Do you know how to generate Medicare leads? Even if you have an FMO like Senior Market Advisors behind you, it is important that you know how to generate your own leads. The more leads you have, the more plans you can sell, and the more money you can make.
You can purchase leads, or you can dig around and get them for free. Here are some of the many ways you can increase your sales potential:
Advertise Yourself and Your Business
Even in today’s digitally-focused marketing world, traditional advertising and other mediums still work.
- Newspapers and Yellow Pages: Some Medicare eligibles and seniors still read local papers, and many still make use of the yellow pages that the rest of us forgot about. It can get a little pricey to continuously advertise on these platforms, so take advantage of internet mediums first, as those tend to be cheaper. Analyze your local market – if you know that seniors and Medicare eligibles in your area pay close attention to your local newspaper, take advantage of it. If you know that their audience is small, consider saving your dollars for digital media.
- TV and Radio: Radio is more likely to fall into your budget than TV advertising, but most people listen to the radio on their way to or from work, and a good portion of your audience may be retired. Just as with print media, play close attention to where your local audience is getting their information before typing in your credit card information.
- Flyers and Freebies: Possibly the most important advertising for your senior and Medicare eligible audience is vivid colors on flyers and freebies that you can place around senior-living and Medicare eligible apartment complexes and nursing homes. Even if the people living there already have insurance, they may be interested in ancillary products, and you can become their new agent. Remember that you can’t knock on their doors, but you can request permission to call them with mailers or request that they call you with flyers. If they have a main lobby or recreation center, you can see about leaving freebies like pens, notepads, and everything else from dog toys to coffee mugs.
- Scholarships: You can either partner with a college or high school or sign up with a website like scholarships.com. Giving a small scholarship valued at $200-$300 to a student interested in studying health care or business management not only does good for the community but also may bring in leads. The student’s family is likely to draw interest in you and your business, and you may be able to score bonus leads from anyone in the student’s school who is ready to enroll in Medicare.
- Seminars/Q&A’s: You can host free Medicare or general health insurance seminars/Q&A’s at your local library, a conference center, or various Medicare eligible and senior centers. Though you can’t ask for contact information or collect enrollment forms in this setting, you can tell them what you do. Come loaded with information about Medicare and have plenty of business cards and freebies. Some seniors and Medicare eligibles may be there to pass some time, but others may be there because they need to purchase a plan. Chances are that you’ll get a few calls following your talk.
Contract With a FMO
A field marketing organization (FMO) is a company that partners with insurance carriers to make products available to agents. Another way FMOs help agents with is lead generation.
Contracting with an FMO like Senior Market Advisors means you will gain marketing funding, at least for your first year. Remember that after that first year, you can continue to market yourself, but you can also continue to contact old leads about their plans and sell them additional plans.
A great FMO will have experienced teams that provide lead generation services through direct mail, digital marketing, and marketing materials for events. Top performers even have the potential to earn free insurance leads through a FMO.
The right FMO won’t just give you a list of names, rather, the leads will be qualified and want to know what you have to offer.
When all else fails, you can purchase Medicare leads. Remember that you can’t cold call, so make sure that you are purchasing leads from a valid source which compiles lists of people who are interested in speaking with an agent about Medicare. Insurance carriers often offer these kinds of lists.
Additionally, you can send mailers asking for permission to call. For generating mailer leads, you can purchase a list of everyone who is near or over 65 in your area. Send them a card asking for permission to call, and when they respond, you have a new lead!
How to Get Free Health Insurance Leads for Agents
People are inundated with health insurance advertising and marketing materials wherever they go. Not only do insurance carriers buy billboards near the freeway, you can’t even turn the TV on without seeing a commercial about Medicare Advantage.
All of those things are great for getting people’s attention, but they cost money. You may not have the same budget as a major insurance carrier. Also, extremely visible advertising may reach a lot of people, but not necessarily the right people. You want to talk to qualified leads, and you may want to know how to get free health insurance leads.
Health insurance agents can spend a lot of money for qualified leads – and there are situations where paid leads pay off – but getting free leads is definitely worth the time and effort. A few ways you can get free health insurance leads are client referrals, being active in your community, and hosting events.
Use Your Existing Lead Generation Resources
The easiest lead to sell to is one you already have. Make sure you know the Medicare guidelines for cross-selling.
- Visual Aids: If you’re meeting with a client to check up on their current plans but hoping to sell them ancillary products, bring visual aids. Medicare is complicated enough as it is, and now you’re trying to sell them other plans. While it doesn’t stand for everyone, some people are visual learners and will better understand you if you can physically demonstrate in some way. Come prepared with infographics and packets with photos of smiling, healthy people to encourage them to work with you to figure out the best plan.
