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5 Tips For Recruiting The Best Medicare Agents To Your Downline

Patrick McCarthy

The Medicare FMO space is becoming increasingly competitive. FMOs that desire to not only compete but to thrive need to meet the evolving expectations of both their carriers and their agents, staying on top of emerging trends at all times.

Carriers look to partner with FMOs that are able to process impressive numbers, cross and upsell their offerings and integrate seamlessly into their sale and service processes. The key to success – happy, hardworking agents, equipped with everything they need to succeed in their sales.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to ensure you’re recruiting the best Medicare FMOs to your downline.

1. Hone Your Employer Brand And Recruitment Messaging

When it comes to finding the right Medicare agents for your organization, recruitment shouldn’t be a passive process. There are numerous factors that need to be considered as part of your recruitment strategy, not least the fact that the power dynamic has shifted into the agent’s favour in recent years Today, good agents can afford to be choosy. As such, it is vital that you consider your recruitment strategy from all angles, to ensure that what you offer represents an appealing proposition to your ideal candidates, whilst differing from what your competition is offering.

It is estimated that more than 76% of millennials consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work, and that nearly 64% will not take a job if a potential employer doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility in place. This indicates that while commission and bonus structures are important in attracting agents, they are only a part of the offering mix, and are not guaranteed to be the only contributing factors when they make their partnership decision.

It is also important for you to consider what contract types you offer, what your organizational release policies are, and additionally, how your company culture is experienced.

Take time to clearly specify and understand the demographics of the agents that you are looking to attract. For example, are you looking for young individuals who are still building their careers, they will be hungry for opportunity? Conversely, do you prefer more experienced individuals, who may be seasoned, but set in their ways? In either case, you should think about how the position can be fine tuned in order to hold targeted appeal.

2. Embrace Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has become something of a buzzword in recent years, but FMOs risk underestimating its importance at their peril. Digitally transformed FMOs have a competitive advantage over those that lag behind, offering more efficient working environments and a greater ability for agents to scale up their sales more effectively. This means that they are delivering better bottom lines for all involved.

Digital transformation also helps improve the market reputation of a business. Digitally transformed organizations are more likely to be perceived to be forward-thinking, on the cutting edge of technological innovation. From the perspective of agents, this helps to reassure them that the company is invested in their future success, providing everything that they need to be effective and efficient in their dealings with clients. This also communicates the reassurance that they won’t be disadvantaged as they might be if they choose to partner with a more digitally primitive competitor…

Being a digitally transformed business also means that you and your agents have greater access to data, and therefore better insights into clients and potential clients. Through the application of data-enabled insights, agents and FMOs can leverage numerous advantages that will help them to be more effective in their dealings. Data can help agents to learn more about leads in advance, therefore making them more prepared for their sales meetings, and having a better preliminary understanding of the person that they are sitting with. Data can also help the agents hone their sales techniques and make them more effective closers.

There are numerous options available to digitally transform your business, from digital distribution sales platforms to commission tracking tools such as Commissionly – that enable agents to gain better control over their earnings and payments. Build out the perfect stack to complement your organizational goals, improving your recruitment and retention.

3. Create A Compelling Commission Structure

Commission structures are important consideration factors for agents, when deciding on which FMO to partner with. The commission on offer ultimately governs an agent’s bottom line, therefore it is imperative that FMOs get this factor correct from the offset.

When considering your commission structures, it is important to take into account the following factors:

Transparency

Agents - understandably - want to know what they could be earning. Additionally, they want to know when they will be paid, how they will be paid, and how often they will be paid. As a result, it is important for FMOs to have a clear and concise methodology in regards to the remuneration of their agents.

Competition

It is important to understand who your competitors in the market are, but it is even more important to understand what these competitors' offerings entail in terms of their structure and compensation incentives, as these will directly affect your ability to attract and retain the right agents.

Simplicity

Having commission tracking software like Commissionly within the business will allow for simplicity of the relationship. As a profit-seeking organization, you want your agents to spend the bulk of their time pursuing sales, not trying to figure out what they stand to make.

