It's a new year, and with that comes new opportunities. Creating a solid marketing plan and sticking to it will not only grow your business, but will give you structure and organization. Running your own business and working on commission has its risks and rewards, but with planning and utilizing all of the tools and resources available to you, you're guaranteed to succeed.
You can't continue to grow if you continue to do what you've always done.
Which of the following marketing tips have you already implemented this year? Which do you need to do?
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.
Every year from October 15th until December 7th seniors look to make changes to their Medigap coverage. Many rush into a Medicare Advantage plan as they are affordable and often times they get automatically enrolled by their healthcare provider (with written notice).
As an advisor, it’s crucial to inform your clients about the differences between Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans.
| The name may have “advantage” in it, but is it truly advantageous?
Medicare Supplement plans can be very affordable. They don’t have to cost your clients thousands of dollars a year. Many seniors on fixed incomes look to Medicare Advantage plans because they see the difference in pricing. However, these “advantageous” plans change from year to year. One year your client may be covered and have their physicians and hospital of choice in network, and the following year that can all be taken away from them.
Medicare Supplement plans can never be changed or altered. Unless your client lapses on policy payments, they will never have to worry about being covered for their healthcare costs. That one, simple fact provides peace of mind for countless seniors. If given the choice to pay slightly more for a plan that will never knock them out of network, why wouldn’t they choose that option?
| Medicare Supplement plans offer freedom of choice to select any doctor…anywhere.
We believe that Medicare Supplement plans are truly the best coverage for seniors bridging the gap that traditional Medicare doesn’t cover for certain healthcare costs. The plans are stable and the carriers we offer are all A rated.
We welcome your questions and concerns, and can sit down with you and explain in detail the pros and cons of Medicare Supplement vs. Medicare Advantage. Allowing you to then inform your client with carefully considered options.
| Your clients may only get this one opportunity to make the best choice.
Posted by Carolyn Portanova
Medicare Supplement plans. They’re absolutely necessary for Medicare recipients, and yet only 25% of the U.S. population are purchasing them. Close to 4 million individuals will turn 65 this year according to the National Census, and that, in and of itself is staggering.
Medigap policies are what close the gap on health related insurance costs that traditional Medicare does not cover. Seniors struggle with the complexities of the Medicare system, and assisting them with their choices and giving them solid advice on which plan to purchase is what can set you apart from other insurance professionals. However, before you go writing your clients into Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans, here are some things to consider…not only for them, but for you, yourself.
By Sam Corey, Jr. and Carolyn Portanova
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.