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Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors
29 minutes | Jan 3, 2020
Resolving Sales Allegations – Ep. 23
Episode 23 goes over an agent’s worst nightmare… sales allegations! Hopefully, you never have to deal with sales allegations, but if you do, don’t start sweating yet. Through this podcast, you will learn what to expect if you get a sales allegation. What exactly does it mean if you receive one? What’s the process? How do you make sure you don’t receive one in the future? How do you make the process go smoothly and quickly? Our Queen of Compliance, Gina Angelo, has all the answers! Also, we talk about the Presidential election that is just around the corner and what the polls are telling us when it comes to Medicare for All. How do voters feel about it? What does this mean for the future of our industry? We’ll go over the numbers and give you a starting point for your own research before you have to pick a candidate! Podcast Episode 23 – Resolving Sales Allegations Transcription: Disruptive Waves [01:00] : Jessica: Happy New Year everyone!!! This is our first podcast in the new year and we are pumped for what is to come this year for Selling SMART. 2020 is going to be AMAZING! Sarah: Yes SO MUCH is going to happen this year I can feel it! And one of the big things that we all KNOW is going to happen is the Presidential election. Jessica: This is true, and as we all know, healthcare is a huge topic of discussion going into these primaries and debates. Sarah: Which is why we feel like it’s important to update you on some recent polls that have been conducted by Kaiser Health News and a few others. Obviously, polls change all the time. The article that we found on Kaiser Health News discussing these polls was published on December 3rd, so it’s fairly recent but we know people’s minds change all the time… so just wanna put that disclaimer out there. Jessica: Yeah, also it may be good to go and check out the article. Kaiser Health News does a really great job of staying impartial and just reporting on the facts, but we know that whenever you’re hearing statistics and numbers, it’s always good to double-check your resources. We’ve gone ahead and made sure that they were legit and there wasn’t any kind of bias, but we’re human so we want to encourage you to use this information as a starting point to your own research to come to your own conclusion of these topics. Sarah: Yes that is definitely a good idea! And also if any of you know the history of Kaiser I think it’s also good to let you know that we did some digging to see what their relationship with Kaiser Permanente and Kaiser Industries. Because when we first found the article, we were a little concerned that their relationship with those entities could make them biased. BUT! We found that in 1985 Kaiser Health News separated from Kaiser Permanente/Kaiser Industries and now their only tie is that one of the family members gets to serve on the board of Kaiser Health News. Jessica: Right, so that’s also good to know. And if you want to go find the article yourself to do further digging it’s on the Kaiser Health News website and it’s called “Candidates Are Betting Big On Health. Is That What Voters Really Want?” and it was written by Julie Rovner. Sarah: So now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s talk about what’s actually in this article. Jessica: Yes! So obviously health care is a top issue for voters during this 2020 Democratic presidential primary race. Kaiser’s Family Foundation found in their latest tracking poll that 24% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said that they want to hear candidates discuss health care. That number is twice the total for the next top issue which is climate change and four times the total for immigration which is the number three issue. Sarah: So it’s clear that health care is very important to voters, but the question that still remains is whether that interest is going to reward a candidate that backs up the “Medicare for All” type of plan or a relatively more modest plan like a public option where a person can voluntarily join a government health insurance plan. Jessica: And based on conversations you’ve had and people you’ve discussed this topic with, you may have an answer in your mind of what you think voters want. However, the poll numbers didn’t conclude with a clear answer. Sarah: Right, so on one hand, Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents in the Kaiser Family Foundation poll said that when it comes to health care, the candidate they would trust the most is Bernie Sanders, who (as many of you know) has been pushing for a Medicare for All plan. Jessica: Here’s whats a little confusing though. Those SAME people say that they prefer a public option, which is not what Bernie Sanders is pulling for. Sarah: Nope. Not at all. That’s what Joe Biden has been wanting. Jessica: Yeah, so I think it’s safe to say that’s NOT what many people would expect the polls to conclude. Sarah: So also, in a separate poll done by Quinnipiac University, 36% of respondents said that Medicare for All is a good idea while 52% say it’s a bad idea. Jessica: And a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from September found similar results with 67% of respondents saying they would support allowing people under the age of 65 to “buy their health coverage through the Medicare program,” while only 41% favored “adopting Medicare for All, a single-payer health care system in which private health insurance would be eliminated.” Sarah: Yeah so with that being said, people’s opinions may change between now and the primaries, but these are interesting numbers. Jessica: For sure! It will be very interesting to see what happens. Especially since this is the industry we work in and these are pretty major changes that they are talking about. So it’s very possible that this will have a huge effect on us and our every day lives. Sarah: Right, so definitely do some more research, figure out what every candidate is proposing and be an educated voter! All Aboard the Knowledge Train [09 :10] : Jessica: So we are super happy to have our Queen of Compliance, Gina Angelo, on the podcast today! Gina, would you mind just giving us a brief overview of who you are and what exactly your position at SMA entails? Gina: So my actual title is SR Compliance Manager- though Queen of Compliance does have a really nice ring to it. Anyway, what I do actually has a number of sides to it when you think of compliance- it’s part sales, part marketing, part corporate, and part workforce. So for the sales side, I ensure I’m an outlet for compliant sales activity for our organization and all the thousands of our downstream agents and brokers. For marketing, I make sure ALL of our formats are being delivered in a way that’s compliant with all guidelines. From a corporate level, I have to see to it that the organization fulfills all obligations on a Federal, multi-state, and carrier relationship level. And in regard to the workforce- I create, deliver, and document all compliance training for all of our employees. I also create and enforce all of our Compliance Policies and Procedures. Sarah: That’s awesome Gina! We’re happy to have someone like you keeping us all out of jail haha. So let’s just start with the basics in case we have some new agents listening. What exactly are sales allegations? Gina: A sales allegation is essentially an inquiry that is opened due to potential sales misrepresentation. Sometimes they can be called by a different name, such as a “grievance”, “investigation”, or “complaint”. They can really come from anywhere, such as from a bene or a member of their family, other sales agents, the Department of Insurance, or directly from CMS. And that’s just a few examples. One thing I will say as someone who’s previously worked in both sales and service directly with a national carrier is that many allegations are prompted based on a call from the beneficiary and are automatic. So if any type of dissatisfaction is noted, in order to make a certain action possible for the bene to resolve their issue, it prompts the inquiry based on what the service rep is told as the order of events. So often the allegations come back as unfounded/unsubstantiated. Jessica: So obviously a big part of your job is dealing with these sales allegations and I know that is a very scary topic for agents. First of all, you’re kinda getting in trouble so no one likes that, but then I also think it’s scary because agents aren’t entirely sure what the process looks like. Would you be able to take us through that whole process? Gina: So first I’m going to point right back to what I just said as to WHY the allegations often happen. Anyway, when the case is first opened the carrier’s compliance oversight team will perform an investigation. They usually send out a questionnaire- now sometimes this will be straight to the agent, to both the agent and also to me, or just to me so that I alert the agent of the matter and ask for their response. Now, you have to remember that these are TIME SENSITIVE- so you will have to provide your response and all supporting information within a short period of time, sometimes in as little as 24 hours. Some of the additional info you’ll need will be things like the bene application, the Scope of Appointment, any notes, drug lists or provider searches, or recorded calls. Sarah: What would be your advice to an agent if they get a sales allegation? Gina: REMAIN CALM! Also, please don’t be argumentative- just cooperate. The more you resist and argue, the worse things will be for you, I promise. It reflects very badly on your part. If you feel there has been a misunderstanding, then you can state that in the additional notes or comments section of the response fo
21 minutes | Dec 20, 2019
OEP Prep – An Agent’s Guide – Ep. 22