- Awareness: Stay at the front of your client’s minds. Make sure you’re calling to check in. Choose refrigerator magnets over flimsy and easily misplaced flyers. Send them information any time there is a change in health care legalities or carriers, and offer to discuss it with them.
- Opening Lines: Find words that work. Go into every meeting or phone call prepared. Be prepared not just to answer their questions, but also prepared to be a friendly face in their home. Whether you’re calling or knocking on their door, know what you’re going to say to help the client feel comfortable discussing their health care needs with you. Ask them about their kids and their lives — they’ll be much more likely to welcome you back into their home.
Word of mouth is still a vital component of a successful marketing plan, especially with the Baby Boomer set. That’s why it’s crucial that you give every client the best service possible. They’ll tell their friends.
Get a stack of business cards and leave them with your clients. Remember: With Medicare sales, you aren’t allowed to explicitly ask for referrals. You are, however, allowed to hand business cards to your clients and ask if that the client passes the cards along.
Another way to get referrals is to sell to friends and family. These people are basically built-in referrals. Of course, anyone you know will have to agree to your services and fill out the proper paperwork. Just because you know someone doesn’t give you license to forget your compliance training.
Consider contacting local doctors and hospitals and asking them to direct their patients to you if they need help with picking a plan.
You can’t offer incentives for specific carriers, but this way doctors will know that their patients can pay, and patients will know that their doctor is included in their plan. Everybody benefits.
You can also consider partnering with local businesses like lawyers and accountants who deal with seniors and the Medicare eligible on a daily basis. Leave your business cards with them, and take some of theirs. It’s all friendly business.
Be where your audience is. For example, agents who sell Medicare Advantage plans could set up shop at a local senior center with some pamphlets and other information about services. All you’d have to do is arrange a time with the center’s manager and register the event through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
Subscribe to our podcast and listen to Episode 8: Setting Up a Sales Event for more information.
Be Active in Your Community
Along the lines of hosting events where your audience is, be where your audience is. Attend networking events, join a softball league, and make yourself known. If you’re likable and people have heard your name before, they’ll be much more inclined to meet with you about a matter as personal as health insurance.
Everyone knows someone who sells insurance and is always talking about it. The trick is to not be “that guy.” When you’re at events, listen for cues rather than just talking about your products. If someone says, “I don’t want to change doctors, but he won’t take my insurance anymore,” that’s an opportunity to set up a meeting.
You want to be an engaged member of your community, rather than just an engaged sales person. If you have an ulterior motive, people will sniff that out and run away.
You can use social media to get referrals, to get the word out about your events, and to be an active member of your community – both online and in-person.
Join community Facebook groups, post pictures when you’re at events, and engage with your followers. If people know you and recognize you, they’ll contact you first when they want your products.
Remember to stay HIPAA and CMS-compliant with all of these tools to get free health insurance leads. If you violate federal regulations, you may have your license revoked and could even be charged some hefty fines.
For more information about generating leads on social media, subscribe to our podcast and listen to Episode 15: How to Market Yourself on Social Media. If you subscribe, you’ll also get free access to our e-book, “Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents.”
Types of Leads
A “lead” or “cold lead” is any name that appears in your database. These leads are usually at the top of the funnel, and they might not be ready to buy just yet. You want to focus on people who are ready to talk about your health insurance products. These leads are called Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).
- MQLs: Also called “warm leads” are more deeply engaged than cold leads. For example, MQLs may be in your target demographic and they’ve downloaded your e-book about health insurance with fitness plans. They may not be ready to buy yet, but they’re close.
- SQLs: Or “hot leads” have actively engaged with your content. They may have already requested sales info or they’ve scheduled a meeting.
Remember that any type of lead you have is important, whether they’re MQLs or SQLs, and you should be doing your best to nurture your leads — meaning that you develop relationships with your leads no matter where they are in the sales funnel. Listen to your prospects’ needs and answer their questions with your marketing material and in your day-to-day lead generation efforts (networking, social media, etc.).
How We Can Help You Find the Best Health Insurance Leads
At Senior Market Advisors, we are dedicated to helping our agents succeed. A health insurance agent started our field marketing organization (FMO), and we know what you need. Our experienced sales and marketing team will help you generate qualified leads so you can grow your business.
We don’t just hand you a list of leads and send you on your way, either. When you contract with us, you get extensive sales training and free CRM access so you can manage your new relationships. Ready to start? Call us at 1-844-452-5020 or eContract with us now.
This blog was originally published on April 5, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou, and was updated on October 23, 2019, by Troy Frink.