Beyond Meetings: Medicare Marketing and Sales Strategies During COVID-19

• Author: Jim Sciancalepore, Vice President/Sr. Creative Director

hc insights - beyond meetings

One Media Logic colleague recently closed on a mortgage refinance – not at the bank, but while seated in an open-air terrace outside a pub.

Another bought a car without a single test drive – negotiating all the details via text and signing the papers on a picnic table outside the dealership.

A few have described sitting in their cars outside the hair salon, waiting to be called in one at a time for their first haircut in months.

Several have appreciated the ability to get takeout margaritas from a favorite restaurant or fresh beer deliveries from a nearby brewpub.

Yet another needed emergency dental work a few weeks ago. He noted that he couldn’t understand what his dentist was saying because she was double-masked and behind a face shield. (The procedure, nonetheless, was a success.)

In other words, even amidst the social distancing protocols of COVID-19, people are finding innovative ways to do business and to attain the products and services they need or want.

But how will this impact Medicare marketing and sales strategies this fall? How can Medicare marketing and sales professionals connect with their prospects, who are among the most vulnerable populations, during this pandemic? Are sales meetings/seminars, a tried-and-true engagement tactic, off the table? And, if so, how can Medicare Advantage plans, agents and brokers make the same kind of personal connections with their best leads?

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Just like purveyors of mortgages and margaritas, Medicare marketers and sales teams will have to get creative – and meet with prospects on their terms. As one of the nation’s leading Medicare marketing firms, Media Logic has a few suggestions.

The first and most obvious consideration will be to bring the traditional sales meeting online via Zoom or other videoconference technologies. At Media Logic, we have helped several clients pilot this concept in recent years – not to plan for a potential pandemic, but simply acknowledging that new-to-Medicare consumers are increasingly tech-savvy and self-sufficient. Like many emerging solutions, COVID-19 has only accelerated this trend.

Seniors, desperate to connect with their kids and grandkids, are now much more comfortable with these technologies. According to our 2020 Senior Media Habits Study, Zoom and FaceTime are the most popular videoconferencing platforms with seniors. However, for Medicare sales and marketing pros, it’s not as simple as making your usual presentation in a virtual setting. There is a distinct difference between addressing a captive audience in a meeting room versus holding their attention while they’re watching from home. From making your script extra crisp to ensuring your slides are legible on a variety of devices to being ready to field questions via chat or live audio, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your presentations to optimize the experience. To make virtual meetings more personal, you may also want to consider providing videoconference sessions on a one-to-one basis by appointment – with the content tailored to each prospect.

Beyond virtual meetings, are there other ways to meet with prospects one-to-one while making them feel safe? Could you set up a tent outside your office, complete with heaters for the chilly autumn months? Can you make an arrangement with a local restaurant that already has cozy outdoor seating? Would your sales team be willing to meet with folks on their porches or backyard decks (and maybe show up with logoed masks for an extra branding touch)? For prospects who need extra handholding, these tactics will show them how much you value their business.

Of course, now more than ever, you need to make sure that your digital house is in order. Does your website enable prospects to easily enroll online? Do you offer robust explainer videos, e-versions of information kits or other digital assets to help educate prospects and support your broker partners? Are you prepared to nurture prospects via digital touchpoints, such as text or email?  If you can’t get your web experience optimized in time for this fall, consider offering prospects the ability to make an appointment for enrollment support by phone or videoconference – allowing you to walk them through the process step by step.

The point is: in a year like no other, you will need to be agile and open to meeting your prospects’ needs like never before.  But for those smart marketers who are ready and willing to exceed consumer expectations, this is a real opportunity to win their business and their loyalty.

If you’d like to discuss these and other ideas, or need help sharpening your Medicare marketing and sales strategies in time for October, feel free to contact us today.

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