Food Courts, Valpak and shared leads

Apr 25, 2008

  1. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    The first time I saw a food court I knew this concept would never work. McDonalds next to Wok 'n Roll next to Mrs. Field's Cookies.

    Why would you want to compete against other food vendors in the same arena?

    And what's with Valpak?

    Everytime it arrives in the mail I go through looking for deals on pizza. There is always a Pizza Hut AND a Domino's coupon as well as a few other non-franchise pizza places. Must be half a dozen landscape, carpet cleaning and gutter/siding folks advertising as well. Each with their own unique offer.

    Get $300 off guttering by mentioning this ad while another promises free gutters with every siding job.

    So why should shared leads be any different?

    Each agent has to compete in an open market any way. There is no such thing as an exclusive lead (except possibly for referrals). Even if you go knocking on doors or telemarketing, all you have done is create an interest (or happened upon somene who was already looking).

    Either way the chances are slim you will have total control over where your prospect's eyeballs go.

    Every once in a while I run across a book on marketing that really resonates with me. Dan Kennedy is well know in the advertising copyright business. No B.S. Direct Marketing is my latest. I am only 30 pages or so into it and already he has convinced me to order another book, The Ultimate Marketing Plan.

    So the next time you are in a food court (even if you are just passing through), or when Valpak or the Sunday paper (with all those sales circular's) arrives, study the situation and think about what differentiates one offer from another.

    Marketing psychology is so fascinating to me.
     
    somarco, Apr 25, 2008
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  2. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Interesting. So when someone goes to my site from a flyer, runs quotes, I get the email alert and call somehow that lead's not exclusive? Okay.

    There is a HUGE difference between shared leads and exclusive. I have a newer agent - hopped on shared leads and did quite poorly. When you're new it is indeed difficult to go up against more senior agents.

    Same agent goes to exclusive leads - $20 a pop - 4 deals submitted last week since she no longer has to go head-to-head with more experienced agents.

    That there is no such thing as an exclusive lead except for referrals is absolutely not true.
     
  3. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    Me too.

    I firmly believe that food courts, ValPak, and ads in the Sunday paper are all part of an old, outdated, and continually less effective paradigm.

    Hell, the younger crowd doesn't even read the paper.

    That kind of marketing is part of the TV-Industrial Complex where large mass-market businesses could just throw money at advertising, and get a decent ROI. It's "top down" marketing..."we'll tell you what's good for you and what to buy!" Problem is - it is continually less and less effective...

    Whatever happened to Sears? Ever see Google advertise on TV? Where are the ads for amazon.com?

    As Bob Dylan said, "the times, they are a changin'."

    Insurance is very tough to differentiate, if not downright impossible. Factors like service are only important if the customer thinks they are. Truth be told, most people have such inertia about the whole thing, most won't find a good reason to switch.

    Here's my take: the internet will continue to expose new "micromarkets". Like most folks, they really don't like to be "marketed at". Let's say your passion is organic gardening. By being involved in that "community", you should be able to become the "trusted insurance advisor" to organic gardening buffs - without trying to sell anything! It's really a kind of "affinity marketing" if you will. It'll be about "relationships" even more! In addition, because of the difficulty of attracting new clients/customers, the emphasis will be on getting the ones you have involved in more products/services...because they already trust you.

    btw-I love Dan Kennedy's stuff. Some of it is kind of old and outdated though...I'm currently reading Gonzo Marketing by Christopher Locke, and recommend it highly for a look going forward.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  4. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Guru

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    Because of my enjoyment of a naturally occurring substance, I hardly remember my teen years, but didn't Dylan say "the times they are a-changin'"?

    Rick
     
    GreenSky, Apr 25, 2008
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  5. SportsNut
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    SportsNut Guru

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    "That there is no such thing as an exclusive lead except for referrals is absolutely not true."

    Even though the agent is buying what is an exlusive lead (from that particular lead source), that surely doesn't mean that the client isn't out clicking away on other websites, therein creating more exclusive leads with that lead generator.

    Of course the best course of action is to avoid the convo about exclusive, shared, etc. and make the calls w/o the mental handicap of whether the lead is good, or not. I am convinced that you could do a bit of a blind group study, giving shared leads to agents and tell them that they are exclusive and the other group give exclusive leads to and tell them they are shared... I wonder how the results might come out... my guess is that the group that thought they had the exclusive lead would write more biz... It might be interesting to actually do the case study some time... hmmmm
     
  6. Crabcake Johnny
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    I know this much - I have shared and exclusive sources of leads. I close 1-5 exclusive sources and between 1-12/1-15 shared sources.

    ROI can be the same - meaning it costs more for an exclusive lead so it's possible for the math to work this way:

    $20 for exclusive X 5 = $100 for a deal
    $7 shared X 15 = 105 for a deal

    However, exclusive is less work and better quality of life.
     
  7. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    Thank you, Rick. Yes, you get to be right! (Al may have different take).

    PS-I've got a coupla years that are a little hazy too.
     
  8. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    IMHO debating "shared" vs. "exclusive" internet leads is missing the big picture...

    The ones that will be successful going forward are the ones that ask the question: "why do they go online for insurance info/quote in the first place?"

    It's being in an offensive mode vs. being in a reactionary defensive mode.

    OLD WAY - "Here's a product. Go find a market for it."
    NEW WAY - "Here's a market. Go find a product for it."
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  9. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    True, but he was also blowing in the wind while his buddies were puffing the magic dragon.

    Forget Sears. What about Roebuck?

    Probably a lot of truth to that.

    Perception becomes reality.

    This is something I ask, and try to answer, almost every day.

    The wind, the times and even the answers, they are a changing . . .
     
    somarco, Apr 25, 2008
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  10. SportsNut
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    "why do they go online for insurance info/quote in the first place?"

    Because the educated consumer uses this vast resource called the WWW to gain knowledge in all sorts of areas... Self education without the intimidation of having to speak to someone with an agenda... Of course they often don't that the source they are obtaining this supposed unbiased data from, also has an agenda...

    Efficiency is another big reason. Think of how one can obtain info they seek in minutes that used to take weeks to gather. The whole process just makes so much more sense in our busy lives...

    Plus, many folks simply prefer the impersonal as opposed to having the "sweaty agent from Pru" come out and sit across the kitchen table for 2 or 3 hrs... Sort of the same reason why we are not all still riding in horse drawn buggies any longer, I guess. Modernization happens every waking minute.
     
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