Best Plan Pro Review [No BS]

New Final Expense Underwriting Software (Best Plan Pro)

Did you know that software can help you complete final expense underwriting?

In this interview, David Duford talks to Ric Craig of Best Plan Pro, a software developer who has created a program for final expense insurance agents looking to streamline their application and underwriting process. read more

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The Ultimate Guide To Generating Telemarkting Leads [For B2B or B2C – Calling Script Included]

In this article I’m going to do a deep dive into the subject of telemarketing for leads. No matter what kind of product or service you sell, whether you do business-to-business or business-to-consumer, this article is relevant.

I coach, recruit, and train insurance agents to be top producers and one of the things I often help agents with is telemarketing leads. I’m going to share my experience using telemarketed leads as well as helping other agents with telemarketing leads so that hopefully you leave this page with a better understanding of what you can do in order to be successful using this type of lead route. read more

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The Ultimate Guide To Selling Medicare Advantage Plans [Top Agent Interview]

The ultimate guide to selling medicare advantage

Are you interested in selling Medicare Advantage plans successfully?

Do you want to discover how to make a long-term career out of Medicare Advantage sales? read more

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The Ultimate Guide To Hiring High-Quality Appointment Setters!

The ultimate guide to hiring a great appointment setter!

Are you a salesperson looking to find a high-quality appointment setter to optimize your time with prospects in the field?

If you are looking for a complete strategy to hire, train, and retain an excellent appointment setter for the long-term, then this article is for you!

Having hired several long-term appointment setters for my final expense insurance business since 2011, I have extensive, first-hand experience at what you must know to optimize your time finding the perfect appointment setter match for your sales business.

Here are the main topics discussed in this article:

  • What to expect when you hire an appointment setter.
  • Where to look for quality appointment setters
  • A screening strategy to eliminate low-quality candidates.
  • Tools and technology for appointment setters, and
  • My favorite appointment setting script you can use right away.

While I personally focus on training agents to sell insurance, this article is perfect for individuals who sell any kind of product (B2B or B2c).

Let’s begin!

Why Should You Use An Appointment Setter?

Why should you use an appointment setter?

The biggest advantage of using an appointment setter is this: outsourcing your appointment setting frees your time to maximize your primary income-earning activity.

Bottom line, if you’re a salesperson, the way you make MORE money is by giving MORE sales presentations.

This is something I wish I learned a lot earlier in my career.

Like you, I spent much of my time on the hone and going door-to-door, personally making all the prospecting attempts for appointments.

It didn’t dawn on me until a few years in to selling life insurance that I could outsource my prospecting to a competent professional, and focus on increasing my number of sales presentations commensurately.

More appointments = more money!

I have trained insurance agents who struggled to book 5 or 6 appointments a week, calling on their own prospects, to running 30, 35, even 40 appointments each week with a “hired gun” doing the calling, only for a few hundred bucks a week.

To maximize your income-earning ability, you must eliminate tasks that pay you little per hour, like dialing and paper-pushing, and spend as MUCH of your time possible doing those activities that earn the most income. And for salespeople, that’s giving presentations.

How much of a profit increase will you see? Expect your appointment volume to increase 2, 3, even 4-times your regular amount with an appointment setter.

Sure. There is a fee you must cover to use an appointment setter. But it is likely your product has good-enough margins to safely cover the fee with one or two sales.

Appointment setting is learnable

Thankfully, appointment setting is NOT hard to learn.

It’s a skill many people average people have learned to do well. Even if you hire someone with zero appointment setting skills, you can teach the skill set with relative ease to many people.

Hire Overseas Or Stateside Callers?

A common question I get is if it’s best to hire an appointment setter locally or offshore the activity to achieve a lower cost.

Offshoring telemarketing is a big business, with the Philippines, Pakistan, and India having large call center operations.

What’s best? The answer is… “it depends.”

So let’s spend time discussing both options.

Overseas Appointment Setting: Pros And Cons

The biggest draw to outsourcing your appointment setting overseas is the low cost.

It’s common to pay an individual appointment setter or call center in the Philippines as low as $3 to $5 an hour. And even with the high-end appointment setters, rarely will the rate exceed $10 an hour.Some of the high-end appointment setters in the Philippines are no more than $10 American dollars per hour.

Despite the potential for a lower cost-per-appointment, there are potential drawbacks.

#1: Harder To Manage

With your appointment setter thousands of miles away, managing them for optimal performance is difficult. And if you’re not hiring an independent freelancer, it is impossible to know for sure who is doing the calling, and coach them on making improvements.

#2: Language Pronunciation Nuances

While many offshore appointment setting groups speak English, they don’t do so with the customary precision we’re used to.

Sometimes offshore appointment setters pronounce words differently than we do in the States. To some prospects, this immediately creates a negative vibe, causing many to simply hang-up.

In certain industries like mine, appointment setting with an obvious accent can affect the number of booked hourly appointments.

In my line of work, I sell life insurance to seniors. Most are 60 and older. At those ages, many have hearing problems, and are telemarketed constantly throughout the day.

So, if my 60 year old plus prospect starts an appointment-setting interaction with a thick-accent caller, it raises the chances of resulting in an otherwise opportune presentation.

With careful screening, you can overcome this potential roadblock. Many offshore appointment setters are open-minded to working on their accents to sound better to the prospects they call. And many times the higher hourly rate appointment setters speak very good English with little-to-no noticeable accent.

Domestic Appointment Setting: Pros And Cons

I believe hiring telemarketers inside the U.S. is the superior option for many salespeople, especially concerning the potential for language- and accent-issues that come with offshoring appointment setting.

Easier To Train, Higher Rates

While domestic callers are easier to coach and train, expect to pay a higher average rate per hour relative to offshore appointment setting.

