Today’s post will be a transcript of a recent interview I had with Barry, who brokers final expense TV leads to Duford Insurance Group agents.
We discuss a unique opportunity that I think will interest most independent agents reading this.
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Greetings and salutations. Dave Duford here. I hope you guys are doing mighty fine. Today, I’ve got Mr. Barry on the line to talk about a new and exciting source of final expense leads for telesales agents. Barry, say hello.
Hey, how are you doing, Dave? Good to see you again.
Thanks for your time today, Barry. So why don’t you jump right in and tell us why you’re here today and what we’re going to be talking about?
Absolutely. So, Dave, what we’ve put together is an opportunity for independent agents to take advantage of live incoming calls, coming directly from prospects, watching final expense TV commercials.
These are not transfers moving through an operator. For the first time, independent agents can actually tap into those same calls being supplied to some of the largest carriers and IMOs in the country, like the SelectQuotes and AssuranceIQs of the world.
I want everyone to know that our TV supplier is a leader in the industry. They’re not a rookie in this. They’ve been delivering final expense live transfer calls for about seven years this coming season.
In fact, final expense was their first vertical market when they started doing pay per call marketing. And they’re now delivering calls in over 15 different verticals.
For AEP alone, they spend over $2 million a day in TV media, driving inbound Medicare Advantage goals for carriers like Humana and Aetna.
So with our final expense TV leads, I want people to know there’s no operator, there’s no intermediary, and there’s no transfer.
The agent is the FIRST person who’s going to engage with the prospect. When they pick up that phone, within two seconds, the next available agent that can take a call from that state is going to engage.
Additionally, very important, these calls come with a true 30-second buffer to deem whether the call is chargeable or not.
The buffer is used specifically to filter out a bad call from a qualified prospect. And, Dave, bad calls are defined as no one on the line, fax noise, a wrong number, foreign language, and so on.
I tell the agents, just hang up fast. Every call that’s eligible for credit is reviewed by the supplier, no gaming the system to get free calls. It would just ruin it for everyone else.
Additionally, these calls are available for agents to log in at will Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern standard time. They log in; they’re available—no one’s sitting on top of them demanding that they put in a certain number of hours.
Obviously, this model, David, is for serious agents—agents that want to make serious money. So at the end of the day, you should be logged in for as long as possible. But more about that later.
Right now, I just want people to know our routing system recognizes what state the agent is eligible to accept calls from, and it routes the incoming calls instantly and automatically based on waiting time.
Let me give you an example of this: five agents can take a call from California, but also four of those agents can take a call from Texas.
The agent who’s waited longest would get the next call coming in from either California or Texas. Then so on down the line.
It’s a very democratic process of how the calls are distributed. The routing software is all included. You just use your laptop and a headset, you log in, and you’re good to go.
Why Final Expense TV Leads Live Transfers Work
Great! There’s just a couple of things I’d like to backtrack on briefly. So, agents who may be new to this concept of television-based live transfer leads. Can you give us some background on what makes a TV lead better than other sources for telesales agents?
Absolutely. So let me tell you the end first, and then I’ll start at the beginning. The bottom line is for success in final expense sales and telesales, it all boils down to talk time. And face-to-face, I guess that would be the equivalent to getting in front of as many people as possible.
But there’s another contributing factor! The more you talk to high intent prospects, the more you’ll make. The better the talker you are, building rapport, trust, and so on, the higher your close ratio will be.
It’s pretty straightforward, and it kind of sounds simple, but for all agents, whether it’s final expense telesales or face-to-face, the only uncontrollable is: how do you find those high intent prospects to talk to on a consistent basis?
Outbound Versus Inbound Final Expense Leads
Probably 90% of the total sales agents out there are all using the same type, which I’m going to call a “phone number lead.” Whether the lead came from Facebook or outbound telemarketing, or a website, really doesn’t matter, Dave.
Agents are going to spend hours and hours of their day outbound dialing with a CRM just hoping to get someone to answer their phone, someone to have a conversation with. But in this scenario, the agent is actually the mouse, not the cat.
The person answering the call is in total control. They’re the cat. I did that, and I hated it. I hated the voicemails, Dave. I hated the, “What’s this about? I’m not interested.” Hang-ups in 10 seconds. I hated interrupting people when they finally did answer, “Oh, I’m busy now. Can you call me back another time?” Click.
