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Baby Boomers Embrace Technology

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Mar 13, 2018 @ 03:51 PM

Baby Boomers Embrace TechnologyGetting Connected: Older Americans Embrace Technology to Enhance Their Lives

Most Americans have embraced technology in their daily lives and those over 50 are no exception.  Results of a new survey by AARP show older adults are using a variety of devices to stay informed, shop and connect with others.

Over 90% of adults over 50 own a computer or laptop, 70% have a smartphone, and over 40% own a tablet, according to a national study of 1,520 adults conducted in November.  Adults 70+ are more likely to have more dated technology, such as desktops and feature phones, than those age 50-69.

Want to know what the grandkids are doing? Check on Facebook. Sure enough, across all devices, over seven in ten adults 50+ are on social media, and nine in ten (91%) of those with devices say they use technology to stay in touch with friends and family.

Different devices for different purposes

Smartphones help people be social while they are on the go. Over half of smartphone owners use a social app weekly. Texting (86%) has caught up to email (87%) as the top ways people use technology to communicate with others.

Among adults 50+, nine in ten say they use their smartphone to send instant messages, texts or emails, and over three quarters find them handy for getting directions or traffic information.  They also use them for purchasing apps, surfing the internet, getting news, and accessing social media, the AARP research found.

Just how adults use technology varies by age. Adults 50-59 are more likely to do banking activities and watch video on their smartphones than those who are over 60. However, smartphone users age 60-69 are leading the way in using their phone to manage medical care (they are significantly more likely to do so than those over 70: 33% vs. 21%).

Respondents report using tablets more for entertainment and computers for practical tasks. Adults in their 50s and 60s use their computers to engage in online learning activities and posting ratings and reviews more frequently than those older.  Further, Americans over 70 do fewer activities on their computers than those under 70, with a couple exceptions, including gaming (over half play games on their computer) and email.

When it comes to wearable technology (smartwatches, fitness trackers, etc.) and home assistants, just a small percentage of the 50+ market are on board.  Younger adults are more likely to own a wearable than those over 70.

Wary of security and virtual reality

In spite of the reliance on technology in many realms of life, just 18% of adults 50+ are extremely or very confident in their online privacy. Four in ten (41%) are not very or not at all confident in their privacy. Those over 70 are more skeptical their information is private online than those aged 60-69, the survey finds.

Most older adults do not completely trust companies to keep their data secure. The survey discovered respondents have more confidence in banks and health care organizations and less trust toward the media, social media sites, and membership organizations.

Despite security concerns, however, the survey found many older adults don’t take proactive steps to protect themselves (although men are more likely to do so in several instances). Overall, just 58% of respondents say they use a passcode to lock their tablets and 59% use one on their smartphones.  And changing passwords every few months? Just 45 percent of adults 50 and over take that security precaution.

Few older adults have used virtual reality, and many are unfamiliar with augmented reality. Most respondents had heard of virtual reality devices but few have tried them. Adults age 50-59 are the most likely to have checked out or own a virtual reality device, but adoption is still small. Over six in ten adults in the survey have never heard of augmented reality and very few have tried it -- although awareness was greater among those in their 50s.

This study was fielded from November 16-27, 2017 using GfK’s KnowledgePanel, a probability based web panel designed to be representative of the adult US population. Respondents needed to be age 50 or older to complete the survey. Completion rate was 59.9% and resulted in a total sample of 1,520. The data are weighted by age within gender, education, race/ethnicity, household income, language preferences, and Census division to reflect US adults age 50 or older. For more information contact G. Oscar Anderson at GAnderson@aarp.org.

At PSM, we provide the tools, knowledge and support to help take your business to new levels. If you have an interest on how to effectively sell online, we would love to assist you. 

Source: https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/technology/info-2018/technology-use-attitudes.html

Additional Updates:
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  • Cigna has entered into an agreement to acquire Express Scripts - View
  • Transamerica has updated their guide for electronic signatures - View
  • New Medicare ID Cards - Aetna has compiled a helpful Q&A document - View
  • Increase Your Sales with Our Complimentary Tools - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha Weekly Updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: Web Marketing Advice, Baby Boomer Medicare Stats, Insurance Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing

Have a Website? The Definitive Digital Marketing Handbook for Medicare Agents

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Mon, Mar 05, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

The Definitive Digital Marketing Handbook for Medicare AgentsThe Definitive Digital Marketing Handbook for Medicare Agents

If you sell Medicare products and you have a website, this is an insightful on how to effectively market your business.

