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How Financial Advisors Can Buy Leads for Life Insurance Clients

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A financial advisor discussing life insurance options with clients.

A steady supply of new leads is essential to running a sustainable advisory business and there are different strategies for gaining them. One option is to buy them, which can help you connect with investors who align with your ideal client profile and the types of services you provide. If insurance planning is central to what you do as an advisor or it’s an area of your business you’re hoping to expand, it could make sense to buy life insurance leads.

Ready to grow your advisory business? SmartAdvisor helps bring prospects to you.

Why Buy Life Insurance Leads?

Buying leads can be attractive to advisors for a few reasons, the biggest being that you’re not having to do any of the legwork to try and find the right clients.

Companies and marketplaces that sell life insurance leads have a ready-made pool of potential customers who are interested in purchasing an insurance policy. These are people (and businesses) who have already answered some basic questions about their life insurance needs and gotten quotes from multiple carriers.

Advisors and insurance agents who purchase these leads have an opportunity to connect with someone who’s already in the buying mindset. Your task is simply to guide them toward the right type of life insurance policy for their needs. That’s huge, as one of the biggest challenges associated with selling life insurance is overcoming objections from clients who think they don’t need it or can wait a little longer to purchase it.

Insurance lead generation services can save you time since you don’t have to do any prospecting directly. You can create a target profile for the types of insurance shoppers you want to attract, and the lead generation company does the rest. That’s a significant advantage if you’d like to be able to free up time for other business tasks.

You can get leads delivered to you in real time and decide which ones to follow up on. And you can decide how many leads you’d like to receive, based on your maximum budget for purchasing them.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Buying Life Insurance Leads?

Financial advisors reviewing a list of life insurance leads.

Making any type of investment in your business carries a certain degree of risk and buying life insurance leads is no different.

The biggest risk is that the amount of money you put into buying leads exceeds the amount of sales revenue you’re able to generate. If you’re buying life insurance leads but none of those leads convert, or a smaller than expected number do, you could end up with a negative return on your investment.

A good life insurance lead marketplace will have a refund policy in place that allows you to get back some of what you spend if they’re sending leads that have incorrect information or that are otherwise not contactable. But that’s not always guaranteed.

Setting some baseline numbers for ROI and/or conversions can give you a framework for gauging whether any lead generation service you’re investing in is worth it. For example, you might set a target of converting 15%-20% of all leads that come your way or generating three to five times the amount you spend per lead in commissions over the life of any policy you sell.

These are effective goals because they’re concrete and measurable. You can periodically review your metrics to see how well you’re doing and whether you need to either adjust your goals or consider buying leads from another company to increase conversions.

Where (and How) to Buy Life Insurance Leads

If you’re interested in buying life insurance leads for your advisory business, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. However, online insurance lead generation marketplaces aren’t all alike.

For example, some marketplaces may sell shared leads while others sell exclusive ones. Shared leads can be sent to multiple advisors, which can mean more competition for you. The upside, however, is that you’ll typically pay less per lead when they’re shared.

Exclusive leads will cost you more, but they can yield a valuable benefit. Rather than being distributed to multiple advisors or insurance agents, these leads are specially chosen for you based on the criteria you select. Only you have access to them, which could substantially improve your odds of gaining a conversion.

When considering which lead generation company to use, it helps to set your filters first. For example, do you want to target clients based on a specific type of life insurance need or age demographic? Or does your ideal client base consist of high-net-worth investors? The more you can tailor this profile the better, as it can make it easier for a lead generation service to only send you leads that align with your business services.

Next, take a look at how the service works. Here are some helpful questions to ask when comparing life insurance lead generation marketplaces.

  • Does the company only generate leads for life insurance, or does it offer other types of leads as well?
  • How much will you pay per lead?
  • Are fees applied at a flat rate or are they tiered? For example, is there a discounted rate for leads that are more than 30, 60 or 90 days old?
  • Are there any upfront fees or other fees to know about?
  • What is the minimum and maximum budget you’re allowed to set for buying life insurance leads?
  • How quickly can you expect leads to be delivered?
  • Does the marketplace provide any tools to assist with follow-up? For example, will you have access to custom email templates or lead-tracking tools?
  • Is there a minimum contract required and if so, what’s the duration?
  • How responsive is customer service if you have questions or issues managing my account?
  • Do you offer a refund policy for leads that you’re unable to contact?

Asking other advisors or insurance agents which lead generation service they use could help you identify marketplaces you might want to work with if they’re willing to share those details. Don’t be surprised, however, if they prefer to keep this information to themselves if they’ve found a winning company to work with.

Alternatives to Buying Life Insurance Leads

If you don’t have the budget to buy life insurance leads or you’re concerned about not making money on your investment, there are other ways to attract clients to your business.

Some of the strategies you might try include:

  • Lead aggregators. Lead aggregators don’t generate leads themselves; instead, they buy them from other outlets. This can be a more cost-effective way to gain access to a large list of leads, though keep in mind these lists are likely shared among other advisors.
  • Cold calling. Cold calling could be an effective way to gain new insurance clients if you have a solid pitch. You may not have to spend money, only your time, but keep in mind that if the people you’re contacting aren’t ready to buy you may end up with a lower conversion rate than you’d like.
  • Referrals. One of the best ways to attract new clients is to leverage the ones you already have. Letting your clients know that you’d be happy to talk to any friends or family members who have questions about life insurance is a simple but highly effective way to generate leads.
  • Website and social media. Having a website is more or less a requirement for advisors who want to get noticed online. Combining a website with social media content can help you increase your visibility search and attract prospects who are interested in and ready to buy life insurance products.
  • Email and direct mail marketing. Email can be one of the most powerful marketing tools when done correctly. You can segment your list and tailor your messages to speak to the pain points of investors who are trying to figure out what kind of life insurance they need. Adding in direct mail marketing can expand your reach even further, potentially driving more conversions.

Testing out different strategies can help you determine what works and what doesn’t for your business. And if you’re considering lead generation services, look for one that has earned a reputation for delivering outstanding results and top-tier service to advisors.

Bottom Line

A financial advisor meeting with two life insurance leads.

Whether you should buy life insurance leads can depend on what you’re trying to accomplish for your business. The quality of the lead generation marketplace you’re using can directly affect your results. Estimating how much you’re willing to budget for lead generation services and your projected ROI can make it easier to decide if it’s the right move to pursue.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • Implementing a marketing strategy can be a time-consuming process and it’s something you might consider outsourcing to a professional marketing firm for financial advisors. If you decide to take that route, it’s helpful to consider the range of services offered and the fees you’ll pay to gain exposure for your business. If you’re looking for a faster route to connecting with clients, SmartAdvisor can help. SmartAdvisor brings leads to you and equips you with everything you need to follow up.
  • Developing a marketing plan yourself can save money if you’re not paying an agency’s fees. Having a financial advisor marketing plan template to follow can make it easier to develop a strategy that aligns with your firm’s needs and goals.

Photo credit: ©iStock/Drazen Zigic, ©iStock/RichLegg, ©iStock/skynesher

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