Individual Health Insurance Marketing

Discussion in 'Health Insurance and Ancillary Benefits' started by Crabcake Johnny, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Here's some marketing 101 for health insurance.

    1) B to B
    I attatched the flyer I use. Simply print them up and hit small businesses. The pitch is simple "Hi, I'm <your> and I'm an independent agent. I'm offering free quotes on affordable health insurance plans available through <insert> Do you have your own coverage or group? Look for a 5% response - for every 20 businesses you walk into it's one lead.

    2) Cold call telemarketing
    Buy a list for a variety of internet sources like USA data and start calling: "Hi, I'm John Petrowski from the Health Solutions Agency. I'm letting business owners like yourself know about a variety of affordable health insurance plans through companies like Aetna, Time, United Healthcare and Blue Cross. Do you have your own coverage or group? Look for a 2% to 3% response.

    3) Shared internet leads
    You can buy leads from $6 to 15% a pop with $8 being the standard price. Look to close 1 out of 15 if you're new. If you're looking for 4 to 5 deals per week you'll need at least $500 per week. You'll also need that every week for at least a month before commission roll in. Since you'll be competiting with seasoned agents you'll really need to be on your game for this method to work.

    4) Hire a telemarketer
    Put an ad out on Craigslist and hire an in-house telemarketer. Have her/him come over to your place, pay about $12 per hour flat and about 4 hours per day of calls should do it. That should generate 8 solid leads and a deal a day.


    MARKETING THAT SOUNDS COOL BUT DOESN'T WORK

    1) Postcard mailers
    Expensive and low return. 40 cents a pop and mail 1,000 at a cost of $400. Return is .05% or 5 leads. That's $80 a lead and you might not close any of those 5 leads. Or you might close one but it's a low individual premium that doesn't even earn you $400 in commish.

    2) Ads in local publications
    Failed concept. Small ads that are inexpensive and don't get hardly any return. Quarter page or larger ads are expensive and the majority of your calls with be from broke or uninsurable people. Only works well on a large scale - thousands of dollars.

    3) Friends and family then expand off referrals
    This is the MLM mentality - you sell a friend, get 5 referrals then each one of them give you 5 referrals and after a while you have hundreds of people to call. Ummmm, no. Doesn't work. You'll sell one or two of your friends and family and it'll end there. Oh, then your family member calls you bitching about the plan.

    4) Business by osmosis
    Some new agents think they just have to pass around their cards and basically let everyone know they sell health and the phone starts ringing. No, it won't.

    5) Networking clubs
    Although this method might get you the occasional deal it by no means will get you those 4 to 5 consistent deals per week you need to make this work.
     

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  2. Sam
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    Sam Founder Administrator

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    Good synopsis. I am glad to see that the attachments are working out.
     
  3. natem2112
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    natem2112 Super Genius

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    3) Shared internet leads
    (You can buy leads from $6 to 15% a pop with $8 being the standard price. Look to close 1 out of 15 if you're new. If you're looking for 4 to 5 deals per week you'll need at least $500 per week. You'll also need that every week for at least a month before commission roll in. Since you'll be competiting with seasoned agents you'll really need to be on your game for this method to work.)

    One trick with buying internet leads....see if you can find out how many agents they are actaully using in your area, then depending on the results, you buy the shared leads..and share them with yourself.

    It all just depends on your area though.

    In my opinion, exclusive leads are NEVER worth the extra cost.
     
  4. James
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    James Guru

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    Well, while some of it may be close to hitting the point it fails in a overall sense of proper marketing 101.

    James's No #1 Rule, stay infront of the client, one way or another you have to stay infront of them so when they are ready you are there! So exactly how does one do that? Okay if you take the above advice, which is a tad short sighted you won't be infront of them unless you so happen to walk in or call at the very time they are ready. Which is the underlying reason that makes the response rate, basically if you get a 3% response rate what you have done is actually have good timing 3 out of 100 times you make contact.

    Now depending upon what you are selling and what you are making will have direct effect on what you can pay out to market. Yet though I can't imagine on picking one thing and sticking with it alone. So one does mutlitple systems to increase business, while B2B and Telemarketing is aggresive I can't imagine not including more passive systems to support your aggresive marketing.

    Such as,
    1. Yellow Pages
    2. Letters to leads that didn't buy and then the re-call.
    3. Post Cards to prospects that didn't make initial apointment.
    4. Ad's or submit articles to Trade Magazines and local papers.

    As always activity is the key.

    Warm markets, don't let that go by. Call it what you want but the fact is it is quite effective. Make the list of family and friends, now I don't support the idea of selling to family and friends but the contacts they can provide you is crucial. Take my wife, a Case Manager at UTMC, a highly awarded at that. Now how many contacts do you think I can work through her? There is not a Medical Durable Equipment or Home Care base in Knoxville that won't give me their ear. Of course sometimes you have to be real careful how you handle the communications.

