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.
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
Every day we speak with agents about their business and the success that they have found in Medicare Supplement. This makes us feel good, allows us to feel a sense of contentment that agents are benefiting from the resources that we provide them. On the contrary, I speak with a surprising number of agents that want nothing to do with Medicare Supplement. They tell us that “they are too busy to sell Med Supp”, or “there is not enough money to be had in Medicare Supplement insurance”. We know that selling Annuities and/or Life Insurance policies can be very rewarding, and we know that agents can make a very good living without ever stepping foot into the market that is Senior Healthcare. But what are your clients doing when they turn 65? If you are not offering Med Supp to your clients then who is? Wouldn’t you like to be a “one stop shop” for your clients, start to see more referrals coming from clients, and receive “Supplement” commissions for 6-10 years? Take a minute to consider the answers to these questions. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, there has never been a better time to be involved in Medicare Supplements.
If you are not taking care of your clients’ Medicare needs than some agent down the street is, and this may not be a big deal to you. I mean, so what, that agent down the street can take that Med Supp policy and have the commissions…right? Let’s consider the story of insurance agent Benjamin and his client Tom. When Tom asks Benjamin about advice on a Med Supp plan, Benjamin tells Tom that he does not specialize in Medicare, so Tom goes down the road to see Phil. Phil is a one stop agent who does Life, Annuities, and Med Supp amongst other things. Phil happily writes Tom into a Med Supp Plan and Tom is happy with Phil’s service. Phil tells Tom that he appreciates his business and requests that Tom refer any of his friends or family to him when they need Med Supp or any other services that he offers. Phil may have just acquired the easiest type of business that you could ever ask for, the referral business. Now whenever Tom is talking with someone about Medicare, Phil will likely be the first person that comes to mind.
Medicare Supplement Insurance can be a great “supplemental” income for you and your business. If you are interested in using Med Supp to cross-market Life insurance, to deliver on all of your clients’ insurance needs, or earn renewal commissions that regularly pay out for 6-10 years, then consider getting in touch with The Brokerage Resource. One of our Medicare and Senior Solutions Sales Managers would enjoy speaking with you about your business and your involvement in Medicare Supplement.
By Jimmy Keegan
According to the National Association of Insurance Carriers, 58% of Medigap beneficiaries were women in 2012, with 40% of enrollees earning lower than $30,000 per year. To read the full report, click here.