You HAVE to have a digital presence. We ALL know that. You can't escape it. If you're not online, your clients and FUTURE clients will NOT find you. Google is what everyone does when they want to research ANYTHING. But, do you HAVE to have a website?
We say NO, and we'll tell you why...
When you Google something, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) pulls up the highest ranking (researched) results. If someone is researching insurance agents, you don't have to have a website to show up on the list.
What you DO need to have though, is an online presence. Your name and agency will show up in ANY online results, and that can be a business facebook page. A FREE page that allows you to advertise your services, share updates about your agency and give you that much needed digital presence.
Don't get us wrong, having a website is HUGELY beneficial, and if you have the budget, by all means build a website. But if you don't...
We'll even help you if you need assistance.
Read more on creating a facebook business page...
There are two types of insurance agents. Those who sell you what YOU think you need, and those who sell you what you TRULY need.
You have your hustlers who get out there and sell that quick life policy or home owner’s policy because that’s what their client came to them for. But do they take the time to get to know their clients and follow a well thought-out customer engagement model? An engagement model that steps them out of the insurance agent role and into the caring and trusted advisor role?
Let’s face it, getting that next policy on the books is good for your bottom line, and if you’ve got 300 clients, then what’s selling just another policy? Or wait? Is that really who you are? What your business is about? Just selling insurance to pay the bills, and get that free trip the carrier promised you? Or is it more? Are you the type of insurance agent who wants to be remembered for helping others? The type of individual who leaves behind a legacy? The type of professional who went above and beyond to insure his/her clients were getting EXACTLY what they needed?
If you’re following that customer engagement model and talking to your clients about their lives, you’re learning about them and where they need your insight and advice. They’re coming to you for your knowledge and expertise. If they weren’t, they’d just buy their insurance online and forgo the whole insurance agent altogether. Right?
Your client wants to purchase a life insurance policy, but is also turning 65 later this year, and will likely need some type of supplemental insurance once he’s retired and enrolled in Medicare. If you’re asking the client his age when you’re running a quote for his life policy, the next step in your mind should be to discuss his health insurance needs after reviewing life insurance options. That’s not rocket science. From there you can dive deeper into your client’s needs and mention long-term care. If he’s planning on retiring at age 65 and enrolling in Medicare, long-term care isn’t covered by Medicare unless he requires skilled services or rehabilitative care. Long-term Care costs are staggering. Nursing home facilities command a whopping $82,125/year for a just semi-private room.
It takes a matter of minutes to open up the doors for discussion when you’re speaking to a client or a prospect. A quick policy on the books is great for your bank account, but satisfied clients who refer your services because you’ve gone above and beyond to help them with a complete solution? Legacy status.
Selling your clients insurance or a solution? It all lies in your hands.
Medicare Open Enrollment vs Guaranteed Issue Rights
Medicare Supplements (Medigap policies) have two different types of enrollment periods that don’t require you to answer health (medical) questions. These different periods of time are called a few different names which can be obscure. Here is a break down to better understand the different terms and their specific rules.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Open Enrollment
This period is considered your “initial enrollment period”. Thus the reason it is called your “initial enrollment period” is that many confuse the Medigap Open Enrollment period with the Medicare Open Enrollment period. Medicare Open Enrollment permits someone to change their Medicare Drug or Medicare Advantage plan each year, whereas Medigap’s Open Enrollment normally only allows you ONE guaranteed enrollment period, regardless of preexisting conditions. (Some States such as CA, have a 30 day Medigap Birthday rule that allows you to switch Medigap plans to an equal or lesser value than your current Medigap plan during your birth month-without answering health questions).
Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights
The chart below describes the situations, under federal law, that give you a right to buy a policy, the kind of policy you can buy, and when you can or must apply for it. States may provide additional Medigap guaranteed issue rights.
Source: 2017 Choosing A Medigap Policy
Yesterday was Opening Day in Major League Baseball and all captive agents were on deck to kick off the season. Captive. That’s the key term here: being a captive agent in the American League or National League, playing ball for a specific franchise for a set number of years with a compensation package all spelled out.
What does this have to do with insurance? Captive agents in the insurance industry have a similar contract with a specific carrier: a document outlining which products they can sell, compensation, bonus structure, etc.
That’s where the similarities end.
Most free agents playing major league baseball want to get picked up by a club so they can advance their career and enjoy lucrative income for years to come.
For free agents in the insurance industry, it’s a slightly different story. They are actually limiting themselves by signing with one insurance carrier. Why? Because they have to play by that carrier’s rules and guidelines. Is that so bad? No, but truth be told, if you’re a captive agent you are bound to that carrier’s product lines, you’re limited in your choices and options for your clients, and you’re limited by whatever the pricing structure is for those products. Ultimately? You’re bound. That’s not a very freeing concept now is it?
As a free agent, you can work with a BGA who will assist you with contracting with numerous carriers. BGA’s don’t cost you anything. You contract with them, but all of your compensation comes directly from the carrier. The benefits of being a free agent are endless. Let’s take a look at the most compelling:
So, yesterday was opening day and all the captive agents in the country went to work for the club (or carrier) they signed with. Were you one of them? You can change that. It’s up to you though. If the idea of being a free agent sounds somewhat appealing, we’re here to help. We can’t assist you with an MLB contract if you play ball, but we can assist you with adding an arsenal of products, carriers, choices and possibilities to your portfolio that will lead you down a path of success….and hopefully fulfillment.
We often have agents focus on one particular insurance product and they make that their priority. They focus on selling that particular piece of the puzzle to their clients without expanding their portfolios. I recently emailed an agent who wanted to expand beyond selling Medicare Supplement products, and these were some of the tips I shared with her for getting started with Life marketing.
"I think it’s so beneficial when an advisor works with their clients on many levels to provide the most complete solution for them. They have instilled their trust in you for certain insurance needs, and it just makes sense that they come to you for all (or most) of their insurance/financial needs.
As for marketing ideas, LifeHappens.org is a fantastic site for information, marketing and selling concepts, infographics and brochures. The site has some great ideas on how to relay the benefits of purchasing life insurance. I’ve attached one of their Real Life Story brochures as an example. Story telling these days is paramount, especially with social media. It’s become the new way to market to clients and customers. Sharing stories that are relatable speak to potential clients and customers, and Life Happens understand this. In turn you will have clients who become influencers (influencer marketing) which benefits you. Your clients tell their friends and colleagues about your commitment to them as their trusted advisor, and you in turn gain new clients. It’s networking and marketing working cohesively."
Thinking outside the proverbial box, exploring new options and adding creativity to your strategy keeps things interesting and your clients benefit from it. If you're excited about the options you offer, your clients will in turn get excited about safeguarding their financial future.
If you're not currently offering Medicare products to your clients and are focusing on Life products or Annuities, then now is the time to branch out. Becoming a source of information and expertise for your clients only lends itself to expansion and a growing client base. If you need ideas and assistance about adding Medicare products to your arsenal, we have a dedicated team and a litany of tools that will help you get started, beginning with our Medicare Supplement Kit.
At the end of the day, it's about having that satisfied client, and happy clients make for good business.