We live in a digital world. The signs of people’s ever-increasing passion for digital communications are all around us. 

Digital has become woven into everyday life, yet, most Medicare Agencies don't have a sound digital marketing strategy. KERN Health’s informal polls at the Medicare Marketing & Sales Summits in Orlando and Nashville suggest that most (65%) of Medicare Agencies felt that their organizations were struggling and were unprepared to develop a digital marketing strategy.

According to Pew Research Center, 76% of older (leading-edge) Boomers (ages 60–69) use the Internet daily. Even the Silent generation (ages 70–87) now has an adoption rate of 61% who use the Internet. And when we look at the younger (trailing-edge) Boomers (ages 51–59), we see the handwriting on the wall for the future of Medicare marketing—with only 17% of this group not using the Internet daily. Furthermore, 84.9% of Boomers and Medicare beneficiaries are sharing information, talking about politics and engaging on Facebook.


So think digitally
. Because your competitors already are. Up until now, some brave Medicare Agencies have dared to peel a portion of the budget away from the traditional workhorse channel of direct mail to experiment with digital, but they’ve done so in very limited ways. When you understand just how much Boomers and Medicare beneficiaries are utilizing digital channels, you’ll see why there’s the urgent need to do more.

  • 1 in 5 of Twitter users are over 50
  • 53% (percentage of Americans 65+ who use the Internet, and 70% of those use the Internet daily)
  • 27 hours per week (average amount of time Boomers spend on the Internet)
  • 48% (percentage of adults 65+ who own a desktop computer)
  • 63% (percentage of adults 50–64 who own a desktop computer)
  • 27.4 million (number of adults 55+ who engage in social networking to communicate)
  • 1 in 3 of online Boomers use social media
  • 59% (percentage of online Boomers who have made an online purchase within the last 3 months)
  • 80% (adults 50+ account for 80% of all online luxury travel spending)
  • $7 billion (average annual amount spent online by adults 50+)

And when we’re speaking about digital, more than half of what we’re speaking about is mobile. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, mobile now accounts for more than half of all digital advertising spending, while digital ad spending grew from $43 billion in 2013 to over $60 billion just two short years later.

Hopefully this guide will provide insight and best practices on how to make sure your website and marketing efforts are optimized in the new digital age of the senior market.


Additional Updates:
  • Liberty Bankers Life Medicare Supplement Released in NM and VA - Request Details
  • Thrivent Financial Medicare Supplement Released in NV - Request Details
  • Medico Medicare Supplement Rate Reduction Notices - AL, IA, NE
  • Americo UFirst Rewards Program for Medicare Supplement business - View
  • Set sail to Bermuda in 2019 with Cigna Supplemental Benefits - View
  • Join Sentinel in Portugal in 2019 for an Exciting River Cruise - View
  • Increase Your Sales with Our Complimentary Tools - View
  • Express: Mutual of Omaha Weekly Updates - View
  • VALUES Quote of the Week - View
  • Current Agent Incentive Trips and Contests - View

Tags: Web Marketing Advice, Baby Boomer Medicare Stats, Insurance Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing

Easy guide to build a web marketing strategy on a budget

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Medicare Supplements With today’s ever evolving internet technologies, its social forums, and marketing techniques, many businesses spend thousands of dollars every year on a professional website design, search engine optimization and pay per click campaigns.

The effectiveness of those marketing efforts varies by company, budget and their team’s dedication toward the success of the business. However, for those smaller businesses that lack the marketing budget and dedicated team force, there are simpler techniques that can help to market their brand and garner new business or leads.  Those three most important online traffic techniques for online marketing are organic search, inbound traffic and click through rate.

Increase the organization online visibility by working on the Organic search. Identify keywords that tie you to your industry. Be specific and direct and avoid using generalized words. Use these words on the websites pages, headers, title, meta-tags, and within URL’s. This will help increase the website rankings through the search engine result pages (SERPS). Remember, this your single most important arsenal.

