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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Recognizing Referral Action Triggers

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 27, 2011 @ 09:08 AM

Medicare SupplementsBill Cates, Referral Coach and author of Get More Referral Now! and Don't Keep Me a Secret! offers advice for agents struggling to get more referrals in this tough economy. In the Agent Sales Journal Cates explains wishing and hoping for referrals will not bring them in. You have to be proactive! He affirms that all agents have many prospects right under their nose. The trick is learning how to identify them and ask the right questions. He refers to these as "referral action triggers".

A great opportunity to proactively seek referrals is when your clients express the value in your work through positive affirmations. They may compliment you for how helpful your knowledge and service have been versus other agents they’ve spoken with, or they may acknowledge their general peace of mind after meeting with you and discussing their options. Once you have started to recognize these statements, brainstorm on how to transition those positive reinforcements into a request for referrals.

Another method is to start a discussion about the value of your service with your client. Cates believes it is very important to check in with your prospects and clients to make sure that they recognize the value you deliver and to reinforce that the relationship is continuing to do well. It is important to ask your clients questions regarding your service. Good questions to ask may include: What is the most important thing we have spoken about? What made you decide to buy from me? What is the value most from this process? When planning ahead for your meeting you should always include what Cates refers to as a "value discussion". Once you have established they have learned something and value you as their agent you will be able to segue into asking about friends and family who may also benefit from your services.

Referrals are an essential way to create more sales opportunities without adding more hours to your work schedule. Make sure you are able to identify referral action triggers in order to capitalize on the greater opportunities for growth in your business.


Do you have any tips for those struggling with referrals? Are there any other "referral action triggers" you recommend?

Source: Agent Sales Journal


Additional Updates:
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Tags: Sales Tips, Senior Market Advice, Senior Market Success, Assured Life Medicare Supplement, Leads, Woodmen of the World Medicare Supplement, Forethought Medicare Supplement, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement

CMS Issues Medicare Savings Report for Next 5 Years

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 09:52 AM

Medicare SupplementsLast week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicare Savings Report outlining the Affordable Care Act that will not only improve the care Americans receive but save $120 billion for Medicare through 2015. Some of the improvements including preventive benefits, tying payment to quality standards, investing in patient safety, and offering incentives for those providers who participate in coordinated care have already been implemented.

Some of the Medicare savings to begin now include:

  1. Rewarding Quality and Efficient Care - $55 Billion Savings
    New payment methods reward the quality of care received rather than the quantity of services. Their value-based plan already ties hospital payment to their performance and this system will also begin to apply to skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, medical labs, clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, dialysis centers, and ambulance services as well. With new benchmarks for Medicare payment in place, this will help improve the quality of care patients receive as well as lower the costs.

  2. Patient Safety – Up to $10 Billion Savings
    When a patient’s physicians and other health care professionals work together across the health care system they improve the patient’s safety. CMS is now providing incentives for those who share solutions and have invested up to $1 billion of the Affordable Care Act’s funding to Partnership for Patients. This organization supports private partnerships to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans.

  3. Combating Fraud, Waste and Abuse - $1.8 Billion Savings
    The main component of CMS’s anti-fraud campaign is prevention; keeping those fraudulent actors out of Medicare and Medicaid to begin with. They are implementing enhanced provider screening and enrollment requirements along with new tools to target high-risk entities. They have also developed technology similar to credit cards that is used to rapidly identify fraudulent billing patterns.

  4. Access to Durable Medical Equipment - $2.9 Billion Savings
    One benefit that Medicare pays more than other payers is durable medical equipment. This overpayment makes it more susceptible to fraud, abuse and unnecessary utilization. This year CMS instituted competitive bidding for durable medical equipment in nine metropolitan areas. Medicare is now paying 32% less for things in these areas and plans to expand the program over the next several years.

  5. Quitting Excessive Payments to Insurance Companies - $50 Billion Savings
    The Affordable Care Act reduces payment to private insurers contracted with Medicare. Prior to this Medicare Advantage plans were paid approximately 14% more per patient than those in traditional Medicare. Under the new provision Medicare Advantage excess payments will gradually be eliminated and aligned with those of Medicare.


How do you feel about the Affordable Care Act? Do you think these changes it will actually save Medicare $120 billion over the next 5 years?

