Today, I’m covering all the basic information on all-things final expense telemarketing leads.
This article is perfect for agents with zero final expense telemarketing lead generation experience, or for those looking for a new lead source.
My goal is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to understand the present state of final expense telemarketing, and what to expect (good and bad) using this lead source.
So… Let’s get started!
Today, I am on a mission of mercy!
Due to regulation shifts in telemarketing to residences, the vast majority of telemarketing final expense leads SUCK!
This wasn’t always my opinion.
Tightened regulatory changes has made most telemarketing ventures overpriced and low-quality.
So much so that I almost NEVER recommend them to anyone!
Allow me explain the 3 reasons why I detest final expense telemarketing leads, and why I almost recommend agents use them.
No Technological Edge
Advances in marketing technology allowed both lower costs of doing business with higher-quality leads.
For a time, agents used robo-call telemarketing leads, press 1 telemarketed leads, and avatar final expense leads.
But all these technological advantages are presently gone.
Truth is, this has been a long time coming.
The first real high-quality telemarketing lead was robo-calling.
Robo-called leads were good final expense telemarketing leads.
They were less expensive to acquire because a recording, not a live person, spoke to the prospect.
This means call centers didn’t have to hire as much staff to run the marketing effort.
All it took was one person clicking a button to auto-populate hundreds of lines to call at the same time.
After driving everyone bonkers, the Do Not Call list was created. This severely limited the ability for marketers to solicit residences.
Eventually, legislation made robo-calling households illegal (unless your a politician or bill collector).
Nevertheless, some vendors still produce robocall final expense leads. Many will claim they are “compliant,” but I don’t believe it.
Don’t Take The Risk
All it takes is one professional litigant getting your information, creating a paper trail, and then suing you.
In fact, there’s a lawyer out of South Carolina tracking calls from his half-dozen cell telephones he uses to file lawsuits to pressure you to settle.
Several years back, he sued a top producer partnered with a top-producing insurance agency. While they settled out of court, the company terminated its relationship with him immediately.
Final Expense Avatar Leads
After voicemail final expense leads were made illegal, the next technologically-advantaged lead everyone ran to was avatar final expense leads.
I LOVED avatar leads. I thought they were good. Sure, not the greatest quality, but good enough and inexpensive to generate.
In fact, I could get an agent work final expense telemarketing leads using avatar technology for $150-$200 a week! And odds were high they’d make enough sales to justify the investment.
How Avatar Leads Worked
Avatar technology involved a live person calling. However, the caller didn’t talk.
Instead, he operated a computer program of pre-recorded statements, rebuttals, etc., to walk the prospect through a conversation.
If you’re in your 30’s, do you remember the early days of the Internet when there were websites with soundboards?
You’d Joe Pesci from Goodfellas or Arnold Schwarzenegger saying their most memorable movie lines.
You’d hit these buttons, and people would prank call people with it. It was great.
This is how avatar leads worked.
You’d get a professional, English-speaking voice actor recording opening call statements, rebuttals, and closing remarks.
Then, callers in the Philippines were trained what buttons to press for a low hourly fee.
Avatars Now Illegal
In May 2017, the government decided avatar technology for residential prospecting was equivalent in annoyance and illegality to robocalling residences.
And just like that, avatar final expense leads were gone!
Present-Day Telemarketing Options
There isn’t many compliant options anymore to help agents get low-cost, high-quality leads.
There’s something called ringless voicemails, but those haven’t proven useful so far.
The only compliant option you have is to simply hire people to make the dials for you.
The problem of hiring a stateside caller is that professional telemarketers cost $25-$30/hour, which is price-prohibitive for many.
Further, at that price point, you might as well buy direct mail final expense leads.
With stateside telemarketers out of the picture, what options remain?
The only compliant and reasonably-priced strategy to generate final expense telemarketing leads is to outsource them to the Philippines.
However, this brings a host of problems.
Here’s the problem with Filipino leads when you buy leads:
It’s one thing to read a script. It another thing to communicate so your prospect understands you.
This is the biggest problem outsourcing telemarketing.
