Could Trade Shows Help Your Business?

We know what you’re thinking: “Trade shows? How is attending trade shows supposed to help grow my insurance business?” But we’re going to let you in on a secret that not every insurance agent knows: not only is attending trade shows a way to network and attract customers, but it’s also a great way to learn some new things that could potentially increase your profits. And don’t think that you should only be going to trade shows in your specific field, you should also attend ones in other insurance-related areas. Find out why, and read on for some great tips on how to make the most out of any trade show you attend!

Industry Trade Shows You Should Attend

trade show event with people walking around
Attending different trade shows can help you network more, land learn new trends to help grow your business.

Never limit yourself. Not in your life, or in your business. And when it comes to trade shows, don’t limit yourself to just one type. Don’t get us wrong, of course, there are benefits to attending trade shows directly related to your business, but there are some benefits to going to other ones too. 

For example, different co-industry trade shows will offer you a huge opportunity to network with colleagues and potential customers across your state and the country. After all, networking is one of the main benefits of these trade shows, especially local ones. 

Another benefit of attending these shows is that you’ll get the opportunity to begin selling more insurance. For example, if you only sell health insurance, you can attend shows to learn about Medicare, commercial, or life insurance, and add these types of policies to your tool belt. 

And not only will you network and learn about other types of insurance, but you will learn about new trends and the latest news in the Insurance Brokers and Agencies industry. This will allow you to get a heads up on what the competition will be doing. 

If you’re looking for insurance-related trade shows you can attend to broaden your horizons, you should check out the following: 

  • HCAA Executive Forum
  • NEOHUA Virtual Products Expo
  • NAHAM Annual Conference
  • SIIA Direct Contracting CFA Executive Forum
  • AHIP Institute & Expo

Preparing For A Trade Show

Before the show, you should receive a roster of customers who will be attending. If you can’t get a hold of this, you should create your own contact list of clients and leads to invite to the show using your existing customer database system. Advertise that you will be at the trade show, especially if it is a local one.

Next, you will have to prepare your booth space. The most important thing to think about is where it will be located. If you are in the back, you might not get a lot of people stopping by, so select a booth space that will help optimize walking traffic. You’ll need to gauge the size of the show and make sure to bring enough marketing materials, including giveaways, such as tote bags, stickers, candy, etc. For larger shows that more customers and leads will be attending, you might want to consider having a raffle or contest to help engage more customers.

Presenting at a Trade Show

blurred photo of a man presenting in front of people
When presenting at a trade show, keep it short and as informative as possible.

After you have networked and learned about the hot topics for the trade show you will be attending, and are set with your booth and marketing materials, you will have the opportunity to present at the show. When presenting, remember to keep text to a minimum – use bullet points and other easy-to-read formats, so booth visitors or people on the trade show floor can quickly absorb your information. You will want to give a brief overview of your business, what you sell, your success rates, including your rate for renewal/retaining customers, and how much you have saved people on average.

If you successfully present at a trade show, you could end up really growing your business. So after a killer presentation, be sure to reach out to clients, prospects, or vendors that are attending the show and try to set up meetings outside of the trade show hours.

After the Show

After the trade show is over, it is extremely important that you take the knowledge you have gained and your new potential client list and work both to your advantage. Reach out to any new contracts that you met at the show and place each one in the correct stage of the sales cycle. And if the trade show was a success, register your booth for the next one and begin planning! 

Trade shows are interesting and fun ways to learn about the Insurance Brokers and Agencies industry, network, and gain customers/grow your business. Attending trade shows can be time-consuming because they do take a lot of planning, but if done right, you can make a big impact on your business. 

In the meantime, if you are looking for ready-to-buy leads, Benepath can help! We offer exclusive leads –  all you have to do is tell us when you are available to work with them. Benepath will provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry, not to mention the best leads available!

To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

How to Determine and Analyze Customer Touchpoints

Customer satisfaction is vital to the success of your business, but improving your levels of customer satisfaction can be tricky. If you feel like you need a little bit of help in that department, you should first determine what your customers’ touchpoints are, so you can zero in on them and make changes to meet their needs and expectations. If you don’t know your customers’ touchpoints, no worries, we can help you figure them out and analyze them so you can make them work in your favor.

