Medicarians 2022 Panel Discusses Medicare Technology Must-Haves

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This June, experts and members of the Medicare industry gathered in Las Vegas for the 2022 edition of Medicarians, the conference formerly known as Medicare Supplement Conference.

The place of technology in the industry was among the many hot-button issues discussed on-stage at the MGM Grand, especially during the panel Stacking Technology: Creating Uber-efficient Agents Able to Meet Consumer Expectations, which featured Convoso’s own CEO & Co-Founder, Nima Hakimi. Moderated by Jill Henderson, VP & COO of Neishloss & Fleming, the panel also featured:

Over the course of their session, these experts covered Medicare sales and enrollment tech from a variety of angles. Agents looking to grow their operations certainly won’t want to miss out on their insights. Watch the replay in full here:

 

 

Highlights from the Medicarians 2022 Panel

Unable to watch the full panel? We’ve pulled together some of the can’t-miss moments from the discussion below to save you time.

Jill Henderson: What superhuman power does an agent need to be the most successful in today’s market landscape?

Nima Hakimi: There needs to be personalization. Agents need to be able to connect with the consumer. It’s not about seeing customers as a “lead,” it’s about understanding that you’re talking to a human and being able to provide them with the needs they have rather than simply selling them a policy.

Brendan Mcloughlin: I think the superpower would be to figure out some sort of Terminator-type AI that says, “This is absolutely the right policy or bundle of products for this person.”

John Fallot: [Superhuman] listening and knowledge. First and foremost, you’re never going to understand your client’s situation without listening to their needs. And second, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of spending an hour a week on a carrier or a carrier platform learning about technology. That’s your armor—that’s what is going to differentiate you from the next agent.

 

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JH: What technology do you recommend using to assist with efficiency, productivity, and our time resource?

Hakimi: From our perspective, when you’re talking about engaging a person, you need [tech that supports] an omnichannel approach. You find a lot of agents or agencies that just hammer somebody with call after call after call. Then, at the end of the day, the call comes up as “Scam or Spam Likely” and they don’t pick up. Or they do pick up, and they’re really frustrated. You might also have agents that just sit behind the computer and send a bunch of text messages. There’s no real strategy around how to engage customers and connect with them.

So, how we look at it is, we want to strategically come up with that approach that’s built around a combination of calls, texts, emails. And through automation, you can do a lot of that. You can spread it over a long period of time, whether it’s a week, few weeks, or month, and you don’t hammer them to death with calls. 

Without that real strategy, we hear all the time that leads aren’t converting. Or that the qualityof the leads isn’t good. When in reality, the quality isn’t always the problem—it’s the strategy along with the technology that you’re using to get those leads on the phone.

Henderson: So there’s no bad leads, only bad agents.

McLoughlin: I’m going to get a tattoo of that on my arm…I would think through things like lead generation, ROI computation, managing of commissions—all of those things that really aren’t sales and marketing, that aren’t about putting the best product together with the right customer, and find a technology partner to solve those things for you, so that you can focus on what you do best.

Joseph Schneier: Almost every day I’m still surprised when I speak to agents and see how many processes are still done manually or on paper. One of the real ways to think about this is to ask: What am I doing that’s a real time-suck? Chances are there’s a technology that can solve that. The more things that you can move over to being automated, that’s more time that you can spend gaining knowledge and talking to your customers in a way that’s more meaningful. 

 

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What if I’m an agent who’s been here for 40 years, selling on paper. I’m afraid to crossover into this world of technology. On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is it for agents to embrace and take that dive into technology?

McLoughlin: It’s a 10. I’ve been in healthcare for about 30 years, and I’ve been in technology that whole time. I’ve seen industry after industry hit that tipping point where suddenly technology becomes a must. Like with electronic health records (EHR) 4-5 years ago, we’re saying that’s never going to happen. But now, if you don’t have a good EHR system, you’re behind.

And the reason why it’s a 10 is because if you get behind, it becomes incredibly difficult to catch up. Technology is a way to stay current…And with a flood of young agents coming into the industry, we’re reaching that tipping point. 18 months, or even just a year from now, we’ll be back up here and talking how it is a must to have automation and be rid of paper documents.

Fallot: It’s a 12, at least…Any of this technology that you’re thinking about brining on, now is the time to do so. It’s the time to do any due diligence that you can to see whether [a technology] is going to save you time or make you more efficient during the upcoming annual enrollment period.

How much do I need to invest in technology if I’m ready to change?

Hakimi: I don’t know that there’s a black and white answer to that question…There’s always cheaper solutions out there, but cheaper doesn’t mean better. I would say look at what solves your biggest problems the best. Because it will be more incremental in terms of the cost difference, but the difference in the output and results can be significant. So, don’t be cheap when it comes to technology.

 

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While we’ve covered a lot of ground here, there’s lots more to unpack in the full video. Hear from the panel on how big you should be before investing in technology, whether Med Supp or MA will lead the market in 2030, and much more.

 

 

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