Sure, there are many reps who speak English. But, they lack proper enunciation and have thick, hard-to-understand accents.
Plus, most seniors are patriotic. If they hear an obvious foreigner pitching them, they shut down and more often end the call.
My Story About My Last Batch Of Outsourced Telemarketing Leads
Let me demonstrate my concerns with a personal story about the last batch of cheap telemarketing leads I purchased.
These were inexpensive final expense telemarketing leads generated from the Philippines.
The night prior to working the leads, my appointment setter set 8 appointments.
Believe it or not, the first 4 no-showed me within the first hour in the field!
Could it have been the final expense appointment setter I hired? Probably not, as I had worked with her for years and knew she was high quality.
Figuring I’d get a repeat no-show on my 5th appointment, I called and asked if I can come over early. Surprisingly, she agreed!
As I pulled up to the house, I noticed a police car parked in her driveway.
I’m thinking, “Oh God, I hope everything’s okay. I hope something didn’t happen.”
Then, it dawned on me…
They were waiting for me!
As I step up to the house, the cop starts interrogating me.
“Mr. Duford, this lady here is saying that she’s worried about her safety. She said there were some foreigners calling her about Social Security benefits and insurance.”
I plead with the officer, “Sir, this lady set willingly set the appointment with me. Here’s a schedule with her name. Heck, I just got off the phone with her an hour ago and she agreed to let me come over! And here’s my license.”
For all that money I spent on cheap Filipino leads, I didn’t get the first appointment, and didn’t bother working the rest of them.
My friend Christopher Westfall offers a program to agents called Trained Telemarketers.
For $1,000, he finds a willing Filipino caller and has his staff personally train her on the script of your choice. Afterwards, you pay an average of $3.00 to $5.00 an hour to the caller.
Assuming you get a good telemarketer, this is a good deal. You’re paying wholesale costs at $3 to $5 an hour instead of $12 to $15 per lead.
And that’s a cost I can feel good about.
However, understand you must manage your dialers. This is not a “set it and forget it” option.
Instead, you have to review their call recordings and offer continual training. And you have to treat them nicely and respectfully.
There are times you may have to throw out a bad caller, replacing her with a new one. That process takes time, but is worth the investment for many.
I’ve given up on final expense telemarketing.
Simply put, I refuse to seriously consider them anymore.
In fact, I refuse to recruit agents to final expense telemarketing lead programs.
Back when I used avatar leads, out of 100 agents recruited using them, very few of them made money long-term.
Part of the reason is because they started with a lower quality lead. And brand new agents will find lower-quality leads harder to work.
In return, many get a bad taste in their mouths, souring them on the business altogether.
Also, you’ll only reach a fraction of your prospects with telemarketing.
Think about it. How many people have old-fashioned phones and are NOT on the Do Not Call list?
To make up for the lack of prospects, you must work a large geography. Expect a 150 to 200-mile radius to cover if using telemarketing full-time.
Then, there’s the hidden costs less obvious to working final expense telemarketing leads.
Considering the large area you’ll have to work, combined with higher amounts of windshield time, the costs add up.
What I found working telemarketed leads is that I’d work LESS appointments due to drive time, and double my wear-and-tear on my car.
Other Low-Price Lead Options
Consider Facebook final expense leads if you’re looking for a decent-quality, inexpensive lead.
Most range between upper teens to mid-20s per lead. They generate within 5 to 7 days, and are a reasonable alternative to low-quality telemarketing leads.
Thanks so much for reading my article on why I think final expense telemarketing leads suck.
Hope it gave you a sober picture of what telemarketing leads are REALLY like.
If you’d like to learn more about joining my national agency, and are interested in selling final expense, annuities, Medicare, or mortgage protection, please check out this page here.
NOTE: While everything I say above still stands, I have found an unusually-excellent telemarketing final expense vendor that works exclusively with me.
The leads are inexpensive, and many of my agents are reporting excellent results with them.
While I can’t promise that this vendor will last over the long-haul, for the time being, we’re taking advantage.
Lastly, these leads are for agents working with me only, although from time to time I’ll sell them to agents not working with me.
If you want more information on them, contact me here.