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The Number One Mistake in Appointment Setting

The most important part of Insurance selling is having leads. Regardless of how those are generated, having people to see each and every week is the difference between succeeding or not. The goal of every lead is getting an appointment…period.

The chief mistake I see agents make in appointment setting is over qualifying the lead.

Asking questions like “…what medications are taking?”; “…what health conditions do you have?”, etc. These are field underwriting questions better handled while you are face-to-face with your prospect.

While selling over the phone can be successful, it is an acquired skill that burns through leads. So, unless you have the financing to work 100 plus leads a week, setting face-to-face appointments is where you should be. It is far more cost effective with better retention. Which translates to more money in your pocket.

The predominate method of obtaining leads is either telemarketer, internet, or direct mail. The cost for generating leads through those methods differ greatly in agent cost. While the tendency is to focus on the initial out-of-pocket expense, it’s more important to focus the return on investment or ROI.

For example, let’s take the average cost of telemarketer mortgage protection leads with a cost $20 each. The average appointment setting ratio for telemarketer leads is on average 25%. So, if you purchased 50 leads at $20 each the total cost is $1000. Of those 50 you should set 12-13 appointments; the closing ratio for telemarketer leads is on average 30% which in this example translates to four applications. The average application is $1000 in annual premium. Meaning you spent $1000 and sold $3000 in premium – the ROI on that campaign 3 times.

Let’s compare Direct Mail for Mortgage Protection with a cost of $495 per 1000. Let’s say you purchase a 2000-piece mail drop with a rate of return of 1% or 20 leads at a cost of $49 each. Direct mail has a better appointment setting ratio and a better closing ratio. Therefore, of the 20 leads you should set 12-13 appointments or 60% and close 60% or 7 applications. If we use the same annual premium of $1000 per application. Meaning you spent $1000 and sold $7000 in premium – the ROI on that campaign is 7 times.

The cost and results for internet leads are similar to telemarketer leads with the difference being internet leads generally sold to 3-4 agents at the same time. The thought being the first in the door wins. Of the two above examples, direct mail offered you the greatest amount of profit.

At the end of the day, the more you qualify a lead the lower the appointment setting ratio. Less appointments translates to fewer sales opportunities resulting in a poor ROI on your lead campaign. Remember, the lead does not make the sale only the appointment. You make the sale.

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