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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

New Nationwide Medicare Card Scam

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 @ 09:34 AM

Medicare Supplements Nationwide, Medicare beneficiaries have been reporting scam phone calls that inform them a new Medicare card is in the mail. If your senior clients ask you about this, please advise them to hang up on these suspicious callers and do not fall for this attempt at gaining access to their personal information.

How the scam works:
A senior answers the phone and an unknown caller, usually with an accent, claims to be with Medicare or another government office. He will inform them that their new Medicare card is in the mail and they will receive it in a few days. However, in the meantime they need to set up their direct deposit so their Medicare funds can be deposited into their bank account. All they need to do is tell the caller their banking information and he will take care of the rest.

An alternative method has the caller asking the senior to verify their identity in order to receive their new card. They will ask for their Medicare card number (social security number) as well as other personal information they can then use to steal their identity.

Here’s how your clients can avoid Medicare Card Identity Theft:

  1. Don’t carry their Medicare card in their wallet. If the card is lost or stolen the scammer can use the information to commit identity theft.

  2. Don’t give their information over the Internet, over the phone, or to anyone to goes into their home uninvited. Only give personal information to doctors and providers approved by Medicare.

  3. If they suspect identity theft, or feel like they’ve given their personal information to someone they shouldn’t have, they need to call the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.

Hopefully your senior clients won’t be targeted by this scam; however, it’s always best to be prepared in case. See Medicare.gov for more information about Medicare fraud, ID theft and other issues.


Please give us your feedback!
Have any of your clients contacted you asking about this scam? Do you warn your clients about scamming and give them tips on what not to do?

 

Source: The Banner

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Tags: Success Tips, senior market news, Quality Management, Equitable Life Medicare Supplement, Customer Service, Building Client Relationships, Stonebridge Medicare Supplement, Cigna Medicare Supplement

Transform Your Business with 7 Steps

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 @ 09:38 AM

Medicare SupplementsOnce you decide to go out on your own and establish your business, creating an overall marketing strategy for converting leads and keeping your clients happy is essential. These 7 steps are part of the "Perfect Customer Lifecycle," creating a simple way for businesses to develop a marketing plan and grow their business with targeted communication and an effective lead management system.

The 7 steps to transforming your business are:

  1. Attract Traffic –The offer of a free quote or a great source of information will attract more traffic to your website. This content will also act to raise your brand value and generate leads. This can be achieved through Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, AdWords, Facebook Ads, and via social media websites.

  2. Capture Leads – Web forms are an excellent way to hear from leads who want more information on your services. To capture these prospects, make sure your content is compelling, your form does not require too much initial information, and your site is trustworthy.

  3. Nurture Prospects – Be consistent in following up with your leads and set a frequency expectation on when you will contact them. Also, determine how you can customize each of your communication methods, whether it is email, direct mail, or any other methods. By coming up with a sequence of timed personalized communication methods you will continue to be on your prospects mind as they make their purchasing decision.

  4. Convert Sales – Connect with your prospects and nurture your leads until they are ready to make a buying decision. Using an automated service for routine follow-up calls can free up time for connecting with those clients who have been nurtured and are ready to buy. An important thing to remember is that it takes an average of five sales calls to close a deal, but most salespeople give up after just one or two calls.

  5. Deliver & Satisfy – Winning over longtime clients is possible when you use service as a marketing strategy. Having great customer service gives you an advantage as does keeping promises rather than over-promising and under-delivering. Keep your clients expectations in line with the quality work you will provide.

  6. Upsell Customers – An important statistic to remember is that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your clients. Rather than spending all of your time chasing other leads focusing on adding additional products to your current client’s plan will increase your commissions and keep your clients loyal. Why not sell your Medicare Supplement clients final expense insurance or an annuity? Follow up with your clients to keep abreast of their changing needs.

  7. Get Referrals – Ask you happy clients for friends or family who are in need of products in your portfolio, and remember to thank them with a small token of your appreciation or a heartfelt thank you card.

