Don’t give up on prospecting Medicare Advantage and life insurance!

Prospecting.

The word alone conjures images of doors slamming in our face and telephone hang ups while we scramble to finish our sales pitch. And yet it’s the first stage of the sales process that can lead you to 6-figure senior insurance sales success.

Even if you’ve heard that 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day, you’ve probably wondered how you can even reach them with all the rules, regulations and market challenges that are part of the industry. To make matters worse, seniors are flooded with marketing materials during AEP from carriers and other agents and might not be in the mood to hear yet another pitch. This is why you have to reach them with smart prospecting.

How you prospect makes all the difference between making a sale, earning a client’s trust and generating referrals for your business or walking away without a sale, feeling the sting of rejection and self-doubt.

Death of a Salesman image courtesy of The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1KZf4qg)

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Old-fashioned canvassing, leaving door hangers, telemarketing, sending small-batch mailers and pre-set appointments, direct mail campaigns, earning repeat business from existing clients and generating referrals are all methods of engaging prospects, and you will need to find the best method for your personal communication style. Be careful to comply with the Medicare Marketing Guidelines, as some of the methods I’ve listed above cannot be used for selling Medicare Advantage.

If you sell just Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements, you must follow the Medicare Marketing Guidelines, which you can review here. I highly recommend that every senior insurance advisor I mentor add final expense or life insurance to his or her portfolio of products to maximize earnings from repeat business. You can cross sell both products and still be in compliance!

Stay with me as we head into the sales season as I review strategies for your prospecting efforts. You’ll have to suspend judgment on what you think will work and what won’t work because any of them can work for you if you’re willing to be diligent and persistent.

Although I will ask: Which methods should you predominantly spend your time pursuing? I hope you answered repeat business and referrals — they have the lowest cost (essentially free!) and the highest close ratio. That puts a higher importance on each sale that you close because these two sources can only come from a current client.

You have you stick to prospecting because it just doesn’t work automatically. Refine your methods to be smart about prospecting and watch your metrics improve. Giving up on prospecting after one day because “it’s not working” or because you feel the sting of rejection is not true prospecting. You’ve likely heard the saying, “Nothing begins until a sale is made,” but that really means that nothing begins until you are sitting down with the prospect.

Read my post on overcoming the fear of rejection when prospecting for Medicare Advantage and other senior products.