Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. Woodstock. Vietnam. Neil Armstrong taking the first steps on the moon. Baby boomers have lived through the most exciting and world-changing events and if you are selling insurance to them, you should understand their history and the lifestyle they expect to enjoy as they age.
Being prepared when you meet your baby boomer prospects can make all the difference in your sales success, because “when you relate to your client, you’re more likely to get them to share.”
Who Are the Baby Boomers?
The baby boom of post-World War II America started in 1945 and continued to surge well into the 1960’s, creating a generation of active, energetic, and educated men and women. This particular demographic, making up 35% of the current adult population in the United States, grew up with expectations of social change, financial success, and pride in their distinction as the driving force in our culture and economy for decades.
Creating such a vibrant identity, baby boomers deserve some attention when it comes to their healthcare insurance…and their numbers provide a huge opportunity for brokers who focus on their needs.
Unique Opportunities to Market & Sell Health Insurance to the “ME” Generation
The vitality and self-expression of the baby boomers are captured in their nickname, ‘the “me” generation.’ Seventy-five million baby boomers are finding ways to continue living healthy and active lives as they approach retirement, while others have been receiving Medicare benefits for several years.
Insurance professionals have unique opportunities to appeal to the specific needs of this aging population. With a current age range of mid-50s to early 70’s (as of 2017), these prospects vary in what they are looking for in health insurance plans, so your sales and marketing strategies may need to vary as well.
Selling Medicare Insurance Plans
As the earliest boomers welcome their 70’s, they are well-acquainted with Medicare. They have been receiving their benefits for years, but may be in need of a change. This is where you can make a difference in their long-term care and insurance coverage, and help them find the Medicare insurance plan that will better suit their current needs and preferences.
Baby boomers already on Medicare may understand what works for them, and what doesn’t. As an insurance professional, you have opportunities to meet their changing needs.
The more senior population of the boomers may have faced changes in their health or lifestyle since they first became eligible for Medicare when they turned 65. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), from October 15 through December 7 each year, gives you the opportunity to market and sell Medicare Advantage plans, or in the case of customers who get their benefits from the federal program and want to continue to do so, you can offer options in stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans.
Take Advantage of Medicare Insurance Leads
For baby boomers approaching their 65th birthday, use the tools available to secure these Medicare leads. Consider buying Medicare insurance leads and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) leads from insurance companies, and reference your own book of business for previous customers aging into Medicare.
Don’t underestimate the potential sales from referral marketing. Those clients aging into Medicare may be open to enrolling in Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans, or Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) and/or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans. The relationship you build can open your business up to ancillary product sales and those all-important referrals.
Back to Basics for Insurance Sales & Marketing to Baby Boomers
Regardless of the particular age or insurance needs of your baby boomer clients, keep this particular generation’s expectations in mind as you address their insurance needs:
- First Impressions Count - This generation will appreciate the time you take to introduce yourself as a trusted professional. Your appearance (don’t be too informal), communication skills, and ability to build a rapport with your potential client will be as important as the quality of your services and insurance solutions you are hoping to sell.
- Tech Savvy Retirees vs. Personal Touch – Baby boomers are tech savvy retirees and may be open to online communication. Use your website and social media connections to build a relationship, but don’t underestimate the importance of your physical presence and attentiveness. Baby boomers appreciate the respect of your attention, without interruptions from texts or other distractions that would waste their time.
- Integrity & Knowledge Over A Sales Pitch - Baby boomers have seen it all – and they will appreciate the knowledge and expertise in insurance plans you bring to the table, as opposed to an effort to persuade them to buy a product. Despite your own age (as you might be a younger broker in the industry), make sure you present yourself as a trusted advisor with the resources to support them, now and in the years ahead.
- Listen & Learn – Listening to your client is crucial in understanding their insurance needs. Ask questions that will lead you to providing the right insurance products for that particular client. Understanding their lifestyle, family circumstances, and plans will help you find the insurance plan that best meets their specific needs. When a client walks away feeling that you took the time to work with them efficiently and thoughtfully, they will be more likely to recommend you to friends and family members.
- Emphasize the Need for The Right Health Insurance Plan - Use the history and experience of the baby boomer generation to illustrate the need for health insurance solutions that will keep them living the energetic, active lifestyle they have worked hard to create. With the right healthcare insurance that meets their personal coverage needs, baby boomers can have many years ahead to enjoy.
Focusing your efforts on insurance needs of the baby boomer generation gives you an opportunity to tap into a huge market for insurance sales. Use your professional insurance website, social media presence, and insurance leads to capture the attention of this iconic population.
Once you have the chance to introduce yourself personally, keep your client’s needs and expectations in mind as you demonstrate your role as an industry expert and trusted advisor.
Curious how you can sell to one of the most influential population groups – millennials? Check out our other post on how to reach millennials shopping for insurance here.