For more in-depth information, download The Small Business Marketing Guide.

Please give us your feedback!
Are these (or similar) steps in your small business marketing plan? Do you agree/disagree with them? Do you think anything is missing?

Source: Infusionsoft

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Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Leads, Quality Management, Forethought Medicare Supplement, Customer Service

Strategies for Client Retention

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 @ 09:15 AM

Medicare SupplementsClient retention is an ongoing process that starts with providing excellent service and continual client contact from the very first contact and continues throughout your relationship.

Here are a few strategies you can employ to retain more of your existing clients:

  1. Respond to your client’s needs by changing your sales pitch for those who need you to listen and communicating via email, phone calls, or face-to-face meeting to show you care. Also, follow-ups like a newsletter, cards, or surveys will also help you clients know you care about them as a person rather than a number.
  2. Put your client’s needs first, listen to what they have to say, and make note of what is important to them. When you show how your customer service will exceed their expectations they will willingly contact you again with their questions, concerns, policy changes, or need to change a product or service.
  3. Meet your deadlines, call when you say you will, and show that you are responsible and that your clients can trust you to do what you say you will do.
  4. Treat them like you would any other business associate. Look out for their best interest, take their concerns seriously, and ask questions to meet both their current and future needs.
  5. Use referrals, testimonials, and other endorsements to allow others to speak for you and show your expertise within your field. This will give you credibility in your business and confirm your client’s decision to choose you to guide them with their supplemental insurance needs.
  6. Give your clients your all and gain their loyalty. When you have a strong base it will also be easier to leverage those testimonials to new clients.
Retaining clients takes time, energy, and a strong focus on building those relationships.  However, it is worth the effort in the end.  While you are prospecting you will have the residuals of your happy clients as supplemental income to help drive your business. After all, it is 5-10 times more expensive to find new clients than it is to retain the ones you already have on the books.

 


What have you found most important in retaining clients? Do you have any techniques that you use that would help other agents be successful?

Source: Insure Me


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Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Customer Retention, Quality Management, insurance news, Creating Value, Customer Service

Websites: The New Face of the Insurance Agent

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Apr 01, 2011 @ 09:41 AM

Medicare SupplementsA survey recently done by Agent’s Sales Journal showed that 41% of agents still do not have a web presence; and, even more have a site that is due for a major update. With the explosion of the internet, many seniors are now online searching for products and services. Also, there is a distinct advantage in being able to give out your website address when selling Medicare Supplements over the phone, especially when your clients are not close enough for you to meet with in person. Creating and maintaining a website is nothing to fear. Here are some guidelines to help you start the process.

Commit. The first step is committing to either building or having built a website that will positively reflect your business. It is really important to remember that first impressions are everything and you should put the proper time and effort into making a site that really captures the professionalism you want to portray.

Decide on a Budget. Get a feel for what’s available for you to choose from. There are lower cost template-based sites to more expensive completely custom options.

Register a Domain. Do you want to choose a common search term, your name, your business name, or a phrase common to your industry? On GoDaddy.com and NetworkSolutions.com you can search to see what names are available, choose one, and register it to you.

Hire Professional Help. Once you determine what you want to spend, contact company whose portfolio contains sites you like and have a feel you are going for. If you aren’t sure, get a second opinion from family members and friends. Ask for reference and contact those people to confirm they were satisfied with the process. Or, if you decide to create the site yourself try a template-based site like Intuit or a service designed specifically for Insurance Agents like Norvax.

Develop Content. You may have heard the cliché, “Content is King,” and it still holds true. While your website is being developed put some time into writing the content that will be on your website to answer potential client questions about your service. Look at competitor’s sites and see what they are writing about and compare.

Launch the Site. Once the site is developed and has keyword rich content it is time for it to go live. Most website design companies will also offer hosting; however, if not you should ask them for references on where they recommend and who is easiest to work with.

Get the Site Found. Even once your site is up and running you cannot stop working with it. Include your web address on all your marketing materials and submit it to search engines. You may also want to start a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign to get your site to appear higher in search results.