Hourly cost is a big reason why you see fewer U.S. based appointment setters.

Here’s how I mean. The telemarketers in my annuity appointment setting operation charges $25 to $30 an hour. I’d consider that rate on the cheaper side, too. I’ve seen U.S.-based telemarketers charge $40, $50, even $60 an hour.

Bottom line, you’ll have to do the math on determining if the higher cost is manageable according to your profit margins and prospects.

An investment, not a cost

Remember… hiring an appointment setter is an investment, not a cost. You are buying back your most valuable commodity: your time.

And with that added time, you can invest it into more sales presentations, hopefully covering the required investment and yielding a multiple of profit.

Hire An Appointment Setting Group Versus An Independent Freelancer?

One consideration you need to make: do you work with an appointment-setting call center, or do you hire an independent appointment setter?

Hiring a call center

Hiring a call center takes you down the path we discussed earlier.

The most affordable options are offshore, whereas the more expensive options are domestic.

One downside to working with an appointment setting call center is there is less hands-on control over quality control management. You have no choice as to who makes the calls, and afford little opportunity in coaching callers to improve.

A positive point partnering with call centers: scalability. It’s much easier to scale appointment setting this way, especially if your sales business involves other reps like yourself.

For example, many foreign-based appointment setters start you with 10- or 20-seat minimum, and offer the ability to scale a multiple-level higher as your appointment setting demands increase.

Hiring a freelancer

Freelancers offer benefits call centers struggle to provide.

First, you experience a direct relationship with the appointment setter. In the hiring process, you can screen callers immediately to see if they fit your expectations. You can coach them personally on your script, and help improve their delivery for better results.

You can’t quite get that hands-on experience with a call center. Why? Because the hiring and training of the callers is out of your control.

Second, the best freelancers are autonomous. Once a good freelancer is trained the script, they need little to no micromanagement. I’ve hired multiple freelance appointment setters that worked with me for years that required very little oversight, once properly trained.

Where To Find Appointment Setters

Upwork.com is a great place to find appointment setters.Whether you’re hiring call centers, individual freelancers, based domestically or offshore, the one website that’s worked well for me is Upwork.com.

I have used this site exclusively since 2012 for both freelancer hires and call center appointment setter hires. There are always a multitude of options for both types available on Upwork.

Fiverr.com is a great place to find an appointment setter.

Another good resource is Fiverr.com as well as Craigslist.com.

Craigslist is not just for selling your old junk. In fact, a large percentage of viewers browse Craigslist for job opportunities.

There are a lot of people looking for part-time telemarketing and appointment setting positions. You will get a lot of interests from stay at home moms and people who are between jobs that are looking for some kind of moneymaking activity.

Recruiting, Screening, And Training Appointment Setters

I have been recruited telemarketers and appointment setters since 2012, so I have quite a bit of experience and success with this process. I’ve also learned a lot over the years about to do and what NOT to do.

What follows below are some guidelines of what I do when I’m in need of a quality appointment setter, and the steps I take to ensure I partner with the right applicant.

Place your job ad

I prefer using Upwork.com, as it has been a reliable source for me, so I will use that site for my example.

I develop my ad so that it tells the prospective appointment setter the basics, such as:

  • What the job entails,
  • How many hours of work a week,
  • the hourly pay,
  • Conditions that must be met to partner with me.

Usually I receive 10 to 20 applications, which is more than enough to worki with.

Initial Applicant Screening

When I’ve collected my 10 to 20 applications for the appointment setting position, I begin the process of whittling down the list to the top 5 candidate list.

First thing I look for are candidates who don’t match my requirements. That typically eliminates 25% of them.

Second, I check reviews. How well have other businesses rated the experience?

At first, I will eliminate everyone with a rating below 80%. However, I will keep unrated applicants and consider interviewing them if their application looks solid.

Third, I begin to eliminate people based on experience. First, have they ever telemarketed before in an outbound sales environment? Have they had experience in the senior citizen market, or in the insurance business?

Again, I may not eliminate a candidate with telemarketing experience outside of the insurance business. It all just depends.

After all is said and done, I have between 3 and 5 applicants remaining. All are highly qualified, experienced, and worthy of the next step. Which is the phone interview.

Phone Interview

I ask applicants about background, industry experience, ask to hear a sample appointment setting script and how she handles objections.

These questions show how the applicant responds on the spot in addition to basic appointment setting skills.

Probationary Period

After my round of interviews, I pick the top 2 applicants, partnering with them on 3 to 5 day probationary period.

Here’s what I mean. I tell both that I’m hiring both, and will ultimately make my hiring decision on who performs the best. Of course, I pay both the agreed-upon rate for time worked during the probationary period.

I love this hiring strategy because it allows both of us to develop a feel if this is mutually beneficial without long-term consequences. Plus, it gives you a backup plan if one of the appointment setters falls through.

My Favorite Script For Hired Appointment Setters

When I hire a new appointment setter, I explain to her my goal is simply to do one thing well…

Get me into the door!

Most salespeople would benefit immensely having their appointment setter simply focus on acquiring an appointment.

Some salespeople think qualifying is a good idea. And maybe it is for your industry.

However, I believe using the face-to-face sales appointment to sell your product or service is best. Sure, you may run across unqualified prospects more, but you may also unearth sales opportunities not apparent on the first appointment telephone call.

Here’s an appointment setting script sample I use. Feel free to modify it as you wish:

“Hey Mrs. Jones, my name is David Duford and the reason I’m calling is I’m a life insurance agent that specializes in helping business owners with their life insurance needs. I’d like to show you the kind of work I do and all it takes is 5 minutes. And what you do with the information is up to you. How’s Tuesday at 10:00 or would 2:00 be better?”

