There was a long time before my website and blog took off where I was, like most other independent life insurance agents out there, stuck trying to get the most bang for my buck out of purchased life insurance leads.

Ten years ago I could spend $20-$25 per lead for impaired risk life insurance prospects. I would call them up and introduce myself, ask how I could be of assistance, etc. They were actually expecting a call from an agent. We would have a productive conversation and I would shop their case and within a few days I would send out quotes. Back then I would occasionally have a lead say that they really didn’t mean to submit the request for quotes but I would say that 3 out of 4 were good leads and 2 out of 4 applied and were issued policies. So my cost was actually $50 per customer. Really not bad.

Maybe three years later some lead generation companies decided that they would start selling one lead to as many as three agents. Cleverly called “three agent leads”, these companies didn’t see anything wrong with a little competition. They argued that it gave the customer a better look at the industry and made the agents compete, thereby making them more likely to quote the best rate rather than the company that paid the best compensation. There was some merit to the assumption and I really didn’t mind too much. We got the leads in real time, literally within seconds of a customer submitting their request on line, and I would always call immediately.

This was occasionally a little spooky to the client who might still be sitting at the computer, but I knew I could meet or beat any other agent in the country in impaired risk life insurance, so also being the first to call kind of gave me a leg up. I would always tell the customer that they might get a few more calls and by all means, if they wanted, hear the agents out and apply with more than one if they couldn’t quite decide who to go with. Oh, I forgot to mention that lead companies kept the price at the same $20-$25 so they could now make three times as much for each inquiry.

Before long companies went crazy on the whole thing and would sell the leads to as many agents as they could. That was when I started my website and blog to get away from buying leads. Customers were ticked off, and rightly so, when they would click on a button to get a quote and be getting calls for days from as many as 30-40 agents. Calls and emails. Every agent jumped on leads the way I described above so people might get immediate calls and calls waiting and calls immediately when you hung up. Some of the large agencies that purchased these kind of leads had computer speed dialing to try to get there first. It was even set up so that you got a call and an email simultaneously.

I’ve talked to a lot of clients who made that mistake before they found my website and they described total online agent warfare on their phones. This is still going on as we speak. If you just wander out there and click on some general “save 70%” quote engine, you probably should have a backup phone you can use for a while. Within 15-20 days the action should slow down and you can start using the phone again, but don’t be shocked to still be getting some calls from that one little click months later. Online life insurance insanity!

So, what do you do? You need to inquire about life insurance quotes, but how can you do it, let’s say, discreetly? When you do a search, be clear what you are looking for. If you are over 50, type in over 50 life insurance. If you have had cancer, type in over 50 breast cancer life insurance or over 50 prostate cancer life insurance. Then look at the results. If it just takes you to some website that doesn’t have answers for you, go to the next.

Don’t go to generic sites that might have a paragraph somewhere about your specific challenge in life insurance. If they don’t offer at least a full article if not multiple articles that can help you understand how to get to the best rate then they are just using, for instance, private pilot life insurance, as a keyword. If you’re looking for a buy/sell business life insurance policy for you and your partner from Jamaica, make sure the site you go to has some specific information on how to tackle insurance on foreign nationals or has some background in international business life insurance.

Bottom line. I traded stocks on line for a very brief time about 8 years ago. Today I still get calls from brokerage salespeople. Be careful what button you touch. If you submit an email on my website it will go to me and only me. If you call my toll free number you will talk to me and only me