With so many digital marketing and sales tools available, the transition to increased virtual work can feel overwhelming. Not only can choosing which tool to use be a time-consuming process, but then you have to learn how to use that tool effectively.
We’re here to help. Here’s everything you need to excel with virtual marketing and sales.
Most video conferencing platforms accomplish the same task - virtual meetings. Video conferencing is a perfect solution for maintaining the personal touch sales requires when you’re serving beneficiaries virtually.
With Medicare, you’ll want to make sure whatever platform you use to share Personal Health Information is HIPPA compliant. You’ll also need to make sure you sign a Business Associates Agreement (BAA) with the platform before you begin using it. Here are some of the most popular HIPPA compliant video conferencing platforms we recommend:
Zoom is one of the most popular video conferencing platforms. In recent months, it has gained popularity for its user-friendly interface and free basic plan, which allows users to host an unlimited amount of 1-to-1 meetings.
It's easy to register for Zoom using your work email address or signing up via Google or Facebook. Setting up and hosting a Zoom call is also easy.
Once you log in, across the top of your screen you'll see options to schedule, join, or host a meeting.
The first step to scheduling a Zoom meeting is to add the meeting details, including topic, description, date and time, meeting duration, and time zone. Note that if you have a free Zoom account, there is a 40-minute limit for meetings with 3 or more participants.
When setting up a meeting you also have some additional options to customize your meeting experience. To protect the privacy of your client and the security of your meeting, by default Zoom requires that meetings have a password for entry.
Additionally, you can choose whether to automatically turn video on or off depending on your call preference. Having video on allows you to see the client as you're talking, but some clients may be less comfortable on video. This setting can be turned off by participants once they join the meeting.
Finally, you have the option to automatically record the meeting to your computer. This is beneficial to keep a record of the meeting and for compliance purposes, but when you start the meeting don't forget to let the client know that you're recording for quality control purposes.
Once you save the meeting, it is added to your list of meetings and you can either start the meeting or copy the invitation to the meeting to share with the client.
When it's time to host your meeting, you simply go to your "Meetings" and hit start. The browser will pop-up a window prompting you to open the Zoom desktop app and begin the meeting.
All your client needs is an email address and internet-connected device to join the meeting. Where Zoom really excels though is screen sharing. Sharing your screen enables you to reference a presentation or other materials with the client as you talk.
To screen share, once the desktop app is launched, all you have to do is hit the "Share Screen" button. If the meeting has already started, you can simply use the "Share Screen" button on the bottom toolbar.
If you are a G Suite user, Google Meet is a convenient video conferencing tool already built into the Google applications, including Gmail and Google Calendar. It's easy to add Google Meet video conferencing to your Google Calendar events and all a client needs to join is internet connection and the link to join.
Google Meet offers recording and screen sharing (called "Present Now") options similar to Zoom and other video conferencing tools.
One of the benefits of using Google Meet compared to Zoom or other video conferencing tools is that with Google Meet, the video conference automatically begins in browser – making the tool even easier to use for the client.
If you’re looking to go beyond simple virtual sales calls, look no further than GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting is the perfect video conferencing platform for hosting larger scale professional events, like webinars or information sessions. It offers customizable meeting links instead of asking participants to join using a randomly generated link of numbers and letters. It also integrates with workflow apps like Slack, Salesforce, Google Calendar, and Office 365.
Our favorite standout feature GoToMeeting offers is the ability to have GoToMeeting call the participant’s phone number when it’s time to join the meeting. This helps ensure your client will get connected to the meeting, especially older clients who may have difficulty navigating the internet.
Unfortunately, GoToMeeting doesn’t offer free services and with so many features, it can be more challenging to use. Pricing starts at $12/user/month with an annual commitment.
Video conferencing can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Putting together a presentation can help keep you on track and will give you something to practice beforehand.
To get you started you can get a branded Medicare 101 presentation here.