What Are Customer TouchPoints?hand touching a star shape

A touchpoint is any time a potential customer comes in contact with your business – before, during, or after working with you. This is your brand’s point of customer contact from the beginning to the end, starting from initial contact with your customer, whether it is intentional or not. For example, scheduling a meeting with a customer initiates an intentional touchpoint, but if they reach you through your website, or after seeing ratings and reviews from other customers, this is an unintentional touchpoint. 

How Do You Identify Your Touchpoints?

Inventory Your Touchpoints

To identify your customers’ touchpoints and make sure that customers are satisfied at every step of their journey with your business, you should create a process map. The map will identify the touchpoints, or all the ways a customer encounters your brand throughout the customer life cycle:

  • Acquisition
  • Determination
  • Decision-making
  • Cultivation
  • Profiling
  • Termination and win-back

Take these touchpoints and group them where they occur in the customer life cycle. Include every manner in which customers encounter your brand, such as:

  • Website, blog, social media
  • Emails, newsletters
  • Calls
  • Customer surveys
  • Sales contracts
  • Ratings and reviews

    customer life cycle infographic in the shape of a colorful flower
    Understanding a customer’s life cycle can help you determine what the touchpoints are and how to rate them.

What’s The Purpose?

After you’ve done this, you will need to identify the purpose behind each of these touchpoints, which becomes easier after grouping them according to their position in the customer life cycle. Your purposes can include:

  • Developing a lead
  • Influencing a decision
  • Building loyalty
  • Making a sale
  • Solving an issue

Rate Impact

Once you have identified your touchpoints and their purposes, you will then have to rate their impact. Which touchpoints resonate most with customers? Which ones bring in more customers and satisfy their needs most effectively? For example, will an email make your customers want to renew their plans? Or would a phone call? 

A  touchpoint analysis is a great way to assess how customers perceive your brand. Each touchpoint has its own impact, depending on the situation and needs of your lead/customers. The best way to find out how effective your different touchpoints are is by creating a scale from 1 to 10 and rating each touchpoint’s impact and effectiveness. 1 is the highest impact and 10 is the lowest: if a touchpoint creates more interactions and drives value, rate it higher up the scale. After this, you can create a plan that will improve customer retention, increase sales conversion, and cultivate brand loyalty!

Touchpoint Action Plan

Trying to figure out how to increase customer satisfaction and increase sales when you have so many different touchpoints can be overwhelming. So, once you have identified and sorted the touchpoints on your list from above, create an action plan for the ones that rate higher than a 5. We recommend starting by focusing on the ones that seem like the easiest wins, and by looking at something you can change that will have a real impact on how customers view your business. You can:

  • Develop an outreach plan for customers that are coming up to their renewal times by sending them regular email/SMS alerts starting 5-6 weeks before the renewal date. This will increase customer satisfaction and retention. update written on a cellphone's screen
  • Improve your website, blog, emails, and social media presence. This can cultivate brand awareness and loyalty.
  • Focus on cross-selling opportunities: according to one study, 69% of customers want agents to contact them about the coverage they might not have, and 81% are receptive to information from their agent about how to save money. This will focus on increasing sales conversion.

Touchpoints are important to identify, so you can improve them and boost your business. Remember, customers are your most valuable asset, so you should always be looking for ways to improve your customer experience, including identifying and focusing on your touchpoints, analyzing them, and seeing where you should make improvements. 

In the meantime, if you are looking for a push in the right direction, Benepath can help. We offer exclusive leads who are ready to buy, all you have to do is tell us when you are available to work with them! Benepath will provide you with better tools, more guidance, unsurpassed sales training, and techniques from the most successful agents and trainers in the industry, not to mention the best leads available!

To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

4 Stereotypes of a Bad Insurance Agent

Have you ever worked with a bad salesman or agent? You could probably see through all of their tactics, right? Unfortunately, those few bad apples often give the rest of the good agents a bad name, and can create stereotypes that can be debilitating for you and your business. That means you need to work extra hard to show leads that you are nothing like the stereotypes they hear about insurance agents! Before you can do that, though, you need to know the 4 stereotypes about bad insurance agents, so you can not only avoid being like one, but so you can also try to build trust with customers and retain them. Being nothing like those bad apples will show people there are good agents out there.

1. Insurance Agents Push Insurance You Don’t Even Needman in a suit handing over a pen in one hand and a contract in the other

We’re sure you’re pretty familiar with this one. One of the main reasons people choose not to continue a sale or switch the conversation to “Maybe later” or “I need time to think,” is because they think agents are just trying to make a sale. They often don’t trust agents, so they look for a way out, because they are wary that you are going to sell them something they don’t need, or inevitably try to push you towards the most expensive policies. To combat this, remember to stay in tune with your customer’s needs, and focus on value over price.

2. Insurance Agents Prefer Working with Businesses Over Individuals 

Don’t get us wrong, commercial insurance policies are a great source of revenue, but that doesn’t mean that you prefer working with businesses over people and their families. Good insurance agents care about their customers no matter if it is an individual, a family, or a business. After all, you chose this business not only because you’re good at talking – you want to help people, build a connection with customers, and continue to help them be safe and save money when possible. 

To show that you have that personal touch, take the extra time to connect with your customers and let them know how much you value and appreciate them. You can send thank you cards, and let them know that you are always ready to help, and value them as a client and person. But don’t just say it, mean it! When they call, make sure you get back to them within a reasonable amount of time and help them in any way you can.

illustration of a man in a suit standing next to a large tablet with a calendar on it
Many people believe agents only call them when it is renewal time so they can make commission.

3. You Only Hear From Them During Renewal Time When They Want A Commission

Renewal time. The time every insurance agent looks forward to because you know you can get easy commissions with current customers. And while this is true, some agents only reach out to their clients during this time, making them feel like they only care about making money. A good agent reaches out to their clients throughout the year to check up on them and make sure they are doing okay. 

4. Insurance Agents Have A Personal Agenda

Some captive agents get a bad rap because everyone knows they work for a specific insurance company and want to push that company’s product on them, and so won’t try to help them look at other options. Be aware that people will assume you have some sort of agenda, even if you are an independent agent, especially since they know you work on commission. It might seem like a lose-lose situation, but when you work with a customer, make sure to explain in detail all the options available. Also, make sure to explain why you are pushing a specific plan or company- because it is truly in their best interest. 

Don’t get discouraged by all the negative stereotypes that people have regarding insurance agents, because if you can prove your prospects wrong, you will not only have a loyal customer that trusts you for life, but they will also spread the word about you! It’s all about the customer and building a connection to serve them as best as possible. Break these stereotypes and you will win no matter what.

Ways Agents Can Compete Against Direct Carriers

Direct carriers have dominated the insurance industry for a long time, creating constant competition for independent insurance agents. And it can be very hard for independent agents to compete against them: direct carriers use tactics like continually slashing prices, and they spend billions of dollars every year on advertising to lure in as many customers as possible. They’re even trying to muscle in on the one area where independent agents often do better – customer service – by getting feedback from surveys so they can improve client experience and increase brand loyalty. All of this means it’s much tougher for independent insurance agents to win clients, which is not ideal for your commissions, or for growing your insurance agency/business. But what if we told you there were ways that you could compete with direct carriers and get more sales?

Create Loyal Customers

illustration of a woman on the phone while looking at a computer screen
Create loyal customers by checking in on them from time to time, not just during renewal time.

You know what direct carriers’ sales teams have? Disgruntled customers. Oftentimes customers are unhappy with their carrier’s representative. You can take advantage of this and compete against these direct carriers by creating  loyal customers; the best way to do this is to keep up with their life and know what their needs are, as they might change throughout the year. Try to build meaningful relationships with your customers by remembering to add the little personal touches that make going to your business more appealing than using a big carrier. For example: 

  • Keep in touch with your customers by asking them to fill out a survey 
  • Handwrite welcome cards to new customers
  • Take the time to call your customers before their plan is going to renew to review their insurance needs. 

These things might seem small, but it will mean a lot to your customers if you are thoughtful, provide them with the information they need, and help them to the best of your abilities when they need it.

Work With Multiple Carriers & Take Advantage Of Their Resources

If you work with direct carriers, you are less likely to have to compete against them, especially because you’re selling plans for them, while earning a commission at the same time. And if you’re working with direct carriers, make sure you take advantage of their resources; you don’t need to try to fix every problem on your own. Direct carriers have service centers, which can help you improve your efficiency and customer satisfaction, so take advantage of those! Statistics show that agents who utilize these service centers report 46% more business. 