This is a basic “Sell the Appointment” script that gets appointments very well. Obviously modify where necessary, and focus your appointment setter on selling why it’s a good idea to book the appointment, as opposed to selling the product over the phone.

Training And Managing Your Appointment Setter

With my experience in hiring virtual appointment setters working from home, I recommend providing recording training for your appointment setter to review. Whether the training is audio- or video-based doesn’t matter.

Record yourself going through the script. Make sure to include the most common objections and how you would work around them.

Be sure to have your caller record appointment setting attempts. You can use smartphone call recorders, or built-in recording inside of phone dialing software. That way you have real-life material to grade the quality of the appointment setting, so you can determine where to improve the caller’s performance (or to fire her if she’s gone lame =).

Appointment Setting Software

As we wrap up this article on appointment setting, let’s discuss important appointment setting software.

Power Dialers

Many of you will benefit (especially if you’re doing B2C) from a power dialer.

A power dialer is a dialing software that dials multiple phone lines at a time. And the reason agents and reps use it is because most of your leads simply do NOT answer their phone.

Instead of wasting precious time, power dialers dial 3 numbers at a time. You spend more time each hour talking with prospects for appointments.

2 Power Dialer Recommendations

The 2 appointment setting power dialers I’ve worked that I recommend include Mojo Dialer and SalesDialers.

Both dialers are good. You can use them for one or multiple appointment setters.

CRM Systems

CRMs are a must for appointment settersYou will also need to have a CRM database in order to keep track of your leads.

I like the ones that are easy to use and not ridiculously expensive, such as:

Calling Lists

Last but not least is the list.

If you’re prospecting cold you need a good list for your dialers to work. If you’ve got leads, then you can upload them to the dialer.

For a good-quality list, I like InfoFree, for both B2B and B2C lists.

WARNING! Resist the urge to go cheap on calling data. Many times the low-price list vendors have terribly out-of-date data that is little to no good.

Conclusion

I hope you feel confident in hiring a high-quality appointment setter, and feel the benefits of hiring one outweigh the time and energy in finding a training one.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me here. Thanks for reading!

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Best Final Expense Leads Review

Are you looking to buy final expense leads?

Are you burned out from your current final expense insurance leads source? read more

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The Ultimate Guide To Medicare Supplement Leads

Are you in the market for Medicare Supplement leads?

If so, you’ve found the right article!

I’m going to share my opinion on the best options for high-quality Medicare Supplement leads.

My goal is to help you to get BETTER results selling Medicare Supplements, no matter if you’re working the Turning-65 market or the Turning-67 market.

So let’s get started!

Overview

It’s Risky

If you’re like most agents, you are closing business using some sort of Medicare Supplement lead system.

There are a lot of different Medicare Supplement leads for agents. And while SOME work well… many are unproven, don’t work, and WILL drain your bank account dry!

And nothing’s worse than wasting money on a shoddy lead program.

A Lead Is A Lead Is A Lead?

Understand this.

Medicare Supplement leads are no different than any other insurance lead.

Ultimately, a lead is just a lead. It’s an opportunity to converse with a Medicare prospect that may need your help.

Best Leads

With that said, I think some Medicare Supplement leads are better than others.

And for many, that comes down to trial and error, figuring out which lead generation strategy works best.

At the end of the day, the BEST Medicare Supp leads are:

  1. The one that you can afford, and
  2. The one with the most consistent results.

If your goal is to make convention this year selling Medicare Supplements, you MUST tap into a quality lead generation strategy.

In fact, most highly successful Medicare Supplement agents order more leads each and every week like clockwork.

No, they’re not just doing 10 leads/week, either!

Instead they’re generating 20 to 40 or more leads weekly, keeping lead volume high enough to stay busy (and successful!).

2 Types Of Medigap Leads

I’ve broken this review down really into two different types of lead programs.

First, we’ll discuss Medicare Supplement telemarketing leads.

Second, we’ll discuss Medicare Supplement direct mail leads.

Telemarketing probably the most common way to generate leads, whether you call yourself or purchase leads.

Unlike a lot of other insurance niches like final expense telemarketing leads where the leads suck, telemarketing still works well for the Medicare Supplement market.

To summarize what to expect…

First, I will show you the lead/lead vendor and demonstrate how each one works.

Second, I’ll show pricing options.

Best TM Vendors

The first type of Medicare Supplement lead we’ll discuss are Medicare Supplement telemarketing leads.

Pros

The biggest advantage of telemarketing leads?

Bar none, telemarketing leads are affordable compared to other types.

But they aren’t just cheap. They are also high quality.

Medicare Supplement telemarketed leads gets us in contact with QUALIFIED leads.

Why? Because EVERYONE turning 65 is STARTING Medicare, and all 65 and older are ALREADY on Medicare.

Targeting the Turning 65 market, we know our prospects MUST decide on either a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan.

Calling prospects turning 65 a few months prior to turning 65 dramatically increases your ability to convert leads into appointments, and appointments into sales.

Medicare Supplement Replacements?

Did you know Medicare Supplement policy holders have annual price increases?

If you’re targeting the “Turning 67 And Older” Medicare Supplement market, you can telemarket these folk, starting a conversation about how to replace their overpriced Supplement with an affordable Supplement.

Drawbacks

What is the biggest con of Medigap telemarketing leads?

If anything, it’s the saturation level of other agents calling the same prospects.

Regardless of calling the T65 or T67+ market, you can count on other agents nationally to do the same thing.

Then you have to worry about the Do Not Call List.

Each year, the pool of seniors unplugging their landline and opting out of telemarketing calls grows larger.

Long-term, expect telemarketing lead acquisition costs to steadily increase, eventually fading away as a primary marketing method.

I imagine Medicare Supplement telemarketing leads have until 2030 or 2035 before becoming obsolete.

