Charlie Ferrell

National Sales Manager

NOTE FROM RBICharlie Ferrell, our National Sales Manager, is celebrating a work-a-versary today! On this day in 2015, Charlie made the switch from being an state manager/MGA to working full-time at RB Insurance Group — and we are so glad he did!  If you’ve called RBI for advice, you’ve probably talked with Charlie for help on individual markets, MAPS planning, or even real-time client advice. Today we celebrate Charlie’s amazing contributions to RB Insurance by bringing back one of his earliest blog articles as National Sales Manager. Though it’s newly updated for 2017, the content is as wise and relevant today as…well…as Charlie himself.

UPDATED 2017: Agents Don’t Work Alone

Build a network of professional friends

National Sales Manager: Charlie Ferrell

You may have heard the expression “You can’t be everything to everyone.” That’s just as true in the insurance business as it is in everyday life. In order to serve my clients, I’ve found I need to align myself with others who can fill in the gaps between my Medicare knowledge and expertise.

Breaking Bad Habits:

If you’re like me, you frequently find yourself fielding questions from clients on topics beyond your scope. I’m going to be totally honest with you: when I started getting more clients calls than I could handle on subjects like wills or Medicaid planning, my main referral source for years was Google. At a certain point, however, I started getting tired of hearing myself say, “Let me see if I can find someone who can help you.” There’s nothing I can do about not knowing absolutely everything about senior health insurance and finances, but I felt I could do better than sticking the duty of due diligence on my clients.

Build a network of professional friends

“Networking can be mutually beneficial for agents, lawyers, financial advisors.”

That’s why I decided in 2014 to get smart about networking. I knew it would be more helpful to my clients if I could recommend someone I personally knew and trusted for their financial or legal questions. I also knew I’d be investing in my book of business because networking can be mutually beneficial for agents, lawyers, financial advisors— their clients are probably going to need Medicare advice at one point or another!

Building New (and GOOD!) Habits:

I called a few of my longtime clients and asked them who they go to for advice. They recommended a few highly respected attorneys they had had good experiences with, one of whom deals exclusively with Medicaid planning. He helps families protect their assets when someone needs to go into a nursing home. Another attorney I reached out to specializes in wills and trusts: a perfect solution for me, since sometimes a client needs a simple will. Other clients need the whole package that puts all of their assets into a trust, especially if they have homes in multiple states and don’t want their kids to have to go through probate to spend if it isn’t necessary.

Lastly, I found a CPA to help my clients with their tax questions and financial planning needs. I now feel confident that my network has my clients’ best interests at heart and that I can depend on them returning the favor by sending their respective clients to me. I estimate that 10 percent of my new clients in 2015 came from my alignments with outside experts.

What I Learned:

It’s amazing what you can get when you ask your clients for their input. I noticed right away that my clients were much more engaged, and so were more likely to refer their friends and family to me. For these clients, it was clear that I valued their opinion. Second, I found this exercise reconnected me with some of my clients I hadn’t spoken to in a while.

Personally, I’m excited whenever I can help others. As agents, most of our clients are looking for someone they can trust to help them with life’s difficult decisions. You can be that trusted advisor for Medicare, and you can let others offer valuable advice on finances and legal arrangements. Your clients will benefit, you will benefit, and your new network will benefit as well. The bottom line is these professional relationships are a win-win-win.

Are you ready to get started? Build a network of professional friends to strengthen your business today! If you don’t know how to take the first step, click here to watch our recorded webinar “Finding Dual Eligibles” or call our team of experts today at 1-800-997-3107!

Updated: 3/2/2017; Original post date: 12/3/2015

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