Targeting your financial sales leads is not just a matter of who or what. It can also be a matter of when. For instance, there are certain days that prospects save up for. You do not have to be in any financial-related industry just to see what those savings are for and how they can translate into a strong probability of quality sales leads.
No doubt that the recent Supreme Court decision on the controversial health care reform is sparking a lot of buzz within the insurance community. A particular topic of heated debate is how it now mandates businesses to provide insurance for all it’s employees. This quote from CNNMoney adds a few more details:
“The ruling also means that companies with 50 or more full-time employees must start providing health insurance for all workers by 2014 or face stiff penalties.”
At first glance, it would at least give you a more detailed picture of what kind of businesses to target if you’re a company that provides B2B insurance. In other words, this could mean an easier time generating B2B leads. Be careful though, not all businesses are thrilled with these recent turn of events.
Regardless, they have to comply. The problem with that sort of attitude is that it could lead to careless decision making. You see, whether it’s an entire business organization or just an individual, rushing somebody never ends well. Once you have the government itself doing that rushing, it can only get worse.
Forcing companies to start sifting through providers might only mean that they’ll just pick the first one they see and be done with it. They won’t try and learn all the details (which is a seriously dangerous thing to do, given the complexity of insurance).
No matter what, it is critical to let your prospect companies know what it is that they’ll be spending their money on. You never know if some of the details might or might not be within the best interests in their business. Before you object, that’s better than having them sign a deal with you only to have the complaints coming in because they didn’t know whether you could cover this or that.
Business leads aren’t just about giving you information about a prospect and what it can tell you to help you get your sale. It’s about sharing information with the prospect as well. That includes information about how your business works, what kind of insurance you provide, what your coverage is, your conditions etc, etc.
Furthermore, maybe the reason why these businesses aren’t so eager to meet with you is because you’re not being accommodating enough. Maybe there are things that you can do to help better your control over the information you provide without necessarily overwhelming your prospect. Simply put, don’t opt for the easy way out. You’ll be no different from the companies who don’t learn well enough about their insurance providers because they just didn’t want the government breathing down on their necks.
To summarize, you shouldn’t always count on government mandates to get prospects moving in your direction. It might do more harm than good. For all you know, it might even direct them to your competitors first before you! Again, it leads to reckless decision making and a short-sighted ‘let’s get this over with’ attitude. It’s bad enough that these people are being forced so you should be as accommodating and not look like you’re just jumping at these ‘opportunities’ pointed your way courtesy of the federal government.
If there’s one thing you can learn from insurance fraud, it’s to never underestimate the possibility of deceit. And as always, the best way to counteract deceit is by being sharp in finding out the truth. So what does this have to do with lead generation (or a call center)?
As you’re well aware, a lead generator is supposed to tell you everything you need to know about a prospect in order to make a sale. You don’t just learn about an opportunity. You learn things that will help you achieve success with this opportunity. Things like the needs, the size, and the budget of a prospect company are just some of the interesting facts you can use so you’ll know (and show) how to be of best service to them.
The problem comes when businesses have become too lazy and would rather speed up the process in certain areas. One of these areas is the form of communication being used to connect with prospects. You see it when they automate their marketing messages and become purely dependent on attracting inquiries with as little outbound effort as possible.
Another example would be when they rely too much on online conversations to learn about prospects. They start conversations by going to social media sites or sending emails with interesting subject lines. Granted, these forms of communication aren’t without their perks. Emails don’t disrupt decision makers when they’re in the middle of important management tasks. Social media has the power to grant both exposure as well as insight into how the whole of the target market is behaving.
However, remember the issue of trust? This is where you need to question the reliability of these methods. You’ve probably read and watched many an advisory telling people to be careful about what they read online. It’s even more critical when it comes to having online conversations with someone. These warnings aren’t just limited to children or to keeping people safe from sex predators. It applies to businesses and professionals too. You shouldn’t be too trusting of the messages you receive from a prospect or the things you read up on their social media profile. In fact, even the networking sites themselves encourage their users to use real pictures and other means to show that they’re real people. That says a lot about how easy it is to put up false and misleading information on the Web.
