Generating Leads: Expectation Vs. Reality

Final expense agent interview alert! Take a look at how a recent addition to our team has turned her fears into strengths by transforming her expectations about generating final expense insurance leads.

Can you tell us a little about your journey of becoming a final expense agent?

I actually changed careers somewhat late in life—I was an administrative assistant for a medical practice for about 20 years before I started looking into other career options. Much of my previous job was contacting and working with insurance companies, so I have some pretty solid background knowledge on health insurance. Life insurance and preneed insurance were not as familiar to me until I started looking to become a final expense agent.

When you started your new career, what preconceived notions did you have about the job?

I had no idea how much of my job would rely on strong sales skills! My years of practice being personable with any stranger who walked through the door really came in handy as I learned to make contacts and generate leads in the beginning. Another expectation from when I first started out that ended up being completely off-base had to do with the education of my contacts. Because I had a working familiarity with insurance, I assumed everyone I talked to would have the same level of knowledge. I couldn’t be more wrong! So much of my initial contact with clients ends up being education-based: they don’t know what preneed insurance is, they’ve never heard of final expense insurance, they don’t understand how this could be beneficial to them, etc.

What about lead generation has proven different from what you initially thought?

Most notably, I would say, is that I underestimated the power of referrals at first. I never asked my clients to review or refer me in any capacity, and I think that really hindered my growth for a long time. After I read The Science of Selling by David Hoffeld (totally recommend, by the way), I realized that I was missing out on one of my most powerful lead generation tools by not asking for referrals point-blank.

My second-most-devastating expectation, actually, was that my target audience could not be reached by more old-school sales methods. I started out convinced that print advertisements and newspapers had gone the way of the horse-drawn carriage, but when I took a chance on these more antiquated methods, I got a flood of leads that I never expected! In reality, a lot of the community I am trying to reach still reads their local paper every day, they still sift carefully through their hard copy “junk mail,” and they still answer phone calls made by strangers. Just because I, personally, no longer do these things does not mean they won’t generate viable leads! That was a huge wake-up call for me as a final expense agent.

What is one recommendation you would make to a final expense agent just starting out?

Keep the faith! Do your research, read books, ask for feedback (and referrals) from your clients and take a scientific look at what you are doing day in and day out. Don’t be afraid to cut out the things that you expected to work but didn’t! Reflective final expense agents are the ones who make the most sales—that’s the reality!

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