Market Yourselfsocial media outlets

As stated, direct carriers are constantly trying to improve their customer service and market themselves to attract new customers. The best way to combat this and grab more leads/clients is to market yourself, and your agency! Create a website, and post on different social media platforms about yourself and your business, as well as info about what’s going on in the insurance industry, and make it clear what you can offer people. The more people hear about you, read testimonials about your business, and see how knowledgeable you are, the more likely they will be to reach out to you for help. And don’t forget, the differentiator between you and direct carriers is the relationships you develop with your customers. 

But What If You’re Struggling To Find Customers?

You have options! If you are looking for more ready-to-buy leads, come to Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

Tips for Planning Your Social Media Calendar

If you want to get your business noticed by more people, you have to invest in content creation, including blogs and social media posts. You can choose to have a presence on multiple social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even TikTok. If you choose to be on multiple social media platforms, that’s great – you will reach more customers that way. But with that being said, keeping up with your social media accounts can be a bit overwhelming and challenging. Don’t worry, though, there are ways that you can keep your content marketing organized on these platforms – all you have to do is plan your social media calendar with the following tips.

1. Know The Difference Between Social Media Platforms

video with play button on a computer screen
Depending on the social media platform, you will have to choose which type of post you will publish.

First things first: all social media platforms are different, so what can work for Twitter will not necessarily work on Facebook or Instagram. For example, if you’re using Instagram, you should be posting attention-grabbing photos, while Twitter is more for text and links. There are 4 main types of posts you can publish on social media:

  • Images
  • Video
  • Text 
  • Links 

2. Gather Data

To be successful at posting on social media, you will first need to gather data, such as your target audience’s preferences, ages, etc, as well create a plan of attack for social media posts, before you can start mastering your calendar. Don’t think you can just wing it and hope for the best! After gathering this data, the next step is to answer the following:

  • How frequently do you want to post?
  • What is the best time to post on each platform based on your target audience?

3. Tools To Use

So what do we actually mean when we say “scheduling” your social media posts? Well, you don’t need to waste your time chained to your computer, constantly posting on social media: there are great tools out there that allow you to schedule all your social media posts ahead of time, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly, or even months into the future. There are many different scheduling tools that you can use to help make things easier, and save time, including:

  • ContentCal– A social media tool that provides you with a visual content calendar so you can effectively plan for multiple social networks, and lets you publish and analyze your posts.
  • Buffer– Creates a unique publishing schedule for each social media account, making it easier to visualize the posts you have lined up and make changes or optimizations as necessary.
  • Sprout Social– Comes with a visual publishing calendar that lets you view and manage your posts for multiple profiles, campaigns, and social networks. It also allows you to automatically schedule them for future delivery.
  • Hootsuite– This tool comes with a Chrome extension, and is an interactive, media-rich planner that gives you a clear overview of your social media calendar. You can get a small preview of the post along with the accompanying image, post timing, and caption.
  • Falcon– features a content calendar and campaign planner, along with advanced analytics dashboards and a unified inbox for all your social interactions.

4. Have A Monthly Set Of Social Media Goalsset goals written on a post it note wit cell phones and paper in the background

When creating your calendar, try to leave a spot at the top of each month specifically for your goals and the focus of your content. This will be especially helpful when you are experiencing writer’s block: you can try basing some of your content on what’s going on that week or month, as well as  what your audience is most interested in. 

5. Know When To Fill In The Calendar

It is usually a good idea to fill in your social media content calendar roughly a month ahead of time, but this time frame might vary for some. If you set it and forget a month in advance, you leave no room for last minute announcements and will then have to juggle things around, which takes time away from other things you could be doing. You can also try to fill out your content calendar each week on the same day to prepare for next week’s content.

And when it comes to posting, you can plan out your social posts so you aren’t posting the same thing on the same day to every platform. For example if you post something on Instagram on Tuesday, you can post it on Facebook on Thursday to re-promote yourself on a different social media platform. Just be sure to slightly change the post so it is not repetitive.

6. Regularly Review Your Content Calendarillustration of a person holding a magnifying glass with the word quality in the middle

Always regularly check in with each social media platform’s analytics. This will allow you to see what’s working and what’s not, so you can tweak your content. Visit your Instagram Insights, Facebook Insights, etc. to see the most ideal days and times to post across each platform.