Prepare for Open Enrollment Period (OEP) with Episode 22! We start off this podcast talking about what to expect for traditional Medicare plans in the New Year. It looks like there will be a few price increases in 2020, however there is good news too! We then go on to discuss the basics of OEP. What is OEP? What can beneficiaries do during OEP? What should agents be doing during OEP? We break down the DOs and DON’Ts of this period, so you know how to be compliant and successful! After listening to this podcast you will be prepared and ready for anything the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) throws your way! Podcast Episode 22 – Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Prep – An Agent’s Guide Transcription: Sarah: Welcome to Episode 22 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith… Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: Now that AEP is over, we’re going to talk about how you should be preparing for OEP which is just around the corner! We’re also gonna talk about some price changes that are expected to impact Medicare plans in 2020. Disruptive Waves [00:40] : Sarah: 2020 is almost here which is just CRAZY! Jessica: Yeah, I have no idea where the year went. It’s also so weird to think that we are gonna be in the 20’s. Also do you know what they call the 10’s? Is it that? Is it the 10’s or is it something else? It just doesn’t sound right to me haha I don’t know. Sarah: Yeah, maybe if you guys know, because we obviously don’t haha leave a comment and tell us! Is it the 10’s is it the 2000’s? What the proper way to say this, we need to know! Jessica: Yes we do! Haha but anyway… to bring us back on topic haha with it being the end of the year there are a lot of reports coming out about things to expect in the new year. And we found an article recently that had some interesting info about three major Medicare costs that are expected to jump in January. Sarah: Yep! Sadly, this isn’t the best news ever. Several premiums and deductibles on traditional Medicare will be experiencing increases in the new year. Jessica: So the first one is the 2020 Medicare Part B standard monthly premium which is expected to increase by about $9.10 per month to bring it to $144.60 per month. And just for your reference, the increase from 2018 to 2019 was only by $1.50. So 2020’s is a pretty big jump in comparison. Sarah: The next one is the 2020 Medicare Part B annual deductible and that’s expected to increase to $198 per year which is a $13 increase. And again this plan only increased by $2 a year ago. Jessica: The last one is the 2020 Medicare Part A annual inpatient hospital deductible for traditional Medicare. That’s going to increase $44, compared to the $24 increase that happened a year prior. So now that cost is expected to be at $1,408 per benefit period. Sarah: Obviously a lot of this depends on the beneficiary’s income for Part B, but overall these plans are looking at a pretty significant increase in 2020. Jessica: On the bright side though, Medicare Advantage premiums for 2020 are expected to be 23% lower than they were for 2018! And it’s actually supposed to be the lowest it’s ever been in the past 13 years which is awesome! Sarah: Yeah I think the main reason for that is CMS’s efforts to drive competition. The other thing too is that the number of Medicare Advantage plans available for 2020 is greater than ever. So not all bad news! Jessica: Yeah there are definitely things to look forward to in the new year! All Aboard the Knowledge Train [04:10] : Jessica: So now that AEP has officially come to an end, we can focus on Open Enrollment Period or OEP. Sarah: Let’s start with the basics! OEP is a one-time opportunity for individuals enrolled in MA Only or an MAPD plan to switch plans or drop their plan altogether. Jessica: And if you didn’t know, the purpose of this period is to help beneficiaries who are not satisfied with the plan they enrolled in during Annual Enrollment (AEP). Sarah: Right! And during this period, beneficiaries enrolled in MA-Only plans or MAPD plans are able to switch to a different MA-only or MAPD plan, drop their Medicare Advantage plan altogether, return to Original Medicare and add a Part D plan. The period begins January 1st and ends March 31st. Which means you have that window to help bene’s who aren’t happy with their plans! However, OEP is different than AEP and has a few more guidelines that you have to follow in order to be compliant. And we all know how important compliance is! Jessica: Yes compliance is very important! No one wants to deal with any sales allegations. So in order to avoid that whatever you do, do NOT market to leads or clients during OEP. Marketing is strictly prohibited during this period, so be careful. Sarah: OEP guidelines make it so that you are prohibited from KNOWINGLY targeting or sending unsolicited marketing materials to any MA or Part D enrollee during OEP. Now what does “knowingly” mean? It pretty much just takes into account the intent AND content of your message. Jessica: So this is where OEP gets a little tricky and people have the hardest time understanding. Cause how are you supposed to make any money or sales during OEP if you can’t market to beneficiaries. And that’s where I would remind people that there is a difference between marketing and communication. You can still communicate with your book of business, you just can’t open a discussion about OEP specifically and how it’s a period they can use to switch plans. Sarah: Right, so with that being said, you CAN reach out to them to make sure that they’re happy with the plan they selected and you can also take that opportunity to educate them on the ins and outs of their new plan benefits. Jessica: Exactly! And this gives them the opportunity to bring up to YOU if they’re not happy with their plan and want to look at other options. Sarah: Yeah cause remember the main reason you can’t start the conversation about it is for the beneficiaries protection. They don’t want people taking advantage of these different selling periods and talking people into different plans simply to make money. That would not be good! Jessica: And don’t forget you can talk and communicate with your clients through a ton of different platforms. And I think this is where people tend to get confused because when people think about flyers, emails, and direct mail they think marketing which is not allowed. However, you CAN use flyers, emails, social media… all of these different outlets! You just have to be careful with what you put and say on these materials. Sarah: Yeah, you may not be able to talk about how bene’s can change their plans during OEP, but you can use those materials and have the content be educational or retention efforts. And that’s something you want to be doing anyway! You want to make sure you’re checking in on your clients and see if they are using their benefits and are happy. Jessica: Yep! So go ahead and make those calls! Send those emails! You want to make sure your clients don’t forget that you’re there to help them with all of their Medicare questions and needs! Sarah: And lucky for you guys, Senior Market Advisors actually has a ton of approved flyers and mailers on our Storefront that you can purchase if you’re an agent with us! However, if you’re a subscriber we’re going to give you a flyer to download for FREE! Jessica: So just to wrap it all up, as you’re preparing for OEP here are the do’s and dont’s. First, DO market to those who are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Sarah: And that includes people who are turning 65 soon and still haven’t made an enrollment decision, as well as dual-eligible and low-income subsidy beneficiaries who can make changes once per the calendar quarter during the first nine months of the year. Jessica: Also for 2020 you are now able to include GENERAL information about enrollment periods, including OEP. But just remember that when you send out marketing materials regarding SEP you CANNOT state WHAT OEP is or market it as another time people can switch plans! Sarah: DO communicate with beneficiaries and send materials, have one-on-one meetings and provide information. Just make sure to do it in a way that’s compliant! Jessica: Finally DO market 5-star plans if they’re available because those can be sold year-round! Sarah: And now for the DONT’S! DON’T send unsolicited materials advertising the ability to make an additional enrollment change during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Jessica: DON’T use messaging that markets the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) as a time people can switch plans. Sarah: DON’T specifically target beneficiaries who are in the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) because they made a choice during AEP, by purchase of mailing lists or other means of identification. Jessica: DON’T engage in or promote agent/broker activities that intend to target the OEP as an opportunity to make further sales. Sarah: And finally, DON’T call or otherwise contact former enrollees who have selected a new plan during AEP to bring up OEP and ask them if they want to switch their plan. Jessica: If you follow these guidelines you’ll have a smooth OEP and hopefully help some beneficiaries as well! Sarah: And if you have any questions about OEP feel free to contact our Sales Team! They will be happy to help you and answer any questions you may have! The post OEP Prep – An Agent’s Guide – Ep. 22 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
30 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
The Value of Cross Selling – Ep. 21
In Episode 21, we discuss cross selling! However, we start off by talking about how drones are saving lives! When you think of a drone, what comes to mind? Do you think of healthcare? Maybe not. But a company called Zipline is working to change that! They are using drones to deliver life-saving medical supplies to remote areas in African nations. Later in the episode, we welcome Keith Hinson as a guest! He provides us with insight on the value of cross selling. His experience is incredibly helpful and valuable to other agents who want to cross sell! Keith makes it simple and easy to understand what benefits cross selling offers, what to offer to clients when cross selling, and his advise on how to cross sell successfully! Podcast Episode 21 – The Value of Cross Selling Transcription: Sarah: Welcome to Episode 21 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith… Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: In today’s episode we’re coming in hot with DRONES! Yes, you heard right. Drones are saving lives! We will discuss how. We also are going to talk about something you all should be doing when possible, cross selling! Cross selling is really important to increase your sales and build your business. We brought our very own Keith Hinson back on the podcast to break it all down! Disruptive Waves: Sarah: So continuing our discussion of some interesting technological advances that are affecting the healthcare space, we are going to talk about drones today! Okay, we all know drones are cool. Kinda scary. But also super cool. Well, drones are now being used to save lives!! Jessica: We are pretty lucky here in the US, most places at least have the infrastructure to be to transport life-saving