Why Medicare Sales is Such a Great Career:

Aug 6, 2015

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  1. selfgen
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    selfgen Expert

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    Hardly a day goes by that I am not thankful for the path that my career has taken me. Technically, I am still not using the college degree that I spent over 5 years working towards, and I have no regrets about that. Had this career not fallen into my lap the way it did, Im sure I would have, by now, put my degree to work.

    But instead, I have been firmly entrenched in the Medicare market in Louisiana since 1996, an independent broker since 2000 and have made six-figure earnings each and every year.

    But regardless of how much of a career one chooses to make of the Medicare market, I want to make sure agents in this field or those considering this field, understand why I feel its just the ideal sales job.

    Consider this:

    1. your prospects have already convinced themselves that they NEED your
    product
    . For whatever reason, most Medicare beneficiaries want secondary coverage, even though Medicare deductibles and co-insurance are very reasonable. I have been selling for over 20 years and yet my "true" sales skills are not that good. I dont have to do the typical sales process. I am able to just focus on earning a prospect's trust rather than trying to convince them that they need the insurance.

    2. Most insurance companies pay level commissions for 6 years or more.
    So you get paid renewal commissions every month for all of your current clients. As long as they keep the policy, you are being paid.

    3. Most of your clients are on a fixed income. This means they are price sensitive. Because of this, clients usually want to shop around after they've been with a particular policy for 4-5 years. So, right around the time where your commissions are about to drop ( after year 6 ), your client may be calling you, and as an independent agent you can usually find your client the same coverage with a different carrier at a much lower premium. So now you have a fresh 6 year period of level commissions.

    4. Medicare supplement policies are standardized. In other words, all these insurance companies are selling the same exact policies. So, Plan G is Plan G, no matter who issues the policy. They are exactly the same. This makes it so easy for an agent to attract new customers who are currently paying high premiums. We can promise them the same coverage for less, often much less. Remember, they're on a fixed income, they are price sensitive.

    5. People often dont understand insurance. So there's a need for an agent to explain insurance to clients, give them the piece of mind they're looking for. So there's plenty of job security there.

    6. Agent commissions are built into the premiums. Agents do not have to charge fees. So your client gets your services for free. In some cases, they could purchase the policy direct from the company, without an agent, but the premium would be the same.

    7. Due to advances in medicine/health care, people are living longer.I have clients who have been with me for 20 years. Ive been getting paid level commissions on these clients for most of that time, all the while making sure they have the most affordable premiums available to them. So everyone's happy.

    8. Your clients are on Social Security. their income, although limited, is resilient in a weak economy. They will get a paycheck every month, so they can pay their premium.

    9. The implementation of Medicare Part D since 2006 creates vast sales opportunities for an agent prospecting for new clients. The model for Part D is very complex, with tiers, stages, formularies, step therapy, etc. Even if someone is satisfied with their Medigap policy, they very likely would welcome an opportunity to review their Part D. A LOT of agents choose not to bother with Part D, because the commissions aren't huge. But it is a great way to get your foot in the door with a prospect.

    10. If self-employed, there is very little overhead costs in Medicare supplement sales. You need a computer, phone, car, just the basics. Insurance companies provide marketing materials.

    11. You can work when you want to. Like anyone who's self-employed, you can make your own work schedule, and take time off when you want.

    Getting started in this career is difficult. You have to gradually build up your client base. I was fortunate; I was a captive agent for a Medicare HMO in 2000 when they dropped out of 5 parishes( counties), leaving over 4000 members looking for coverage. That's when I became an independent agent; I built up a client base practically overnight, helping a lot of these seniors find replacement coverage.
     
    selfgen, Aug 6, 2015
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  2. vic120
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    vic120 Guru

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    Yes this is a great career and I love helping people and getting paid well

    However this point 11. You can work when you want to. Like anyone who's self-employed, you can make your own work schedule, and take time off when you want.

    Yes and No. this can be a misconception it took a long time to get through certain family members heads that NO I can just drop everything whenever I want. Yes I still have to work if I want to make money
     
    vic120, Aug 6, 2015
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  3. sman
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    Nice post, but I will add to point number 3. If a person is going to be successful in this line, they better not wait on the client to call them about rate increases. They need to stay in touch with their clients on a regular basis and be proactive when rate increases come. I typically reach out to my clients at rate increase time to discuss their options. I do get the occasional call from the client who may get the rate increase letter prior to my contacting them, but I'm usually pretty good about getting to them before they reach out to me. And I typically have alternatives for them if there is something cheaper. They appreciate that I am looking out for their best interest when it comes to their premium dollars. Even if they decide to stay right where they are because the savings just aren't enough to warrant a switch. They know I am on top of it. It creates great loyalty among my clients.

    I also set the stage when they become a client that we will review their plan every year at rate increase time. They get thank you letters and birthday cards. I want my name to be on the tip of their tongue any time the topic of Medicare comes up. That way I get referrals and they don't switch plans without contacting me first.
     
    sman, Aug 6, 2015
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  4. GoPokes
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    GoPokes Guru

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    I dont think they'll ever really understand.
     
    GoPokes, Aug 6, 2015
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  5. Cenla Agent
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    Was that the old Ochsner Health Plan, or something else?
     
  6. GreenSky
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    Very nice cut and paste. Wonder where the original is from.

    Rick
     
  7. JimmyUt
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    JimmyUt Guru

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    I thought it came from Medicare101:cool:
     
    JimmyUt, Aug 6, 2015
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  8. agentjhc
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    SMAN do you do handwritten thank-you and birthday card or a sendout cards type of things ?
     
  9. sman
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    It used to be a typed out thank you, but now it's with SendOut Cards usually. Occasionally I'll still send a personal letter. But birthday cards are all with SendOut Cards. It's just so simple to use and not too costly compared to do ing them yourself. I typically make contact with my clients multiple times per year. I really want them thinking of me any time the topic of Medicare comes up.
     
    sman, Aug 6, 2015
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  10. beachbum2012
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    beachbum2012 Super Genius

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    It seems like many people have mentioned SendOut Cards. If you use them for birthday cards, do they get sent out automatically a few days before each recipient's birthday? Can you personalize them with a quick sentence or two?
     
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