Medicare Supplement Direct Mail Leads

Sample Medicare Supplement Direct Mail Lead

Now that we’ve discussed telemarketing leads, let’s discuss Medicare Supplement direct mail leads.

If you’ve ever been to my YouTube channel, you know I’m in love with direct mail!

Direct mail produces a more engaged prospect unmatched to other forms of Medicare Supplement lead generation.

Why?

Prospects spend more time voluntarily filling the card out. No one holds pressures them to complete the lead.

And people not pressured to request information are more serious prospects.

Pros

Bottom line, direct mail Medicare Supplement leads produce a better quality prospect than other lead generation techniques.

More agents get more appointments and close more business using direct mail leads.

Why?

One big advantage is you’ve got a card that you can show people to help get in the door.

Cons

Direct mail is pricier compared to telemarketing.

Plus, it takes several weeks before your leads begin rolling in with direct mail.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for in many circumstances.

Best Medicare Supplement Telemarketing Vendors

Trained Telemarketers Review

Trained Telemarketers Chris Westfall

The first vendor is Trained Telemarketers.

My friend in the business Christopher Westfall and his business partner Eugene Marchenko are the owners of this lead generation system.

They’ve worked together on Medicare, and both are incredibly successful agency owners and producers.

They put together this program because complaints agents have with generating consistent Medicare Supplement leads.

How It Works

Their service is simple.

You pay Trained Telemarketers a flat, one-time fee, which is currently $1,000.

For this price, you get access to:

  • $99/month for a predictive dialer
  • $49/month for unlimited data
  • A $3/hour telemarketer

They train and coach a Filipino telemarketer using their tried-and-tested Medicare Supplement lead generation script.

Once they find and train your telemarketer, you decide what to pay them.

Some agents pay $3/hour, while others pay more (or less!).

The ultimate goal is to hire a telemarketer at an EXTREMELY low hourly wage for decent-quality work.

Done-For-Your Telemarketer Training!

What’s great about this program?

Two factors. One, Trained Telemarketers trains your caller. Two, you pay wholesale, not retail, for your caller to generate leads.

Trained Telemarketers has a network of quality telemarketers with good English and a solid work ethic.

Trained Telemarketers also offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.

Great Results

Over the years, I’ve talked to many agents that have used Trained Telemarketers with great success!

These agents said, “Oh yeah, I’m using this telemarketing program is pretty good. I get Medicare Supplement leads, and it only cost me $3/hour. I get a couple leads an hour.”

I’ve also heard, “I’ve scaled up! I’ve got 3 or 4 people that are calling, and I’m paying $12/hour for three or four people. I get 5 leads/ hour for 20 hours a week. It’s great, and I get to sell all over the phone (or face-to-face).”

This is an excellent program, and I really like it.

Lead Heroes Review

Let’s say you’re not interested in an upfront fee.

Instead, you’re looking for a one-time order of Medicare Supplements leads.

Enter Lead Heroes!

This is Lead Heroes' Logo

Glen Shelton is the owner, and he’s generated exclusive Medicare Supplement leads for agents for years.

You can see lead options he offers here, along with samples to listen to.

Also, Glen has an awesome Interactive Medicare Marketing Map that shows penetration rate for Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Supplement penetration map

This tool helps agents discover the best counties to prospect for Medicare Supplements.

For example, most Medicare agents selling Medicare Supplements want 30% or less of the population to have Medicare Advantage plans.

It’s better to target for Medicare Supplements in areas with less Medicare Advantage prospects.

Best DM Vendors

In this next section, I review 2 Medicare Supplement direct mail lead vendors I’ve done a lot of business with.

Lead Concepts Review

Lead Concepts does a great job sourcing final expense direct mail leads.

Lead Concepts is one of my favorite direct mail lead vendors.

I’ve done a ton of business with them, personally and through referrals. I like them a lot, and they do a great job.

If you click on “Direct Mail” under their “Services” tab, you can view all of their options.

Lead Concepts offers exclusive Medicare Supplement leads as well as exclusive Medicare Advantage leads.

Leads are highly responsive. In fact, Lead Concepts expects the average Medicare Supplement lead order to pull 2% of more.

That’s good =).

Need-A-Lead Review

Need A Lead is a great final expense direct mail company.

Another great direct mail vendor is Need-A-Lead.

I’ve used Need-A-Lead more generating final expense leads, but they do Medicare Supplement leads for agents, too.

Need-A-Lead claims a 3% to 6% response rate. That sounds a little frothy to me.

Most likely they see that kind of response rate during AEP only.

Instead, I would anticipate 2%+ as realistic.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, agents know they need Medicare Supplement leads to consistently write Medicare policies.

And the key to YOUR success is finding a program that you’re comfortable with.

From there, you can scale your Medicare Supp lead program to whatever level necessary to achieve your income goals.

All of these programs work very well for the right type of agent.

Give Each Program A Shot!

My advice?

Try 1 of these programs out. See what works best for you.

Have a level of comfort testing different Medicare Supplement marketing options.

Got any questions or concerns with any of these Medicare Supplement vendors?

Please leave a comment below. Or message me directly here. I read ALL emails.

If you are looking for a new home for your Medicare Supplement business (or for Medicare Advantage, final expense, mortgage protection, or annuities), go here learn more about my national agency.

Thanks for reading!

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A Twist On Selling Medicare Supplements: The Turning 67 & Older Market

How to sell Medicare Supplements to people turning 67 and older.

Are you interested in selling Medicare Supplements?

If so, you should give serious consideration to focusing your marketing and selling efforts to the little-known-yet-lucrative “Turning 67 And Older” Medicare Supplement market.

Unlike seniors who are turning 65 and getting on Medicare for the first time, the Turning 67+ market offers unique sales opportunities, along with cross-selling opportunities as well.