materials, even to remote rural areas. But other countries like Rwanda and Ghana, aren’t always so lucky. Currently, they don’t have the necessary infrastructure to allow for access to remote health centers. Some of these health centers only receive medical supply deliveries twice a year. But a company called Zipline is working to change that! SMA VALUE AD Sarah: Zipline manufactures drones in California and then stations them at distribution centers in the African nations of Rwanda and Ghana. They hope to expand into other developing nations as well! Basically, their goal is to deliver life-saving medicines and other medical products to remote areas that don’t have the infrastructure in place to receive deliveries any other way. So they probably just don’t have the road access but what’s awesome is that Zipline drones fly without a pilot and are able to fly over mountains and rivers so the local communities don’t need to have roads in order to receive medical deliveries! Jessica: What’s really cool is that the doctors in these remote locations can request deliveries via an app! These drones can fly rain or shine and they’re now supporting hundreds of deliveries per day! Sarah: Yeah and in places where it used to take over 5 hours for medical supplies to arrive, now can only take 30 minutes with a Zipline drone delivery! That can be the difference between life and death for someone in critical condition so it’s so awesome! Jessica: Yeah this just shows the power of technology in today’s world. It’s so amazing that people are using drones for good! Sarah: Yeah I feel like I typically think of drones as either a military thing or just for fun to fly around your neighborhood and take photos so it’s really cool to see drones being used to save lives! All Aboard the Knowledge Train: Jessica: Today we are lucky to have one of our own, Keith Hinson on the podcast! He is going to talk to us about the value of cross selling, how you can be doing it and why it’s so important!! First Keith, would you mind giving us a little background about yourself? Keith: My name is Keith Hinson and I am the Vice President of Life and Ancillary Sales here at Senior Market Advisors. The way I got into the insurance business was that I was actually educated to be an engineer and I was working a graveyard shift sitting at my desk and I realized that it was not the way I wanted to spend my working life. So I did research and figured that insurance would be profitable and a good fit for my life so 20 years later this is where I find myself. Couple fun facts: I’m an eagle scout and I’m a three-time iron distance tri-athlete. Sarah: Okay so cross selling is that simple right. Can you just talk about the basics of cross selling and what products you would be cross selling? Keith: What is cross selling? At its core cross selling is selling complementary products that pair well with the original product or additional products that were uncovered during your fact finding process.As an example, for the senior market, these products may include products such as Dental, Vision, HIP, Home Health, Cancer, etc. All of which pair with with Medicare plans or specific needs that would be uncovered during the fact finding process. Jessica: How does cross selling help grow your business? Keith: I believe that cross selling as part of your daily activity is important for four main reasons.. First and foremost, it’s the right thing to do for your clients. – educate themBook DiversityMoney – Marketing is expensive – at least expect to double your income at 1 out of 4Retention – Limra Study 3+ Sarah: Okay so there are a lot of compliance concerns around cross selling. Even the word cross selling makes some agents feel uneasy. Can you just talk a bit about what you can and can’t do and how to make sure you’re compliant? Keith: The easiest way to answer that question is to make sure that anything you discuss has been initialed on the scope. Dental, Vision, Supp, MA, Indemnity, Part D (exclude life, DI, LTC, etc.) SMA VALUE AD Jessica: Are there certain products that pair well together and should be sold together if possible? Keith:There are several plans that pair well together. As an example: Supp, Part D, Dental, Vision MA, HIP, Cancer – OOO, Part B Cost with Chemo, Part D cost Sarah: What is the best advice you can give an agent who decides to go ahead with cross selling? Keith: My advice is pretty simple. Have a plan/presentation and know your productsPresent the options every timeDo it consistently. Not everyone will buy and you have to polish your presentation Make sure to tune in for an extra funny segment of Ending on a Positive Note with Jessica and Paxton! You don’t want to miss it. Sarah: If you want to learn more about how Senior Market Advisors can be your home for success this AEP, give us a call at 844-334-6066. If you want to be featured on the podcast, visit www.seniormarketadvisors.com/podcast and click on the button that says “Share Your Story.” Sarah: Want more Medicare sales related content? Follow Senior Market Advisors on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – links in the description. We post new episodes every other Friday so make sure to follow and like us to stay up to date with all the newest content! If you’re liking our podcast, share our posts with the hashtag SELLING SMART to be entered to win an Amazon Echo Dot! Jessica: We appreciate you joining us this week on Selling SMART Sarah: with Senior Market Advisors! The post The Value of Cross Selling – Ep. 21 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
41 minutes | Nov 22, 2019
Finding Your Why – Ep. 20
In Episode 20, Sarah and Jessica begin by discussing the purpose of knowing your why. They walk us through four questions that you can ask yourself in order to figure out what your why is! This is important in everything you do, but especially in your professional life as it helps identify what you define as your purpose. Later in the episode, our hosts change direction and turn their focus from the individual to the company. They talk about the TED Talk with Simon Sinek that goes over what a company’s “why” is and how to find it. If you want help finding your own why, download our “What is Your Why” worksheet! Finally, the podcast concludes with an amazing discussion with our Director of People and Culture, Paxton Manly! Paxton shares with us his own personal why and how he implements it in his life at home and in the office. Podcast Episode 20 – Finding Your Why Transcription: Sarah: Welcome to Episode 20 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith…. Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: In today’s episode… we’re going to talk about what is your why! We’re gonna go over some awesome ways to figure out what your purpose is both within yourself and maybe in your professional life as well. And then Jessica and I are actually going to go over our own personal whys and how we figured that all out. And finally, we have our Director of People & Culture Paxton Manly! And he’s gonna share with us his thoughts on purpose and how he makes sure he is true to his why in and outside of the workplace. Disruptive Waves: Sarah: Today we are focusing on one word in particular, “why.” Why do you do what you do? How does that correlate to your everyday life personally and professionally? And do you really know your why? Jessica: Most of the time we use this segment to bring you news on how different technologies or innovations are disrupting the market, but today we are coming at it from a different angle. What can YOU do to ensure that YOU’RE disrupting the market and aren’t making just tidal waves but TSUNAMIs! Sarah: Exactly! I see what you did there. Jessica: I was hoping you would notice haha it was a terrible joke but I’m proud of it! Sarah: Anyway… I would say your why is definitely connected to your purpose. And it’s probably a good idea to eventually come up with a personal mission statement that combines the two. Jessica: If you’re sitting there thinking, “Purpose is a scary word because it holds so much weight and I don’t even know where to start,” this may help. Think about the things your passionate about, skills or expertise you may have, what your talents are, and finally what are your values? If you put all of those things in a big pot and stir it up, you get purpose soup! Sarah: Yeah, it can definitely be an intimidating task to find your purpose. Jessica: Kinda feels like you’re a knight on a quest in some fairytale or something haha Sarah: Sure, Jessica haha… Well what may help you on that quest are a few of these questions that you can ask yourself and ponder. Jessica: The first one is “What makes you come alive?” Sarah: This isn’t referring to taking your dream holiday or when you get super hyped for your team during the Superbowl. This is something bigger than that. Jessica: At SMA, we recently started working with Performance Coach, Ben Newman, and he described this as your fire. What is the thing that gives you that burn, that desire to do something because you REALLY care about it. Sarah: The next question is, “What are your innate strengths?” Everyone has something that they are just naturally talented or skilled at and comes easily to them. So what are the things that you’ve always been good at? Jessica: Yeah, like I’m GREAT at making really bad jokes as we have already witnessed haha but I’m also extraverted so talking and connecting to people has just been something that comes a little bit more naturally to me. Sarah: Right, so you may be a natural-born leader, maybe you’re able to see patterns and opportunities that others can’t, you could be creative and easily think of ‘outside of the box’ solutions. All of these things are strengths that make you unique and will most likely correspond to something that you’re passionate about. Jessica: So now the third question is, “Where do you add the greatest value?” Sarah: This is important because if you know your strengths and where you can be an asset, then you’re more likely to succeed in your role! Jessica: And it’s natural for many of us to undervalue the skills and expertise that we acquire over time. But one thing you can do is reframe the way you define adding value. Sarah: Yes! So look at it more through a lens of problem-solving. What problems are you equipped to solve? Jessica: And then take that a step further and ask yourself what problems are you passionate about trying to solve. This will allow you to focus more on your natural strengths rather than be focusing on all your weaknesses and how to eliminate them. Sarah: Yeah, cause if that’s