If you are making good money but have the desire to step out of the office rat race and build your own lucrative business, you are in the right place. Knowing how to sell Medicare can take your income to new heights. Your income is only limited by the time you put into working.
On average, a Medicare insurance agent in business for five (5) years has around 400-500 clients. It is not unusual for those who like to go for the gusto to have over 1,000 beneficiaries on their books and bring around $270,000 a year. If you want to know how to sell Medicare Advantage over the phone, read on!
Is Selling Medicare Lucrative?
According to the Administration for Community Living’s 2017 Profile of Older Americans, the over 65 population as of 2016 is 49.2 million. Projections are that by 2060 there will be 98 million people in that age range. The estimation is 21.1 million over age 85 in 2030.
What this means when it comes to Medicare insurance sales is that one in every seven people, the equivalent of 15.2% of the population, meets Medicare age qualifications. To have a lucrative business, you need two things:
- A product for which there is a market
- Ambition to put forth the effort to make sales
About 1/3 of Americans obtain their Medicare through Medicare Advantage Plans. The other 2/3 of the eligible persons have original Medicare, and about 81% of those enroll in supplement coverage.
Whether you are looking for a side business to boost your income or planning to make this your full-time career, the market of buyers is growing. What you make depends on the type of product you sell and insurance carrier options.
How Much Does an Insurance Agent Make on Medicare?
The income from Medicare sales generates in a variety of ways. One of the benefits is the sale of Medicare Advantage or a Medicare supplement that provides you with a residual income for years. This is a passive income you enjoy the benefit of from every sale.
Working as an independent agent means the commissions pay directly to you. Normally agents are vested from the first day, so you have true ownership of your business and policy renewals. Many insurance carriers provide vacation packages and exotic trips to their top-selling agents.
The perks are great, and the more “extras” you offer clients, the more profit you make. This includes things such as life insurance, annuities, critical care policies, dental, vision coverage, and more. Once you build a rapport with your client, you have a greater chance of selling add-on products.
Do I Need a License?
As your mind rolls with questions about getting started, make sure you check with your state’s Department of Insurance to find out what their licensing requirements are. Some states issue you a license for health care. Other states have specific licenses for Medicare supplements.
When you are working as an independent agent selling Medicare plans, those plans must show the state where you hold your license.
The Sales Process
Once you have your training and state license, you need to determine your sales method. You may want to meet with people online by Zoom, talk with them over the phone, or meet them in person. You may need to offer a variety of options depending on each person’s comfort level.
It is important to remember that senior citizens have been around the block a few times. Do not underestimate their prowess in seeing through a sales tactic that is not an honest desire to help them. If you lose their trust, you lose the sale.
Offer a Variety of Products
When you sell Medicare supplements from home, you need to offer a variety of products to meet each beneficiary’s needs. This includes supplement products, prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage products, and ancillary products.
Ensure the products you are offering benefit the client, not a push for your pocketbook. Remember, word of mouth is the best advertising, and an honest sale will increase the likelihood of that client referring their friends to you.
Where to Find Medicare Supplemental Products
Once you determine what products you want to offer your clients, you need to meet with each insurance carrier and complete an independent agent contract. A large number of insurance companies want you to become an agent employee of their company. To remain independent, you will likely need to obtain your insurance company contracts through a Medicare Insurance FMO.
An FMO will work to obtain the best contracts for you to sell to clients. Their support in finding you the best product to offer frees your time to meet clients and close sales.
What Is an Insurance FMO?
A Field Marketing Organization (FMO) is a company that makes insurance products available to agents and agencies. This is a valuable contact as many big-name insurance companies will only provide their products to you through an FMO.
The FMO is a requirement because large insurance companies will only deal with agencies that meet a minimum profitability requirement. Some FMOs pay full, vested commissions equivalent to what you would receive if able to contract directly with the carrier.
Captive v. Independent
You will need to decide whether you want to be a captive agent or an independent agent. If you plan to hang out a shingle and run your own business, independent is the way to go.
A captive agent works for a company or agency. They must sell only the products that the company offers, limiting your options. Captive agents usually earn a lower commission, but there is a lot of company support.
An independent agent is not an employee of any agency, leaving them free to contract with any company that meets their business criteria. As an independent agent, you are responsible for choosing the products you sell, determining the market area you want to work in, and establishing your own hours. You will earn a higher commission as an independent agent.
Lead service companies collect the contact information of people likely to make purchases. Some companies narrow down their coverage area to fit specific types of insurance, such as Medicare supplements. They may also have specific geographic target areas.
When selecting leads to purchase, think about your sales plan. Direct mail leads are a well-known marketing technique. Select your territory and lead vendor, and then choose your mailing methods, such as lead cards or tri-fold self-mailers.
Decide how many mailers you want to send out and whether you want to send them third-class or first-class mail. Once the order is processed, get a copy of the list for your records. The response rate varies from 1-1/2% to 3%, which means if you mail 1,000 mailers, you will receive between 15-30 leads.
If you get a lead card back, but they do not respond to your attempts to reach them by telephone, go door-knocking. If you have a positive attitude and introduce yourself, you have a good chance of getting invited in to chat.
By purchasing a quality lead product and putting together a polished sales process, you will be making sales and building your business. One of the biggest ways to expand your leads is to request referrals from those you meet with. This method of making “warm” sales calls results in higher sales than cold calling.
Don’t forget to promote your product to friends and family. Keep mentioning it, so if they turn you down now but decide to purchase later, they contact you to purchase.
Build on the Agent-Client Relationship
If you personally deliver the Medicare insurance policy to your clients, you have the opportunity to go over again the benefits of the plan they purchased. This is also the perfect time to request a referral. By building a trusting relationship, you may be able to sell them additional products later.
How to Sell Medicare Supplements From Home
When you are ready to begin your training, it is easy to start right away:
- Review Medicare Training 101
- Sign up for the program by completing the form and submitting your payment
- Login into the portal and access your training materials
- Start building your business while you learn
Once you are a customer, you will receive coaching sessions over the phone to keep you on track with your learning. Real person-to-person support is available during office hours, and you receive insurance agent discounts to help you get started. The best part is you work at your own pace, so go as fast as you want or take a slow, steady pace to achieve your dreams.
Now is the time to take your career to the next level. Knowing how to sell Medicare is easy when you learn the basics. InsuranceSales101 uses real case studies so you can practice how to respond to real-life situations.