Recording calls has several benefits. Not only can it help protect you against sales allegations and serve as a training tool, but it can also help you pay more attention to your client during your call. Instead of frantically taking notes to remember their questions and concerns you’ll need to follow up on later, you can simply replay the conversation.
When it comes to call recording, your best quality option comes with a small fee. TapeACall Pro is one of the most used call recording apps on the market and is available for both iPhone iOS and Android phones. For just $11 you can record an unlimited number of incoming or outgoing calls at any length.
You simply open the app (after receiving an incoming call or before making an outgoing call), tap the “Record Button" and tap the “Merge Call” button.
After, you’ll be able to access your recordings directly on your smartphone. You can even share your recordings with clients or teammates with the simple tap of a button.
TapeACall also has a free version; however, you’ll only be able to access the first 60 seconds of your recording without paying a fee. If you’ll be using the service more than a handful of times a year we recommend going with the paid version.
No matter what option you choose, you’ll always want to make sure you’re familiar with call recording laws in your state before recording a conversation.
Electronic and Telephonic Sales and Enrollment Options
Before you can get started with sales call or enrollment, you must first obtain a Scope-of-appointment. While some carriers offer IVR lines or other virtual ways of completing an SOA, we recommend using the Web SOA tool.
This tool makes it simple to create, share, and complete a custom branded SOA via email, text, online, or on your website. In just a few steps you're on your way to meeting with the client. Register for the tool here.
Each carrier has different policies and options for completing enrollment virtually. You can find a complete list of electronic and telephonic enrollment options by carrier here.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Do you find yourself constantly asking yourself these questions: When do you need to follow up with that client? Did you already send in that paperwork?
It can be challenging to keep up with everything in the Medicare world on your own. That’s where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can help. A CRM is a way to manage all of your client interactions in a single place.
For a HIPPA compliant platform, we recommend ProducerMax CRM. ProducerMax CRM is an easy to use CRM tool that integrates data from your carrier platforms into a central location. With ProducerMax you’ll be able to manage your leads, track your closing percentage, and even forecast your commissions.
File Storage and Sharing
When you’re serving clients virtually and working remotely, having document access on the cloud is essential. This allows you to access your documents from anywhere, anytime, on any device - like a virtual filing cabinet.
We recommend setting up your file storage on your devices similar to how you would traditionally. Create a folder for each carrier you represent and include guides, blank underwriting templates, carrier contact lists, and similar items. The key is labeling your files in a way that you can easily search for them for quick reference when you need it.
Just like with video conferencing, with any file sharing platform you’ll want to make sure you sign a Business Associate Agreements (BAA) before you start uploading.
DropBox is a popular file-sharing platform and most professionals have likely used it. It’s user friendly and is compatible with all operating systems. One of the best Dropbox features for Medicare brokers is the ability to set expiration dates for links. The Dropbox app also has a document scanning feature, making it easy to scan any document on the go or away from the office. Dropbox plans for teams start at just $15/user/month (or $12.50/user/year) and all are HIPPA compliant.
Google Drive is the file storage platform for G Suite Users. A basic plan runs $6/user/ month compared to a business plan at $12/user/month. The biggest difference between these is that the basic plan offers 30GB of cloud storage, while the business plan is unlimited.
If you are a Microsoft 365 user you might prefer OneDrive. However, the only way to be HIPPA compliant while using OneDrive is to subscribe to a business plan. All plans include 1TB of cloud file storage, except Plan 2, which offers unlimited with 5 or more users. The biggest difference between the 3 plans is integration with other Microsoft apps and services like Outlook, Exchange, and Teams. Plans require an annual commitment with Plan 1 starting at just $5/user/month.
