#1 Reason Leads Don’t Return Your Calls: How to Leave a Great Voicemail
You know when you walk into a grocery store and you’re greeted by name? No? Well, that’s probably because almost no one does that kind of thing anymore. We’ve all gotten used to the big-box stores, where we remain faceless customers until we have a question, and then if we want an answer from an actual person, we have to stand in line and wait. It didn’t used to be that way. It used to be that each person was a valued customer. You walked in and someone remembered your name, maybe even your previous order. But today, especially with online shopping, service has gotten even more impersonal.
As insurance agents, we know that people don’t fit into a box. Every day we help our clients understand what’s important to them and assess how much insurance they’ll need to protect it. And people talk to us, instead of depending solely on the internet, because they want assistance from a real person. Yet a lot of insurance agents treat internet leads different from other types of customer contacts. But internet leads are just like any other lead you’ll get, whether a referral or a face-to-face meeting, and you’ve got to treat them that way. I know a few agents that figure when they call someone they’re really selling themselves, so anyone searching on the internet won’t want to talk to them. But that’s just not true. Customers often switch carriers because they aren’t satisfied with their current service, service you can provide them.
And you don’t want to assume customers switch insurance policies solely because of price. When you do talk to your lead, don’t discuss price, talk to them about value. And what is value to a customer? Value is the perception that at the end of the transaction, the customer feels like they had a great experience along with getting a great product. This type of value is something you can deliver, something internet insurance companies and big-box providers don’t and won’t offer. After all, people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. So if you can best represent how you’ll do business for someone in the future, you’re already offering them value. You begin that relationship by leaving a voicemail they can’t resist:
Hey! Tennessee just lowered their insurance rates. This is Agent Bob and if you’re interested give me a call so we can qualify you for the lowest rates in the state!
A friend of mine used to leave a voicemail just like that. He ranks in the top ten percent of insurance sales, and he actually prefers getting someone’s voicemail, because he knows if the customer calls back, he’s got them! With guaranteed internet leads, you know the customer’s interested, because they’re looking, so voicemail can be your best ally. You never want to leave a message that says, “Hi, this is agent so-and-so, and I see you were looking online.” That’s so boring and impersonal; no one will call you back.
The trouble is a lot of agents today are hunters, not farmers. They’ll call a lead and if they don’t get an answer, many will hang up or—just as bad—leave what very may be their 50th voicemail of the day. And what happens? The agent’s so tired of leaving the same message that they sound bored of their own name and number. Then they wonder why the customer never called back, and the agent might assume it’s just a bad lead. But the number one reason customers don’t return an agent’s calls? Why would they if the agent isn’t excited enough about their business to leave a decent message?
The truth is a voicemail is your best ally because you can return to people that feeling of walking into a store and hearing someone recite your name. You know who they are and care about what they need. So, if you’re capable of being funny, start your message with a joke. You can say, “If you want to hear the punch line, call me back.” Or, there’s always a way to peak their curiosity. Try saying, “Hey (name), I wanted to talk to you about—(click).” If you hang up before you tell them what the call was about, chances are they’re going to call you back to find out. When I was in choir, I learned you have to stand up, and if you can’t stand up you’ve got to sit up. Open your diaphragm and let people hear where you’re coming from. Start strong, and end strong. Avoid drifting off at the end, but do peak curiosity with an “Accidental” Disconnect, or the Hanging Offer: “Hey, if you’re the tenth caller…” Customers will hear your energy and respond. Remember, when you have high-quality insurance leads, you already have interested customers, so the hard work is over. Leave a voicemail as your calling card and that customer is your client!
Bob Klee, President