5 Keys to Success with Call Transfers

By Justin Biggs

If you buy call transfers for your insurance agency, you know they can be a great source of high intent prospects.  You are also guaranteed to have the prospect on the phone, which can be a major challenge with data leads. Here are 5 things you must do with every call to increase the amount of business you are writing:

1) Answer the Call

This seems so obvious but is a huge struggle for many agencies.  You can’t give the prospect a quote or sell them a policy if you don’t answer the phone!

Lead sellers all use a different algorithm to decide which buyer/agent receives a given call.  The algorithm is normally based off a combination of bid price, answer rate and refunds.  It allows them to determine how much they are earning from each call attempt they send to an agent/buyer.  That formula might look something like this:

ABC Agency: Paying $30/call.  Sent 10 calls.  Answered 6.  Refunded 1.  Seller earned $150 from 10 attempts = $15.00 per attempt

XYZ Agency:  Paying $25/call.  Sent 10 calls.  Answered 8.  Refunded 1. Seller earned $175 from 10 attempts = $17.50 per attempt

In the example above, XYZ agency is going to receive more calls because the seller is earning more money from each attempt.  Even though they are bidding $5 less, their answer rate is 20% higher which more than makes up for the difference in bid price.  To maximize the amount of calls you receive for the lowest possible price, it is vital to get your answer rate as high as you can.

2) Calls must go direct to a licensed agent

Almost all agencies utilize receptionists and CSRs.  Do NOT send your call transfers to these people.  The consumer has likely already been transferred around and put on hold a couple times before reaching your agency.  Any additional waiting or transfers both increases their frustration and worsens their call experience.  They are also being told by the transfer representative that they are being connected to a licensed agent who can give them a quote.

For best results, set up a ring group which rings all available agents/producers.  This ensures a licensed agent will answer and also gives you the best shot at answering a high percentage of calls.

3) Use customer information email

Almost all sellers will perform a “data post” as the call is being transferred or offer a dashboard you can login into with customer data.  This data will include all the information the person entered into the web form online.  You should use this data to confirm their information instead of asking all the questions again, which can frustrate and annoy them.  Confirming makes the consumer feel like all the time they spent filling out the form was worthwhile and that the process is moving forward.

You may be tempted to just copy and paste all the lead data into your quoting engine.  I would highly recommend confirming ALL information first.  There can (and will) be errors, misspellings or completely incorrect information.

4) Disqualify quickly

You should have a billable duration for all call transfers you are buying.  A billable duration is the amount of time you have to speak with someone before the call is billed to you.  This duration is generally between 60 and 120 seconds and must be negotiated with the lead seller.

It is important to disqualify them quickly without being rude or too robotic.  Try asking “What has you shopping for new insurance options?” immediately after the small talk to find out why they are in the market for new insurance options.  It will help you quickly identify if this is someone you can help or if you should move on to the next call.

5) Quote on the initial call

Do NOT end the call until you’ve given them a quote!  This is very important and may require some re-training of your staff to do it quickly and efficiently.  The consumer has taken your call and is looking for the instant gratification of a quote.  If you end the call without giving them a quote, one of the following is likely to happen:

a) They fill out another form online and get a bunch of additional agents hounding them

b) The lead seller calls them back before you do and gets transferred to a different agency

c) You are unable to reach them a second time

Quoting on the phone is something many agencies have a hard time doing.  It goes completely against their normal operating procedures.  It may take 10-15 minutes to complete the quote and it may feel strange to keep the consumer on the line but they will tell you if they don’t have the time and you can schedule a call-back then.  Do not offer it as an option until they ask for it.

BONUS: Do not put the consumer on hold

I know I said 5 tips but this deserves a special mention as it ties into both tips 2 and 5.  You may be tempted to put the consumer on hold while you are working up the quote.  Please do not do this.  Not only do people hate being put on hold (the music is awful) but continuing to speak with them during the process builds rapport and increases the chances of selling them.


Hopefully you have found these tips helpful.  If you would like additional assistance buying and converting calls transfers into more business for your agency, you can contact us here.