Extend the Life of Your Leads

“Sorry, we’re going with someone else. Your quotes were too high.”

Click. So much for that lead, right? You gave it your best shot, but they’re somebody else’s customers now. Or are they?

“It really comes down to service,” says Derrick Laughlin, a regional director for Hometown Quotes. “Some agents have been trained to worry more about the numbers than the client.”

Laughlin says this focus is shortsighted. Instead of hanging up the phone, an effective agent will continue the conversation, respectfully trying to gather more information.

In addition to finding out what types of insurance make sense for the consumer, “Ask when their renewals occur and suggest that you could follow-up at that time with updated quotes,” says Laughlin. If the potential client is amenable, you’re ready to do some X-dating.

X-dating—not to be confused with ex-dating (which is rarely a good idea!)—means figuring out when you should approach the lead again. This is how to do it: State laws mandate that insurance companies give notice when a policy is up for renewal. Generally, consumers are notified 30-days-prior for homeowners policies and 45-to-60 (depending on the state) for auto policies.

Since it makes the most sense to approach a consumer at the time they’ll be shopping, subtract the days-prior from the renewal date, and you’ve got your X-date. This is when you should make contact again. You’ve already paid for the lead, so it’s won’t cost you anything, and you may earn their business the second time around.

Or the third. Laughlin suggests that you X-date more than once. Since auto policies are often on a six-month cycle, he would still consider a lead active for 18 months, or three quoting cycles. For potential homeowners clients, two years—or two more quoting cycles—is an appropriate timeframe. “Unless someone told me to go away. Then I’d stop contacting them sooner,” Laughlin laughs, recalling his days as an agent.

Which is also possible, and should be handled with grace. “Some people find an insurance home and they aren’t going to move,” Laughlin says. “You just hope it’s with you.”

If you are able to make a potential customer’s life easier by anticipating their needs and helping them shop at the right time, it just might be.

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