    Have a friend that is a well known employee of a County Courthouse. Now I'm close in getting a cotract for a voluntary LTC, he got me in to meet with the HR person and I simply presented a voluntary group JH to them. Looks good so far. First thing they told me is that they already have service, yet I ask how many of their employees know anything about it? The response was classic, no idea! Quite correct I said because I ask a few of your people and they had the same answer, no idea of the plan. Obviously their agent or agency is failing in their job and that is to promote their plan. Why bother having a benefit that isn't promoted, it isn't your job and they are failing. Just lets slide this over here and we'll take care of it for you!
     
  5. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    The key to marketing health insurance is not to spend a lot of money. The reason is obvious; no lead is really qualified unless they can afford the premium and can get through underwriting.

    Not a single marketing method can ascertain either one of those. You could spend a ton of money generating leads through a website but it'll be the same thing; broke or uninsurable people.

    The reality is simple; you need to find 4 to 6 clients per week every week who are ready to make a move, financially ready to make a move and qualify medically. The only way to do that when you're new and your referral base isn't built up is some form of cold calling. The ugly truth is if you don't want to cold call you'd better have a huge marketing budget.

    On a 20% closing ratio you need to be working at least 5 qualified leads per day. I can guarantee any agent on this board that if you're working 5 quality leads per day you're living check to check. Qualified leads are not 5 internet leads where 3 don't answer the phone and one doesn't have a checking account. I'm talking about 5 "real" leads. That's about 2 to 3 hours per day of telemarketing or B to B when the health status and ability to afford the product has already been established.

    A B to B/telemarketing combo would really work well. Postcards are a failed concept. I know a lot of people who tout them but they themselves don't do it. What kind of advice is that? And I still do the doorhangers. With a little effort they work well for very little cost.
     
  6. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    James - excellent post and points. I telemarket a wide universe of small business owners/self-employed folks. Now you do bump into people in the market right then and there (luck), but I ascertain whether they are even a purchaser of individual health insurance. If they are, I begin to drip on them through email, a call every other month, and a quartely postcard mailing, that way when they're ready....I'm there! Wrote four this week that had their first contact back in June (3 mos ago)...
     
  7. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    John, to be honest with you a 20% closing ratio is way low. That only happens when you fire out a lot of quotes and then start chasing them. Mine is 76%. Get yourself a copy of Jacques Werth's "High Probability Selling". Radical stuff....but it works!
     
  8. James
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    James Guru

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    I believe in a system, a plan and if the plan is one contact then move on might be an activity but not a system nor a thorough plan! The idea of drip marketing as in email contact or P/C isn't to make a sale but simply stay in contact. As the above poster noted, the idea is to use it as one of many legs to stay infront of your client. No need to dump any great sizeable amount on it, unless you have a lot of contacts such as an Agency that employs multiple agents!

    Lets see how this would look.

    1st. contact via phone, a call. (apt find but not or no sale go on to step two)

    2nd. Actually walk into business with Flyer. (same as 1 go on to step three)

    3rd. Letter and brochure as a stuffer. (same as 1 go on to step four)

    4th. Call. (sames as 1 go on to step five)

    5th. P/C (same as 1 go on to step six)

    Have as many steps as you want, plus mix up the offering. If you place yourself as a Health Expert, okay one can't argue that LTC, DI are not health related! Nor or the up and coming LTC Annuities! Not only but make emphasis on how these Contracts can be used. Such as DI, not only is it health related and should be a part of the big picture of Health Risk but also a valuable Continuation tool employed by businesses!
     
  9. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    My closing ratio used to be much higher when my finances were an issue and I was into the back-and-forth. To be brutally honest, I'm not into the back and forth junk anymore. I seek out people who are actively interested in either changing their plan or in need of health insurance. And that's about 20%. I also only dropped 4 deals last year which is insanely low based on how much I write.

    I purposely give up quickly. When I get "call me tomorrow at 2pm" I'll call at at time. If they answer and say "bad time, call me in two more days" I'm done. A couple years ago I'd hang in there. Now I just put a big fat black line through my spreadsheet and move on.

    The bottom line is I like this job better when I generate a ton of leads and only work with people who appreciative of my services. Instead of prospects being in control of me, I'm in control:

    Client: "Call me back in 4 days on Saturday."

    Me: "Can't. I'm coaching soccer. Plus, I don't work on weekends. What's wrong with right now since we're on the phone?"

    Or

    Me: "Did you review the information I sent you?"

    Client: "No. I had to give my cat a bath last night so I got busy. I plan on looking over it within the next few days. Can you call me back next week?"

    Me: "Next week is bad. I'll be in Bolivia all week on a coffee bean picking expedition. How 'bout I call you back at the end of next month?"
     
  10. James
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    James Guru

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    So do your agents also sign up for this Laize-Affair of Insurance marketing/prospecting?
     
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