Go further and optimize the website to be local, if the majority of you cliental are within your vicinity and not out of state, use news and articles that are of interest to your specific area. This will further enhance the site visibility.

Start a blog. Write articles that are relevant to your industry and stay committed. This can help increase the company’s brand and make it a reputable industry leader. It will also help bring more inbound traffic to the site.

Go social. Publish your latest news, releases and blogs to other social Medias; such as, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, etc., and see how this will also get your business noticed through organic search.

Track your inbound traffic. Find out where the traffic source is coming from. Is it coming from a search engine, forum, news, social network, maps, or online directories? All this data are great resource to have to identify areas that have successful inbound traffic, versus areas that need improvement. Hence, this information can be obtained by most web hosting companies with their web analytics programs.

Check your click-through rate. Also known as calls to action or CTA’s, are the links or words user click on to do an action. Check to see how many times a call to action has been clicked on. Find out what has been working well and where there is room for improvement. Create CTA’s that engage users to fill out product forms, a poll, or direct them to a landing page that advertises a new service, special discounts or a new product.

Dedication is crucial to the web marketing strategy success. Be persistent and check all organic searches, inbound traffic and click through rates. And with a little patience, those results will help market your business brand, garner new business or leads and better improve the website ranking along the way.

Please give us your feedback!
Do you feel your business could improve by implementing three most important online traffic techniques for online marketing; organic search, inbound traffic and click through rate?


Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
    • UnitedHealthCare: PSM is excited to promote the 2014 UHC Proposed Plan Benefits. Don’t miss this opportunity!

      National Training Calendar. Learn More

    • Coventry : At PSM, we want to ensure our agents have the resources and tools to sell successfully and provide Medicare consumers with valuable and accurate information and assistance.

      Training Calendar. Learn More

Tags: Networking Sites, Organic Search, inbound traffic, click through rate, call to action, Success Tips, Web Marketing Advice, Leads

Roadmap to excel as an advisor

Posted by Guadalupe Cantu on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

Medicare SupplementsRunning a business can be a daunting task; even more so, if the business has been running on survival mode for the last couple of years. Everything that has been tried to ensure success has returned nothing but disappointment.

What went wrong? Why is the business only hanging by a thin thread? The business has a marketing plan in place and a large budget to focus on traditional and new media techniques; such as, direct mail, radio, emails, and search engine optimization (SEO). Plus, it offers a wide range of products that the public wants. Yet, nothing seems to work!

For many advisors, it is hard to see that the problem comes from poorly designed marketing campaigns. Too often, advisors are too eager to sell their product. They focus on getting one message out to the masses, and expect to see a great influx of leads to be quickly converted into sales.

Instead, focus on the targeted audience and identify what their needs are. Once this has been determined, then the marketing message and campaigns can be tailored accordingly. Do the same to the other product lines, identify, categorize, customize, and so on. Soon, your hard work will pay-off, and you will see leads building up.

Engage them further, once the prospect has made contact; follow up with a call, invite them to a free event, offer a free report or direct them to informative video feeds on your website. These little actions will help keep the dialogue open and help ease their decision into becoming a new customer.

Just remember by building an effective marketing plan that will allow you to identify prospects needs, match them with the proper product line, and build a system to engage them and follow up, you should be well on your way to the road to excel as an advisor.

Question: Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?

Please give us your feedback!
Do you feel your business is hanging by a thin thread? Would revamping the marketing approach help your business move in the right direction?


Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • Gerber Insurance: September 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments AZ, IA, MI, OK, SD, TX Learn More
    • September 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments AL, KY, and Med SELECT AL, OK, TX Learn More
    • October 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments CA, NC, ND, OH, PA Learn More
    • October 2013 Med Supp rate adjustments WI Learn More
  • Assured Life Association/Woodmen of the World: October 2013 Med Supp Rate Adjustment for OH, WA, and Med SELECT for OH. Learn More
  • 2014 Cigna PDP Training and Certification - Learn More
  • Everence Agent Training Webinar Aug 14 - Learn More

Tags: Insurance advisor, Senior insurance, Sales Tips, Success Tips, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, Health Insurance, Referrals, Creating Value, insurance companies, Advisor

How to Effectively Build Your Brand

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, May 03, 2013 @ 10:26 AM

Medicare Supplements

By building an effective brand for your business you can separate yourself from the competition in this industry. Creating an effective brand is one that convinced people to buy “you” before they step foot into your office or talk to you over the phone. Determine your brand in your community and see if people already know who you are. If they do, what is the brand they identify with your name? Does is help to separate you from the competition or does it lump you in with everyone else?

