Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trial results for Gary's CRM

Lisa tried the telemarketing CRM today. To be honest, it was the worst day for her to try this out - she's right in the middle of packing to move, is a single mom with twin 1 year olds and a 4 year old.

The good news is the results were fantastic. She was only on the system for 26 minutes and got 4 leads and this was while learning the system! I'd say when the learning curve is over she'll be at 10 to 12 leads per hour.

Regarding the costs involved - this is more about RIO and marketer retention for me. Not only that, but now I get reports so I can see what's going on. Priceless. I also wanted to mention that more than one person can use this system for the same price - just not at the same time. So one marketer could work mornings, the other afternoons.

So let's try to break the math down:

4 hrs per day X $12 per hour X 5 days X 4 weeks = $960
Monthly base price = $450
Data (about 5 cents a record) - about 5,000 records or $250
Total = $1,660

10 leads per hour X 4 hr X 5 days X 4 weeks = 800 leads per month
Cost per lead = $2.06 per lead. Half that amount of leads would be $4 a lead.

So I don't see how this doesn't work. If you've shied away from hiring home-based marketers because you had no way of tracking their true work times or results, ya go.
And by the way, if I get 800 leads per month and closed 1 out of 50 that's 16 deals a month - $3,500 AV per deal is $56,000 in volume. Just wanted to point out the absurd. Closing 1 out of 50 is like calling people and saying "Hey, you don't want health insurance do you?" 1 out of 50 would say "Actually, I do."
I'd hate to even think of the reality which is 1 out of 15 closed. That's $185,000 in monthly volume. Lol. Although I laugh at that there are absoutely agents writing 2 mill a year in health premiums. It's "do-able" with telemarked leads since you can get back to people when you have a chance without a pack of wolves jumping on them.

Just called the last batch

Ok, just finished calling the 8 telemarketed leads I got yesterday. Mind you I called the 17 shared leads yesterday with zero deals working. I "should" be on the phone calling them all again today, but screw that. Who wants to do that all day.

Out of the 8 telemarketed leads 6 picked up the phone. Of those 6 four were the owners. One had Tricare and was just looking for supplemental coverage. That's dead. Then I have two on Kaiser - hate the plan and another family paying over $500 for BCBS - no copays and limited drug coverage. So out of 1 round of calls I have three deals working and two leads to yet get a hold of.

All of these leads are local, exclusive and half the price of shared leads.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


11:02pm and GR finally figured out that an app completed at noon had been submitted. Alright! Now maybe we can have an underwriter take a look at this one by mid November. Yep - this is a company on the leading edge of technology.

Great day!

I ran my two appt's and got both deals. Did a GR at $360/mo and Assurant at $410. So today's total volume was $9,240. GR was a clean app - of course it's not even showing on my status report yet. Maybe that'll be approved in a week or so. Assurant's was applied for and approved today.

I got nailed with shard leads between last night and today - 17 of 'em. Of course I was busy today and started calling them around 3pm. I posted the results. After one round of calls - zero working. It's not to say there's not a deal in there somewhere, but it's like pulling teeth and they ain't biz owners.

Thankfully Lisa got me 8 more telemarketed leads today. Doesn't really matter when I call them back. They aren't going anywhere. The 2 deals I closed today were both from her leads. I can't remember when I closed my last shared lead. Oh well, the Assurant leads are free until my account runs out - then I won't renew.

So basically it was just over $2,300 for me today by just getting telemarketed leads and sitting down with my clients. Amazing that with all this new technology what works the best is the old school method. It's not rocket science.


Yes, I'm officially slammed. I ran an app't yesterday, got the deal then got home and made my app't setting calls. I have two appt's today - yanking a husband/wife off Right Start and writing an Assurant HSA. Both of them are off Lisa's telemarketed leads.

I'm also very anxious to get this new telemarketing software/CRM installed. I'm waiting on Lisa - she's busy packing to move this week and we should be up and running by mid next week. I think this is going to change a lot - just being able to run detailed reports changes a lot. As I stated below, one of the major problems when hiring home-based marketers is you never really know how many calls they make or how many hours they work. This obviously solves that.

It also makes a difference that I'm back to sitting with just about everyone. Yes, you can sell on the phone. I can to. But it's not a matter of which deals you close, it's a matter of which deals you don't close. The mentality seems to be "if they're not interested enough to sign up on the phone it's a deal deal or it would have lapsed." To me that's lazy agents looking for justification. That was me most of last year - call someone back who I thought was very interested, right to voice mail and I'd say "Oh, well - they weren't that interested."