The purpose of this article is to give you a full analysis into the basics of Medicare, the different markets you can target, and why I think targeting a turning 67 and older marketplace is a great strategy to produce all sorts of business.

Overview of Today’s Topic

The first thing we’re going to discuss are the basics of Medicare.

We will answer why it’s a great market, and why an agent may want to consider targeting it.

Next, we’ll talk about the difference between targeting people who are just starting Medicare versus those who’ve had a Medicare Supplement for several years.

It’s essential to understand this difference in the mentality behind both.

Then, I’ll explain why turning 67 markets are fantastic and a potentially easier route for a starting agent in Medicare Supplements.

Next, we’ll talk about the income potential selling Medicare Supplements, followed by the sales strategy that we use to sell Medicare face-to-face as well as the lead generation strategies that you have at your disposal.

Finally, I’ll detail some cross-sell opportunities that you may experience.

Basic of Medicare

This is a Medicare logo.Let’s start breaking down the basics of Medicare first.

Medicare is the Federally-funded health insurance program for people who are 65 and older. Also, it is for those who have been on disability after a period of time.

It provides a basic level of health insurance for hospitalization and physician care.

Medicare has gaps in coverage (and our opportunity)

Your Part A is hospitalization, and your Part B is going to be doctor-related bills, equipment, etc. Then, you’ll also have your Part D for prescription coverage.

The critical thing to understand is that on its own, Medicare is not comprehensive.

Medicare recipients have the potential for large, out-of-pocket deductibles due if hospitalized. In addition, Medicare only covers 80% of Part B expenses, meaning Medicare recipients must pay the 20% copay, which has no ceiling.

The potential for large out-of-pocket expenses drives interest in millions of Medicare recipients in owning a Supplement. They want total elimination of out-of-pocket risks due to being on a fixed-income.

And this is where our opportunity as insurance agents comes in.

2 Options For Supplemental Medicare Coverage

However, seniors have more options than Medicare Supplements to reduce out-of-pocket hospitalization and doctor expenses.

Let’s get a simple overview of both options.

1. Medicare Supplements

As you know, the first supplemental option are Medicare Supplements.

That’s what we’re going to spend most of this section discussing today. It’s also known as “Medigap coverage.”

Medicare Supplements cover the gaps in Medicare.

When put together with a Medicare plan, a Medicare Supplement plan provides almost total comprehensive coverage. Meaning there should be minimal financial obligation for deductibles and co-pays.

2. Medicare Advantage Plans

This is a Medicare Advantage enrollment map.

The second type of “supplemental” plan Medicare beneficiaries can opt for are called Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are similar to conventional health care plans.

There is out of pocket deductibles, co-pays for prescriptions and doctor visits, and have out-of-pocket maximums. In most cases, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium, too.

Medicare Advantage have geographic requirements to gain access to the plan.

Biggest Difference Selling Medicare Supplements Versus Medicare Advantage

Why not sell both Medicare Supplements AND Medicare Advantage?

While you can do that, the problem is that Medicare Advantage plans require a series of certification on a federal and carrier level before you can represent different plans.

Here’s what I mean.

First, you must pass AHIP with a 90% passing rate BEFORE appointing with most Medicare Advantage carriers. AND you need to re-certify annually.

Plus, you must certify with each Medicare Advantage carrier annually.

With Medicare Supplements, this is not required. As long as you meet your state’s health licensing requirements, you can sell Medicare Supplements to your heart’s content with any carrier that accepts your appointment.

Here’s my point.

For a new agent to selling Medicare products, there’s a LOT more that goes into selling Medicare Advantage than Medicare Supplements.

It’s much easier – and arguably more lucrative – to START selling Medicare Supplements out the gate… EXCLUSIVELY. There’s less information necessary to learn and MUCH less credentialing required.

And there’s a particular market of people I think new Medicare Supplement agents fair best selling… the “T-67+ Market.”

Medicare Supplement Markets: “Turning 65” Versus “Turning 67+”

Let’s take time to differentiate the “Turning 65” Medicare market versus the “Turning 67 And Older” Medicare market.

Turning 65 Medicare Market

Most new Medicare beneficiaries turn 65 when they start Medicare.

And approximately 6 to 12 months out, they begin receiving material from the government and insurance representatives on how Medicare works.

During this time, folks begin weighing the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements, deciding which program and carrier works best for their goals. And 3 to 6 months out, salespeople begin HEAVILY prospecting these folks for presentations to sell them one or the other.

As salespeople, our goal is to get in front of these people, educate them on what Medicare does. We try to make the complex simple, then offer a Medicare plan that best fits their goals.

It can be a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement product. You want to offer them the product that fits best with whatever their goals are.

Turning 67 And Older Market

Let me switch gears and describe “Turning 67 And Older” market and why it’s MUCH different (and easier to start your Medicare Supplement sales career in).

The “turning 67 market” is where we have somebody who’s had Medicare for several years. At a minimum, most folks are turning 67 or older, into their 70s and even 80s.

The people we try to meet with have been in good health for the most part and love their Medicare Supplement.

Therein lies the opportunity…

You see, Medicare Supplement recipients receive rate increases on their birthdays and at other times of the year.

While they appreciate their Medicare Supplement, the pricing going up frustrates them.

Think about it. How would you feel about paying MORE for health insurance you RARELY ever use, ESPECIALLY if you’re on a fixed income?

With that in mind, our strategy is to get in front of these prospects face-to-face to inflame their frustration while showing them a way to save hundreds of dollars yearly. Let me explain.

Comparing Sales And Marketing Strategies Of The “Turning 65 Market” Versus “Turning 67 Market”

Now I shall attempt to persuade you as to why I think new agents to selling Medicare Supplements should FIRST consider selling to the T67+ market.