The process may seem overwhelming at first, but to break it down further the most important things to remember about making a website are to make the time commitment, write good keyword rich content, and develop a SEO campaign that will help your website be found in major search engines.


Are you beginning the process of creating an agent website? What are the challanges you are facing? Or, do you have a website already? What advice would you give those just starting out?

Source: Agent's Sales Journal


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Tags: Sales Tips, Web Marketing Advice, health insurance news, Assured Life Medicare Supplement, Leads, Quality Management, Medicare Sales, Creating Value, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement, Mutual of Omaha Medicare Supplement

5 Great Reasons to Incorporate Screen Sharing into Your Sales Process

Posted by Richard Ybarra on Fri, May 14, 2010 @ 04:38 PM

Gerber life Medicare Supplement

With the growing popularity of the phone & Internet sales process among senior insurance agents across the country, many are seeking out solutions to enhance the experience for both agents and consumers.  One solution that is being used to great success by many of our top producing agents is screen sharing software. 


For those of you who are unfamiliar with screen sharing software, it is software that you either install on your computer or access through a website that allows you to display whatever is on your Internet-connected computer onto other Internet-connected computers.  Additionally, most screen sharing software also allows you to grant permission for your audience to take control of your computer.  These two functions can also be reversed, so that you can view and control another Internet-connected computer.  Instant messaging, VOIP (talking), video conferencing, and file sharing are other features that may be included with screen sharing software to give you the ultimate communication tool.


If you haven’t yet looked into incorporating screen sharing software into your sales and other business processes, we highly recommend that you do.  Here’s why:


Increased interactivity with clients:  The biggest benefit is the interactivity that screen sharing allows.  No longer does your audience have to just sit and stare at a monitor throughout your whole presentation.  Your clients can actively take control of whatever program or file is on your computer (that you determine) and vice versa.  Your audience’s attention to the presentation will be much greater, and they’ll appreciate the more “in-home feel” without you actually being there.


More dynamic, engaging presentations:  No longer are you confined to just a PowerPoint presentation.  Since you have computer control throughout the entire presentation, you can make your presentations more dynamic by bringing up and showing various files based on the custom needs of the client.  Website, videos, music, and other files can all be presented whenever and however you want in real-time.  Then combine this with the IM, VOIP, and video conferencing features of most screen sharing software, and you have all the tools you need to give a highly engaging presentation.


Better reinforcement of training / education:  If you are experienced with giving more educational presentations, you know the challenge of getting your audience to remember what was actually taught.  A good example of this is getting seniors to remember many of the important points about their policies, or about the Medicare program in general.  Screen sharing isn’t going to solve the problem, but it can help improve the learning experience by allowing you to present periodic reinforcement activities.  Web based questionnaires are a great tool to accomplish this.  With the real-time feedback on their performance you can adapt your presentation accordingly to make it more effective.


Reduction of application errors:   Rework is something I think everyone can agree is bad for both business and our mental health.  With screen sharing you can ensure zero defects on applications as you can walk a client through an application, seeing exactly what they are typing.  The amount of time and money saved by eliminating application errors can be very significant over time, and that is just for the app process.  I’m sure you will find many areas in your business where such technology can eliminate further rework.


Better evaluation of the sales process:  Yet another great benefit of many screen sharing software is that you can record your sessions.  By recording your sessions you can evaluate what went right and what went wrong, and then use that data to improve your future presentations.  And after you record that perfect presentation, you can use that video as a training tool for others in your business, post it to your website to keep visitors longer, or even post it to YouTube and have it show up in the search engines to generate traffic to your site. Of course, always remember to follow HIPPA regulations and other common courtesies when recording, broadcasting, and disseminating information.

