2020 was an interesting year in terms of business in the insurance industry. Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. Working remotely and meeting people virtually have been some of the biggest changes as to how we go about doing business. Zoom and Google Meet sessions are commonplace now. Seniors are more adept at using technology than ever before. With a vaccine now available, the question we all want to know is "Will 2021 return to the way we did things BC (Before Corona)?" Doubtful. Now that we've incorporated more technology into our daily lives, it's only natural that we will continue to rely on these tools - especially given the fact that we're not out of the woods in terms of this pandemic.
Seniors use Facebook, order groceries and prescriptions online, FaceTime with family and use tele-health features to meet with their physicians.
Although many agents did meet with clients face-to-face this past year, it's in everyone's best interest to avoid doing so if at all possible. Some older clients may not have access to technology, making traditional meetings the only way to review coverage and issue new business. If you find you have older clients in this situation, it's sometimes advantageous to find out if they have children or friends who can assist them with a virtual meeting. Seniors continue to be a high risk group for COVID-19 and minimizing their exposure is essential even with a vaccine now available.
Among the marketing tools we recommend using, we still have some old fashioned methods that can target those who prefer getting advertisements the old fashioned way. Prospecting with mailers or door hangers is still a viable way to let potential clients know about your services. Utilizing our T65 Prospecting tool can help with this form of marketing. And of course we offer all of our appointed agents free prospects, so the tried and true method of cold calling, albeit tiresome, can still be fruitful.
Implementing as many marketing tools as possible is the best way to grow your book of business. It doesn't have to be a daunting task either. We can provide you with marketing materials, advice and support in your efforts.
We've added several new technology tools this past year, and we hope you've taken advantage of them. Our biggest tool, was the launch of our new MedicareCENTER. It boasts one universal login to access an array of Medicare tools accessible on any device (MedicareAPP, MedicareLINK and Medicare Supplement quoting via CSG Actuarial). This tool also includes a Learning Center, as well as a built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to manage your clients.
We also brought our new T65 Prospecting tool to the table which allows you to prospect for Medicare-eligibles in any geographic area you're licensed to sell in. It's a quick registration form and you get immediate access to prospects' names, addresses and dates of birth. This tool also includes a quoting feature.
Lastly, we encouraged and worked with our agents to use Zoom to hold virtual client meetings and webinars. This free tool has made the need for face-to-face meetings obsolete. We held countless meetings with our agents via Zoom this past year. If you haven't used it, it's a quick download and it's very user-friendly.
As each new year approaches, we look for new ideas, strategies and ways to grow. Below is a list of marketing concepts you can implement in the coming year to grow your business and make 2021 more profitable than ever.
The new normal is something out of a George Orwell novel, or so it seems. The vast majority of the population are donning face masks as they scurry in and out of businesses and are spending an exorbitant amount of time at home and on their devices. It's a strange, new world we live in, and in order to continue to grow in the insurance industry, it's important to utilize the digital world to its full potential. Below we'll cover some important tools you should be using in order to keep your business connected and growing during these challenging times.
In a relationship business where the idea of meeting face to face is no longer feasible, it's important to utilize video chat and messaging tools to keep in touch with existing clients (if you aren't already doing so). You've worked hard to establish good working relationships with your clients and you don't want those to fade away now that you can no longer meet in person. There are so many communication tools that work easily and well and the best part...they're free. Zoom is one of the most popular video tools out there, but Skype, Google Meet and FaceTime are very user-friendly and they all get the job done well. (And FaceTime isn't just for mobile devices, if you have a Mac, you can use FaceTime with your clients on their Macs or their Apple mobile devices.)
Your older clients have adapted and have learned how to use the online world to feel connected. They know how to order groceries and takeout online, they now communicate with family members and attend church digitally. They access Telehealth resources and meet with their physicians via video chat. They get their prescriptions filled online and delivered to their homes. They've learned to embrace technology out of necessity and without technology they would feel lost. It's important to remember that your clients need to hear from you, and by embracing these tools, it makes staying connected and conducting business easier than ever.
Reviews & Online Presence
During these challenging times, it's important to have an updated website and a robust social media presence. 90% of consumers use the internet to find a local business and 82% of consumers read online reviews before they decide to do business with someone. If your website doesn't reflect current information and you have no online reviews, consumers will move on to the next insurance agent in their Google search. An online presence is absolutely critical now more than ever. Your existing clients will benefit as well. If they have questions and can find the answers on your website, that's one less phone call they have to make. Your website and online reviews reflect your business, so you want to be sure your online advertising is an accurate representation of your services and your reputation.
