In order to be a successful insurance agent, you have to make sales. In order to make sales, you have to generate leads (and a lot of them). It may seem simple, but prospecting is a process that takes more skill and effort than you might think. Generating new leads takes valuable time- time that is wasted if your current methods aren’t getting you anywhere. Whether you’re new to the business or just not drumming up leads like you used to, try these tips to get in contact with tons of potential clients!

Use a referral rewards program. This may seem like an old trick, but it’s still used by tons of agents today because, when executed creatively and strategically, it works. Too many insurance agents will create boring rewards program because they’re told it’s a good idea, but never update them or even bring them up to clients. Incentivize current clients to send prospects your way with gifts or prizes, but remember that these items should reflect your appreciation just as much as they do a dollar value. There may be certain regulations that apply to a referral rewards program, so be sure to check with your state insurance department before creating one.

Spruce up your direct mail. Direct mail has been a popular marketing tactic among insurance agents for many years, but too many agents do not see the return on investment that they would like. Why? They’re sending dull, overly-formal postcards and letters that are easily overlooked. Direct mail is considerably more expensive than other marketing options, so it’s important to send something that catches the eye of the receiver and compels them to read it. If you’re not creative or unsure how to send direct mail successfully, consider enlisting the help of a third party advertiser or designer.

Use digital resources. If you’re used to traditional selling, the internet can seem like a scary place, but it truly is imperative to utilize online resources in today’s digital world. Use social media; create your own business page, highlight what you have to offer, and connect with current and prospective clients. Save time by creating email campaigns and e-newsletters, which can easily be sent out in mass quantities through certain platforms. Like it or not, if you don’t have an online presence, you might as well have no presence at all.

Advertise “Free Consultations.” Everyone loves the word “free.” In everything else that you’re doing to generate leads, let prospects know that you’re available to meet with them to discuss their needs with no obligations and no cost. Half the battle is making the first point of contact, so if you can persuade prospects to actually have a conversation with you, you’re that much closer to the sale.

Ditch cold calling. Unless you’re finding substantial success in cold calling (and the majority of people are not), it’s probably best to forget it as a way of generating leads. Today, people are spending less time on the phone and are likely to ignore calls from numbers they don’t recognize. Not only is cold calling time-consuming with little result, many people find it invasive and outright annoying.

Generating leads is often easier said than done, but it’s important to give yourself as many opportunities as possible to make sales. Try these prospecting tips if you’re confused or just in a temporary rut, and always remain open to new lead-generating ideas.