Tags: Sales Tips, Senior Market Advice, Senior Market Success, senior market blog, senior market news, Web Marketing Advice, Senior Market, senior insurance market news, Referrals, Leads, Quality Management

5 Keys to Successfully Grow Your Business

Posted by Richard Ybarra on Fri, Jun 05, 2009 @ 01:30 PM

In the June 2009 issue of Senior Market Advisor, the magazine has a special feature entitled "100 Best Sales and Marketing Ideas." The ideas are all generated by producers such as yourself, so most of the ideas are probably applicable to your situation. If you go through all 100 ideas, you will see that they all can be summed up into 5 methods that can successfully grow your business.

 

1. Networking: The vast majority of the ideas are related to networking, most likely because this is the most effective method of growing your business. Hosting workshops, seminars, church meetings, and other events were said to be a great method of reaching large groups of new customers. Getting to know and partnering with other professionals in related fields, such as CPAs, lawyers, doctors, and so forth is another effective method for getting in touch with potential customers.

2. New Technology: With more and more seniors and baby-boomers utilizing the latest technology, many of the respondents suggested that having a Web site is a must, but that to really succeed, you need to implement SEO to be found on the search engines, as well as market your business through major networking sites LinkedIn and Facebook. Also be on the lookout for Internet applications that can streamline your business process such as salesforce.com.

3. Old Technology: As great as all the new technology is, it alone does not make a successful business. Some of the agents state that nothing is more effective at generating business than picking up the phone and calling (we entirely support this argument). Direct mail programs are also still said to be very effective at generating leads, as the majority of the senior market still isn't online. Additionally, faxing is still a quick, simple way for transmitting certain types of documents, especially those requiring written signatures.

4. Relationship Management: Many of the ideas mentioned were related to managing the relationships you have with existing customers. This is vital, as retaining customers costs five times less than acquiring new customers (quality management principle). Basically, you should call your customers at regular intervals to see how they are doing and to educate them on new products. Being a good listener was an idea that came up in the feature several times. There was also a common theme of treating potential clients like existing ones. Even if they don't want your business, they most likely know someone who does.

5. Education: Many of the respondents stressed the importance of continuing education, both formal and informal. We agree as one of the fastest ways to lose business is to pretend to know something you don't. Knowing the latest trends in products, technology, market trends, and so forth is an essential ingredient to success. Establishing yourself as an expert source in your network or community can generate many leads by itself. Another common theme was that sharing knowledge freely without asking for anything in return adds to the credibility of your business.

If you have the time, we recommend reading the feature. Though most of the ideas are techniques you already know, you may just find one or two new nuggets of knowledge that can spark the next great idea for your business.

Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Senior Market Advice, Senior Market Success, senior market blog, senior market news, Senior Market, senior insurance market news, Customer Retention, Quality Management, insurance news, industry news, Customer Service, Building Client Relationships

Senior Market Success in a Recession Series – Tip 2

Posted by Richard Ybarra on Tue, Jan 20, 2009 @ 04:14 PM

Call Your Clients to Alleviate Their Fears

Proactively call your clients to alleviate their fears and concerns
The current recession is worsening everyday and is affecting the vast majority of people and businesses in some way.  One of the segments of society that has been hit hardest is the senior market.  Investments made by many seniors have seen huge losses, causing them to question the security of their retirements.  The doom and gloom stories of mass media are only fueling the concerns of seniors, with many articles spreading FUD.

As an expert, now is the perfect time to call your clients and answer questions, as well as correct any misinformation they may have come across.  Providing answers to their questions will alleviate their fears and concerns and further strengthen your advisor-client relationship.  If you don’t have the answers, work with them to find a solution – an excellent opportunity to cross sell a new product.

Quality in business is all about exceeding customer expectations.  “Exciters” are product and service benefits that excite customers because they don’t expect them.  Exciters are vital to increasing customer loyalty, recommendations, and brand image.  Proactively calling your clients, recession or no recession, is an exciter that is a sure way to grow your business over the long term.  Remember, retaining a current client costs five times less than gaining a new one.

Tags: Success Tips, Senior Market Advice, Senior Market Success, Senior Market, Customer Retention, Referrals, Quality Management, Exciters

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