It's just an extremely easy process to qualify and set the appointment. Less is more. You don't have to run around all over your state all week when 4 to 6 deals is a lot of money. Don't run 10 to close 4. Run 4 to close 4. When I'm on the phone with a lead:

1) Qualify for health - very detailed health history. I don't like surprises at the appointment.

2) Qualify for interest - Ok, I'm saving them $120 a month. Do they care? Is that enough to make them move? I ask. If not, you'll run the app't only to hear "sounds great - got a card?"

3) Qualify for time - Do they want coverage to begin within 2 weeks? Sometimes you hear "Send me what you have but I'm paid through December." Could they cancel and get a refund? Yes. Will they? Unlikely.

And finally, everyone knows I'm coming to do an app. I actually go over the application and underwriting process while I'm setting the appointment - letting them know approval times, making sure I can set an effective date to match their termination date, etc...My clients know I'm coming out so they can choose a plan.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A great past week

I had one of the best weeks since I've been in the biz. No - not pay-wise but just attitude. I closed both of my appointments yesterday - both in-person and although I've already known it all along I'm simply more positive and enjoy it much better when I meet with my clients. It's not right, it's not wrong, it's me. It's what I enjoy doing. All of my leads are local, all of my appt's are local, they know I'm coming to write an app, they're already qualified, and I confirm all appointments. I do not run 10 to close 5. I run 5 to close 5.

I would never have closed my 1st app't over the phone; family of five - own a real estate appraisal company - got suckered into Mega. The husband's attitude was "fool me once...." It was an hour and a half appointment and I was grilled. 20 minutes there, 1 1/2 hour app't, 20 minutes back. Waste of time? $1,700 commish - I'm happy. Second app't I could have closed on the phone but 10 minutes away, 25 minutes in her house and I had a better time.

Lisa amazed me last week. First of all she's in the process of moving and technically wasn't supposed to start until Nov. 1st, but told me she'd give me what she could this past week. She worked 6.25 hours and got 31 leads for a cost per lead of $2.41. Lord, I could buy her a car and make the payments and I'd never get to a shared lead price of $8 per lead. I have 3 appointments set from those leads and haven't even called Thursday or Friday's leads yet. Yep - she worked yesterday even though I told her not to worry about it because of her kid's doctor appointment.

Next week she's gonna demo Gary's system and I'm expecting fantastic results. I'll let you know how it all goes. Still swamped in resumes which I'm going to get to next week since I want one more marketer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What a pleasant change

After getting my ass kicked on the workforce exchange idea it's nice to see the tables turn. I've had home-based marketers working for me for over a year but the headaches involved have always very time-consuming.

This is where things like the chamber of commerce have proven to provide intangible benefits - like getting with other owners who have successful programs in place and don't mind sharing - especially if you're not a competitor. A lot of small biz owners employ telemarketing as a way to gain business.

What I have to learn is to start taking advice from people who are where I'd like to be. I'd like to be making $5,000+ a week (net) with a nice close-knit group of employees.

The W2 idea was something I once considered, but figured it would be a huge PITA, expensive and not provide better results. Wrong.

First of all I followed advice to post a real ad - not craigslist. Done. Already the type of resumes I'm getting is night and day. I have no idea who to call back - most of them are already working telemarketing jobs at a call center - now they see they can do the same from home and have benefits. The last resume I got; 3 years working 4 hrs a day at a call center for a mortgage company. She's currently making $10/hr with health bene's but has a 30 minute commute to work. I'm getting hammered with resumes - 40+ so far.

Lisa, my current marketer told me yesterday she has to take her daughter to the doctor's today but "don't worry, I'll still be able to work my 2 hours." Wow. I actually told her not to worry about it and take the day off. Just the fact that we had that conversation is night and day from the 1099 mentality.

So what's this all cost? When you 1099 them it's costing a lot - high turn-over, lacking candidates to choose from, cannot control their hours, no benefits tying them to the job. The savvy ones know they're responsible for their own taxes and don't want to mess with it. The other ones have no idea they have to file quarterly then file the 1040, schedule C and SE - but it'll be a nice surprise for them come tax time.

So what's this really cost? They're on a 2 week 1099 trial period to make sure they work out before I make them an employee. Worker's comp is a joke - $180 a year. Workers comp rates are based on their pay and type of job.

Withholdings aren't that much. One marketer working 20 hrs a week @ $12hr = $240 gross, $214 net if they're claiming 1 which is $26 in withholding.

So what about the paycheck/stub nightmare? I have a Bank of America biz account and they do it for me. I enter in the hours, BOA does everything else and cranks out the check/stub for me. The IRS forms I have to file are online - relatively easy. Not bad.

Oh well, off to two appointments today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another great day for Lisa

Another great day for my telemarketer - 11 leads, 2 hours. I also ended up setting 3 appointments from the 1st batch of leads she gave me.

