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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

The Benefits of Selling Medicare Supplements Over The Phone

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 @ 02:21 PM

If you are just getting into selling in the senior market or you have been in the industry for a long time, selling Medicare Supplements over the phone is a great way to help grow your business. When you sell over the phone, you broaden your selling horizons beyond your immediate driving area and give yourself a virtually unlimited selling area with little to no travel necessary. Also, you can connect with a whole new market in a different city or state, no matter the distance from you. When you sell Med Supp over the phone, you can begin prospecting in an area with a larger senior population than the one you currently live in, all from the comfort of your home or office.

Also, a benefit of selling over the phone is the ability to increase your income by increasing your productivity. Since you will not have to set up meetings, travel to your client's location, or wait around for client's to come to your office you will waste less time and be more productive. In the time you save you can make more calls, connect with more clients, and create more business. There are 10,000 seniors turning 65 every day in the United States, be sure you are taking advantage of the booming Med Supp market.

Starting this year, the baby-boomers are becoming eligible to receive their benefits from Medicare. The baby-boomer generation is a new type of senior, experienced in using computers and the internet for both business and personal reasons. Many Boomers are technologically savvy and comfortable doing business over the phone and online, without meeting their agent in person. Some seniors may even prefer doing business this way, as some clients no longer feel the need to meet face-to-face and shake hands, when contact over the phone is just as convenient. More and more, an agent's website is becoming the face of their business and clients are getting a feel for you from a distance. Once they feel confident they will be able to reach you via email or phone for assistance or questions, they will have no problem doing business over the phone, no matter the distance between you.

There are several options for completing a policy over the phone. Some supplemental insurance companies like Mutual of Omaha offer electronic applications (or e-apps). The e-app process is very similar to the face-to-face meeting. While you speak to the client over the phone you are able to control what your client sees on his computer, go through the application as usual, and submit it for processing immediately. This e-application process speeds up enrollment and eliminates unnecessary paperwork and mailing costs. Otherwise, applications can either be faxed or mailed back after the client has completed and signed it.

The senior insurance market is exploding and selling Medicare Supplements by phone will help you use technology to your advantage and reach prospects virtually anywhere in the United States, from the comfort of your work space.

Fore more insights to selling Medicare Supplements over the phone, please contact Precision Senior Marketing, a Medicare Supplement Broker, committed to recruiting, servicing, and supporting the best senior market insurance agents.

Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, technology

Efforts to Defund the Health-Care Law Underway

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 @ 09:35 AM

Medicare SupplementsThis week Republican Denny Rehberg put up an amendment to the pending House bill to fund the final seven months of the yearly budget and prohibit administration from using any of the money to put the health-care law into effect. His proposal is likely to make it into the House budget bill. However, Rehberg's bill faces two obstacles: the Democrats control of the Senate and the White House and that most of the funds needed for the law were put into the law itself. The only way to have access to those funds is for Congress to enact legislation rescinding them, which will be hard to do since the Republicans currently only have majority in the House. Therefore, Republican House members are putting wording in the budget bills stating that none of Congress’ operating costs for federal agencies can go toward the health-care law. The money in question is not actually for the law itself, but the administration costs needed to carry it out. If the spending bills are adopted, they could cause these processes to stop. Richard Sorian, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services uses the example "Even though the funds for seniors’ checks are not affected, the salary of the person mailing it out is."

Another way Republicans are hoping to halt the health-care law is by cutting off funding to the Internal Revenue Service. This week, Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced an amendment to the spending bill preventing agency’s from paying IRS employees working to implement the health-care reform law’s individual and employer mandates. She also offered an additional bill blocking the IRS from hiring anyone to enforce the requirement that all individuals buy health insurance beginning in 2014. Also this week the IRS released their budget request of $118.8 million in 2012 to implement the employer and individual insurance mandates, as well as the other provisions. The health-care reform law will be a huge undertaking by the IRS and represents the largest set of tax law changes in two decades.

Most believe these bills are likely to die out in the Senate or have a presidential veto; however, Congress must agree on a budget bill before March 4th when the current funding will expire. Otherwise, there is a threat of government shutdown if no agreement can be made. However, McMorris Rodgers assures "We’re going to do everything we can to work with the Senate to avoid that."

What do you think of the efforts by the Republicans to defund the health-care law? Do you think they will be successful? Do you think Congress will be able to come to an agreement by their deadline of March 4, 2011?

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Sources: KHN, The Washington Post, The Hill

Tags: Success Tips, technology, Medicare, Medicare News, Assured Life Medicare Supplement, health care reform, United of Omaha Medicare Supplement

Creating the Perfect Webinar

Posted by Richard Ybarra on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 @ 11:57 AM

As we mentioned before, one of the sales methods you’ll want to take advantage of this year is the webinar. And if you are already doing a webinar, then perhaps you’ll find some useful nuggets of knowledge that will help you refine your presentation.

1. What you need. In order to conduct the most effective webinars you will need the right tools. Here is a list:

• Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint

• Web conferencing software such as http://www.megameeting.com or http://www.gotomeeting.com

• Stock media from sites such as http://www.gettyimages.com or http://www.shutterstock.com

• Video editing software (free) such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie

• Video camera and tripod

2. Planning. Your webinar is a project that will require a few hours of planning to ensure a smooth execution, low cost, and as little rework as possible. First, you will want to think about your audience. Do you sell direct to seniors? Do you solely recruit agents? Are your clients more affluent? Are they mostly minorities?

Once you’ve identified your audience, you’ll want to identify the key issues that are important to them when considering the product or services you are trying to sell. Your webinar subject matter will vary greatly depending on if you are selling Medicare supplements, annuities, or even both. Regardless, you’ll want to remember to focus your subject matter on only 3-5 major points.

After identifying the 3-5 major points you want to convey to your audience, the next step is to create an outline of the information you will convey about those 3-5 major points. The key here is to get the right arrangement for your information so you can then start thinking about the detailed content you will present. The more visuals the better, so consider how you can visualize as much information as possible.

The last part of planning your webinar requires that you finalize all the content you want to put in your webinar and think about the logistics of creating that content. You’ll need to write the script for your oral presentation, and if you plan on showing a video clip of a customer explaining her financial devastation from not having a Medicare supplement, you will of course want to identify the customer, pick the time and place to interview, and so forth.

3. Creating the content. With your plan in place, now comes the execution. You will want to contain your entire Webinar within the presentation file. This is easy to do as you can easily drag and drop other types of files into the presentation file. If you are unfamiliar with how to use presentation software, I recommend buying a presentation software tutorial or book to enable you with maximum creative ability.

The first thing you will want to do is choose your theme. The color and structure of your theme are both important in addressing your audience and presentation style. If you are going for a more upbeat style, then brighter colors will compliment and enhance your presentation. If your subject matter requires respect and a more serious tone, then you’ll want to use darker shades of colors. Stay away from blacks as a primary color as it comes across as too serious and it can be hard to read text from. If you aren’t happy with the included templates, you can find many impressive templates for purchase with a simple search for “PowerPoint (or other software) templates.”

Next, comes adding your content. A good rule of thumb to follow is to use as little text as possible. This means keeping your bullet points to 3-5 on each slide and never writing paragraphs of text. Use charts, tables, photographs, videos, and so forth to convey your message when possible.

When it comes to charts and tables, make sure the data and source is correct and that you have permission to use them. Also, always use professional stock photos. Nothing loses respect more than low-quality, amateur material. Stock photo sites allow you to buy at different sizes so you shouldn’t have to worry about resizing photos. If you have to resize photos to conform to your design, know that you can safely scale down, but never up. When scaling down hold down the shift key when resizing the photo. This will prevent distortion and pixilation.

With the popularity of YouTube and reality TV, less than professional quality video is accepted if done right. If you are doing a client interview video or if it’s a video of yourself, make sure you record it with at least a tripod. You don’t want any shaking in your video. Also try to record in as well lit a room as possible. Dark video isn’t appealing. Once you recorded your video, you can then edit it with one of the free programs mentioned above. Music always helps, so buy some stock audio to make your video that much more attractive and effective. Again, cheap and short tutorials are readily available to show you how to use the video editing programs.

4. Edit and Test. Once you’ve created your presentation make sure to edit it for mistakes. You’ll also want to test your webinar to a sample audience to make sure it’s perfectly executed. The software should give you the ability to record your webinar, so make sure to watch yourself and see if there are any improvements to be made.