This is why it’s very important to really verify the information you’ve gathered from online sources by using more real, more direct forms of communication. A phone conversation is one such form. It’s not that complicated. You’re hearing a real person’s voice. They’re confirming the things they’ve said in their messages, the addresses on their profiles, and what their company does. If that’s not enough (and sometimes it really isn’t), you can even set insurance appointments so that you’ll be meeting these people in the flesh.
Costs aren’t an excuse to not go to these necessary lengths. (Professional telemarketers can just be outsourced anyways so you don’t have to worry about hiring them all by yourself.) If you want to protect yourself from fraudulent information, then you must do everything to verify the truth.
Two weeks ago, CNNMoney published this brief article on the global economic shift, indicating that money is moving in Asia’s favor. With a primary focus on Singapore, Peter Pham writes:
“If traders would stop and look beyond the U.S. and Europe, they would see what legendary investor (and current Singapore resident) Jim Rogers sees: money is fleeing the West and heading East.”
For insurance companies (and all other B2B organizations), this obviously means that there is a growing market over there and the potential for success is high. On the other hand, with these insurance prospects located nearly half the world away, attempts to contact them would require only the latest in communications technology.
First, you have websites. In the old days, exploration and expeditions shrunk the world by filling up the blank places on the map. Today, the world has shrunk even further as the online realm bridges gaps between nations.
Following websites, you also have email. Not only is it less intrusive compared to previous methods, communication through it can allow enough space and time to fully write out the complex concerns that usually arise from insurance.
Thirdly (and speaking of previous methods), telemarketing is still also viable because while you might have to adjust to a difference in time zone, telemarketing in Singapore can reach a busy prospect during moments when internet-based attempts aren’t faring so well.
You also have a bit of advertising on your side. Web banners that are attractive but at the same time can provoke further inquiry could be all you need to start qualifying B2B sales leads. On that note though, it’s important to always emphasize on that: further inquiry.
If there’s one thing a time zone can indicate, it’s that time itself is scarce in business. It still doesn’t matter how fast your message gets sent or how accessible your website is during any part of the day. The actual time that a foreign prospect will encounter you either way is when you’re fast asleep at home. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the one contacting them or you’ve outsourced lead generation companies to represent you. Time must not be wasted during the entire exchange. When you’re trying to attract foreign attention, it must be the type that sparks further inquiry and not keep them hanging about when they still have other things to do.
You can’t afford to waste time yourself so it’s only right that you don’t try and take up too much of other people’s time. Regardless of how you reach out, engaging a prospect musn’t demand too much of their busy day. This goes from the moment you first try to connect with them, all the way to setting an appointment.
Expanding your market beyond national borders has always been a big step. But with a wider market, that only means you have more targets that will divide your attention many more times than when you were still catering to local businesses. Still, with the way the market is now shifting, it might be your only chance of keeping business afloat. Don’t wait until the economic environment around you dries up. Expand your horizons and use what you can to reach out across the world as quickly as possible.
There’s a reason why there’s ‘social’ in social media. Unfortunately, there are still those in the marketing world who assume that investing in social media only means putting advertisements on it. If your insurance company targets consumers, you have already done this yourself.
However, does it really work? Is that all there is to using social media? What about if you’re targeting whole businesses instead of consumers? What if you want insurance appointments with a business owner instead of just a car owner? These people are even harder to reach with anything done by regular advertising. How does doing it on social media improve its chances?
Chances are, it might not which is why it’s time you started focusing on the social aspect. You need to actively engage your prospects where they’re at and establish trust. In other words, you need to really connect and socialize with them on the network. Hence, the ‘social’ of social media.
This is not just something for social networking. The concept extends to other approaches and some might even say that the B2B side of the business world emphasizes on this more.
For example, suppose you want telemarketing firms to deliver your qualified leads. You want to know what they usually say about their methods? Their selling point is the fact that they take time to really get to know the prospect company, identify needs, and show that you’re a real, living business entity. That’s one of the highest perks to being social. You show people that you’re for real and that you want to reach out. Start having that mindset, whether your leads are from telemarketing or social media.