I hated that I was on call number six for the same phone number, and I still didn’t get an answer from them. And I started questioning myself, was it me? Maybe… I didn’t know, but I didn’t quit. I kept searching for a better way. And this was really the backstory to this.
Watch Out For Offshore Final Expense Live Transfer Leads
There’s probably 10% of agents taking live transfers. That’s a big step up from outbound dialing, but you really never know how these offshore transfer companies got that lead on the phone in the first place. Can you be sure they’re not registered on a “Do not call” list? They say so, but, Dave, you know this, who really knows for sure?
And more importantly, did that lead do anything to initiate getting contacted in the first place? Is there any buyer intent taking place?
And then there’s the issue with foreign language telemarketers. The lead is unsure whether they can trust the caller while they struggle to even understand the telemarketer in the first place. So what do all of us do with these annoying inbound calls? Hang up! That’s for sure.
Now while I was trying to make it in telesales, I worked all those leads. And I made a big mistake, Dave. I joined a captive agency. They lured me in with the promise of getting live transfers of inbound calls initiated by people that were watching TV commercials.
I said to myself, “Wow, this is amazing. This is going to be great. I want to do this.” And I did close deals. Okay. But it bugged me that many times, over 75% of the time, the lead actually didn’t have any idea why they were talking to me.
I thought, “Wasn’t this supposed to be an inbound call initiated by that person?“
Then I realized there really wasn’t any intent by that person to get the information. They weren’t inbound callers. Luckily, there were a few real inbound calls sprinkled in, and you could tell the difference almost immediately.
It literally was cat versus mouse, only reverse. Instead of us being the mouse, trying to sell them something they didn’t ask to buy right then and there, we became the cat, and they were actually calling us looking to buy.
So I left that captive agency, Dave. I joined up with the most honest agency I could find, which was you, David Duford himself, and I went on a mission to strictly buy these incoming live final expense TV calls for myself. I tried to buy 40 calls a week for maximum talk time, but I got turned down.
Why Most Independent Agents Can’t Get Final Expense TV Leads
What? I have money to spend, and no one’s going to take my money. I didn’t know then that these call suppliers didn’t work with independent agents, because for them, it’s all about having the ability to take what they call concurrent calls.
They need to know their customer, which is us, can take at least five calls at the same time from any one of at least 40 states.
As an independent agent, Dave, once you’re engaged on a call, you’re locked out from taking another one. And how do you keep up with 40 states? That’s really a lot of dough for most agents.
So this was a huge problem, but not just for me. I couldn’t be the only independent agent looking for these, what I call “ultimate prospects”—inbound calls from people watching TV.
So I came up with the idea, and then I approached the number one supplier about working with them as a co-op advertising group. Independent agents banded together just to get these calls, and the supplier loved the idea.
They knew independent agents would be a great customer base for them, but they never solved that concurrent call challenge. And I think with this program, we solved that issue for them.
So, agents need to understand one thing; you gotta ask yourself some hard questions. What is my time worth? Most salespeople don’t truly value their time.
To all the agents out there listening or reading right now, are you efficient with your time? Do you want to spend all day dialing and hunting for someone, anyone, just to get them on the line? Is outbound dialing sustainable over the next few years, let alone the next six months?
Or do you want to spend your time only talking to people that made an effort right then and there to talk to you—people that are looking to buy? Do you want to be the cat or the mouse?
Because I’ve been both—trust me; it’s better to be the cat. With these calls, you have high intent prospects calling you. You’re going to become the cat.
Again, sounds great! Now I’ve got a couple more questions. To clarify, does the agent have to define their schedule, or can they just log in at their leisure to take the leads?
So the agent makes a commitment upfront, a minimum of 20 calls a week. I don’t think anyone could really take more than 40, and the calls are coming in between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM Eastern standard time, Monday to Friday.
When you log in, you step in line, and you’re ready to take the next call in a state you’re licensed in. So there’s no obligation to have you commit to any specific time frame. I’m not calling people up in the morning, like a captive agent, saying, “Where are you? It’s 9:00 AM. Get on the phone.”
It’s not like that. Serious people want to make serious money. It’s an opportunity to do that.
Right, right. And as far as costs go—costs are always subject to change over time. If you’re wondering what the costs are, they’re going to be listed below. But the current price, what are they running at? And as far as payment goes, I assume you’ll send some kind of order form. Barry, how are we handling payments?
First of all, I speak to every single agent that wants to get involved in the program. I actually have a conversation with them. I really want to make sure that they are, what I say, set up for success on their end.