Medicare Is Complex To Folks Turning 65 (And More Complex To Sell)

For a new agent selling Medicare products to the turning 65 market, you will require a MUCH larger base of knowledge to perform exceptionally well.

You must have comfort explaining the nuances of Medicare, as your prospects are inundated, confused, and unsure what to do.

Further, if you live in a metro area, you will have to carry Medicare Advantage plans to maximize your sales opportunities. Without Medicare Advantage, you’ll leave many sales on the table. And that means more study and knowledge to acquire.

Couple that with becoming an independent agent with multiple carrier access, that’s a lot of technical knowledge for a newbie to learn, all before setting foot in the field with prospects!

Medicare Supplement Sales To The T67+ Market Is Simple

With the turning 67 market, the sales and mindset approach is TOTALLY different than the turning 65 market.

Here’s how I mean…

Easy To Sell, Standardized Product

All Medicare Supplements are standardized per the Medicare And You Handbook For 2019, Page 69.With few exceptions, you don’t need additional credentialing to sell Medicare Supplements. Your health insurance license is all you need!

Second, Medicare Supplements are a cookie-cutter product. The federal government mandates specific plans and particular types of benefits that each plan has.

This means no matter WHAT company’s Medicare Supplement plan you’re selling, it’s completely IDENTICAL in terms of benefits to any other company’s plan.

This means that United Healthcare’s Plan F is identical to CIGNA’s Plan F, which is identical to New Era’s Plan F.

…But there is 1 difference…

…And that’s the PREMIUM paid (and your opportunity!).

Other than that, all Medicare Supplements MUST pay the same way. They MUST rubber stamp required payments to doctors and hospitals in EXACTLY the same way.

Mindset Of A T67+ Prospect

Now I want to describe the difference in mindset between a turning 65 prospect and a T67+ prospect.

Unlike a person new to Medicare, a T67+ Medicare Supplement prospect is mostly comfortable with Medicare, likes and believes in her Medicare Supplement, yet is agitated by the premium increases.

In this way, we give a presentation focused on educating the client on how Medicare Supplements work while persuading them that switching Supplement carriers is a fine idea.

You explain how they’ll have the SAME exact benefits, but at a lesser price.

Sometimes, you save these people hundreds of dollars annually. Very nice!

Of course, your prospects sincerely appreciate your work, as ALL are on a fixed income. And freeing up more money for the senior to spend on grandkids or use in other ways is a VERY good thing!

Here’s the point in all this…

For the NEW agent to Medicare, selling people who ALREADY are SOLD on Medicare Supplements is MUCH easier than taking a person who’s brand NEW to Medicare and confused by all the options and claims.

Couple that with less credentialing requirements and a market of MILLIONS growing by the day, you’ve got yourself an AWESOME product and market to sell!

Income Potential Selling Medicare Supplements

The bottom-line beauty of a Medicare Supplement policy is that it provides renewal commission.

Unlike life insurance products with high first-year commissions like final expense or mortgage protection, Medicare Supplements provide recurring commission over the course of 5 to 6 years.

Usually, most Medicare Supplements will pay an agent $250 to $300 annually over the 5 or 6 years of the policy.

Then, if you renew them on a new Medicare Supplement, then you’ll get to start that whole process over again!

The idea is that if you build a large book of business, you can have a substantial passive income beyond just servicing your business before ever getting out of bed.

For example, if you work over three years and build a clientele of 500 Medicare Supplement clients, you’re making $125,000 to $150,000/year (for the next six years) without EVER having to write the next piece of business. It’s hard to believe, but that’s how this business works!

Medicare Supplements provide the opportunity for insurance agents to live a passive-income lifestyle that so many people dream of.

This lifestyle is achievable for anybody who puts their mind to it and works hard over a multiyear period.

Medicare Supplements Sales Strategy

Let’s say, at this point, you’re sold on the idea of selling Medicare Supplement to people turning 67 or older.

What do you do from there? How do you actually present?

In this section, I’ll give you a brief overview of what a sales presentation looks like when you’re selling somebody who’s turning 67.

To start, I break down my sales presentations, for all the insurance products that I sell, into a four-part presentation:

1. Build rapport and establish yourself as the expert.
2. Pre-qualify the client.
3. Do the presentation and explain why it’s an advantage to the client.
4. You close the deal/ask for the business.

Building Rapport

When you first sit down with a Medicare Supplement prospect, you’ve got to break the ice.

You got to establish a little rapport, and you’ve got to establish yourself as the expert.

You want to tell them why it’s worth their time to listen to you and how you can possibly help them.

Pre-Qualifying

The second step is you go into pre-qualifying.

I’m very a big believer on pre-qualification before you really start talking about selling your prospect. Why?

You want to know ALL of the objections that could possibly manifest to cause a deal not go through.

You want to ask those tough questions ahead of time to figure out if this person is a qualified prospect or an unqualified suspect.

When it comes to Medicare Supplements, you’ve got to make sure they HAVE a Supplement. Hopefully, you did that before you set the appointment.

You must qualify the prospect’s health. You’ll know how to do that once you become familiar with the underwriting process of each Medicare Supplement carrier.

Then, you’ll gather information about why they like their Supplement and what they would like to change about it if they could.

Also, get information on how the pricing works, what they’re paying for the Supplement, and what they think about the price increases that they’ve gone through.

This information gives you all the facts and opinions necessary to establish where they stand.

With this information, you can figure out if the prospect would be open to looking at a plan that would do the same exact thing for a lesser price.

Show Them How You Can Help!

This transitions us to the third part of the presentation where we talk about how all Medicare Supplements are genuinely the same.

The best resource to use when presenting a Medicare Supplement replacement scenario is the “Medicare and You Handbook.”

You’ll want to turn to the particular page in the handbook that talks about Medicare Supplements and how the government mandates that all of them (Page 69 in the 2019 Handbook).

