You’ve worked hard to find Medicare clients. Now your Medicare insurance sales business is the size you want it to be, and you think you can start taking it easy – but wait. If you stop trying to build your business, you’ll eventually start losing business. To remain successful, you can never stop growing your Medicare business.
You Will Lose Clients
You work hard to make sure your clients have the right Medicare policy for their needs, and you follow up with them regularly to make sure all their needs are being met and to stay fresh in their minds. So why would your clients leave you?
There could be a few reasons:
- They move out of the area. Some of your clients may move so they can be closer to a family member or because they want to spend the rest of their retirement in a different region. If they move to an area you don’t cover, they’ll need to find a new agent.
- One of their friends or relatives gets into insurance sales. Your clients may love you – but if a granddaughter of theirs starts selling Medicare insurance, they’ll probably want to give their business to their relative.
- They may be swayed by Medicare ads. You’ve probably noticed all the Medicare commercials promising impressive-sounding benefits. Politico says CMS is trying to crack down on misleading Medicare ads. Nevertheless, it’s possible some of your clients see a slick commercial that convinces them to sign up – even if it’s not in their best interest.
- They may pass away. When you’re serving the senior market, this is a fact that you need to build into your business plan. Over the years, some of your clients will pass away.
According to CustomerGauge, the average retention rate for businesses in the financial services sector is 81%, meaning you can expect to lose around 19% of your clients per year on average. A little math shows how dire this can be. If you have 100 clients now and you lose 19%, you only have 81 clients after a year. A second year goes by, and you’re down to around 65 clients. After three years, you only have 53 clients, about half of what you started with.
Maybe your retention rate is a little better than average. Maybe it’s a little worse. Either way, you can expect to lose some clients every year. To make up for the lost sales, you need to find new clients.
Target Opportunities Year-Round
Medicare sales opportunities occur throughout the year, so you need to have your marketing plan ready.
- AEP: AEP is the biggest event of the year for Medicare agents, so a lot of your marketing efforts will focus on enrollments during this time. You can’t market AEP until October 1, but you can get ready. We have outreach tips here.
- Turning 65 Market: The U.S. Census Bureau says 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the U.S., so this is a huge market.
- Special Enrollment Periods: Although most people enroll in Medicare when they turn 65 and switch coverage during AEP, some people may enroll or switch coverage outside of these times. For example, people who have job-based coverage may delay enrollment in Medicare, and people who move may need to switch plans.
- SNP Enrollments: Medicare’s Special Needs Plans cater to specific populations and often include special enrollment periods. For example, Medicare enrollees who are diagnosed with a chronic illness may be able to enroll in a Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan. People who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid can change plans up to four times a year, including AEP.
Prepare Your Materials
You don’t want to approach marketing emptyhanded. You need materials that you can send to clients or hand out in person.
- Stay compliant. CMS has strict rules for Medicare marketing, and according to Policy & Medicine, they’ve just gotten stricter. A new rule states that “Any material or activity that is distributed via any means (e.g., mailing, television, social media, etc.) that mentions any benefit will be considered marketing and must be submitted” for approval.
- Not all materials have to be directly related to marketing. Send out thank you cards, birthday cards and other correspondences to your clients to show you appreciate them. Also provide useful information, such as reminders about yearly vaccines, changes to Medicare rules, or tips for seniors.
Develop a Strong Online Presence
Many seniors are online, so online marketing is critical.
- Develop a website. Make sure it’s easy to navigate and accessible to people with vision problems and other disabilities. See ADA.gov for guidance on accessibility.
- Be active on social media. Facebook is popular with seniors. Develop a presence and post regularly. You can post updates and reminders about Medicare as well as other topics that seniors will find interesting,
- Create an e-newsletter. This is a great way to provide your clients with useful information while staying fresh in their minds.
To keep on top of marketing, you need to be organized.
- Keep lists of prospects and clients. You need contact information as well as documentation of permissions to contact them. Also note things like birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions that you can celebrate with a card.
- Create a schedule. Carve out time in your schedule to dedicate to marketing. This might be one or two days a week, or one or two hours a day – whatever works for you.
- Track your results. If you know which marketing activities are yielding the best results, you’ll know whether to focus more of your effort.
PTT Financial is here to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today.