Payment Cadence

How often an agent can expect to be paid for their sales efforts is a vital component of their decision-making process. Research preferences here, and endeavor to offer payment schedules that align with your findings.

Reputation Matters

Reputation is the number one talent attracting tool that an FMO has, and the good news is, it is under your control. From this perspective, it is important to build up a reputation of paying well, and paying on time. Commission tracking software like Commissionly can be hugely beneficial in this regard as it allows you to handle payments easily and efficiently while simultaneously helping to mitigate against the occurrence of payment discrepancies. After all, if you look after your current agents well, they will be your biggest advocates when it comes to attracting new talent.

4. Offer Mentorship

Mentorship is an undervalued recruitment factor that is viewed very favourably by the type of talent looking to take their career to new heights. It can also be an exponential competitive advantage in the market. From this perspective, FMOs can use their mentorship programs as draw cards in their communication activities and marketing mixes.

Strong mentorship programs hold the following benefits for agents and FMOs alike:

  • Pairing new recruits with your top performers gives them an advantage in the market and increases their chances of success, while simultaneously reducing their learning curve time dramatically. Additionally, this type of mentorship increases the likelihood of the agent staying loyal to the organization once they have found their feet.
  • Mentorship allows you to create a sense of recognition and acknowledgement in your existing agents, and rewards them for their successes.
  • Strong mentorship and mentorship programs help the organization to build better internal relationships through healthy competition. This kind of internal dynamic leads to lower churn rates over time and keeps your recruits invested and engaged in a culture that is optimized for their success. This in turn lowers the cost of recruiting for the organization via better agent acquisition.
  • Consider pairing mentorship programs with other value-adding factors such as dedicated training and access to learning resources. Will ensure that the agents get the most out of their learning experience with your company, and will ensure that they get the best possible chance of realizing their potential.

5. Learn From Your Best Performers

Finally, while all the other factors described in this article are important in terms of helping you toto attract and recruit the best talent that the market has to offer, there’s one pre existing resource in your organization that you might be overlooking – your best performers. By paying attention to the habits, needs and criticism of your top performers, you will be able to adapt and streamline your organization in order to ensure that you can attract more talent just like them.

When learning from your MVPs, the following factors are a good starting point:

  • Identify what attracted them to your FMO in the first place. This will allow you to understand what the value proposition of your organization is to those top performers, and will help you to cultivate this reputation.
  • Understand what has kept them loyal to your FMO. This will show you where your organization is adding value to their experience, and also help to identify the factors that are likely to be important to other top talent from a retention perspective.
  • Find out what is helping them to sell so successfully. This will allow you to upweight that factor in the business process and potentially make it more effective and efficient, helping grow your reputation as an FMO where serious sales are made.
  • Let them tell you how their jobs could be made easier. This will identify inefficiencies within your systems and processes, and will show where you need to concentrate in order to make your agents’ lives as easy and pain-free as possible.
  • Tap into your agents in order to identify the emergence of trends within the industry. This will allow you to strategize against their impact, ensuring that you are ready and prepared for all eventualities.
  • Ask them what would make them recommend your FMO to another agent. This will again reinforce where your organizational strengths lie, and give you the foundation to build them up.

Conclusion

The modern medicare landscape is one that is defined by increasing competition. Attracting and retaining the best talent is paramount to the success and long-term survival of any FMO. However, as ever, talent is in high demand, and a solid recruitment strategy is required to obtain and retain it.

Gone are the days when you could ‘set and forget’ your recruitment practices. Today’s most talented agents are increasingly demanding, and it is vital that your organization constantly assesses your value proposition, making adjustments accordingly. Corporate reputations are slow ships to turn, so be sure you’re laying the correct foundations.

If you’re looking for a place to start, ensuring that your agents are paid accurately and on time should be a top priority. Commissionly’s dedicated Medicare commission management software was specifically designed for FMOs that want to stand out in the marketplace and become the go-to destination for all the top performing agents. If you’re ready to digitally transform your business and its reputation, we’d love to help.