Three minutes. According to the CEO of a communications technology firm, that’s how long you have to follow up an aggregator quote request and that’s the one area where brokers have fallen behind when it comes to competing effectively with the price comparison websites.
When these sites first started to really make an impact a decade or so ago, many predicted the death of brokers selling personal lines insurance. Yet look around – it’s not just the likes of the large national insurance brokers such as Swinton who have survived and are now making a not inconsiderable amount of their turnover from price comparison sites.
There are plenty of mortgage intermediaries who have found ways to compete equally effectively without getting in bed with the aggregators, and earn a healthy income from the sale of general insurance products.
Their success lies in their entrepreneurialism and desire to win every piece of business – so no doubt it is a source of frustration if business is being lost in taking too long to respond to a customer.
I think the following data provided by the National Sales Executive Association is quite telling:
– 48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
– 25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
– 12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
– Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts
– 2% of sales are made on the first contact
– 3% of sales are made on the second contact
– 5% of sales are made on the third contact
– 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
– 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact
It’s difficult to put a number on missed opportunities to sell insurance products but if you have spent money generating leads – on average at least £10 per lead according to some industry commentators, it’s wasted spend if you cannot follow up quickly enough.
In today’s digital world where consumers expect to get an immediate response at the click of a mouse and have the ability to shop around from the comfort of their own sofa at any time, day or night, an effective response mechanism is a must. Failure to respond quickly enough to customer enquiries whether generated by an aggregator site or not could result in the customer taking their business elsewhere.
However, unlike their general insurance broking cousins, mortgage intermediaries are facing the harsh realities of selling under the new MMR regime. The whole process is taking longer – up to a couple of hours – putting a strain on resources with the result that the general insurance sale could be delayed or even lost.
One simple solution is to refer customers elsewhere and let them manage the insurance sales process.
This is not just restricted to general insurance though other products and services that sit around the mortgage process could also be considered for outsourcing, for example life cover, or accident and sickness cover as well as the broader needs of your clients like their conveyancing or even getting their will written.
There are a myriad of opportunities for brokers to maximise revenues even though their time is being squeezed.
In a demanding world where time is precious, referral services makes sense and allow you the opportunity to put those three magic minutes to good use developing your core business.