Being successful does not happen overnight, and neither does getting a good social media following and results from posts. However, if you take the time to create a social media content calendar, you can map out your content strategy for weeks, and make it work better for you, and make your life a little bit easier!

Prospecting Ideas for Less Experienced Insurance Agents

Getting into the world of insurance sales is exciting, but it can also be stressful. Trying to establish yourself and your business takes time and a lot of commitment, but if you put the work in, you will thrive. A big part of establishing your business and getting yourself to the point where you are thriving is prospecting leads – and if you are not experienced at this, you might gravitate towards basic prospecting methods, such as using referrals and cold calling. Sure, these methods can work, but there are some other out-of-the-box prospecting ideas and strategies that you can use to make things easier on yourself, and to get bigger results. 

Create A Planpapers lined up on a desk

The first thing that you need to do is research who your audience is and what their needs are. For example, Medicare beneficiaries have a lot of their medical needs already covered, so will mostly be looking to save money, while younger people looking for health insurance will want to save money but might also be looking for multiple coverage options, especially if they have a family. Create a strategic marketing plan that includes direct mail, newsletters, digital marketing and more that are targeted directly to your audience, so you can build relationships with prospects!

Use Social Media Correctly

It’s important to have a strong online presence and accounts on multiple social media platforms, but  don’t just rely on posting pictures. For example, Instagram is a quick and easy way to promote your business for free, but if you just post random selfies, you can’t expect people to interact much with you. Instead, use Instagram or any other social media platform to show how enthusiastic you are about insurance, while still maintaining a personal approach. Take advantage of all the features of social media, by using hashtags that are relevant to your target audience, as well as by liking posts and pictures and starting conversations with people.

Create A Larger Networkstack of hands together on top of each other with a network in front of them

One important thing to do when you start out selling insurance is to create a network of other agents; having a network of agents can mean access to different carriers and products, and can help you stay on top of current market trends, developments, and opportunities that you might be missing. Find an event in your local area, and attend these events to expand your network. Be prepared with a pitch, a business card, and a smile.

Videos Are A Must

It probably comes as no surprise that many people prefer to watch an instructional video about a topic over reading about it, so video marketing is a great way to reach people and find out what they’re looking for. You can gain more exposure with the younger crowd by posting instructional videos on your social media accounts or website that show them the different kinds of plans that are out there, and how you can help them find an affordable plan that will save them money.

Invest In SEO

Creating content for your website is a great idea, but if you’re going to do it, you’ve got to pay attention to search engine optimization, or SEO. A solid SEO strategy will bring your page closer to the top of the list when people Google their insurance needs, so make sure you’re using the right keywords, and including using local search terms so that your name will pop up when people conduct searches for agents in your area. 

Send Mailwhite mailbox with the number 20 on it in black

It might seem like it’s all about technology nowadays, but don’t forget about good old-fashioned snail mail! Email is great for getting in touch with people instantly, but going the extra mile and sending out direct mail will catch people’s eyes – think about it, when was the last time you got mail from anyone other than bill collectors? Hire a graphic designer to create an eye-catching piece of marketing material that has your insurance logo, a professional picture of you, information on how to reach you, and an enticing offer that will make them want to learn more.

If you put in the necessary hard work, you can grow your business and take it even further than you imagined. But prospecting isn’t easy when you’re just starting out, so if you find that you need some help finding leads, work with a reputable company like Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

How To Rebut Common Insurance Sales Objections

“I need to think about it.” 

“I can’t afford it.” 

“Maybe later.” 

You have probably heard all of these common insurance sales objections when working with a lead, and it can be disheartening; after all, no insurance agent wants to hear “no,” and lose out on a sale! But the good news is there are ways to rebut these objections and turn the conversation around in your favor. 

“I Need To Think About It”

illustration of man with finger on mouth and question marks around
If a lead says they need to think about it, dig a little deeper into the conversation and understand why they are saying this

“I need to think about it” is a common objection you’ll hear from leads, because many leads are unsure of what you’re selling, and are unwilling to commit right away. When you hear this objection, it’s important that you react in the right way, and not turn on the hard sell – this will only make your lead put up a wall as they get ready for a confrontation. A better way to deal with this objection is to try to dig a little deeper into the conversation and understand why they are saying this. Try responding with “That’s totally fine! When you say you need to think about it, how do you mean?”