I've had emails wondering how she's getting so many leads. Simple, she's dialing 55 numbers per hour on average - only waits 5 rings and moves onto the next call, doesn't get wrapped up in conversations with people and doesn't qualify.

I'd have agents disagree with me about qualification - they only want qualified leads. That's fine - you'll just get less. I want an opportunity to talk to anyone who's interested enough to want to see health insurance plans.

There's a theory that if they're not interested enough to give the maketer all their info; health, ages, current plan, etc...they have no interest. Wrong. Very sharp stand-offish owners are not going to cough up that info to a telemarketer. They'll cough it up to me though.

I guarantee you I can do a better job qualifying and warming people up then my marketers. All I'm looking for is interest and that they know I'm calling.

Wow - fantastic system!

Although I don't post on the insurance forum any more I still read it - some valuable gems of info from time to time. I saw the post on the new telemarketing system and called Gary - glad I did. Let's cover this first - I'm not a shill. I get nothing for posting this. I just find this system simply fantastic.

Ok, let's get the right mind set. Say you're buying $8 shared leads and they're working just fine for you. Your lead company calls you and says they'll sell you 100 more leads a month for $4 per lead.

So, what's your reaction? I'd guess it would be "that's great!" But I'd reply "What??? Have you lost your mind - that's $400 per month you're spending!" My point is, for more leads you're gonna spend more money but if your average lead price goes down that's a great deal.

This is the first system I've seen designed for home-based telemarketing. You can use it to make calls yourself or your marketer can use it. Let's go through my marketer's system:

*Pick up the phone, physically dial numbers - about 40 per hour

*Most go to voicemail, a few dead numbers and you speak to around 30%

*Leaving messages is not cost effective - you really need to keep dialing

This system by Marketing Campaign Solutions solves anything negative associated with telemarketing. Gary did a live demo for me this morning and I was stunned.

So what it is? As you see in the screenshot, it's software. You dial into a main number and the system dials three numbers at a time. If it hits a machine it leaves a message you create! Now - while it's leaving a message it also continues to dial. When someone answers it stops calling and you have all the contact info in front of you. There is no delay. When the person says "hello" you already see their name.

So now there's no more physically dialing numbers and you basically spend the entire time on the phone with prospects. It literally triples the number of people you talk to thereby tripling the amount of leads. If you normally get 2, now it's 6. You normally get 4? Now it's 12.

It shows any caller ID you want. For me that's priceless since I have an out of state telemarketers. Now it can show my caller ID. It runs reports - so now I know how many callers were made and how long my marketer was on the system.

Guys....this is a HUGE deal! One of the worst problems when hiring marketers is not knowing exactly how long they're working or how many numbers they dialed. Someone could say "well, not much today - called for 2 hours and got 1 lead." Not with this. With this you run the report: "Ummmm, you logged in for 20 minutes - that's it."

It also solves a HUGE psychological problem which is always having to dial that next number - instead of, for example, getting a snack and a drink. Then you have to "re-psych" yourself to get going again. However, this system gets you in a groove - you simply talk to people the entire hour.

Because of this there will be far less turn-over with telemarketers. I told my top marketer about this today and she wants to know when it starts.

Cost. It's around $55o per month with data or less if you have your own data. Is that expensive? Not if you look at ROI it's not. It's one deal a month and it's paid for. So the question for me was simple; will this get me one extra deal per month?

Let's do the math and see:


$12/hr - marketers currently averaging 3 leads per hour

Cost per lead = $4

Number of leads - around 10 a day

I need two girls each working 2 hours a day because physically dialing after 2 hours is a PITA.

With this sytem:

$12/hr - marketer will average 9 leads per hour

Cost per lead - (factoring in the $550) $2.90

Number of leads per day - 36

(Note - on this system I won't need two marketers each calling 2 hrs - I'll have 1 calling 4)

X factor: This is all the message that are left. Anyone who calls back is icing on the cake

So let's figure in the BS factor and say I'd be getting 15 extra leads per day. I close 1 out of 15 so that's an extra 25 deals per month. If I got just 5 extra leads per day that's 5 extra deals per month.

So even at what I'd consider to be the worst case scenario at $800 per deal that's $4,000 extra per month with this system. The reality for me is my pay will more than double, I'll keep marketers around much longer, and it will be extremely easy to re-hire and get new ones off the ground.

If you're not using marketers and making your own calls it's almost a must-have. This turns three hours of calling into one. That is insane. Not only does it keep your attitude up since you're talking to people non-stop but now you actually have time to generate enough leads to make sales and have time to run appointments.

If you can to contact them go here: