Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Things to Help Differentiate You as a Health & Life Broker With Your Current and Potential Clients!

Differentiating yourself and your operations in your Targeted Markets may well be the key to: (1) Survival in the Insurance and Benefit Marketplace (2) Saving you Time and Money and (3) Critical to Retaining and Building your Block of Business!

The Problems
A) Unfortunately, the insurance marketplace is more and more becoming commoditized. The dramatic disruptive changes and complexities accompanying PPACA/Obamacare have made it difficult for insurance brokers to truly differentiate themselves from other brokers. Like it or not, most Employers and Individuals view Brokers as the same. They sell insurance, make money, and make the same promises!

B) All Cities and States have a plethora of Brokers knocking on doors and making calls. As an example - though a little dated - According to the 2002 Census, there are over 26,800 insurance agencies and brokerages in California alone, including over 5,000 in metro Los Angeles and over 2,600 in the metro San Francisco area. More recently, according to the California Department of Insurance's commissioner Dave Jones, "The CDI licenses over 1,500 insurance companies and more than 320,000 insurance agents and insurance brokers". 

It's up to you as a Broker to separate and differentiate yourself and your operations from the masses!

10 Differentiators:
1) Utilize Technologies that save your current and potential Clients time and money – It will also make your operations more efficient! The following link is an example of a stand-out quoting engine - ZapQuotes - for California's Exchange Plans and Medicare Supplements. ClickHere
2) Help Reduce Costs – both hard dollar and administrative!
3) Remember that Health Coverage – and confusion about PPACA/Obamacare - is the No 1 concern – tackle that 1st!
4) Offer a broad set of Insurance and Benefit Choices – both Group and Individual. Realize that almost all plans are now “Voluntary”! One carrier cannot provide the best Plans and Pricing!
5) Work with a Private Exchange and utilize a Defined Contribution Plan Design in the Group Marketplace!
6) Help plan and assist with the selected Enrollment Processes – Education, Communication, Type of Enrollment, and Data Management!
7) Be available when the first Payroll Deductions and/or Billing occurs – confusion generates cancellations!
8) Proactively Assist with Claims and Policy Questions – Problems with Claims cause cancellations!
9) Offer and Provide Individual Benefit Statements and Audits at each enrollment period or annually for Individuals – people's lives and circumstances change!
10) Build Trust and Add Value on an ongoing basis! Utilize Social/Business Media and other Inbound Marketing strategies to efficiently and cost-effectively reach your targeted markets!

What will be the results?
    A. Better meet the needs of your Current and Potential Clients
    B. Differentiate yourself from the competition
    C. Protect your book of business
    D. Deliver more value to your client relationships
    E. Write new business    
    For more information about the above, please contact Phil 
         Email - phil@benefitplace.biz
         Call - 216.577.5579
    For Inbound Marketing Cost-Saving Specials - Click Here


    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Inbound Marketing - How Does it Work and Special Offers!

    Inbound Marketing with many facets reaches potential qualified clientsWhat's This Inbound Marketing All About?                    
    Our offices receive a continuing stream of calls asking about Inbound Marketing and the applications for the Insurance & Benefit Industries! The general order of questions is fairly consistent:
    1) What exactly is Inbound Marketing?
    2) Will it work for me?
    3) How do I get started?
    4) What does it cost to get started? See -  Special Offer!
    5) How much time will it take to enjoy Success and an ROI?

    We'll provide you some brief answers!
         1) What exactly is Inbound Marketing? We say that Inbound Marketing is leveraging the Power of the Internet, Search Engines, Social/Business Media, and SEO to have qualified prospects - potential clients - knocking a your door rather than your knocking on theirs! Hubspot - experts in Inbound Marketing technology - states, "Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more." 
         2) Will it work for me? This answer is simple - YES! While the desired results take work, it takes less hard dollars than traditional Outbound Marketing, ie. advertising, cold calling, buying leads, etc.
         3) How do I get started? Getting started can be accomplished in three basic ways: (A) Do it yourself -- (B) Outsource the efforts to one or more companies -- (C) Involve your current marketing staff - continuing your traditional Outbound Marketing - while working with Inbound Marketing professionals who can help you focus on your Targeted Markets through the Power of the Internet, Search Engines, Social/Business Media, and SEO. 
    For most organizations we recommend (C)! You will be able to continue existing marketing processes, start the processes more quickly, and become directly involved in the new world of Inbound Marketing! Getting Started!
         4) What does it cost to get started? The cost of establishing and sustaining an Inbound Marketing strategy is highly dependent on on how you choose to get started - See 3 above - and how dedicated you are to implement a shift from Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing. It should be remembered that in terms of hard dollars, Inbound Marketing is far less expensive than Outbound Marketing. However, it requires dedicated, consistent time and effort. Your staff's time is not cheap and they may have a learning curve! Click Here for a way to get started  
         5) How much time will it take to enjoy Success and an ROI? Inbound Marketing takes time! Just like traditional Outbound Marketing you need to establish yourself within your Targeted Markets! As mentioned above, you need to build Trust and Add Value first. This is generally accomplished through targeting your markets with quality content utilizing Social/Business Media! The good news is that you can build strong relationships and loyal client/customers once you have established and maintained your presence! The sooner you get started the - sooner you'll enjoy an success, an increased client base, and a rewarding ROI!  

    Conclusion -  Inbound Marketing requires a new set of tools. We have been focusing on Inbound Marketing for over 5 years and learn every day! This reasonably new marketing strategy is becoming more and more complex and is rapidly evolving. While challenging, Inbound Marketing presents tremendous opportunities for dramatically increasing your client base, sales, and profits! The Future Is Now!