Here are some ways to develop a positive brand that allow you to stand apart from your competition:

  • Old-fashioned values. This means treating people with respect; explaining things in a way people can understand, and listening intently so you can truly hear your client’s needs. You are always focused on your client’s agenda, not your own. If you say you’re going to do something you do it, and if you make a mistake, take responsibility and find a solution as soon as possible.

  • Expert knowledge. Be among the absolute best at what you do. Study the art of our craft and become an expert in the field. Also, it’s important to know the products you represent. It’s been said the products you recommend will only account for 10 percent of your success in gaining new clients. So you should know 100 percent of that 10 percent.

  • Genuine understanding. Since in the Medicare Supplement field you will be working almost exclusively with either retirees or people getting ready to retire it’s important to understand what your clients are going through. Become an expert in your niche. You don’t need to be jack-of-all trades but rather a specialist in your field. Genuine understanding can only be demonstrated over time by having a passion for serving the needs of your clients.

An effective message and brand along with a great marking plan can lead to the successful practice you’ve been working toward. If you have any questions, please give your marketer a call at 1-800-998-7715.

Please give us your feedback!
What steps have you taken to build your brand? How has it changed your business?


Source: LifeHealthPro

Additional Updates:
  • There's a New Med Supp in Town - Learn More
  • 14.5 Million MA Members - Over Half are on a Zero Dollar Premium Plan - Learn More

Tags: Success Tips, Senior Market Advice, Web Marketing Advice, Web Tips, Customer Service, Cigna Medicare Supplement, Sentinel Life Hospital Indemnity

Big Sales on Less Money

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Sep 09, 2011 @ 09:02 AM

Medicare SupplementsEvery agent has experienced it at one point or another, your sales funnel is getting empty and you don’t necessarily have the funds to purchase multiple new leads. It would be great to have a budget to support your ideal marketing and PR plan however that isn’t always the case. There are several things you can do to create more sales without spending a lot of money. Reworking your existing database, creating an informational webinar, networking, and asking for referrals will all help you increase your production, and it will get you back on track in preparation for the busy season ahead.

Here are some tips you can deploy immediately: :

  • Look to your existing database – Are there prospects that never became clients? Contact them and see if they are now ready to buy. Are there clients who might need additional products, like final expense or long term care insurance? Even your smallest current accounts will be the fastest return on investment and time since they already work with you and know your business is solid. Do a check-in with them and see which additional services you can offer.

  • Create an informational webinar or tele-session – Promoting yourself and your business in a short, informative online video can give you visibility for your expertise, direct traffic to your website, and allow you to promote your services via social media. These can be made as easily as from a webcam or asking a friend or family member to help you by filming it.

  • Network – Get involved in the community you serve and make more introductions. Make a personal goal to make five introductions a week, or one a day.

  • Ask for referrals – All of your satisfied, existing clients are sure to know friends and family who can benefit from your service. Most people do not get referrals simply because they do not ask for them. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Start today in order to start filling your sales funnel in preparation for Annual Enrollment Period!

Please give us your feedback!
What have you done in the past to create more sales with less money? Do you have any tips for those currently in this situation?

Source: Senior Market Advisor

Additional Updates:
  • Gerber Life Medicare Supplement Rate Increase for AL & KY - Learn More

Tags: Sales Tips, Senior Market Success, Web Marketing Advice, Referrals, Customer Service, Gerber Life Medicare Supplement

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

Additional Updates:
  • Increase your production with Mutual of Omaha's E-app - Learn More
  • Medicare Supplement Products to Grow Your Business - Learn More
  • Gerber Life Ohio Solicitation and Sales Disclosure - Learn More
  • Assured Life Ohio Solicitation and Sales Disclosure - Learn More
  • Assured Life Plan N Release in Geogria and Illinios - Learn More
  • Assured Life Louisiana Rate Increase - Learn More

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

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

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

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

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