How are you staying in your client’s minds even when your clients don’t require your service? Are you getting other professionals to refer business to you?
As a Medicare professional whose aim is to provide excellent value to your clients, it’s important to remember that your clients see other professionals.
These professionals include:
- Financial Planners
- P&C Agents
- Estate Planning Attorneys
There are also organizations and groups they belong to:
- Civic Organizations
- Red Hat Society
- Coffee Clubs
- Hobby Groups
- Seniors Centers
It’s easy to find reasons why networking is not a priority. The reality is, it’s vital to your business to network with professionals. Take this scenario:
A new client just purchased insurance from you. Everybody’s happy. Some time goes by and they are talking to their financial planner. The financial planner recommends your clients have their insurance reviewed by an agent they know. This agent is not you. Your clients take their financial planner’s advice and set an appointment with another agent. This agent has just received credibility because they were referred by their financial planner.
Many agents don’t want to believe this could happen, but how many clients do you have who once bought from another agent? What you want to do is be the agent that is referred to by other professionals because of the value you provide.
Value, Value, Value
Remember, this is about providing value, both to other professionals as well as to your clients. Ask yourself the question:
“Why should they refer their clients to me?”
The answer to this question is about the value you provide, not about selling yourself.
When a professional refers their clients to you, they are saying “I trust this person will give you the same level of respect and service I do.” The same goes for when you refer a client to another professional.
Building this level of trust takes time, making it essential to start now. The more time that passes, the more chances professionals are referring your clients to other agents.
First things first: Give to receive. Send your clients to the other professional first.
Here’s a scenario: Maybe you are talking to an estate planning attorney about their practice, and they are asking about yours, and they see the need for a Medicare agent to refer questions to.
The next week, you get a call from one of their clients to discuss their Medicare options. Are you more likely to send business back to them? Of course!
Take the initiative and get the ball rolling with the referral process.
Where to find these other professionals to network with? Once you find the professionals, how do you connect with them? Read on for the details.
Start with your own network where you have existing relationships.
Who do you use? Your financial planner? Your pharmacists? Your doctor? Think of other professionals you use in your own life and reach out to them.
Your Client’s Network
Who do your clients use? When talking with prospects and clients, you may hear other people’s names come up from time to time. It is far easier to build a network when you already have common clients.
After that, you can reach out to organizations you belong to or that your prospects or clients recommend. Chamber of Commerce? Rotary Club? Other networking type groups?
Become the goto person for Medicare in your professional circles.
Use the Internet
Google the professional you are looking for and see what results come up. The higher they are listed in Google, the more likely they are actively marketing. Check them out on Facebook and LinkedIn to see what activity they are doing to keep top of mind. Read reviews and get to know them a little better prior to reaching out.
Here are some ideas on who to look for and/or reach out to:
- Financial Planners
- P&C Agents Estate
- Planning Attorneys
- Home Healthcare Organizations
- Private Duty Firms
- Senior Living Communities
- Assisted Living
- Nursing Homes (for patients who are in Rehab, not residents)
- Senior Centers
- Civic Organizations
- NonProfits Churches / Religious Organizations
- Area Agency on Aging
Ask your clients if they belong to any clubs, such as the Red Hat Society, and offer to be a resource or speaker at their next gathering.
Meeting with Individuals
Offer to meet with them over coffee. Get ready to ask them questions about themselves, their business, their services, etc.
Here are some great questions to ask:
- How long have you been in business?
- What areas (geographically) do you cover?
- What demographic do you target?
- What marketing plans do you have in place?
- Do you have any seminars you offer or present?
- What groups do you belong to?
- Do you drink decaf? (We don’t trust people under 60 who drink decaf)
- What other professionals do you work with?
Prepare to answer the same questions! This should be a natural flowing conversation and not feel like an interview.
Meeting with Groups
Schedule a meeting, introduce yourself and get to know them. Remember, it’s about how you can help them.
If you are meeting with a group that has a staff which services seniors, offer to bring them doughnuts (or bagels) and coffee for a quick review of Medicare. Many of these firms may have morning meetings where you can make a brief presentation.
- Who do you want to network with?
- Who do you know?
- Who is popular in your area?
- What organizations could you network with?
- Do you have any common ground with them?
- Similar interests?
- Are they working with any other agents?
- Is this someone you want to work with?
- Would you want your clients to use them?
Research them If you don’t personally know them, look them up on their website, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.
Send them an email introducing yourself. Invite them out for a cup of coffee. See if there is a connection.
That’s it! We hope this makes it easy to start building your professional network. Grab a pen and paper (or open a new note on your computer or phone) and start listing people to reach out to so referrals can start coming your way.
If this was helpful, let us know in the comments below. Also let us know what you want to learn more about to grow your book of business.
Join our team! If you are a Medicare agent and have questions about Sales or Medicare, call Arnie Fulmer at 702-820-3133. Arnie Fulmer is a Senior Market Advisor and the principal owner of Fulmer Insurance Group, a Medicare Brokerage Agency located in Las Vegas and licensed in multiple states.
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