Email marketing is not dead and it's a fantastic way to let your clients know you're thinking about them. There are numerous email marketing providers out there and Mailchimp is one of the most popular services. They offer a free version for small businesses which will allow you to upload up to 2,000 contacts, give you access to their content studio, numerous pre-built templates and even automation. Sending out informative pieces or updating your clients about important news is made easy with a service like Mailchimp. Constant Contact is another robust email marketing service that bases pricing on the number of contacts you upload to their system. You'll get access to marketing automation, mobile-ready templates, reporting and many other features.
Submitting Electronic Business
The beauty of technology is that it allows for so many things to get done faster. This includes submitting applications, receiving payments and getting answers to questions. When you submit your business online and stop the dated paper applications, your underwriting gets approved more quickly, which means your policies get approved faster, which in turn means you get paid faster. It may seem daunting at first to make the switch from submitting paper applications and doing things the old fashioned way, but when you submit a few e-Apps, you'll get the hang of it in no time...and wonder why you haven't been doing business this way sooner. The electronic application also ensures you complete the app properly. It reduces the possibility for errors and omissions and it frees up your time to work with even more clients. Your clients can sign their applications digitally and get their policies faster than ever. Hands down, it's just a win/win for everyone.
The New Normal Isn't All Bad
The concept of social distancing isn't something that normally comes to mind when one thinks of the insurance industry. It's tried and true ways of meeting face-to-face for decades across from the kitchen table or in the client's living room is now a thing of the not-so-distant past. However, with this new normal, it's important to realize that business doesn't have to grind to a screeching halt. By implementing the use of technology in your every day business life you'll find you're actually better equipped to manage and even grow your business. How long this will be our new normal is very uncertain as COVID-19 rates continue to climb, but one thing is for certain, technology will continue to keep us connected and will be our best resource for accomplishing all that we need to in order to thrive.
Our quote engine will deliver results for all of our carriers and all plans offered in the selected state. Plans A and F are always offered by all carriers.
Generally with most carriers, the most popular plans is Plan F for Medicare Supplement. Plan G is very similar to Plan F, the only difference being a $147 annual physician deductible. Often the premium savings by purchasing Plan G, instead of Plan F, will be more than $147 per year.
You have the option of selecting household discounts when running the rates, as well as applying any underwriting that may be necessary for your client.
Quotes can then be downloaded via Excel or PDF format, or can be printed.
When it comes to financial planning, we all could use a little help. The importance of saving (not only for a rainy day) but for higher education costs, retirement and even possible illness and long-term care are crucial.
Not all of us are star pupils when it comes to the financially fit class, but with the right tools and some planning, you can assist your clients, and help them save for the future.
If your clients are asking you about long-term care, disability insurance and life insurance, you can be the one to assist them if you’re already writing Medicare Supplement policies for them. If you’ve already established a rapport and a good relationship with your clients, it’s only logical to offer to help them with other needs they may have.
If your clients are saddled with credit card debt, this convenient tool will help them figure out how long it will take to pay off that balance, and find financial peace. The stress of revolving debt is something no one wants, and this tool will put them on the right track to eliminating that debt.
If your clients are still in the workforce and have yet to retire, this calculator asks for some basic math and will give them a plan in the making to realize their retirement dreams. There are even tools to help them figure out how long their money will last once they’re no longer working. This one allows you to enter the proposed withdrawal amounts and will calculate how long your client has before their money runs out.
Investing in life insurance is not just smart, it can be very cost effective. Clients with young children and without the resources to provide for their children, should something happen, are best-served by investing in life insurance. Clients often ask “How do I know if I have enough life insurance?” This tool will calculate your client’s needs and his/her spouse’s needs as well.
Many people wonder if they need DI, and if they can afford it, then yes. It not only provides monies at a critical time of need, but offers peace of mind knowing that if something should happen, they’ll have a way to cover their day-to-day expenses. This tool can help you show your client the costs for disability insurance and how much they’ll be able to afford.
“Money is what makes the world go ‘round”, as they say. And it’d be fantastic if we didn’t have to have it, use it, or worry about it. As daunting as it may seem to try and create a fiscal plan that fits your clients’ needs, it is indeed do-able. And with the right tools, you can make it happen for them.
Help your clients get fiscally fit, and help them prepare for their retirement and long-term needs.
By Carolyn Portanova
Carolyn Portanova is the Director of Marketing at The Brokerage Resource and has been with the firm since 2012.