The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) offered insightful presentations on the economic and regulatory environment this week at its Medigap conference in Orlando, Fla. — and plenty of practical sessions on how to drum up sales.

See also: How one agent overcame a fear of cold calling to find success

Erin Fisher of Find Medicare Plans L.L.C. is building relationships with people of substance, and of helping clients what they really need. ”Do the right thing,” Fisher said.

Susan Hatch, a top organizer of Medigap sales seminars in California, at MedicareToday.net, talked more about sales mechanics, and of the nuts and bolts of conveying a fair, honest image.

She suggested, for example, that agents avoid using promotional items that carry one carrier’s name. Medigap agents should promote their own personal branding, and emphasize that they offer all Medigap products, not just a limited selection, Hatch said. 

She also encouraged agents to describe themselves as selling “all Medicare supplement plan types.”

“Seniors really don’t know the difference between Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans,” Hatch said.

For some of the other tips Hatch discussed, read on.

Business card

1. She puts a photograph of herself on her business cards.

Hatch said she thinks putting a photograph on her card makes her seem more professional, and more honest.

Prospects tell themselves, “‘She’s not a scam artist; her picture is on her stuff,’” Hatch said.

Prospects are much more likely to save a card with a picture on it than they are to save a card without a picture, Hatch said.

See also: Supplemental policies bridge emerging health gap

Sober couple

2. She looks for opportunities to get testimonials, and especially testimonials from people who are respected in their communities.

She recalls going to great lengths at one point to help a sick woman during the Medicare annual enrollment period, when enrollees can change Medicare Advantage plans without worrying about medical underwriting.

The woman turned out to be one of the original Mouseketeers. Having her testimonial has been helpful, Hatch said.

“You’ve got clients who are kind of celebrities in your own community,” Hatch said.

Pursuing and helping those local celebrities can make a big difference, Hatch said.

See also: How to increase Medigap sales

Drugs

3. She told agents, “Just say no to drugs.”

Medicare.gov has operators standing by to help consumers enroll in Medicare Part D plans 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Hatch said.

Giving consumers the telephone number for that call center, rather than selling the plans themselves, is important, because agents who sell Medicare Part D plans face the full brunt of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sales and marketing rules, Hatch said.

Hatch said she is still subject to state insurance regulation and carrier rules. But she noted, for example, that she can invite her customers to a dinner seminar without worrying that the seminar will somehow violate the many strict, complicated CMS Part D plan marketing rules.

See also: 5 ideas for selling LTCI to the Medicare generation