In accounting, it is often advised to categorize your spending. In fact, even marketers will say that the cost of your lead generation campaign should be further divided in terms of medium (e.g. the cost of social media should be separated from the cost of telemarketing). On the other hand, what if your marketing process is outsourced? Is it something that you should group with your own marketing costs or does it deserve its own category?
It’s popular opinion that the insurance industry is rife with complications and loopholes. Then again, it’s not like it’s entirely untrue. That’s why it’s always good to address the concerns of confused clients and have things clarified. This goes for insurance as well as any other industry. Good customer service will always benefit any type of business relationship whether it’s between a business and a consumer or between businesses themselves. (In your case, it could be both ways!)
Bad customer relations could mean bad referrals and bad referrals only spell trouble for future marketing efforts.
Therefore, here are three steps to address the insurance concerns of your prospect that can also prove beneficial to lead generation.
- Step 1 – Improve the system that receives inquiries. These inquiries can come in many forms and from different parties. These could be current clients wanting clarification about your coverage. These could be new business prospects who want to know more about your business. They could even be complaints from companies whose workers in turn are complaining about the insurance policy! A system that does a poor job of receiving these inquiries does so by limiting the options of the inquirer. Don’t force these people to file only through the phone, email, or online forms. Don’t force them to walk all the way to one of your offices either! They could have other things on their schedule! Allow them to contact you in the way that best suits them.
- Step 2 – When you receive these inquiries, you obviously have to pay attention to them! On the other hand, a swarm of complaints can’t be handled by a single person. Make sure that you work together with your people and properly assign certain inquiries to the right areas. Beware of tossing them back and forth. You’ll be keeping the inquirer waiting!
- Step 3 – Set an appointment when you clearly need more time to discuss all the questions and concerns. Some incoming prospects might not just have one question but several! However, since they’re busy, it’s wiser to set an appointment that they can fit into their own schedule. It’s the same with complaints. If some things need clarifying and re-negotiating, give your client a time and place to meet so you can hear the whole story. There are just some problems that cannot be relayed through regular channels of communication.
Given the complexity of insurance, it should give you more reason for your business to have more dialogue with both current clients and inquiring prospects. You don’t have to worry about costs if you’re afraid that expanding your customer services will demand more phones or more call center agents. You have telemarketing services to outsource for that. There’s a lot of good that a positive referral can accomplish for your lead generation. It can spread the word to more promising clients. It reinforces the integrity of your business. It also shows that you acknowledge how confusing your industry can be at times and you’re willing to help guide everyone through it.
One of accounting’s most important functions (and challenges) is to provide financial information that is only the most relevant to the person or entity requesting it. With that established, it’s important that such information really does live up to their standards.
This emphasis on quality information isn’t just unique to B2B accounting firms. You will find a similar emphasis when it comes to generating B2B sales leads for your business.
Do take note, information comes in many forms. The part about what makes this challenging in accounting is that you have to figure out the right kind to deliver your client. And whether you’re getting your own leads or outsourcing a lead generation company, the same challenge is still there. But with regards to the latter, it’s still important despite how far it would seem from your core function. Without the information provided by the lead generation process, you’ll never know exactly how many sales opportunities are out there. In order to stay afloat, you’ve got to maximize your chances and grab those opportunities.
Now, just what kind of information do you need? Actually, you don’t need just one but several kinds for different stages of the process. First, you’ll need contact information. It doesn’t matter if your method of choice is email, telemarketing, or even direct mail. There’s no point if you don’t have a phone, a name, or an address. Second, it really helps if you try to learn more things about the business that you’re contacting. You need a basic idea of what they might expect from your services. But again, that’s not enough. In fact, it’s only enough to get you through the first circle of obstacles that are placed around by decision makers. This leads to a third type of information which you must acquire upon connecting with them. Learn more about their needs. Verify what your previous research has dug up about them. Refine and complete their data profile. See if they have the budget to afford your service. All the while, keep a hold on their interest by using that information to offer solutions.
Today, new marketing and sales methods are all about really focusing on the clients and getting information straight from them. For example, look at social media. Marketing through sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn will only be successful if there’s emphasis on the social aspect. But what exactly does that mean? It means you must engage your market and this is something that you don’t need to limit to just social media. You can communicate with prospects and hear their views and expectations straight from them through any channel of communication. It’s just a matter of preference anyways. The important thing is you’re using your exchange to boost the quality of your information and minimize risks.
This new age of information has really shown how much power knowledge can provide. On the other hand, knowledge is like any other commodity in that it is selected and desired in accordance to specific needs. If it fails to meet those needs, then it is just useless data. Therefore, information should always live up to the standards that they set.