On that page, the handbook explains how Medicare Supplements ONLY differ in price.

There’s NO better resource to sell this stuff than to show your prospect what Uncle Sam says!

From there, you can go through the process of educating the client on how their particular plan works and then showing them cheaper alternatives.

In many cases, you be showing them a Plan F. A Plan G or a Plan N is also a great alternative that saves more money. In most cases, your client has a Plan F.

Close!

At the end of the presentation, close! Show how much your client can save through switching plans..

Now that they’re sold on the fact that all Medicare Supplement stuff is the same, ask for their business. Write them up on a new Supplement plan and get them approved. That’s it.

It’s pretty much a rinse-and-repeat type of business. This is not a very complicated type of product to sell.

You don’t have to know Medicare nearly as much as the person selling to the turning 65 market.

Remember, a person turning 65 will not know for sure if they’re going to go with the Medicare Supplement plan or Medicare Advantage plan.

Therefore, it only makes sense that they’re going to want as much information on both to make that decision.

This is not the case for the person turning 67.

In most cases, they’re already sold on having a Medicare Supplement. What they’re unhappy with is the fact that the price is going up.

It is our job is to sell them on why switching Supplements do not cause any sort of disruption.

We want to show them that there’s a quality of service and how a new Supplement plan gives precisely the same thing by putting more money in their pockets.

The turning 67+ sales strategy requires a basic understanding of Medicare without a nuanced, technical understanding.

Remember, our main knowledge points are on what Medicare Supplements do and how we can get a better deal for our clients.

Now that you understand the sales strategy, let’s address lead generation strategy.

Top 3 Lead Generation Strategies

Lead generation is very similar across many different types of life insurance products in the senior market.

You can use direct mail to generate senior leads to sell Medicare Supplements to people turning 67 and older. That works wonderfully well.

You can also do telemarketing leads. A lot of agents that sell over the phone use telemarketing leads. It’s a cheap way to talk to a lot of people.

Also, you can definitely use it face to face, too. Again, it all works reasonably well.

Lastly, you can do some sort of seminar marketing, as well. I know a lot of people that do very well setting up seminars and selling Medicare Supplements that way.

Before we get to the wrap-up, let’s talk about the last point. I think this is really important to take some time to talk about cross-selling opportunities.

Cross-Selling Opportunities

For the record, cross-selling is something that should be reserved after you’ve established a level of mastery in your first product.

In this case, I wouldn’t think about cross-selling seriously until a year+ after getting really good at selling Medicare to people turning 67 and older.

At the point of mastery, the great thing is that you can go back to your book of business and sell them all sorts of products that appeal to a senior class of people.

Cross-Selling Product Examples

1. The first type of product you can look at selling is final expense.

Most people don’t have enough life insurance and want to have final expense coverage. For example, you can sell them final expense burial insurance and make a nice first-year-driven type of commission.

2. Also, many people you meet may not have Medicare Supplements.

For example, they might benefit from a hospital indemnity plan to help offset some of the costs associated with hospitalization that their Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t pay up front.

3. You can also sell other things like cancer insurance or critical illness insurance.

A lot of people have an appeal to that, as well.

4. There is going to be the rare opportunity to sell a large annuity.

Many people who are turning 65 to 67 have a 401k, and they may need it rolled over. Also, they may have it in something that’s not performing well.

For example, there’s an excellent opportunity to sell fixed-indexed annuities. That’s a program that we have to offer and can help you sell the big deals. We’re talking five-figure+ commissions with the larger ones.

There’s a lot of opportunity for other types of products beyond the Medicare Supplement space. Despite that, even if all you sold was Medicare Supplements over the course of five+ years, you’re going to do pretty well, too.

Final Thoughts

David Duford also offers final expense direct mail leads to his agents.

Medicare Supplements sales is a lucrative market. And focusing on the T-67+ market is a surefire way for a new Medicare Supplement agent to focus his energy.

A significant benefit of selling Medicare Supplements to people turning 67 is that you don’t have to know a lot about Medicare.

Also, you’re not selling Medicare versus Medicare Advantage versus Medicare Supplements nearly as much.

It makes life easier to turn this into a system a lot faster than having to have this requisite knowledge to perform successfully.

Further, the turning 67 market place offers the ability for an easier sales call.

The people are more approachable. They’re not nearly hit as hard as the turning 65 market is.

There’s a vast income potential. It is a rinse-and-repeat sales cycle with a straightforward purchase lead type of approach.

Finally, there’s great opportunity long-term to sell all sorts of other life insurance, annuity products, and other products to maximize the value of the senior gets out of their coverage.

I do hope that you enjoyed this training and you learned something new about selling Medicare Supplements to the turning 65 and 67 marketplaces.

To learn more about how to sell Medicare Supplements face-to-face to the T-67+ market in my agency, reach out and contact me here for more information.

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How to Cross Sell Insurance

How to cross sell more insurance.In this article, we’re going to talk about the best ways to cross sell insurance.

First, we’ll start off with two techniques to cross-sell.

You can use these strategies whether you’re selling life insurance, Medicare (Supplements or Advantage), or property and casualty insurance.

Then, I’ll show examples of how my agents are cross selling insurance.

Bottom line, my goal is to help you develop cross selling strategies in insurance sales presentations you run.

Let’s begin!

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Top 2 Insurance Cross Selling Examples

There are really two best-practices when it comes to learning how to cross sell insurance.

Let’s discuss them below…

Cross Sell Insurance After The First Policy Is Closed.

The first approach you can do is cross-sell immediately after the first sale.

For example, many agents like to make a sale and get the business closed. Then, before they leave, they do the old “Colombo Close” as follows…

They say, “Oh, by the way” and offer some sort of product on top of the original product.

This approach works well with Medicare Supplement sale.