By saying “it’s fine,” you are assuring the lead that you understand their struggle, and by asking how they mean it, you’ll let them know that you do want to understand them, which can help the lead open up about what the core issue is, giving you an opportunity to open the door for a sale. 

“I Can’t Afford It”

Hesitation is totally normal when it comes to buying big ticket items, and buying insurance is no different. That means you’re sure to hear “I can’t afford it” from leads, to which your reply should be, “Besides affordability, is there any other reason you would not purchase a plan?” Sure, this question might get them thinking of another reason they don’t want to buy a plan, but more often than not, they will stick to affordability. 

So if they say “No, that’s it,” you should respond, “I understand, I’ve got a family and bills to pay, so I get it. Is there any issue other than affordability that would prevent you from buying a plan today?” If the lead responds with a no, then you can work your magic!

And how do you work your magic? Avoid being arrogant or pushy, and always try to be compassionate and understanding. Present the situation in a way that shows that you hear their concerns and are open to finding ways to make things work for them: try saying, “Because budget is important to you, how about I begin looking at plans with less coverage and add more as we go on if you feel you need more? Having some form of insurance is better than having none, especially when you will need it most.”

“Maybe Later”

scheduling book open with writing in it and a pen on it
If you get “maybe later,” then try to see if you can schedule an appointment at a later time to talk.

You’ll also encounter leads who will try to put you off until a later date, claiming, “I just don’t need insurance right now,” or “It’s not important right now;” you might even get the classic “I don’t have time to talk right now.”

How to rebut this without being pushy, and further alienating the lead? Well, you have to respect your lead’s time, and if they say they don’t have time to talk, ask them if you can schedule an appointment with them at a time that would work for them. But if they say that insurance is not important to them or they don’t feel like they need it, then you can dig deeper. Ask them to elaborate, and work on helping them understand why insurance is important, and why they need it.

Selling insurance can be very rewarding, but you will have to face your leads’ objections and put in the work to turn “no’s” into “yes”. To make things easier on yourself, create a script that you can turn to when you need help once you have figured out what works for you, and adjust it with time. Being prepared for objections will help you better engage with leads and push them along in your sales process.

Replacing Your Paid Website Traffic With Organic Traffic

Paid traffic is a great way to grow your business, but after a while you might get tired of paying for leads. And we don’t blame you: not only is paid traffic a big investment, it’s not even guaranteed to work. For example, you can never be sure that people will want to click on an ad, and even if they do, you could still end up with irrelevant traffic. 

However, there is a way to continue to grow your business and get noticed even more than you do with paid ads: organic traffic. How do you attract organic traffic? It’s simple: you need to create compelling content, like blogs and videos. Creating content is a great way to rank higher in Google searches, and to get more traffic and leads than you can with paid ads. Find out why organic traffic is better and how you can get started attracting it to your site.

Why Organic Traffic Is Better

laptop and cell phone with statistics and graph on them
Organic traffic is a way to get more leads, at no cost to you!

The best thing about organic traffic is that it doesn’t cost you a penny! That being said, the one thing you might want to spend a little bit of money on is learning best practices for search engine optimization, or SEO, so you know you’re on the right track when it comes to using keywords and local searches. But once you learn the basics of  SEO for your content, the rest is free – and once you start creating good content with relevant keywords, the higher your ranking will be on Google, or the more you will pop up in social media feeds. 

Aside from helping you save money, using organic traffic will also allow more people to find out about you and your business, and will build your brand awareness. Remember, paid ads can be limited by Google based on your set budget; once you reach your budget, you won’t get any more traffic. But if you’re focusing on SEO and you’ve got a solid content strategy, Google’s algorithm will begin to show your site to anyone who it is relevant to. 

Lastly, there are a lot of people out there who just don’t trust or want to click on paid ads, so if you’re just relying on paid ads, you could be missing out. Focusing on your organic traffic can help you attract the right kind of people who are searching for insurance or something relevant to your business, and targeting the right audience will lead to an increase in conversions!

