Christina Finkle redefines the word "commitment." As a Medicare specialist, she leaves no stone unturned when it comes to helping seniors. To do this, she partners with local senior centers, teaching classes for their residents, builds strategic alliances with other financial and medical professionals in her community, and fights to overcome the negative stereotype that so often plagues the insurance industry.
Finkle has this advice for agents: "I do many not-for-profit meetings, helping seniors with their drug costs, and have a partnership with a discount drug card company who provides me free cards. I offer this service for free, and find assistance programs and co-pay cards. In turn, I generate not only a trust relationship, which is very important in this business, but also a lot of leads at a much lower cost than purchasing them. I love helping people, so this fulfills a dual purpose. The financial rewards are awesome; knowing you may have literally saved someone's life is a reward that goes beyond words."
LHP: Tell me about your practice.
CF: I offer Medicare plans, with the vision of building an agency full of people like myself, attaining a great reputation for our genuine integrity and care. In doing so, I envision eventually being large enough, as well as financially solid enough, to have a "not-for-profit" branch full time. As an agent, I have seen horrible poverty, heard the near-death stories because people can't afford their meds when in the doughnut hole. I have watched them cry in frustration and fear. My heart could not turn a blind eye to these issues.
It started with wanting to help. I can honestly say, no amount of money in the world could ever bring the reward that comes from helping our Seniors survive. The Good Lord above has given me an amazing gift for research mixed with stubborn perseverance to find help for these people.
Because of that, I started offering free meetings at senior living communities. Teaching them about the doughnut hole, various ways to avoid it, bringing in free discount prescription cards (printed, cut and laminated by me) various other drug discounts, safe link applications, MSP's, HEAP apps, etc. In short, during these meetings I was NOT selling my Medicare plans.
While doing this, I found that by genuinely trying to help them, I was building amazing trust relationships. After these meetings people would give me their drug lists, I would do research and return with whatever help I could find. This turned into a ton of referrals, and ultimately, clients. The managers [at the senior living communities] love what I do and ask me to return again and again. I have so many of these communities, I need more people.
LHP: Describe your ideal client.
CF: I don't have an "ideal" client. They are all important to me, but my favorite is the that get so excited that they FINALLY understand the doughnut hole when I am done explaining it in terms that make sense.
LHP: Your No. 1 tip is about partnering with non-profits. How has this technique grown your business?
CF: Above, I sort of explained how my business has grown doing my "not for profit" meetings. Also, I was able to partner with the discount prescription card company that I was printing from, and they now send me hard plastic cards with my company name, logo and phone numbers. These cards are not age banded. I leave them everywhere people may see them: doctor's offices, dentists, community centers, mechanics, P&C brokers, etc. I use their brochure, the card made for me and include a rack card on my company. And logically, a company that cares about the community and tries to help people is certainly the company I would pick to help my mom and dad with their Medicare.
LHP: What adjective best describes your prospecting style?
CF: I am driven by my compassion.
LHP: What goal(s) do you have for your practice for the remainder of 2012?
CF: I have several goals for the coming year. A few of them include:
- Maintaining a strong presence in the Senior Living Communities, protecting, educating and empowering them to advocate for themselves.
- Giving "insurance" a new stereotype
- Name recognition and reputation
- Being the agency "you want to work for"
- FMO 6/2013
- Expansion into other states
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