where you put all of your energy than you’re going to have a negative outlook on things instead of seeing what you’re amazing at and letting that fuel your fire and ultimately allow you to feel inspired, energized, and driven! Jessica: And now the very last question to ask yourself, “How will you measure your life?” Sarah: I think this is important because you are going to be a lot more successful in life if you stand for something or have a purpose. Jessica: Well and that’s really what that question is saying. It’s more about deciding what you want to take a stand for and then figuring out how to live your life in alignment with it. Sarah: Yeah and I think it’s good to point out that your life’s purpose may not align with your job. It may be something that you conduct in your personal life. Jessica: Definitely! And sometimes you may not be able to find purpose in WHAT you’re doing, but don’t let that discourage you because purpose can also be in HOW you do your job. I think sometimes people feel a pressure to have their job be their everything and their ultimate purpose in life, but it’s not always going to work out that way. Sarah: Which is why focusing on the “how” you do your job is such a great way to frame it because that mindset will allow you to still draw meaning from what you’re doing. Jessica: Yes! And knowing your purpose is not only going to inspire you but it will also stretch and grow you and your desire to take on more challenges! Sarah: So hopefully while we were talking through those questions you were able to reflect on yourself, your values, and what give you purpose. Jessica: And now as we move into the next segment you can take that personal insight and apply it to something that is a little larger than just your individual purpose, but that of an entire company and also tie all of those things into your why! All Aboard the Knowledge Train: Sarah: As we’ve mentioned before, today’s episode is all about finding your why! At SMA, we think it’s really important not to understand what you do and how you do it, but WHY you do it. If you’ve ever watched TED Talks, you know how inspiring they can be. Jessica: A couple years ago SMA’s CEO, Jeff Pitta, discovered a TED Talk with Simon Sinek who changed the way he thought about his company and how to be successful. If you haven’t seen the Ted Talk, we highly suggest you give it a watch, it has over 44 million views on the Ted website. Sarah: So what makes Simon’s TED Talk so inspiring? We want to start off today’s podcast with an overview of what Simon talks about in his TED Talk. His key point is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Every company knows what they do. Every salesperson knows what they do. Most good ones know how they do it. But have you ever thought about why you do what you do? Very few companies and organizations have and do it well. And chances are you’ve heard of them, and you may even be loyal to their brand. But the question is why? Jessica: Because like we said: people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Sarah: The easiest thing to do when starting a company or even just thinking about yourself is to think from the outside in. Start with the easiest which is what do you do? Then think about how you do it. That’s a little harder. And then get to the why part because that’s usually the most difficult part to figure out for most people. And the why isn’t just about profit, that’s just a result. No, the why should be about your purpose, your drive, your mission. Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Jessica: So Simon says you should flip that around. Start with WHY you do what you do. Then think about how you do it. Then what you do is just the means of driving home your why. So a good example of this is talking about Apple. Now Apple kind of lost it’s spark more recently, but when they were at their peak, it’s because they always started with their why. So here’s two ways to think about selling a computer. The first way is starting with your what and then ending with why. We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. Want to buy one? Was that inspiring? Sarah: Nah not really. Does it make me want to buy one? Nah not really. Jessica: Okay lets flip it around. Start with the why and end with the what. At Apple, everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and we believe in thinking differently. We challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user friendly computers. We just happen to make
51 minutes | Nov 8, 2019
How to Build Client Trust to Make the Sale – Ep. 19
Episode 19 is all about client trust. Learn what steps to take when you first step into an appointment and meet a beneficiary for the first time in order to gain their trust and get the sale. We’ll discuss ways to connect with your clients so that they feel comfortable with you because people want to buy from people they like. Pay attention to your surroundings and find topics that you can bring up in conversation, be polite, and treat your client the way you would want to be treated by someone coming into your home. Most importantly, to gain client trust, it needs to be clear that you care about doing what is best for them and not the sale. You want to help them and find a plan that is right for them! In this podcast, we also talk about scammers who are targeting Medicare eligibles by getting them to take genetic tests to see if they are more likely to get cancer or if they will respond poorly to certain medications. These fraudulent tests have been happening all over the country and there are hundreds of investigations in the works to try and get to the bottom of this issue. Finally, with Veterans Day right around the corner, we end the podcast with stories from our very own employees about their time in the military or the impact the military has had on them and their lives. Thank you for your service Gina, Aaron, and Omar! Another big thank you to anyone else who has helped protect our country and our freedoms! We appreciate all you’ve done and sacrificed for our country! Podcast Episode 19 – How to Build Client Trust to Make the Sale Transcription: Sarah: Welcome to Episode 19 of Selling SMART with Sarah Smith…. Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: In today’s episode we discuss… Disruptive Waves: Jessica: So you may have heard but there has been some fraudulent activity regarding unnecessary genetic testing targeting seniors in the Medicare space recently. Sarah: Yes in all, more than 300 federal investigations have been conducted by multiple law enforcement agencies. One assistant inspector general for some of the investigations said that his office would receive about one or two complaints per week in 2018. However, now the fraud hotline has as many as 50 calls a week. Jessica: And these incidents aren’t limited to one geographic location! These investigations are going on across the country. Sarah: Yeah, and a lot of these investigations were partially started because they noticed unusual Medicare billing data patterns and these started emerging quite a while ago in 2015. Jessica: Yep! According to an analysis found by Reuters, for Medicare payouts, genetic tests have gone from $480 million in 2015 to $1.1 BILLION in 2018! Sarah: Which is a crazy jump! The investigations are examining billings submitted to federal health insurance programs because by law all diagnostic lab tests have to be ordered by a doctor treating a patient for a specific condition. Jessica: Well and in the cases under review, investigators and patients told Reuters that marketers would get elderly residents to turn over their Medicare or Medicaid info, their driver’s license and other forms of identification and then they would tell them to take a free cheek swab that will help them understand their risks of developing cancer and how they will respond to drug treatments based on their genetics. And then they get a doctor to sign off on it and approve the test which is then taken to a lab which then seeks Medicare payouts. Sarah: And then a lot of the labs aren’t even relevant to the patient’s history and some of the doctors are trusting the patients and signing off on them without conferring with the patient. Apparently many patients aren’t even receiving the results and if they do receive them, they receive no assistance in interpreting the results. Jessica: Really I think a lot of this is also happening because scammers see trends like 23&Me and things like that and they know that people will trust it or want to know certain information about their genes and/or health. Sarah: Definitely, but it is just super sad and for multiple reasons. I mean one is that a lot of these seniors are getting their tests back and none of them even make sense and it’s just useless information. The part of the problem is that Medicare may deny these claims, meaning that the Medicare beneficiary may have to pay out of pocket for these fraudulent tests costing them thousands of dollars in some cases. And labs are billing Medicare insurance plans for crazy amounts of money. One woman from Florida said that she found out a lab billed her Medicare Part B plan more than $30,000 and was paid more than $12,000! And she also said that the test results she got back were pretty much useless. Jessica: What’s also really sad about this is that now seniors, who honestly are already a relatively suspicious market, are now having real cause to be suspicious which is just hurtful to the people out there, like our agents, who are truly trying to help. Sarah: For sure! It’s not just about the money these scammers are getting, but the people. They are definitely hurting people and making them question. That’s also why it’s good to practice ways of building client trust, which we will discuss in detail in the next segment! All Aboard the Knowledge Train: Sarah: Okay, so once you’ve got an appointment with a beneficiary you may be asking what you can do to make sure you successfully close the sale. Jessica: And there are many factors to making sure you’re successful, but the most important is definitely building client trust. Sarah: Client trust is definitely key! Put yourself in their shoes, what kind of salesperson would you want to buy from? Jessica: I know that I wouldn’t want to buy from someone who seemed like they cared more about the sale than me. I would think they are taking advantage of me for sure! Sarah: Exactly! You would want to buy from someone like you, someone you feel you can trust! Jessica: So this is how you build client trust! Sarah: First impressions are EVERYTHING, so be prepared! Dress