How To Replace Ads With Organic Traffic

It might seem intimidating to figure out ways to grow your business organically, but it can be done. What you need to focus on (after creating your website) is publishing articles and other types of content. You will need to:hands typing on a laptop keyboard with WordPress blogging on the screen

  • Write blogs and create videos, and post them on your website.
  • Optimize your posts as much as possible by implementing a solid SEO strategy, including using keywords and local search terms.
  • Share your content on social media, focusing on the platforms that are most relevant to your customer base (for example, older customers are more likely to use Facebook, while younger ones are more likely to use Instagram or Tik Tok). Use hashtags or other organic ways to promote it. 

Don’t get discouraged if attracting more organic traffic takes a while, after all, it can take months to create content and get it out there. But once it’s done, you can expect long-term gain from it: not only will you increase your brand awareness and your customer base, but you will also save  money on advertising! 

If you are looking for more ready-to-buy leads, you can rely on Benepath. When you work with Benepath, receiving reliable, exclusive leads is the easy part: we provide you with real-time leads through a secure process, and give you a customized thank you page so your leads will be ready for your call. To get more information, fill out the form above, or call 866-368-0377.

Ways to Help Clients Avoid Medicare’s IRMAA Surcharges

If you’re working with Medicare beneficiaries whose income is above a certain level, they will have to pay a surcharge on their Parts B and D premiums, known as the Medicare Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA). These surcharges are determined by the Social Security Administration; beneficiaries will receive a predetermination notice in the mail showing how it was calculated. Being hit with an IRMAA can be overwhelming for many clients, especially for those living on a fixed income, but what some beneficiaries are unaware of is that they can avoid these extra charges. One way that you can help your Medicare clients save some money is by understanding how Medicare’s IRMAA affects them, as well as by helping them avoid surcharges.

IRMAA Surchargescalculator with paper behind it on a desk

The income used to determine the IRMAA surcharge is the MAGI, or modified adjusted gross income, plus bond interest, from 2 years ago, meaning beneficiaries’ 2020 income will determine their IRMAA in 2022. So, if your client reports a higher MAGI in 2020, they will face the surcharge once the IRMAA brackets are released. 

The Consumer Price index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U)

The good news for your clients is that legislation was passed in 2020 that will allow IRMAA brackets to be indexed to the consumer price index for urban consumers, or CPI-U, which means they will need to have a higher MAGI than in previous years to face the surcharges. The MAGIs for 2021 are $88,000 for individual filers, and $176,000 for joint filers, compared to 2020’s $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for joint filers. 

With all that being said, it’s important to make clear to your clients that they shouldn’t overspend at the beginning of their retirement, because the IRMAA surcharges are calculated based on a 2-year look-back period. So, even if their income drops significantly, they will still face these surcharges based on their income from previous years.

Your Clients Can Avoid IRMAA Surcharges By…

Considering Roth Conversions

If your client has an IRA, point out to them that, with a traditional IRA, there is a required minimum distribution (RMD) that has to be withdrawn at retirement age, but they can convert their IRA into a Roth IRA through a Roth conversion. Doing this will mean they will have to pay more in taxes and IRMAA surcharges for a short period, but will ultimately help them avoid being bumped into a higher IRMAA bracket later on, especially if they expect to report a higher income after withdrawing the RMD from their retirement accounts.

Giving To Charitiesillustration of money ten a hand with money bag and then present

If your client has a risk of being charged higher surcharges after withdrawing their RMD, they can choose to donate some of that money to charity; this donation is then considered taxable income, meaning they will avoid an increase in their MAGI, or being bumped up to a higher IRMAA bracket.

Considering Tax-Free Income

If your clients need extra money for living expenses, there are ways they can get extra income without the IRMAA surcharges: for example, they can opt for a reverse mortgage, or a home equity conversion mortgage. Another way to get tax-free income is by purchasing a life insurance policy with cash value; they can withdraw the cash value tax-free, which will help them avoid the IRMAA surcharges.

Appealing The Assessment

marriage certificate being cut by scissors
You can help your client appeal an assessment if there is a life changing event, such as a divorce, that changes their income.

