A Consumer’s Guide to The Purchasing Funnel

When deciding to purchase a product, such as life insurance, consumers go through a purchasing funnel, also known as a marketing funnel. In a marketing quest to make you a customer, agencies hope to answer questions like who to buy from and what type of life insurance policy to buy. However, the average person may not think twice about what the purchasing funnel is and what steps a consumer takes within it.


Awareness is the first step in the purchasing funnel. The first thing a life insurance agency will do is inform you about the types of policies they sell, and then they will inform you about their company. Every prospective buyer becomes the “lead” for that agency. A lead is a consumer who is interested in purchasing a life insurance policy from an agency. The goal of awareness is for one agency to reach out to a lead and persuade that lead to buy from them rather than another company. The advertisements or sales agents will explain why a consumer should buy from them rather than their competitor.


Interest is the second step in the purchasing funnel. Life insurance companies monitor the market on a regular basis and will poll leads’ interests and purchasing history to determine what a specific demographic requires or desires. The agency will then work to maintain the lead’s interest and gain his or her trust as a provider of this insurance policy. If a consumer does not believe in the agency, he or she is unlikely to believe in the products that the agency promotes for sale.


Consideration is the next step. As a consumer, you have many different types of life insurance policies to choose from, such as how long of a term, how much coverage to purchase, or what riders would be useful to you, as well as which insurance carrier offers the most comprehensive and competitively priced product to meet your life insurance needs. Why would a consumer purchase a similar product from one insurance company but not another? The answer is found in the brokerage agency’s expertise, which encourages a consumer’s consideration. A consumer will eventually decide which policy best meets their needs for life insurance and will choose to trust the advice of one brokerage firm over another. This is a crucial step because if this platform is not reached, the insurance agency will not have a viable lead because the consumer is not interested in making a purchase.


The fourth step in the purchasing funnel is intent. When a prospective lead expresses enough interest in a policy to purchase it but has not yet taken the final step. A sales agent must keep working to ensure that the lead does not lapse or that they do not lose sight of what policy may best suit their goals and faith in the agency’s lead to the consumer’s goal. A sales agent will work to answer every question a lead has and present them with a viable option that the agent’s company has for sale.


Following purchase intent comes evaluation. Yes, this is the policy desired, according to a leader. He or she has not, however, made a firm decision to purchase. The lead has not yet made a purchase decision and is taking in all of the information that has been routed to them from advertising, word of mouth, the sales agent’s comparison reports and advice, as well as any of the consumer’s own market research. Finally, a comparison is made. Prospective life insurance agencies will work to keep their image in the lead’s mind as fresh as possible during the evaluation process.


Finally, the consumer completes their purchasing funnel research, evaluation, and comparison and makes the purchase. A company has now successfully converted a lead into a customer, hopefully, a satisfied customer who received exactly what they desired. “Stop selling,” says Zig Zagler, author of more than 29 sales and motivational books for over 50 years. Begin assisting.”

Companies thrive on their customers’ residual emotions because referrals from friends and family are the most effective marketing tool a company can use. According to a 2013 Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising of over 29,000 people from 58 countries, 84 percent of people trust recommendations from people they know. As a result, they have become “the most influential form of advertising.”

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