appropriately, make sure you have all your relevant marketing materials, applications, and scope of appointment forms. Jessica: When you arrive at their home, be friendly! Smile when you get out of your vehicle, be inviting! Sarah: Yeah and be looking around for clues that will give you insight into what their interests are. Jessica: Maybe they have a military bumper sticker or are hanging a sports team’s flag outside their door. These are things that you can be paying attention to so that you can bring it up in conversation and relate to your client! Sarah: People can also sense your level of confidence. Jessica: Kinda like how animals can sense your fear! Haha! Sarah: Haha right! So when you walk up to the door, make sure you walk with purpose! Oh and whatever you do, DO NOT peer into their window after you knock! Jessica: Yes, make sure you step back after knocking on the door. Some elderly people may take a little longer to get to the door and if they see you peering in they are going to get spooked! I know I would! Sarah: And when they finally invite you in, make sure that you don’t hesitate. Talk to them as you enter. Also, remember to be courteous. If their home seems neat and tidy and they’re not wearing shoes ask if you should remove your shoes before entering. Jessica: Just think about what you would want if a salesperson was coming to your home. If you always put yourself in your client’s shoes, then you should be safe in making them feel comfortable with them. Sarah: Obviously building client trust goes beyond the initial few seconds of you arriving and entering their home. So let’s talk rapport. Jessica: Building rapport means making the beneficiary feel comfortable with you by presenting yourself as friendly and open. This can be done in many different ways. So let’s break it down, Sarah! Sarah: Alright! Number one: make small talk by asking questions and discussing their interests. Like we mentioned before, take note of your surroundings. If you noticed that they served in the military you may be able to start a conversation. Oh, you were in the military? My dad was a Marine! Or something like that. Try to relate. Also, make sure you stay away from religion and politics if possible. And of course, ask lots of questions to understand what products and services they may need or want. Jessica: My turn! Number two: Listen and engage. A lot of what we have told you already serves to this point, but there is a reason for that… it’s important! Try to get to know your client on a personal level and share stories of your own to connect with them. Try and find commonalities between the two of you. This will make you seem like a real person and not just some stranger trying to sell them something. Sarah: Remember, that clients like buying from people they actually like. Sometimes the product is secondary. You could be selling the best product in the world, but if you don’t seem trustworthy and honest, it’s likely you’re client will buy from someone else who they like more. Jessica: Yes, that’s super important! We can’t emphasize that enough! Sarah: Which brings us to the last part of building rapport: tone and body language. We like to use a technique called parroting. Jessica: haha What a great name! Sarah: haha Yeah, so to parrot you talk how your client talks, act how they act, etc. because, once again, people like doing business with people like them. Jessica: Yes, so make sure you pay attention to their body language because that will help you with parroting. But also, it will give you an idea of how they feel. If they are leaning in and nodding their head the
42 minutes | Oct 25, 2019
Ben Newman on How to Be a Top Performer – Ep. 18
In Episode 18, Sarah and Jessica interview Performance Coach, Ben Newman. Senior Market Advisors has been working with Ben Newman for a few months and we knew that his knowledge needed to be shared with our listeners. He has been working with SMA leadership and employees to help our company improve through successfully growing and maintaining efficient company culture. Through our time with Ben Newman, we have come to know the power of his authenticity and engaging storytelling. No wonder he has become nationally recognized! This podcast is exactly what every agent needs to listen to during the start of AEP! Ben Newman is a highly regarded Performance Coach, International Speaker, and Best-Selling Author. He has worked with clients from Fortune 500 companies around the world as well as professional athletes in the NFL, PGA, NBA, MLB, UFC, and NCAA. Ben Newman has shared the stage with leaders such as Jerry Rice, Ray Lewis, Tony Dungy, Colin Powell, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Jon Gordon, and many others. In 2012 The Napoleon Hill Foundation recognized Ben as one of the Top 51 speakers and thought leaders in the world and his book, “Own Your Success,” was ranked by CEO READ as their #13 business book of the year. He currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife and their children who he says is the true measure of his success. In this podcast, Ben Newman shares with us the strategies he has implemented within his life and others’ lives to be a motivated top performer. Join us as we talk to Ben about “The Burn,” mental toughness, identifying SMART goals, and life lessons from his mother. We promise that if you use these techniques in your own life you will not only excel professionally but also personally. Ben Newman has the ability to help you reframe your mind and realize what motivates you. Figure out what your burn is! You’ll see an increase in sales, productivity, and overall happiness. Listen to the full podcast to learn the secrets of being a top performer! Follow us on social media and share our podcast postings with the #SellingSMART to be entered to win an Amazon Echo Dot! Facebook: Senior Market Advisors Instagram: @SeniorMarketAdvisors Twitter: @SeniorMarketAdv The post Ben Newman on How to Be a Top Performer – Ep. 18 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
23 minutes | Oct 11, 2019
Medicare Plan Finder Tool: What’s Changed? – Ep. 17
Episode 17 discusses the latest update to the Medicare Plan Finder Tool on Medicare.gov. As you may have heard, this tool has been significantly altered with AEP right around the corner. Find out what exactly has been changed and why agents everywhere are talking about it. As we go through all of the Medicare Plan Finder Tool revisions, we will highlight the following categories: saving information, preferred pharmacies, overview of costs, total costs, provider networks, star ratings, drug cost assistance, printed drug list, navigation issues, out-of-pocket max, and old records. Learn what is new and what has remained the same, so that you can figure out the best strategy when enrolling beneficiaries this annual enrollment period. Finally, we will conclude on a positive note with an interview with agent Paul Coleman. No matter what is going on in the industry, we always try to focus on the good and the lives we can impact for the better professionally and personally. Medicare Plan Finder Tool: What’s Changed? – Ep. 17 Full Transcript Sarah: Welcome to Selling SMART with Sarah Smith…. Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: Today’s episode is all about the updates to the Medicare Plan Finder Tool on Medicare.gov. So we are going to switch it up a bit on this podcast. We are going to combine the Disruptive Waves section with All Aboard the Knowledge Train because this massive update we have for you will affect your every day selling this AEP… Jessica: Yes, hopefully you have heard by now that the Medicare Plan Finder tool on Medicare.gov has had a HUGE update recently. The new Medicare Plan Finder tool went live on Medicare.gov on October 1st which unfortunately didn’t give agents much time to play around with the changes and get comfortable with the new tool before AEP. Sarah: So if you haven’t familiarized yourself with these changes already, you really should before AEP! These changes will affect how you use the tool during appointments to get beneficiaries the right coverage for their needs. Jessica: Forbes had a few articles on the most important changes to the Medicare Plan Finder tool. So let’s break down the changes and then we can dive in to how they will affect you. Sarah: Starting with how you save information… Saving Information – One of the biggest potential issues for agents is the ability to save information. The only way to save information now on the new Medicare Plan Finder Tool is to have an account on Medicare.gov. But here’s the catch: to create an account you need to have a Medicare number and you might need to add some other other health information. Now you could technically fudge that other information, but you have to have a Medicare number. This means agents may be unable to save information. This also means that if a beneficiary who is new to Medicare and not yet 65 wanted to browse plans and save information to discuss with an agent, they wouldn’t be able to do so as far as I can tell when I was messing around today with the new Medicare Plan Finder Tool.(Source) And now time, for an SMA Value Ad: Are you an insurance agent or agency looking for extra marketing support, but not sure where to start? Senior Market Advisors can give you the tools you need to grow your business. Need leads? Use SMA Storefront to customize generic one-of-a-kind marketing materials. Have leads but nowhere to house them? Other FMO’s may charge you for their CRM tool. But at SMA, we give you a personalized CRM account for FREE! Have leads… but no way to quote them? Lucky for you, SMA offers FREE access to the CSG Quoting tool. This tool can cost you thousands of dollars elsewhere, but with SMA, access is completely FREE! Not getting paid the commissions you deserve? SMA has strong relationships with each carrier, so you can count on top-tier commissions. Interested in learning more? Visit us online at www.seniormarketadvisors.com/podcast or give us a call at 844-334-6066. Sarah: What’s frustrating is that the old Medicare Plan Finder Tool on Medicare.gov would save your information and create a profile for you including your zip code, current coverage, and current subsidy level and it would sit up in the corner while you were doing a search and it would add information as created. This no longer saves, so you’ll have to start over every time you want to use the site. This also includes the “Retrieve My Saved Drug List” This was an awesome feature for agents and benes alike. You could go through the website, add the drugs and you would be able to save that drug list and it would give you a drug list id number and the date it was created. And then you could just go back in and input the drug list id number and the date it was created and it would retrieve that drug list and you wouldn’t have to go back and populate drugs every time. Many beneficiaries are taking many drugs. Some are taking 10 prescriptions, 20 prescriptions, who knows! So entering those in every single time is just a total hassle. This also was helpful if a bene wanted to use it to print their drugs to take to the pharmacy. Nope, that feature is gone as well Another thing about the Adding Drug page that’s been updated is that the old page used to show you whether the drug you input was generic and if there were generic options available to lower costs. When I was in there today I did not see this feature anywhere so if that’s a feature that is available, I don’t think a beneficiary would easily find it.You also used to be able to refine plan results. For example, if you only want MA only plans or MAPD plans you could choose between them. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to filter for those fields. You can filter by carrier and star ratings and then filter by coverage options like vision, dental, hearing, transportation, and fitness. Jessica: Preferred Pharmacies – The new Medicare Plan Finder tool will make finding preferred pharmacies a challenge. The older version had two methods to retrieve this information. You could find the Pharmacy network and see a chart of all preferred, standard, or out-of-network pharmacies in a specific zip code. Another option was to click on the View Drug Cost Summary on the comparison page. This would create a comparison of pharmacies and identified if it was preferred, standard, or out-of-network. The new Plan Finder tool does not have either option available for identifying preferred pharmacies. If you want to find preferred pharmacies, you would need to change pharmacies and then compare costs. This is an inefficient method and depending on the drug, may not be accurate. (Source) Old site would show which pharmacies were preferred while on the Selecting Your Pharmacies page. That no longer exists so if a bene was looking for this information, they probably wouldn’t even find it.Overview of Costs – In the past, agents could click on a link on the Overview page of the Legacy Plan Finder and find all the information surrounding the plan’s cost and sharing information. This information does not appear on the updated tool. (Source) Sarah: Total Costs – The older Plan Finder tool easily displayed total out-of-pocket drug costs for the year, including monthly premiums and costs for prescriptions. The new Plan Finder estimates yearly costs at retail or mail order pharmacies, but they do not include the premium. To get this cost you would need to multiply the premium by 12 and add that cost to the estimated costs. There have been reports that CMS is aware of this flaw and is working to fix it but we haven’t heard an update on this just yet but hopefully they will fix it before AEP starts. (Source) And now time, for an SMA Value Ad: Looking for extra marketing support? SMA Storefront is your one-stop shop for all your marketing needs! Use SMA’s Agent Storefront to customize generic marketing materials like posters, mailers, flyers, rack cards and business cards! We give you the ability to add your logo and contact information so every piece is one of a kind! Planning to host a marketing event? Order pre-designed banners and giveaways directly from Storefront! Continue your knowledge on sales techniques by viewing the Building Your Business video series and downloading Medicare-related whitepapers! Customize your marketing, educate yourself and get the tools you need to succeed, all with SMA Storefront! Interested in learning more? Visit us online at www.seniormarketadvisors.com/podcast or give us a call at 844-334-6066. Sarah: Provider Networks – The older Plan Finder had a link to the plan’s provider network site. This allowed agents and beneficiaries to find in-network physicians. However, the new Plan Finder does not have this link, so it may be difficult to find this information. (Source) Jessica: Star Ratings – Star ratings are an important factor when enrolling in a plan. The new Plan Finder tools does not have information on people who left the plan (or why they left) and the rating for “ease of getting prescription filled” is no longer available. (Source) Right now the “Star Rating” just says “Coming Soon”… hopefully this feature will be added soon?Drug Cost Assistance – The old Medicare Plan Finder Tool had a link to “lower your drug costs.” This link will take you to a page that would identify any assistance available for a specific medication. However, the new Plan Finder tool’s link takes you to a generic medicare.gov with 6 ways to get help with your prescription costs. (Source) Sarah: Printed Drug List – This is kind of something I talked about earlier. The old Medicare Plan Finder Tool had a drug list that could be printed on a simple, one-page document. Many beneficiaries would take this to their physician appointments. Howeve
44 minutes | Sep 27, 2019
SMA AEP Kickoff: LIVE Recording – Ep. 16
Join us for the Senior Market Adivors AEP Kickoff event in Nashville, TN! Episode 16 is different from all previous podcast episodes! We are proud to present our first podcast on the go just in time for AEP! Sarah and Jessica set up the podcast at an event where Senior Market Advisors hosted a select group of agents across Tennessee and our carrier partners. The AEP Kickoff took place at TopGolf! The perfect place to talk business and also have fun! In this episode you’ll get a sneak peek of some of the 2020 benefits offered in the Tennessee market for carriers like Aetna, Cigna, Amerigroup, BCBS of TN and more! You’ll also hear about some of the amazing value adds that Senior Market Advisors provides to our contracted agents. We hope you enjoy the presentation and it feels like you are in the room with us! Then we conclude with a couple interviews with two agents, Ray Dover and Eric Peek who share their advice for agents in preparing for AEP and some feel good stories. Our agents talk about reasons they got into the healthcare industry and how they connect with their clients. Senior Market Advisors believes in serving the underserved and that is clear as you listen to statements made by our agents. It isn’t about getting the sale, it’s about helping beneficiaries find a plan that is right for them. Some of our agents have ended up forming relationships with their clients that last for years! Remember that as we move into AEP. This isn’t just a season for sales, it’s also a time to make a difference in your community. We promise, you’ll find AEP and your job rewarding if you approach with the mindset of helping others! Get motivated and get excited because AEP is right around the corner! Facebook: Senior Market Advisors Instagram: @SeniorMarketAdvisors Twitter: @SeniorMarketAdv The post SMA AEP Kickoff: LIVE Recording – Ep. 16 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
21 minutes | Sep 13, 2019
How to Market Yourself on Social Media – Ep. 15
Episode 15 is all about how to market yourself on social media. By subscribing to this podcast, you’ll also get access to our e-Book titled: “Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents” which goes into greater detail on how to market yourself using social media. We begin this episode by discussing something exciting that FitBit has in the works to allow users to share their health data with healthcare providers and manage chronic conditions. Then we do a deep-dive into how to market yourself on social media. First off, what is social media? Sarah and Jessica start by discussing the basics of social media and how to use it successfully to grow your business. This includes how to select your target audience, social media compliance, understanding types of content, creating a social media strategy, social media platforms, and more! Utilizing multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is key when marketing yourself online. Our e-Book gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create profiles on each platform and best practices for remaining compliant. Sarah and Jessica touch on all of this in the podcast and more! Plus, we end on a positive note with our very own Director of Digital Engagement, Jenn Pratt whose team was responsible for putting together the e-Book on this topic. She tells us an inspiring story about how even though all the odds were stacked against her, she overcame adversity to get where she is today. Podcast Episode 15 – How to Market Yourself on Social Media Full Transcript: Sarah: Welcome to Selling SMART with Sarah Smith…. Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: Today’s episode is all about how to market yourself on social media. Lucky for you, if you’re listening to this podcast, you also now have access to our e-Book titled: “Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents” which will go into greater detail on how to market yourself online using social media. We also discuss something exciting that FitBit has in the works and we conclude with a feel good story from our Director of Digital Engagement, Jenn Pratt! Disruptive Waves: Jessica: So by the time this podcast is out, Fitbit will have launched a brand new service called FitBit Premium! Sarah: That’s right! This paid service will develop personalized wellness reports allowing users to share their data with their physician, including health data trends and analyses of activity, heart rate, sleep and weight fluctuations. Jessica: Which is awesome! They also plan to launch a personal coaching product in 2020 for users who are managing chronic conditions like diabetes. Sarah: And they will have a limited pilot available for that at the end of this year! So big things are happening! Jessica: Yes, big things for sure! With these new developments, people will be able to export their wearable data from the Fitbit dashboard in order to share it with their provider, although it doesn’t integrate directly into the EMR. Sarah: The subscription service will also include sleep tracking, customized fitness and diet programs as well as health reports like we mentioned earlier. Jessica: The premium cost will be $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually and will be included under Fitbit Care which is a one-year-old connected care platform for employers, health plans and health systems. Sarah: Yeah, so just be aware! This may be