If your client’s income 2 years ago was higher because they were working and now their income is lower because they have retired, or if there is an error in the IRS data, they can appeal their IRMAA assessment. There are also life-changing events that can make them eligible for an appeal, including:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Marriage
  • Divorce or annulment
  • Work reduction
  • Work stoppage
  • Loss of income from income-producing property
  • Loss or reduction of certain kinds of pension income

As the Medicare AEP opens up, you can help your clients save money by signing them up for a Medicare Supplement Plan, but you can also help them save money in other ways, such as by steering them towards ways to avoid IRMAA surcharges. Your clients will thank you, and will spread the word about how you go above and beyond to help them save as much  money as possible.

Twitter 101: A Quick Guide for Insurance Agents

Have you been thinking about marketing on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, or are you already doing so? These are all great ways to reach customers in different age groups, but if there’s one platform you should definitely add into the mix, it’s Twitter. Twitter has been and continues to be one of the leading social media platforms for businesses, including insurance agents: after all, there are roughly 187 million users on Twitter, and reaching them could mean a major boost for your business! And while Twitter seems simple, since you’re limited to just a short 280 characters, you do have to know where to get started, and how to create or share a relatable tweet that grabs attention.

First Things First..

When you open up a Twitter account, you will have to post a picture of yourself, or the logo of your company, as well as create your Twitter handle, or username. Choose wisely here: you want your Twitter handle to be professional and easy to remember, as well as able to make your business easier to find. 

the @ sign in red with a blue background
It is important to pick a professional and trendy handle name in order to attract more attention.

When you’re ready to start tweeting, remember that the key to selling your business and services is to actually start by selling yourself and your personality, NOT by trying to make sales through your Twitter account. Nobody likes being aggressively sold to when they’re spending time on social media; they want relatable information that will help them, or just make them laugh, so start with some lighthearted tweets. As you get more customers following you, answer questions that you get from them, followed by a link to your website or blog 

Different types of things you can tweet include:

  • Shared Content Tweet
  • Shared Content with Commentary Tweet
  • Retweet with Commentary
  • Problem & Solution Tweet
  • Stat or Fact Tweet
  • Photo Tweet

Follow Relevant Accounts

In order to be successful on Twitter, you have to engage with other users, and that includes following accounts that are relevant to your business: when you follow people, generally they follow you back. You should seek out and follow insurance influencers, news publications, businesses, and other agents – just be careful not to overdo it and follow a huge number of accounts just to get followers in return! This is a red flag that will violate Twitter’s guidelines, which will land you with a suspended account. 

Keep It At A Minimum

In 2017, Twitter doubled the characters you can use from 140 to 280, but did you know that the most common length for a tweet is just 33 characters? That being said, research shows that tweets that have between 71 and 100 characters get the most retweets, and tweets that are shorter than 100 characters also get 17% higher engagement than those that are longer than 100 characters. In other words, just because you have 280 characters to use, that doesn’t mean you should constantly be hitting your limit.

Follow The Trend!

The next step is to get into what’s trending on Twitter and to capitalize on it by adding trending hashtags to your tweets, which can get you more exposure for your profile. To find trending topics, you can browse from your dashboard, or use a free tool to help you, such as Hashtagify.

white hashtag with a blue background
Use hashtags wisely: 1-2 hashtags have 21% more engagement than 3 or more.

Use Hashtags #

As mentioned above, to get in on trending topics, you should be using hashtags, which help to group and categorize tweets, and make it easier for people to search for information. Why use hashtags? Well, tweets that include them receive 2 times more engagement than those without them – but it’s important to know how many to use. Nothing is more annoying than seeing 15 hashtags under a picture or other content, and studies show that tweets with 1 or 2 hashtags have a 21% higher engagement rate than those with 3 or more. 

Do Your Homework

Twitter is often used to see what’s happening in the world, so it’s the perfect platform for you to share relevant insurance news; there’s always something going on in the health insurance and Medicare world, so you can use that to your advantage. But, remember, before you share a tweet on a news article or topic, make sure to do our own research first! Know what’s happening, get the facts right, and then contribute to the topic.

Visuals Are A Must

People are drawn to images and pictures, and the same goes for tweets with images: in fact, tweets with images receive 313% more engagement than those without! You can use a picture, image, or even a GIF, just make sure not to use low-quality or generic stock images, since most people are turned off by generic pictures and are more drawn to original images.

Social media is your best friend in growing your business. Twitter is one of those social media platforms that can promise you success, as long as you use it correctly. Before diving in and crafting your first tweet, consider the tips mentioned, so you can #succeed.

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