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services


Additional Updates:
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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare News, Assured Life Medicare Supplement, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement, CMS

Small Town Grassroots Networking

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 09:27 AM

Medicare SupplementsThe usual story is someone leaving a small town for more opportunities in a big city. However with big cities comes more competition, and the urban lifestyle is not for everyone. Many people prefer to stay in the town where they grew up, close to their family and friends, or others relocate from a larger city for the advantages of small town life.

If you grew up in the town, starting your business will be the time to establish your move up the social ladder. If you’ve just arrived, seek out and get to know other people in town to learn the lay of the land. If they’re newer to the town, ask them how they got integrated and decide if those methods would also work for you as you set up your business. If they’re one of the “good ole boys”, get to know them well and have them show you around and introduce you to the right people.

The key to success in a small town is getting involved in the community. Joining a country club can be very beneficial to developing business relationships while earning other members’ trust as friends and business associates. If you are religious, being active in your denomination’s community is great for networking. Also, you can volunteer for the museum or library’s fund-raising events and the yearly town festivals. Many small towns also have a rotary club or chamber of commerce looking for members to get involved in the community. Make a goal to meet 6 new people at every meeting you attend while catching up with those you already know.

Grassroots networking is ideal in a small town, where people inevitably ask what you do and know someone who can benefit from your service. Also, seniors in a small town would generally prefer a face-to-face meeting; buying from someone local who they know they can count on. The more exposure you get the more people will know your name and think of you when they become eligible for Medicare or want to switch plans. Word of mouth travels fast in a small town, and with the right networking, referrals will soon come pouring in.

If you are already established in your career in a small town and feel you’ve exhausted the members of the community needing your services, expanding your territory by selling Medicare Supplements over the phone might be the next step in growing your business. You can prospect by phone to other areas, rejuvenating your business while you continue to be active with your clients in your local community.


Do you have a business in a small town? How did you integrate yourself into the community as a business professional? Do you have any additional tips to help those just starting out?

Source: InsuranceNewsNet


Additional Updates:
  • Forethought Medicare Supplement Approved in Pennsylvaina - Learn More
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Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Leads, Medicare Sales, Forethought Medicare Supplement, Customer Service

Getting Past Cold Call Aversion

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 06, 2011 @ 09:57 AM

Medicare SupplementsResearchers George Dudley and Shannon Goodson found that more than 40% of salespeople have experienced bouts of call reluctance that nearly ended their careers. Selling can be uncomfortable, make you feel pushy or intrusive, and there can be anxiety in finding new business by cold calling. If you are tired of watching new producers out-perform you when you know you have as much, if not more market knowledge, it is time to work on overcoming this obstacle. Cold calling is an essential part of selling Medicare Supplements by phone; it will increase business by allowing you to expand your selling territory and talk to more prospects in a shorter period of time. Low sales might be stemming from a self-promotion disease, and your call aversion is most likely harming your income and business.

One type of call reluctance is due to over-analyzing and under-acting. Often restrained, this symptom shows itself in someone stressing technical details rather than developing interpersonal relationships. They often blame the products rather than their relationship-building skills. This is common in highly educated and professional people who over-prepare but never get to share their knowledge with potential clients. It’s important to remember that clients buy trust first while product and service are secondary factors.

Another type can be found in someone who is very image conscious. This is common in producers who are overcoming self-confidence and self-esteem insecurities. They tend to invest in their appearance but prospecting can appear beneath them. They avoid prospecting until financially forced to make calls and want to shortcut the sales process to make the big sale. Others might be in position acceptance. They are either embarrassed or apologetic, and haven’t yet realized that their job can become a career. Feeling stuck in place, their suppressed dedication and zeal are often due to feelings of disappointment from a person in their life.

In overcoming these roadblocks, adopt the new mindset that you are someone providing a useful service to others. Cold calling, networking, leads and referrals are all integral parts of your sales efforts, used together to achieve your goals and turn your job into a sustainable career. Seniors need your knowledge and guidance to choose the best products that will offer them health and financial security throughout their golden years. The senior market is exploding – make the calls.

If you would like any guidance to overcoming your own, personal, roadblocks in cold calling please contact one of our marketers at 1-800-998-7715. Precision Senior Marketing is committed to giving our agents all the tools they need to succeed in their business endeavors.


Have you suffered from call reluctance? What did you do to move past this obstacle? How has it changed your business?

Source: Senior Market Advisor


Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Senior Market Advice, Senior Market Success, Cold Calling, Medicare Sales

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