Let’s pretend you lost your headphones and want to replace them. You walk into a store with cash in hand. But rather than help you make your purchase and then get you on your way, the sales people make you wait…for an hour, or a day, or even longer. No matter how cheerfully they tell you “Thank you for visiting our store, we will do our best to respond to you within 24-48 hours!”, it’s not going to cut it. That store would lose the sale.
Yet it’s surprising how often this is happens with online leads. In 2011, Harvard Business Review published a shocking article about online leads — although online leads often represent a firm’s best prospects, a significant number of businesses, 24% of them, take more than one day to respond (if they ever do. ) It turns out that 23% never even respond.
Even more shocking, the HBR article indicated just how much a fast response improves sales success. Respond within an hour and you are 7x more likely to reach the lead than those that respond in the second hour. Compared to those who wait 24 hours or longer, quick responders are 60x more likely to reach the lead.
Online insurance sales is extremely competitive. Your customers want your help NOW, and if they ask for it and can’t get it, you risk them going somewhere else.
So what should you do?
Set alerts for new leads so you don’t miss them
If you receive new leads via email, look to your your email program to set priority alerts for “VIP” contacts. This will allow you to get special notification when these come in.
Here are instructions to add VIP contacts to your iPhone (If you are an AgentMethods customers, add firstname.lastname@example.org to your VIP to make sure you don’t miss a lead from your website).
Be extra-diligent during nights and weekends
If your focus is consumer products, there’s a good chance that your prospects are thinking about insurance on nights and weekends. You can separate yourself from your competition by responding to them during off-hours.
Touch base quickly and set up a follow-up
Even if you aren’t at your desk or available for a long conversation, quickly touch base with prospects and customers to let them know you received their request and to set a time for follow-up. This lets them know that their requests haven’t gone into a black-hole. As important, it lets them know how responsive you are.