Health insurance is currently center stage and will continue to be in the forefront for many months to come. As health insurance agents, we are all about to experience an advertising, marketing and word-of-mouth tsunami like we have never seen before.
The open enrollment period for the exchanges is rapidly approaching. Individuals and small groups will be paying more attention which will result in new opportunities for you to grow your business.
The key to our new era of growth is centered, in part, around how you have developed and implemented your marketing strategies to reach out to the anticipated expansion of our marketplace.
Plan for there to be chaos and embody a mind-set that is flexible and proactive, so you can quickly respond. Call it “managed chaos.”
To help you hit the ground running, I offer the following ideas about actions you can take now:
- Contact every existing and former client and emphasize that you are the source of knowledge when it comes to health care reform…period.
- Make it a point to return every email and missed call on the same day. Even if you don’t think an issue is pressing, your prospective clients may think it’s a major crisis…and remember they will have alternative resources who can assist them with their enrollment.
- There is way too much to health care reform information for you to know everything yourself. Identify a reliable resource you can consult for the things you’re not 100 percent certain on.
- Save the most commonly asked health care reform questions you hear and create a FAQ document you can share with your existing and new clients.
- Keep tabs on the marketing efforts of the exchanges, be prepared to talk about the talking points they are promoting when your clients ask.
- If you’re at all confused (and many of us are), imagine how your clients feel. The simpler you can make the information you provide, the better.
- Keep tabs on what your clients are experiencing. Survey them. Keep your finger on their “pulse.”
- Diversify your product offerings. People will be shopping. According to a recent survey, your clients hold an average of seven policies. The average number you have sold to them: Just two.
- Clearly define what makes you of value vs. your competition. What do you do that others do not? What is your point of difference? Once you define it, creatively market it to your targeted audience.
- Update how you communicate. Our industry is changing as are consumers. There are four generations in the workplace today (for the first time in our lives), and each requires unique approaches to be effectively marketed to. The old map of how we have done things is definitely out the door.
- Expand your Internet presence. Just having a website is old school. Use social media and create your own blog, to accentuate your website and stay current in the face of your clients.
The benefits of a defined marketing strategy are numerous. You can no longer rely on intuition to make business decisions…there is way too much at stake today.