5. Marketing. With your webinar all ready to go, you’ll want to consider how to get the most eyeballs to watch it. Before you do though, consider the costs. Typically, each “seat” in a seminar costs money. The more “seats” you need the more it is going to cost you. So as you can see, it will pay off to ensure your audience is as targeted as possible for maximum effectiveness.

If you have a large budget and want as many eyeballs as possible, then you’ll want to communicate your webinar information through an E-blast, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also use more traditional methods like radio and print, but they cost a lot more.

Once you’ve executed your perfect webinar and have it recorded, you can then use it as a very effective promotional/educational piece. Set up a webpage to show the recorded webinar and drive traffic to it. You can also put it on a disc or thumb drive and send it out to those less Internet savvy. You spent the time, money, and effort to make the perfect webinar, so make sure you leverage it as much as possible.

Tags: Sales Tips, Senior Market Success, senior market blog, senior market news, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, technology, Customer Retention, Leads

5 Web Apps to Modernize Your Business

Posted by Richard Ybarra on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 11:50 AM

The days of software are numbered. Web applications are the future and if you aren’t using them, you are losing out on cost savings and efficiency gains. So what are the benefits of Web apps?

 

 * Available practically anywhere, anytime – Web apps aren’t tied to specific machines like software is. As long as you have access to the Internet, you can use it.

* No installation required – no more having to worry about long installations, hard drive space limitations, serial numbers, or remembering where you put all the CDs when you need to reinstall software after a computer crash. As long as you have a browser you are good to go.

* Always updated – one of the pains of software is remembering to check for updates and applying them. Web apps are always current and have the latest features and improvements.

* Less infrastructure required – No server? No IT manager? No problem. The company offering the tool supports the entire web application. Troubleshooting problems is a phone call away.

* More secure – It’s probably safe to say that your computer equipment pales in comparison to that of the companies that run these services. As such your data will be much more secure with these organizations than on your computer where even just one piece of malware or a hardware failure can leave you with downtime at best and losing all your data at worst.

These days there are more and more Web apps coming out. I’m going to recommend five to you, but of course, you’ll want to research further to ensure these tools will meet your business requirements.

Customer Relationship Management: SalesForce
Managing all your customer data is vital to your organization and Salesforce makes it easier and more cost effective to do it. As with most Web apps, this is a customizable service, so no matter the size of your organization, you will most likely find a cost-effective solution here. All the above benefits apply here.

Document Management: Google Docs
First, Google Docs is free. Second you can share and collaborate online, significantly reducing the amount of back and forth emails and numerous file attachments. Google docs contain the major three office applications – word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation creation. If you haven’t yet co-edited the same document in real-time with someone across the country – you’re in for a treat.

Web Development: SnapPages
There are many low-cost website creation web apps, but most look exactly like what you paid for them. Also, if you aren’t a Web designer, I highly suggest you don’t attempt to do it yourself. You don’t want to experiment with the face of your organization. Templates are great because experts who understand the requirements of good Web design design them. SnapPages has some of the best templates I’ve seen and the whole tool is very easy to use for beginners.

Secure File Sharing: Box.net
File sharing is necessary in our industry and since we all deal with very private information such as social security numbers, date of births, and so forth, we must treat our clients’ and partners’ data with great respect. This means using a very secure method of file transmission. Box.net features a 99.9% uptime guarantee, SSL encryption, redundant storage, and configurable permissions. This tool also integrates with Salesforce and is used by some of the biggest companies, such as Intel and Nike.

Telephony: Skype
If you already have a cell phone, you’re probably wondering if there are any alternatives to that expensive landline that has the benefit of being on at all times (not dependent on a battery). You’ll want to check out VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services such as Skype. VOIP services essentially use the Internet to make calls to anyone in the world. Because of this call rates are significantly cheaper than a landline service. Skype isn’t a pure web app, but it's close enough. Skype actually has an advantage over pure web apps in that it doesn’t require a computer and browser. Skype can be used with many Internet-enabled devices or with Skype-enabled phones. Skype has dedicated services for both small and medium sized businesses that feature video conferencing, instant messaging, IP PBX, and more.

Tags: Success Tips, senior market blog, senior market news, Web Tips, technology, Senior Market, senior insurance market news

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