How to Build a Strong Medicare Referral Network
How many times have you asked a friend for a restaurant recommendation? Or checked out Yelp before trying a new dentist?
If you’re like us, and most other people, probably most all the time. If you need a trusted opinion for a dinner reservation, then how much would a healthcare agent referral mean to you?
You probably get where we’re going with this. A referral marketing strategy is essential for Medicare agents. We’re going to teach you how to build a strong referral network so you can start building an established pipeline of quality leads.
What is Referral Marketing?
Referral marketing is a tactic of marketing to consumers through building positive word-of-mouth for a brand or business. Instead of starting from scratch by finding brand new leads through traditional marketing methods (like cold calling or advertising), you use the loyal customers you already have to build a trustworthy reputation.
Marketing-Schools.org says it best: “referral marketing is spreading the word about a product or service through a business’ existing customers, rather than traditional advertising.”
Why Referral Marketing Works
It’s easy to see why referral marketing works, especially for Medicare insurance.
We all hope to live a blissful retirement. A part of that is having quality healthcare to fall back on, no matter what situation arises. That’s on a lot of people’s minds when they’re trying to choose a plan. Especially when they’re trying to navigate Medicare for the first time.
A solid referral gives a Medicare beneficiary a starting point to finding coverage they can count on.
How to Build a Referral Network
Do we have you convinced on the value of positive referrals? Good.
Now you’re probably wondering how to get those referrals. To effectively build a strong referral network, consider this three-point approach:
- Illustrate consistent short-term value.
Start with what you have. Establish good relationships from the get-go by creating
value. Be knowledgeable, polite and professional. Don’t use pushy sales tactics. Understand your prospect’s goals and use your expertise to reach them. Make sure they’re comfortable and happy with whatever plan they choose, the first time around.
- Run maintenance with quality customer service.
A good insurance agent helps beneficiaries find good plans. A great insurance agent ensures clients are always happy with their plan while their needs and budget change (as they inevitably do). They are authentic, available, and always check-in and follow-up.
- Deliver on promises in the long-run.
Empty promises are what can tarnish your personal brand. If you promise something, you have to come through. That being said, don’t make promises you can’t keep.
Consistency in service is crucial. If things ever do hit a rough patch, communication is the key to getting through.
Tips on Building a Medicare Referral Network
Building a strong referral network takes time and consistent efforts on your part. But, there are some things you can do to help speed up the process.
- Create an online presence for transparency. Having complete social media pages with helpful Medicare sources or an agent website helps you get found during online searches. Having published blog posts, articles or videos on those platforms is a good way to establish your credibility.
- Build a local network of professionals to help boost referrals (financial advisors, other insurance agents, business owners, etc.).
- Look for ways to go the extra mile. Exceeding expectations is a sure way to make an impact in customer’s mind. Checking in for more than just an annual benefit review or even just remembering their dog’s name are simple ways to delight clients.