    For more information -- Email Phil - phil@benefitplace.biz
                                                 Call 216.577.5579
    To Visit Our Special, Limited Time Inbound Marketing Strategy Offers - Click Here!
       

    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    Traditional Insurance & Benefit Marketing/Sales Strategies are Dying! Are You?

    A Must Read For Surviving in the Insurance and Benefits Marketing Arena!
    The death of traditional Outbound Marketing
    Article SectionsThe Death of the Marketer / Salesman & Traditional Outbound Marketing Strategies! -- 7 Survival Questions You Should Be Asking – 5 Ways To Move Fast Forward! Ways To Get Started! (These apply to H&L, P&C, Voluntary/Worksite and Related Services) Conclusion!   See - The Sections Below -- 

    The Death of the Marketer/Salesman & Traditional Outbound Marketing Strategies! According to the Harvard Business Review (Bill Lee) , “Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.” The alternative is Inbound Marketing and Relationship Management! Mr. Lee points out 3 main reasons:
    1. “...traditional marketing communications just aren't relevant. Buyers are checking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet...”
    2.CEOs have lost all patience...72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business.”
    3. “...in today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn't work so well, it doesn't make sense.”

    Survival depends on asking the right questions about your Insurance and Benefits Marketing
    7 Survival Questions You Should Be Asking -- Have You – or Your Staff - Asked Any of These Questions?
    First - Am I getting a good ROI on my marketing/advertising/sales dollars?
    Second - Is cold calling merely irritating potential clients?
    Third - Are buying lists and using call centers still effective?
    Forth - Are my producers better at prospecting or closing?
    Fifth - How can I get my Plans, Programs, and or Services quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively to the market and in the hands of qualified, potential buyers?
    Sixth - If traditional outbound marketing strategies aren't working, how do I shift to Inbound Marketing? – How can I get started without wasting, time, money, or hiring new staff?
    Seventh - How can I leverage the Power of the Internet, Search Engines, Social/Business Media, and SEO?
    Here's An Idea - Mike Volpe of HubSpot suggests, “Start by making a commitment to inbound marketing. Stop the madness of coming up with an entirely new theme and creative concept every three months. Start having a long-term view of your brand, message, and voice -- and what value your company can add to your industry. Stop blasting and interrupting people with advertisements about you. Start being helpful and interesting. Start listening. Start communicating. Start publishing. Stop advertising. Start marketing.”

    5 Ways To Move Fast Forward - 
    (1) Understand, Get Started, and Ramp-Up Your Inbound Marketing! We'll use Wikipdia's
    Ways for the Insurance and Benefits Industries to move forward in the new age of Inbound marketing!
    definition of Inbound Marketing as, ...marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect's attention.Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found and draws customers...”
    (2) Unchain Your Producers from the Shackles of Cold Calling and shift them to working with Qualified Prospects that come to you through Inbound Marketing Strategies!
    (3) Evaluate Your Traditional Marketing and Advertising for the ROI! Cut the Wasted Spending! Re-allocate the Dollars!
    (4) Allocate Part of Your Marketing/Sales/Advertising Budget to Inbound Marketing Strategies – They are efficient and cost-effective!
    (5) Commit to Leveraging the Power of the Internet, Search Engines, Social/Business Media, and SEO for the Long-Haul! The question is not whether Inbound Marketing is here to stay -- It is whether you are?

    5 Ways to get started with Inbound Marketing!
    4 Ways To Get Started with an Ongoing Inbound Marketing Strategy! (These apply to H&L, P&C, Voluntary/Worksite and Related Services) -- Have Self-Qualified Prospects knocking at your doors! Your job is to Convert them into a Buyer/Client! 
    Take a Look at the following Opportunities:

    A. Get Listed on Social/Business Media -- An Insurance and Benefits related Social Media distribution channel that reaches out to 1000s of your potential clients (Like a National Yellow Pages!). 3 separate listings on your Market Sector Pages – Current Special Price - Pay $35 for the Year. Learn more at: http://bit.ly/1t0f6H6

    B. Become an Inbound Marketing Exhibitor for 3 months -- Reach 1000s of visitors who are searching for your Plans, Programs, and/or Services. The BenefitPlace.biz/BPTradeShow virtual tradeshow -- 4 Exhibit Booth Pages, plus Landing Page; 6 Listings; 6 Display Ads: More Market Exposure. Reach You Targeted Markets– Pay $144 for a 3-Month Trial. Learn more at: http://bit.ly/1vXcN4G

    C, Become an Inbound Marketing Exhibitor for 1 year -- Reach your Targeted Markets on a sustained, flexible, ongoing basis! Pay $288 for the YEAR! Learn more at: http://bit.ly/1ywz2Ux

    D. Enlist Your Mega B2B Inbound Marketing Ongoing Strategy Pay $1525 for a 3mos Special – Campaigns include: 5 Booth Pages on BPTradeShow -- Plus Landing Page, 6 Listings on BenefitPlace.biz Sections, 6 Display Ads on Appropriate BenefitPlace.biz Pages, Distribution of Content on Business Media Channels, Distribution of Content on Social Business Media Channels, Consultation on Landing Pages and SEO Utilization. Get more Information: http://bit.ly/1sN28wh

    Conclusion -- It's time - there is time - to make changes to your Marketing & Sales Strategies! There is time to re-allocate the spending of your Marketing Dollars! Your Company and Brand do not need to perish with the the Death of the Marketer/Salesman & Traditional Outbound Marketing Strategies! For more information --  Contact Phil - phil@benefitplace.biz or Call 216.577.5579

    WELCOME TO BENEFITPLACE!

    BenefitPlace hopes you will use this forum to respond to posted comments and share your ideas, questions and expertise related to the overall Employee Benefits and Individual insurance marketplace. Thanks for joining us!