something that would be of interest to you or people you know. It sounds like a great tool and just one of the many innovations emerging in the marketplace to help improve healthcare and people’s personal wellness! We got this information from HealthcareDive so make sure to check out their website, they have a lot of great content related to breaking news in the healthcare space. All Aboard the Knowledge Train: Sarah: Okay so as we mentioned earlier, today’s episode is all about how to market yourself on social media! If you want a copy the e-book so you can review this information later, we’ve got a link in the description on our podcast website! DOWNLOAD HERE Jessica: So before we dive into how to market yourself, let’s start with an overview of social media and the insurance industry. We have entered a new era of communication. Gone are the days of the one-way stream of communication from business to customer. Social media now allows for a dialogue between the business and customers. Today’s accessibility to people and brands is unprecedented! Businesses are successfully taking advantage of this new gateway, and using it to reach their audiences. You should too!! Sarah: But how does an insurance agent like you actually take advantage of this new tool and use it to market yourself? Let’s start out by understanding the basics of social media. There are many forms of social media and chances are, if you haven’t been hiding under a rock since the dawn of the internet, you have used at least one social media platform in your lifetime, if not many. But the way you use social media as an individual is very different from how you should use it as a business. Jessica: Understanding how to market yourself on social media really depends on your industry. If you’re listening to this podcast, than there’s a high probability that you are in sales or would like to be. And there’s an even higher probability that you are in Medicare Sales. We all know Medicare is heavily regulated, which means you can’t just post whatever you want on social media to market yourself. You must remain compliant. We will cover compliance a little later in this podcast. But the biggest thing to remember about marketing yourself on social media is that you should use social media to humanize your business, build relationships with potential clients, and spread the word about your business. Ultimately, you are using social media to market yourself and generate leads. Sarah: If you are in the Medicare space, you know that not all, but a large majority of your clientbase will be made up of seniors. This means your main target audience (individuals who you want to engage with) will be seniors. Okay so you may be thinking, but wait Sarah and Jessica… do seniors even use social media? The answer may surprise you. While it may seem like individuals 65 & older aren’t using social media, they absolutely are. In fact, Pew Research Center found that 67% of seniors use the internet and 34% of Americans ages 65 & older use Facebook and Twitter. That’s a lot of potential leads right there that you could be missing out on if you aren’t marketing yourself on social media! Jessica: Unlike millennials, seniors tend to use social media more as an encyclopedia, to gain knowledge on particular topics that interest them. You can tap into this desire by providing Medicare-eligibles (whether they be seniors or not) pertinent information about their health, new technologies in the healthcare space and educational information regarding Medicare. Okay so now that you have a background in the basics of social media for business, we want to talk about one more very important topic before we discuss how to market yourself on social media and that my friends is COMPLIANCE. DUH DUH DUH. Sarah: Yeah yeah we know. Compliance is one of those things that no one likes to talk about, one because it tends to be dry and 2 because well if you’ve received a compliance violation you know it’s a big deal. And it’s no different when discussing how to market yourself on social media. Jessica: There are very strict guidelines that CMS puts on social media marketing and they are written directly into the Medicare Marketing & Communication Guidelines which CMS updates and releases every year. If you want to know more about the guidelines for 2020, we will cover them in more depth in a later episode with our compliance manager. For the purposes of this episode, what you really need to know is that social media is less about marketing and more about communication. The main thing to note is that you cannot market specific products or aim to steer a beneficiary towards any specific plans or carriers. Keep everything you post on social media generic in nature. Focus more on educating beneficiaries on Medicare-related topics rather than plan-specific details or benefits. Sarah: Here are some big no-no’s: Just because someone likes your post, follows you, or comments on your post DOES NOT mean you have permission to contact.You can answer questions via social media, but do not address them beyond the scope of the question or statementNever buy social media leads or referrals. This will not give you permission to contact. And for your reference, we’ve got a ton more information on social media compliance within this awesome e-Book! Jessica: Okay now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the fun stuff! Well, we think it’s fun since we do this for a living. But honestly, you can have fun with it as well! How to Market Yourself on social media using Content Marketing! Okay so if we want to go back to the basics, what exactly is content? Sarah: When talking about social media, content can mean a LOT of things. It refers to things like posts, blog posts, photos, infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, articles, webinars, case studies, promotions, etc. But just knowing all the types of content that you can post on social media won’t really get you anywhere. What’s most important is the quality of the content that you’re posting. Think about how much content you consume each day and start thinking about what brands stand out to you and why? Jessica: Right, you always want to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What do they want to know? What information are they searching for? What would make them want to engage with the content you post? Th
20 minutes | Aug 30, 2019
4 Sales Tips for Getting Past the Gatekeeper – Ep. 14
In Episode 14, we go through four sales tips to get past the gatekeeper when building partnerships with providers in your area to generate leads! We also talk about how the healthcare industry is working to use technology as a way to detect evidence of dementia. Listen to get the sales tips that will lead you to success! Podcast Episode 14: 4 Sales Tips for Getting Past the Gatekeeper Transcription: Sarah: Welcome to Selling SMART with Sarah Smith…. Jessica: And Jessica Vara! Sarah: In today’s episode we are going to talk about how the healthcare industry is working to use technology as a way to detect evidence of dementia. We also go through four sales tips to get past the gatekeeper when building partnerships with providers in your area to generate leads. Disruptive Waves: Jessica: So this is pretty cool! Apple and Eli Lilly (which is a huge pharmaceutical company) are partnering up to do research on whether health features on the iPhone and Apple Watch can detect evidence of dementia and cognitive decline. Sarah: Oh that is super cool! Have they found anything of use so far? Jessica: So yeah, they found that when compared to healthier counterparts, people with symptoms of cognitive decline showed slower typing, less regularity in their schedules, fewer text messages and they also relied more on helper apps. Sarah: That’s interesting… how exactly did they come to these conclusions? Jessica: Well they had a 12-week study that included 31 people with various stages of cognitive impairment and an 82-person healthy control group. Researchers were able to collect 1.5 gigabytes of data per participant per day and that included data on motor function and sleep rhythms. Sarah: So did they just have people use their phones like normal and kinda monitor it? Jessica: I don’t think that’s far off! They collected their data from a bunch of different platforms. They used iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads, and Beddit sleep monitoring devices for the study. I believe they are planning on conducting more research, but this was just an early-stage study. Sarah: Nice! Yeah, I think that this is great! I mean dementia affects about 47 million people across the world, so anything that helps us detect the early stages of mental decline is amazing! Jessica: Oh definitely! And the initial results of this study are pretty promising. The only thing is that the researchers are stressed that they’re only a “starting point” for further studies on using consumer gadgets to predict these types of diseases. Sarah: Yeah, things like this are going to take some time, which can be frustrating but at least we are moving toward improvement. Jessica: Right and as the site of care moves more toward the home with things like telehealth, it’s going to be so important to have devices that can help notice these signs so people can be notified and seek the treatment they need. All Aboard the Knowledge Train: Sarah: If you listened to Episode 7: Building Your Business, you learned how to partner with providers like dental officers, PCP’s, and pharmacies. If you haven’t, we recommend listening to that episode as well because we give you a guide on how to partner with providers to self lead-gen! One thing we didn’t go over during that episode was how to get a meeting with the decision-maker in the office. You’ll likely come across a receptionist or an office manager (we will call these people the gatekeeper) before you ever get in front of the dentist, provider or pharmacist so it’s important to have a game plan for how to capture the gatekeepers attention and push them to allow you to talk to the decision-maker. Jessica: Getting past the gatekeeper is one of the most crucial parts of your grassroots marketing efforts. A gatekeeper is any person you encounter who controls access to your prospect. In order to reach your prospect, it is important for you to have a plan for how to get through this person. Sarah: Understand that gatekeepers are typically told by their superiors to keep salespeople out. If they let salespeople in, they sometimes can look bad. So even if you have a great pitch planned, they will do whatever they can to keep you out