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Medicare Leads 101 - The Basics

Leads have always been a hot topic, especially among newer agents. Over the next few weeks, we will focus on leads and how you can properly cultivate them from prospect to client.

WHAT IS A LEAD?

A lead, in the Medicare agent world, is a point of contact. This point of contact can be generated by a prospect’s interest in an ad, such as replying to a lead page online, or taking interest in your outreach, such as having a conversation with you over the phone.

In other words, a lead is a person willing to have a conversation with you about their Medicare coverage. The quality of the lead is usually not known until the conversation starts, which brings us to levels of leads.

LEAD LEVELS

Lead levels are degrees of interest the lead (a prospect) has to purchase a policy from you. This can be “A,” “B,” or “C” leads, or any other classification you choose to use. One, two, three, or even color-coded such as red, yellow, or green. Typically, there are three levels, but this can vary depending on how you classify your leads. For our example, let’s stick with three levels.

“A” Leads = More likely to act.

 

These leads (prospects) have a high interest in purchasing a policy from you. They may be losing their group coverage or aging into Medicare and are required to make a change, or they may be a referral from a current client. These are leads we all want, ones that know they must make a change, and the probability of them purchasing a policy through you is high.  

These are also leads that require less “chasing” or attempts of contact. Since the prospect’s need is high, they usually respond quickly to your outreach. More on this in Part 2.

“B” Leads = Not ready yet.

 

B leads are prospects that could change but choose not to. This can be due to limited enrollment times, such as outside of AEP or OEP. You may have had a formal appointment with them, and you presented a plan that had coverage more appropriate for their needs, but they did not change.

B leads have the potential to become clients over time and can be referred to as extended open leads. 

Leads that you reach out to periodically throughout the year, so when the time comes for them to make changes, you have already fostered a level of trust with them.  

This can also be your AEP call list which is your list of prospects you reach out to every AEP to check if they are going to take advantage of the opportunity to change plans.

“C” Leads = Likely not going to change.

 

C leads are your typical group/employer/union prospects that, unless their primary coverage is dropped, are not going to change plans. Most agents will write off these leads and simply move on without giving these leads a second thought. However, there are a couple of reasons to at least keep them around.

Group Plans Change

I sold insurance in the Kansas City market, which is home to a Ford Motor Co. plant. We had a lot of Ford retirees. One year, Ford announced anyone without Union insurance would no longer be insured by Ford. Instead, they would be receiving a set amount each year to purchase their own individual policies. Luckily, I was taught early on in my career to save every contact in my CRM and take great notes. I simply searched my CRM for Ford and came up with a list of prospects, many of whom were affected by this news. 

If I had simply written off and treated these leads as “bad” or “invalid,” I would have missed numerous sales and referrals.

Group plans will change over time. Being able to respond and reach out to those affected gives you a huge advantage over your competition.

Referrals

While the current lead may not have a need to change coverage, their spouse, neighbors, family, friends, etc. may need to change. Becoming that Medicare resource for that sphere of influence can generate numerous referrals.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?

You should save all your leads. Markets, plans, people’s concerns, can change all the time. When those changes occur, you need to have the ability to respond quickly. A “C” lead with great retirement insurance can quickly become an “A” lead should their insurance no longer meet their needs or even be available. 

 

Watch for our next segment on Medicare Leads 101 as we discuss how to generate leads.

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