% to 7.5%.

What would happen in YOUR agency if you doubled your close rate? 

Here’s how they did it. 

The research showed that the odds of contacting a lead decreased over 10 times in the first hour.  And that the odds of contacting a lead in the first FIVE minutes were 100 times higher than waiting 30 minutes.

From my own experience in internet leads, I know this to be true.  We had a lot of success with internet leads because we were a bit obsessive with them.  We called immediately when a lead came in, if at all possible, and followed up daily. 

Now I’m not suggesting you go buy internet leads.  But I am suggesting you spend some time taking an INTENSE look at your current procedures.

At the beginning of the Forbes article, it stated that only 27% of leads are ever spoken to and that 35% – 64% never even got a call back.  (These were general leads in multiple industries.)

So what’s happening in YOUR agency right now and how can you put this information to immediate use?

Do Some Research

Starting today, begin tracking every single lead that comes through the door.  It could be a referral, a random phone call, a campaign, a cross-sell, whatever.  Put it on a spreadsheet. 

I want you to track how FAST your staff are responding to these leads.  Do they quote it immediately over the phone?  Do they call back after running the information?  On average how long does this take for this to happen?

Note:  Do NOT trust people to evaluate time on their own.  It’s just too hard to do!  Someone may genuinely believe they are calling back in 10 minutes, but the data could show it’s more like 45 minutes.  Write down actual times instead!

You want to aim to have this response be as quick as possible.  The stats above showed that a lead was more responsive in the first 30 minutes! 

Follow Up Process

Next take a look at your follow up.  Unfortunately a lot of people think that giving the quote is enough and will wait to hear back from the lead.  But it just doesn’t work that way!

If the person looks like an ideal client and you know you’ve got a competitive quote, then implement multiple follow up methods.

  • Stick a copy of the quote in the mail the same day. 
  • Send an email with the quote attached. 
  • Call back the next day.  “Did you get a chance to review the quote?  Are you ready to get started?  We can help you cancel your old policy!” 
  • Rinse and repeat. 

The research is clear. 

FAST response times and persistent follow up (via multiple methods) is what pays off.  It’s what allows a company to double it’s close ratios.  How will you put this information to use in your agency today? 

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Robyn Sharp
Robyn Sharp

Robyn Sharp is an insurance marketing expert (and former agency owner). She specializes in Facebook content creation & marketing for P&C insurance agencies. Robyn has been a featured contributor to Exclusive Focus, PropertyCasualty360, IndependentAgent, and other insurance publications.