A. With baby boomers moving into the Medicare eligible age, your opportunities to find Medicare eligible prospects will be “booming.” In fact, if you are generating your own leads with our proven successful method, you could be tapping into a gold mine. Many independent agents purchase leads, but the market is particularly crowded, and these leads are available to any agent with a marketing budget. There are many options for generating leads that will give you an edge over the competition:
Determine your product
Rules vary based on product type. If you are selling Medicare supplements to turning 65 leads, there are fewer restrictions, per MMG. However, if you are looking to push Medicare Advantage plans, things become a bit trickier. Once you have determined which product type you are interested in marketing, you can begin the next step.
Identify your segment or target audience
Are you looking at pre-marketing efforts for 63-64-year-olds? We recommend to start marketing early, create the need and plant the seed. Alternatively, are you looking at the T-65 population? Once you have determined what product you are offering, it is easier to identify your target market. After you identify your target audience and marketing segment, it is time to begin building your list of prospects. You can also go through your book of business and review “lost leads” or spouses, family members of current clients that fit into your target audience categories.
Create an educational website
Building your website with branding and educational materials is an excellent way to receive organic leads with little effort. Not only does branding yourself as the industry expert create trust and demonstrate experience, but it also allows for you to create a simple lead generation form (with the proper disclaimers) to capture the prospect’s information who show interest in your products and services. It is essence; it is an online business reply card. Please check with your FMO for guidance and approval before adding your website to the World Wide Web. They can help you stay and remain compliant.
Hire telemarketing personnel
Who has time to speak to each lead to determine if they are ready to move forward? Hiring telemarketing staff and providing them with a compliant qualification script is a great idea to keeping you doing what you do best: closing sales! In fact, these temporary employees will work to your benefit to assist in setting appointments on your behalf once the lead has been qualified. Just be sure they do not discuss any Medicare plan information with the client. Benefits and plan information is only allowed to be discussed by certified and approved agents.
Your personnel can set the dates for a follow-up conversation, or do live transfers over the phone when a lead is considered “hot.” When they are qualified, it is time for you to jump in and complete the enrollments or whatever else is needed to turn your prospect into a client. Your telemarketing staff will also need to be trained in the compliant verbiage to be used. It is a good idea to speak with your Regional Sales Director and seek further guidance from the Compliance Board on pre-approved script language to use during the qualification process.
Completing Medicare Advantage Telesales Enrollments
If you are selling Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plans telephonically, then you need to become very familiar with the CMS/Insurance Carrier approved Telesales Enrollment Scripts. Each Medicare insurance carrier has their own CMS approved version of a Telesales Enrollment Script that must be read verbatim to the clients upon enrollment. You must become certified and contracted to sell MAPD/PDP Telesales Enrollments. All Telesales Enrollment calls must also be made on an inbound call only. So if you have an outbound lead call and the client is ready to complete the enrollment over the phone, you must ask them to call you right back before beginning the Telesales Enrollment. Once you have read through the CMS and Carrier approved script then you can enter the client’s information into the online portal to complete the enrollment and generate a confirmation number to give the client. There is a process to becoming eligible to do MAPD/PDP Telesales Enrollments from each different Medicare Insurance Carrier, and you must check with your FMO or insurance carrier contact before doing any Medicare Telesales Enrollments.
Completing Medicare Supplement Enrollments
If you are selling Medicare Supplement plans to clients over the phone, there are fewer restrictions than with MAPD/PDP plans. You can sell a Medicare Supplement plan over the phone on an inbound/outbound call when the prospect is ready to move forward with an enrollment. Most Medicare Supplement insurance carriers now offer online enrollment tools for the agent to use to help complete the sale. You can check out the carrier websites to gain more information and also contact them or your FMO for more details about the enrollment processes. Just remember that if you sell your client a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, those plans do not include Prescription Drug coverage and a PDP may be something your client also needs or is interested in. If so, then that falls back to step #6 in which you must become certified and trained to complete those PDP Medicare Telesales Enrollments for your clients. Again, please refer to your FMO for help and guidance with all of your Medicare Supplement or MAPD/PDP Telesales questions and assistance in becoming certified to sell over the phone. Your sales numbers should increase dramatically by becoming certified and approved to sell both Med Sups and MAPD/PDP plans telephonically.
Creating a strong book of business for current and future sales
It is a good idea to keep record of your book of business for current and future sales. Your book of business contacts can help you with generating leads and also cross-selling other insurance products to your existing client. Using a CRM for housing accurate updated records of prospects and clients is a critical sales tool. Once you have sold a client, then that client should become yours for life if continue building relationships and practice retention strategies. Regular ongoing contact is essential to retaining your clients. They can also be very valuable for generating referral business from friends and/or family. Those types of referrals usually lead to sales which also lead to more referrals.
For more information on agent training, target marketing, and compliance in Medicare, please contact your Regional Sales Director at 800-962-4693.