How to Gain a Competitive Advantage in the Medicare Market Place
The ultimate competitive advantage in business is how hard you work. But even the hardest worker doesn’t have all the keys to success.
The Medicare sales industry is highly competitive, highly regulated and highly challenging. It’s not easy to build a solid, profitable customer base when there are so many agents out there. So, what differentiates you from every other broker, and why should the senior market choose you and your business over the competition?
If you’re not so sure, see these five strategic ways to gain a competitive advantage as a Medicare sales broker.
How to Gain a Competitive Advantage
Aligning yourself with the right agency is critical for any independent agent’s career. Numerous agencies claim to do a lot for the broker, but not many actually do. Remember — you’re the talent, and your FMO should be a key supporting factor in fostering that talent and setting you up for success.
When it comes to finding the best marketing organization to partner with, look for a full-service FMO that offers more than just a location to submit business. Make sure you own that business and are being paid the highest allowable by CMS for it. Because a complete product offering is valuable to your prospective clients, the more contracts and products an FMO offers, the better.
Look for an agency that has actual departments that specialize in servicing you. From contracting to business development, an ideal marketing organization provides opportunities for you to grow your business.
All in all, the best FMO will give you the competitive edge you need to start in this business. You are the expert in the field, and the right partnership should be the foundation on which you can depend on and grow with.
AGA’s 7 Established Programs Are Designed for Agent Success
You have to know your products and services inside and out. An uneducated Medicare broker is useless to the Medicare consumer and frustrating for customers. A primary advantage of partnering with an FMO is the education support. The better the FMO, the greater variety in training and higher quality support and tools you’ll get.
In the ever-changing world that is Medicare, make sure you stay up to date with Medicare rules and regulations, as well as the annual health plan benefit changes. If you don’t know something, at least know how to find it. Medicare.gov is a very useful tool. You should also be able to get answers from your FMO sales support team (assuming you chose a good one).
To maintain a competitive advantage in the Medicare market place, always look for ways to expand your knowledge and choose an agency that will give you the best tools to do so. The more you know, the more value you can provide–and providing value to your customers will guarantee success.
Positioning vs. Prospecting
Now that you have the right partnership and the necessary industry knowledge, you can focus on positioning yourself in the Medicare marketplace. Prospecting clients and customers is a never-ending cycle. Plus, with the Medicare space being extremely regulated, compliance is a must (so make sure the organization you choose has an outstanding compliance department that has your back).
Because of these prospecting challenges, the best approach is to position yourself as the leading authority, specialist or trusted advisor in the Medicare world. When you’re perceived as the expert, clients will approach you as opposed to you having to chase them down.
Look for opportunities to showcase your knowledge and value as the local Medicare expert. Put yourself where the Medicare consumer is already at instead of trying to make them come to you. Whether it’s a doctor’s office, hospital, medical clinic, community event booth, or senior center, make yourself available to be the educational resource that the Medicare community needs. This proper positioning of your business will give you the advantage over the broker that’s chasing down prospects and leads.
Consistency is the key to success. Be consistent in every way and in everything you do. This includes the look of your marketing materials, message you deliver, level of customer service, and quality of service you provide to each and every customer. Your marketing organization can deliver consistency with uniform marketing materials, but it’s up to you to be consistent with the rest.
From direct mail campaigns to visiting your doctor office partners, it’s your ongoing efforts that will set you apart from the competition. A single community event or one visit to a physician’s office might produce some business for you, but it’s your continued participation and effort that will build credibility. And establishing yourself as a credible resource in the Medicare market place will absolutely give you an advantage over the competition.
Best business practices revolve around what you promise to your customer, and how often you actually follow through on that promise. By being consistent on the value promise you provide to your customers, you won’t just satisfy your customer’s wants and needs—you’ll exceed them. And when you exceed customer expectations, you create advocates for your brand.
The desire of all businesses is to create a pool of fans and advocates who will go out of their way to promote what you do. A satisfied client will get you referral business by endorsing you, not because you asked them, but because they want to. Whether it’s your Medicare clients promoting you and referring friends and family, or physicians referring other physicians to utilize your services, this business is all about creating fans.
Summing it Up
By partnering with the right FMO, contributing valuable knowledge to the Medicare population, positioning yourself as the expert in opportune situations, and consistently providing unparalleled service, you’ll have precisely what it takes to gain a competitive advantage as an independent agent, and thrive as a Medicare sales broker.