even before they have heard any details about what you are offering. They will be the toughest opposition in your marketing efforts process. Jessica: The first step in getting past gatekeepers is to understand who they are and what their objective is. The most likely types of gatekeepers you will encounter during your initial office visits are office receptionists or other office support staff. The office support staff spend much of their time answering heavy phone traffic and assisting with other office activities. They can be incredibly busy so you must be mindful of their time. Because they are busy, they will typically spend no more than 30 seconds listening to your opening pitch to determine whether they want to let you through to the provider or not. Your introduction is incredibly important. This is why first impressions are so crucial. Sarah: Let’s go over some sales tips for getting past gatekeepers. Sales Tips: #1 Build rapport. You want to be friendly and build rapport with the gatekeeper. You want to make them feel comfortable and give off positive vibes. A gatekeeper is more likely to pass you through if they like you and enjoy speaking with you. Sales Tips: #2 Be real with them. Another tactic you can use is to let them know you understand their objective. You know they are instructed to keep you out but if they give you just a few minutes to show why this provider would really want to meet with you, it’s going to be worth their while. Jessica: Sales Tips: #3 Treat the gatekeeper like your prospect. Gatekeepers generally have basic knowledge regarding the company they work for and some may have more knowledge than you might think. Use that to your advantage. Start by giving them your elevator pitch and ask them a few probing questions to see if they give you any pre-qualifying information, specifically you’re looking for the name of the individual you REALLY want to talk to AKA the decision-maker. Many of them will answer your questions if they have the answers. Sometimes it can be good to ask a question that you know they will not have the answer to because they will be more likely to pass you along to the person you really want to speak with. Sarah: Sales Tips: #4 Use short responses and the assumptive technique. If you’re calling in to try and set up an appointment before going into the office, try and act like a customer as long as possible. Again, receptionists are basically told to do whatever you can to keep salespeople out. When they ask what you’re calling about say you’re a local business owner looking to potentially partner to help each other out. Make this informal and do your best to get the name of your actual prospect (the decision-maker). Once you know the name of the decision-maker, ask if they are in the office. If the gatekeeper responds with yes but he’s not available right now you could say something like “Oh I’ll hold thanks!” This may catch them off guard and push them to at least go check to see if the decision-maker would get on the phone to set up a meeting. In this case, you’re using the assumptive sales technique. You’re assuming that they’re going to do what you want them to do before they actually do it. Even if they go and look for the person to come back to tell you no, you can still ask what time you should call back in order to get in touch with the decision-maker. Now when you call back you can say “Hey just calling back for so and so” which makes it sound like you just got off the phone with them. More likely than not, you can get through. At that point, you can ask the gatekeeper how if you can set up an appointment for a future date or speak with the provider on the spot. Sarah: It is inevitable that you will run into objections from the gatekeeper. Don’t take it personally if they try to shut you down. Be vigilant and try your best to convince them to let you through to your prospect. Here are some helpful sales tips on how to deal with objections from gatekeepers: Jessica: Sales Tips on how to Overcome Objections from Gatekeepers: We are not interested. This is the most likely objection you will encounter. Many times a gatekeeper will use this line even before they have heard your elevator pitch. Try to explain your value proposition briefly and say you think if they allow you to give them a little more information, they would be. Then ask a few probing questions to see if they give you any pre-qualifying information. Give me your information and I’ll pass it alongDo your best to set up a meeting right then and there. Just like any other sale, you are more likely to seal the deal right then and there. But if they still push back, here’s some things you can do: Leave your business card. They likely won’t pass it along and even if they do, you may never receive a response. This is why it is important to also have detailed leave-behinds and marketing materials that will catch their eye and pique their curiosity. Then set up a time to follow-up with them regarding the information you leave behind. Let the gatekeeper know you have a ton of info to give to them and you want to make sure you only give them the information that would best suit their needs. And then ask a few pre-qualifying questions to gain some insight into the practice for when you follow-up. Sarah: On Episode 4 of the podcast we discussed how to overcome objections in the field and many of those can also be applied here, so make sure to listen to that episode for more tips on overcoming objections! Jessica: Getting past gatekeepers is one of the most crucial parts of your marke
28 minutes | Aug 16, 2019
3-30-60-90 – A Guide to Client Retention – Ep. 13
In Episode 13, we give you a guide to client retention. We also analyze the challenges new technology can bring to healthcare. Listen and learn why some people say Amazon’s Alexa’s bedside manners are bad for the healthcare industry. There are pros and cons to all new developments and this episode we focus on some... The post 3-30-60-90 – A Guide to Client Retention – Ep. 13 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
25 minutes | Aug 2, 2019
2020 AEP Preparation Checklist – Ep. 12
In Episode 12, we discuss 2020 AEP Preparation and the features of Anthem’s new AI-driven member app called K Health. K Health uses years of anonymous health data to offer members answers to simple questions related to their health. Members can also chat with doctors via the app. Next we dive into AEP preparation. SMA put... The post 2020 AEP Preparation Checklist – Ep. 12 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
18 minutes | Jul 19, 2019
Understanding Power of Attorney – Ep. 11
In Episode 11, we talk about Power of Attorney, and continue our deep dive into a few disruptive technologies in the healthcare space. This week we discuss rideshare apps and how they are changing the way people get to and from their healthcare appointments. It’s important to understand Power of Attorney in the Medicare sales... The post Understanding Power of Attorney – Ep. 11 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
26 minutes | Jul 5, 2019
Why Sell Medicare Supplement Plans – Ep. 10
In Episode 10, Sarah and Jessica focus on the benefits of Medicare Supplement, Amazon’s Alexa, and how voice assistants are disrupting the healthcare industry. While there are many ways Amazon’s Alexa can help beneficiaries with their healthcare needs now and in the future, there are also privacy and data breach concerns. We break down the... The post Why Sell Medicare Supplement Plans – Ep. 10 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
24 minutes | Jun 21, 2019
Why Sell Medicare Advantage – Ep. 9
In Episode 9, we talk about all the benefits of Medicare Advantage and why you should be selling it. We start by discussing the lack of dental coverage across the Medicare-eligible population. Since Original Medicare does not cover dental, many beneficiaries go without coverage. This includes over two-thirds of all Medicare beneficiaries! One way these... The post Why Sell Medicare Advantage – Ep. 9 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
22 minutes | Jun 7, 2019
Setting Up a Sales Event – Ep. 8
In Episode 8, Sarah and Jessica talk about how to set up a successful sales event. They also discuss the recent insulin price increases and its effect on Medicare beneficiaries. Insulin prices have continued to rise, and many Medicare beneficiaries struggle to pay for their out-of-pocket costs. It’s important to understand the price increases so... The post Setting Up a Sales Event – Ep. 8 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
14 minutes | May 24, 2019
How to Generate Leads: Partnering with Providers – Ep. 7
Episode 7 is all about how to generate leads by partnering with providers! Generating your own leads can seem like a daunting task; and once AEP ends, it can be difficult to make sales. We talk about some of the ways you can continue selling outside of Annual Enrollment like selling Medicare Supplement Plans and... The post How to Generate Leads: Partnering with Providers – Ep. 7 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
21 minutes | May 10, 2019
Selling Final Expense – Ep. 6
We begin Episode 6 with a quick overview of the changes that CMS has made to the policies surrounding Medicare Part D plans. The Opioid Crisis has affected the entire country, including Medicare beneficiaries. CMS recognized opioid abuse within the Medicare-eligible population and has updated their policies to combat it. We spend the first few... The post Selling Final Expense – Ep. 6 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
29 minutes | Apr 26, 2019
Setting SMART Goals – Ep. 5
Episode 5 is a forward-looking episode focused around setting smart goals and planning for the future! We start by discussing some of the trends happening with the Medicare-eligible population like updates in technology, social habits, and living changes. As the industry grows and changes, it’s important to focus on your plans for the future to... The post Setting SMART Goals – Ep. 5 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
21 minutes | Apr 12, 2019
Overcoming Sales Objections – Ep. 4
In Episode 4, we talk about the transition from OEP to SEP. Learn about the Medicare Special Enrollment Period and how you can assist beneficiaries during this time of the year. We also discuss overcoming objections in sales when out in the field! Our very own Tori Buckman joins us to share her insight and... The post Overcoming Sales Objections – Ep. 4 appeared first on Selling SMART with Senior Market Advisors.
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