For example, you’ve just saved money on the client’s Medicare supplements by replacing it with a better policy.

Now, you’re in a position with the saved money they now have, you can allocate some or all of money towards selling a final expense plan.

2. Policy review meetings

The second way to cross sell insurance products is at a policy review meeting.

Commonly, people think cross selling means you got to sell it on the first call.

This is not necessarily the case.

Perhaps you go back to your existing clientele.Maybe you’ve picked up some new products. You want to cross sell life insurance into your current book of business.

Say you are selling Medicare Supplements. The client mentions that they’ve got money in some sort of retirement vehicle that they’re not quite happy with.

Now, sell annuities, and you liked the idea of what your products can do.

So, you go back and have a conversation. You see if you can move some of that money over to your annuity product.

Cross Selling Insurance Products Examples

Let’s review examples from agents I’ve trained to sell insurance on how they effectively cross sell.

I will further explain under what conditions we will do so and what different lead products could compliment with the first original sale to help cross-sell other products.

Final Expense Clients

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Nowadays, many agents sell final expense.

And the final expense sale offers numerous opportunities to sell multiple insurance lines. 

Cross Selling Medicare

Always ask your final expense leads if they are on or eligible for Medicare coverage.

Thankfully, our final expense prospects are enrolled in Medicare via an Advantage plan 80% or more of the time.

Final expense prospects are prime candidates for:

  • Special Election Period Medicare Advantage replacements if the client qualifies, or
  • Annual Enrollment Period prospecting at year’s end.

Further, if you’ve sold final expense for a while, you should prioritize visiting all active clients to review their Medicare coverage.

Learn how they feel about their plan, then show them your options.

Many will take you up on it!

Cross Selling Life Insurance With Grandchild Coverage

You could also cross sell at the time of the original sale with a grandchild policy.

For example, you could use a term rider on some of the products that you represent.

Or, you could write their grandchild a standalone policy with Mutual of Omaha’s Children’s Whole Life Plan.

It is a very easy application process. It pays well, and helps bump your average premium per house.

Plus, it’s a whole life insurance product so they don’t have to worry about their grandkid hitting the 20- to 25-year-old mark where the term insurance rider lapses.

So, the whole life ensures that they have something for the long-term.

Selling Cancer, Indemnity, Annuities

Also, you can pivot to an indemnity product, like selling cancer insurance or hospital indemnity products. Or you can fact find for annuity.

You can be like my agent up in Wisconsin who learned that annuities are all over the place, even on final expense leads.

He began to ask about them consistently and saw a lot of annuity business come in – approximately a million within his first 12 months of asking.

So, just ask. It’s amazing what happens when you do.

Medicare Clients

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Now, let’s take a look at what happens if you sell Medicare.

It is kind of a similar setup here.

Turning 67+ Medicare Prospects

The easiest way to cross-sell for Medicare is on “turning 67 and older prospects.”

These are people who’ve had Medicare Supplements for a number of years, but they’ve had price increases.

They like their Medicare Supplements, don’t want to drop coverage, but don’t appreciate the price increases they experienced.

This is where we come in as Medicare Supplement specialists.

We offer them the exact same coverage because all coverage with supplements is homogenized.

If the client medically qualifies, you can get them the same kind of coverage at a lesser rate per month.

Found Money

The difference between what they’re paying presently for the current policy versus what you’ll save them is what we call “found money.”

Found money in the insurance business is basically where a client doesn’t think he can afford a policy.

However, through replacing existing coverage and freeing up premium dollars, we find the resources to afford the cross sold insurance policy.

With the found money concept, you can also suggest sales of final expense, which is probably the easiest and most common way to get more business. You can also suggest cancer indemnity plans, as well.

When you save your Medicare Supplement clients money on their premiums, often they are willing to spend found money more often than dipping into savings.

At the end of the day, if they’re still spending the same amount of money, but they’ve got $10,000 in burial insurance that they didn’t have before, they are going to be very happy.

Annuity Clients

With annuity sales, we teach our agents to do is to fact-find, not just for annuity sales but also for Medicare and final expense prospects.

And through that fact-finding process we discover if there are opportunities for non-annuity sales.

With our annuity prospecting strategy, some have money and some don’t. That’s why you want multiple options available to make the sale.

If you ask good questions and figure out what else their insurance situation may provide, you may find other opportunities again for final expense.

You can cross-sell all sorts of products to your annuity prospects.

For example, life insurance, single-pay life insurance, Medicare products, indemnity, long-term care. The list is endless.

When To Start

The moral of the story is that cross-selling is something you should seriously consider.

However, I advise cross selling insurance only when you have someone advising you on how to do it effectively.

I wouldn’t go bonkers with doing too much cross-selling, especially if you’re brand new to selling insurance.

Understand that the most productive, successful agents often only represent and sell one product.

It takes a lot of brain power, effort, and energy to remember just one product line.

That’s why the most experienced agents that tend to be the best at cross selling insurance products. They paid their dues on the first product, and can now comfortably add additional products.

What To Cross Sell In The Insurance Industry

I like the idea of cross selling renewal-driven insurance products in combination with high first-year commission products.

It’s nice to get residual earnings on top of high first-year income sales.

If you’re selling final expense or annuities, consider cross-selling Medicare supplements just to keep you afloat if you have a poor life or annuity sales month.

Medicare business pays for life if you sell Medicare Advantage. With Medicare Supplements it pays six years and beyond in most states.

Conclusion

David Duford

I hope you enjoyed this training, and I hope it gives you some ideas on how to cross-sell and when and where to do it.

If you’d like to learn more about what I can do for you, click here to review how I train and recruit agents to sell final expense, mortgage protection, Medicare Supplement, and annuities.

And make sure to check out my many Agent Success Stories and best-selling insurance sales books.

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