Document Scanning from a Mobile Device
Is your sales pipeline backed up because you’re waiting to scan in documents when you get back to the office? Did you know you can scan from your mobile device? Here’s how:
On an Android Device
- Open the Google Drive App
- In the bottom right, tap “Add”
- Tap “Scan” to take a photo of the document
Ensure the document image is clear and easy to read. If not, tap “Re-scan” to take the photo again
- If you need to adjust the scan, tap “Crop”
- If the document has more than one page, tap “Add” to continue scanning
- To save your scanned document, tap “Done”
On an iPhone or iPad:
- Open the Notes app
- Create a new note by tapping the pen and paper icon on the bottom right of the screen
- Tap the camera icon on the bottom center of the screen or above the keyboard and select “Scan Documents”
- Tap the round shutter button at the bottom of the screen to take a photo of the document
- Adjust the image and select “Keep Scan,” or “Retake” if you’d like to take the photo again
- Repeat the process if you have additional pages
- Tap “Save” to finish
Resources for Learning & Training
There’s no better time than now to invest in your professional growth. That’s why we recommend spending at least 30 minutes per day investing in your education, training, and skill-building. This may sound like a lot if you already have a busy schedule. But finding resources is easier than you think and will help you save time in the long run. Here’s where you can get started:
If there’s something you want to learn more about, it’s probably on YouTube. YouTube videos are a great learning resource for audio and visual learners. You will want to make sure you choose videos from reliable accounts, or at a minimum fact check specific information.
Carrier websites offer resources and training specific to their products and plans. Work through it all. Developing knowledge of each carrier you represent and their products makes you a more reliable resource to your client. And the more reliable of a resource you are, the more sales you will close.
Staying up to date with current events and associated changes, like the COVID-19 pandemic, are important. To make finding all the relevant information you need a little easier we developed these Coronavirus Guidelines that will be updated with new information as it comes available.
Utilize a Second Monitor
Using a second monitor is a game-changer. Setting up an additional screen might take up more room on your desk, but it will make your life so much easier. Imagine you are sharing your screen during a video conferencing with a client and they ask you a formulary question. With a second screen you don’t have to disrupt your presentation. You can simply pull up information on the other screen. You can also use the additional screen for your presentation checklist, sales script, or other documents you might not want your client to see.
Setup a Postage Account
Setting up a postage account will save you money if you anticipate mailing packets and promotional materials while working from home. This is especially helpful for agents working in the DNSP market since most clients are unlikely to have internet access to receive sales kits and applications electronically.
Invest in Digital Marketing
In this day and age having a professional and informative website is important for your digital marketing and communication. As more seniors turn to the internet for solutions to their problems, you want to have a website to show up when they search.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when evaluating your current website or considering investing in a new website:
- A good website should clearly tell your audience what problem you help solve, how you solve it, and how to get started.
- Your website should represent your brand, tell people who you are, and differentiate you from your competition.
- Your website should make it easy for people to take the next step with you by filling out a form or clicking to call.
- Websites that rank well on search engines like Google provide users with valuable information and answers to their questions.
To learn more about investing in your website, check out this recent blog article.
The number of seniors using social media has more than doubled in the past 5 years. Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for seniors and gives businesses the opportunity to share their information and connect with their target audience.
It's recommended that you create a Facebook business page that is branded professionally, includes important business and contact information, and displays photos of you or your team.
Once you have your Facebook page setup, there is a variety of opportunities to connect beneficiaries in your community. Here are some ways to get started:
- Invite people to like and follow your page
- Post regularly, 3-5 times per week
- Don't over-share sales-y posts
- Share important Medicare information and community news
- Join and interact on Facebook Groups whose members are your target audience
- Focus on genuine and helpful engagement through likes, shares, and comments on posts of your target audience
Facebook Ad Campaigns
If you’re not utilizing Facebook Ads you’re missing a great cost-effective digital marketing opportunity. Facebook Ads allow you to target specific audiences with your message and offerings.
But you’re a Medicare broker, not a marketing expert… That’s why we’ve partnered with The Marketing Squad to bring digital marketing best practices to Medicare marketing. By taking advantage of Medicare Marketing Support you can let the experts help you stand out from your competition and meet your marketing goals, while you focus on serving your clients.
Serving clients virtually may be a big adjustment and we don’t want you to have to figure it all out on your own. We’re here to help you reach your Medicare business goals. For all of your virtual work, marketing, and selling needs, think “Plan Advisors First!”