I’ve actually turned people away. I’ve had some people saying, “I’m just looking to get into telesales.” And I’m like, “This is probably not the best place to learn the ropes. Okay? To learn, go close some deals first. Whatever kind of leads you can use to get comfortable talking to people on the phone.“
And that’s because it’s $58 per lead (NOTE: this is subject to change – reach out to us here for current pricing). But what I try to impress upon people is this. It’s less about the cost per lead and more about the cost per deal.
So, I have a paradigm shift that I ask people to make, and I use a very crazy analogy. I say:
“Listen, you could buy 55 Facebook leads and spend $250. You can knock your brains out and spend hours and hours trying to get people on the phone and maybe hopefully close one.
Or my uncle Vinnie, who works at the senior citizen center, could refer Ms. Mary and get her to give you a call. All Uncle Vinnie wants when you close the deal is to give him $250. What do you do?“
Most people say, “I want uncle Vinnie to send me Ms. Mary.” They’ve already made the paradigm shift. It doesn’t really matter what it costs per lead. It’s all about figuring out the deal cost, and valuing your time and being efficient.
So it’s $58 a lead. You should expect to close on average about 23%. That’s a good number of these deals. So your deal cost is going to be a little bit over $200. And you should be closing one deal on every 4.35 calls that you’re getting. That’s on average.
Yeah. We’re telling agents 20% to 25% conversion rate, which is about what to expect off of a great transfer, a high intent lead. So let’s see what else here. Is it a month-to-month contract, or you just get an agent, try for a week to see what happens?
Try for a week. I put this program together to be exactly what I would want if I was the customer. I put myself in the customer’s shoes. I don’t want to commit with a gun to my head. I want to be able to test things out.
I know that once you get a taste for this and it meets your lifestyle, and you’re successful, that this is what you’re going to want.
I remember a friend of mine took final expense TV leads, and he did them for about three weeks. Then he told me, after doing those TV leads, the supply stopped; he couldn’t get them anymore.
His wife was screaming at him, “What are you doing?” He goes, “I can never go back to outgoing calling again. I’m done. I’ll never do it again. I have to get inbound live calls.” So I think most people, if they know what they’re doing and they’re serious, and they put the effort in, they’re going to want to stick with this program. But you don’t need to commit. It’s week-to-week.
So if I place an order on a Wednesday, how soon can I start expecting to be able to work the live leads?
So the way it works, at least in the beginning, I actually have to pay the media company on Tuesday for the following Monday’s leads. So if you place an order on Wednesday, I’d probably be able to squeeze you in for that coming Monday. There’s some flexibility there, but if you told me Friday, I would say it’s a week. It’ll be a week from Monday. But Tuesday, Wednesday, we’re good.
So playing it safe, the week after Monday in most cases?
Okay. It might be early in the week if you place an order the next week, but it might be a week and a half to two weeks roughly, worst-case scenario?
Final Thoughts On Our Final Expense TV Lead Program
Okay, perfect. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
What I would like to say is this. I think people have to understand what to expect.
If you have the best final expense carriers, and you’re hooked up with an agency like you, David, if you have a bulletproof telesales script that’s proven to close deals, and you’re experienced in telesales, and you’ve been closing four, five, six deals a week over the phone, then you’re going to love the ability to sit back and have a pleasurable conversation with a prospect.
Because in their mind, you’re the expert. They’re looking to buy. They called you. They want guidance. They want the quote. They want you to tell them what they need to do, as opposed to you first trying to convince them.
“Hi, I’m Barry. I’m calling you back from this or that.” And it’s like, “What are you, a scam?” And the whole… it’s an entirely different paradigm in terms of how you’re going to operate your day. And you actually feel good about yourself, sitting there having these conversations with people.
Plus, it’s a very scalable opportunity because if you’re willing to put in the time, you could just go to 40 calls a week, and you’ll be very active. At eight calls a day, you’re going to make some serious, serious money.
Interested in final expense live transfer TV leads?
First, you’ll have to do some or all of your final expense business with Duford Insurance Group, as this offer is exclusive to our agents only.
Final expense TV leads are a powerful way to market for final expense telesales, and they really help eliminate the drudgery of outbound calls, and it really makes a difference taking calls from people who are very interested the majority of the time.
And I think another thing that’s important here is that usually, this is an opportunity you’d only see in major captive agencies. That’s what makes this co-op idea so interesting because it gives you a taste of what quality high-interest leads are like.