Q&A with Colin Pickel, Independent Insurance Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Q: How has grassroots marketing played an integral role in growing your book of
A: In my experience, grassroots marketing has been fundamental in achieving longevity in
the Medicare space. For an agent to be successful, he or she needs to focus on developing relationships. These relationships are founded on the ability to find mutually beneficial opportunities and, if achieved, a lifetime of business can be preserved.
Q:What marketing or community involvement activities do you actively participate in to expand your network?
A: I find that senior appreciation days and senior expos are great for meeting potential clients. Many prospects will attend bingo, dance or movie nights, so participating in events of this nature provides a lot of potential for agents who are looking to expand their networks. Participating or volunteering at community festivals is also a great way to generate new relationships.
Q:What resources do you turn to when seeking out these grassroots opportunities?
A: One of the best resources is to simply do an Internet search to see what events and activities are taking place around you. Pounding the pavement with your own two feet and getting out into the community will also help when searching for future opportunities. At one event, you might see a brochure or flyer for another relevant activity. Perseverance and persistence are key when it comes to finding opportunities in grassroots marketing.
Q:What approach do you typically take when marketing in a grassroots setting to ensure you remain compliant with CMS regulations?
A: The most important thing to do when marketing in a grassroots setting is to register your event. Knowing the rules on how to conduct a marketing event or educational event helps me stay compliant with CMS regulations. Be a helpful resource and, eventually, people will reach out to you as a confidant.
Q:What informational resources do you like to keep on hand in case someone specifically asks you about Medicare?
A: During marketing events, I always keep business cards, permission-to-contact forms and Scope of Appointment (SOA) forms on hand if a prospect wants to connect with me at a later date. As for informational resources, I find that Medicare Trifold brochures and the Medicare and You book are great to have at all times if a prospect brings up Medicare organically during a conversation.
Q:For agents looking to expand their grassroots efforts, what tips would you provide?
A: The most important thing for agents to do is make a business plan and execute it. I recommend leaving the house every day by 9:00 a.m. to keep yourself motivated and on a schedule. By focusing on relationships and expanding your network, more doors will open.