Your Guide to Medicare Leads: Part 2 - Organic Leads
Welcome to Part 2 of our Guide to Medicare Leads. If you haven't read Part 1 yet, go there now to learn how you can start generating leads today through Paid Lead Channels. Paid leads refers to leads that you can purchase directly (e.g. via a mail or web-based vendor) or generate via paid advertising (e.g. via Facebook). In other words, you're paying for the leads through hard earned cash you've hopefully generated through your existing business. But Paid Lead Channels can get expensive, and you often won't get the highest quality leads because you're competing with so many other independent agents and call centers.
Therefore, Organic Lead Channels can be a great low cost and effective solution. Organic leads refers to leads that you cultivate through relationships you build with clients, organizations, and individual referral partners. They take a long time to develop, but will become your most reliable way to grow your business. You pay for organic leads with your time, not money.
In this guide, we'll list out the most common channels, and suggest a few approaches to develop them. If you're a Spark agent reading this, please reference our in-depth training guides and recorded webinars for further details. And if you're not yet with Spark, but want access to them, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individual referral partners
Write a list of all the types of other businesses that encounter people of Medicare age. At the top of the list should be doctors, tax & retirement planners, and property and casualty agents. Now put yourself in their shoes and consider what they want:
- Doctors want to have an agent their patients can go to who can explain how insurance works. That agent needs to be reliable, provide accurate information, and loyal to the doctor. Doctors also want referrals from the other direction; in other words, they want to be introduced to patients to grow their own panel.
- Tax, retirement and financial planners want to have an agent who is highly professional, and will not cross-sell other products such as final expense or annuities. They don't want to have any part of their relationship disrupted, but do want their client to be satisfied. These referrals tend to be best-suited if you focus on Medicare Supplements rather than Medicare Advantage.
- Property and casualty agents will primarily want you to refer them business their direction. So when your client mentions they need to insure their new condo, you know exactly where to go.
All of the people are just as busy as you, so think about what would get you to drop everything to speak to someone who either emailed or called you out of the blue. We find that strong referral partnerships are built face-to-face with a focus on a few key partners rather than many partners who barely know your name. You can also build a compliant paid referral program for your partners (except for doctors), where you compensate partners up to $100 for a Medicare Advantage Plan and $200 for a Medicare Supplement plan for a prospect, not conditional on them becoming a client.
Here's how to get started building partners:
- Make a list of people you already know who fit into the categories above. Rank them in two ways: (a) who can help you most (b) who you can help most
- Reach out to the people at the top of the list, and focus on creating value for them immediately. For example, if you're trying to work with a financial advisor, refer someone to them first! Create a strong reason for the potential partner to respond to you.
- Establish credibility and show your professionalism through the marketing materials that you can leave behind, and web presence (website, LinkedIn, Google My Business, etc.)
- Check-in with the partner in-person or via email periodically throughout the year (or as much as weekly if you're working closely with a doctor) to stay top-of-mind. Invite them to educational events, and accept their own invitations to events. In short, be present.
There's a lot of nuance to building partnerships and it takes a lot of work with longer-term paybacks, but if you're interested in learning more, please attend one of our training sessions.
You can take the one-to-one approach by building individual partners, or you can try the one-to-many approach by partnering with larger organizations and leveraging their network to reach your Medicare eligible audience. As a starting point, map out which organizations have a strong presence in your neighborhood. Here's an example of a map we put together of organization in El Paso.
The list includes:
- Local community of aging centers
- Nursing homes
- Rotary clubs
- Veteran organizations
- Resource exchanges
- Churches and religious organizations
- And other local non-profits
For larger organizations, you'll typically want to advertise Medicare101 and educational events through their email lists or advertising boards. Share your presentation in advance, along with photos of other events you've organized. Your goal should be to quickly establish yourself as a professional and expert who can help the organization's members.
As you build your book of business, you'll be able to increasingly rely on your clients to spread awareness via word-of-mouth. Client referrals will become the lifeline of your business. But you can't just sit back and hope that clients will remember you. You need to activate them. Here's how:
- Following the end of every successful enrollment ask, "Do you know anyone else who I can help?"
- Deliver exceptional client service so you stand out against all the other professionals who interact with your client. Being "good" isn't enough.
- Be present! Send birthday cards and thank you notes, and record the small details in your CRM so you show that you're an active listener.
- Share relevant information that will make your clients smile. Send out monthly newsletters. Healthcare is serious business, but throw some levity into your interactions so clients associate you with positive thoughts.
At Spark, we understand the importance of having strong referral partners to generate consistent business. Whether you plan to work with doctors, local nonprofits, or actively engage your existing client base, we're here to help in any way we can. We can make prospecting maps for you, design professional marketing materials, and fund marketing co-op to support lunch and learns, coffees, meals, and jointly sponsored events. Most importantly, our Strategic Growth Managers and Agent Success team members are excited to train you in-person or over zoom. Get in touch! We look forward to working with you.