September 26, 2017

You’ve given it your all with this client.

You’ve called, you’ve met in person, you’ve given your pitch… and they’re not biting.

How do you know when (or if) you should give up on a lead?

A few leaders here at New Horizons have put together their decades of sales experience to answer this complicated question: Can a lead really be dead?


jeff sams white bg

Jeff: In my experience, most leads are never dead.

However, there are always exceptions to that statement.

-A person may have a health history that removes them as a prospect.

-A person may have been in the insurance business.

-There could be a story that removes a person.

But by far, it is usually a case of the timing being wrong.

I personally believe you should never leave an appointment without building a relationship or acquiring a friend. You never know where that lead might take you. I have had people that never bought from me but that would refer me to their friends and/or family.


Laura: I can only bang my head against the wall so long before it just doesn’t seem worth it to me. After a certain point, I focus my efforts on other things.



Chase: Everyone that knows me knows that I operate a little bit differently. I won’t give up on someone unless they specifically say, “No, I’m not interested. Don’t come back.”

And yes, plenty of people say that. For example, there have been several people, more than I can count, that say, “No, today’s not a good day.” They then say they’re too busy to schedule an appointment. So, I let it go.

A month later, I show back up on their doorstep. Same thing happens. Two months later, I show up again. Same thing. A year later, I show up on their doorstep, and some of them will finally tell me they’re not interested. But there have been people who have warmed up to me after a full year, and I finally close the sale.

I’m no longer a stranger to them. When I come up to their door, they remember me. They know I’m passionate about this and am not just there for the quick sale because I’ve shown up 4 or 5 times.

michael sams

Michael: I want to be persistent without pushing people’s buttons. I’m going to continue to let them know that I’m not there just to sell something – I’m there to help them. If they don’t want my help, then yes, I think it’s a dead lead.

But I do leave them with my card and a few words on how things change, and that this is our specialty. I want them to know that I’ll be there if they change their mind. And yes, this has happened.

I was training with another guy, and we ended up on Mr. Margarita’s doorstep. I stood there, and he just cussed us out. “I can’t believe you *$%& would show up on my doorstep, and you’re just here to &$%#, and I don’t need any of your *@%#$ help...” and he just went on and on.

I had just come out of college basketball, so I was used to a coach being that way. So, I looked Mr. Margarita dead in the eye, and I said, “You need to know that you’re on a major medical plan, and it is going to end when you turn 65. I know someone has told you that you can keep your plan when you turn 65, but I’m here to tell you that you can’t. You don’t need to believe me now, but when you discover the truth, I want you to call me.”

So, I left my card with him and wrote his best option on the back.

Three months later, you won’t believe who called me. Mr. Margarita. Every sentence he said had a curse word in it, but he was a dead lead that came back to life, and he’s still my client to this day.

After speaking with a myriad of different agents, it appears that this question is different for everyone. Some agents will never give up on a lead, while others consider it a waste of time to keep trying.

One agent explained that it can be worthwhile to consider how you spend your time. If you have a CRM that can send automated emails on your behalf, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it? However, if you’re sitting around making calls and typing up emails to uninterested prospects, it’s a completely different story.

Moral of the story: spend your time wisely.

It is worth noting that a lot of agents have thought a lead was dead, and a year later, that prospect ended up buying. Sometimes, the occasional phone call or just showing up at their door more than once is all it takes to show that you’re serious and trustworthy.

Another strategy is to do a 3-part contact strategy. Contact them the first time and do your regular pitch. If it’s a no-go, wait another week and follow up. If it’s still a no-go, contact a third and final time, and say that you won’t bother them again unless you hear from them. Sometimes, the threat of you leaving is enough to get prospects to make a move.

Finally, it’s important to recognize that insurance sales is all about timing. Sometimes, it feels like your efforts aren’t working, and if that’s the case, you should find out why.

What do you think? Can a lead ever be dead?

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