Mechanics Of The Marketing Plan

You are now firmly established in a relationship with your strategic partner, having established a firm business and marketing plan on how to reach out to their existing and potential client base. So, what is next?

There is an absolute kaleidoscope of materials available for use in marketing your products. These include client letters, newsletters, phone calls, email drip campaigns, and our favorite, marketing events. The beauty of marketing to our clients and those of our centers of influence and strategic alliance partners is that we can do what we want to do and write it off our taxes as legitimate business expenses. One of our former advocates had been a member of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) but was forced to leave the tour when he became a full time caregiver to his mother. Subsequent to her death, he became a passionate LTCI advocate, and combined his passions for golf and insurance by working with a State Golfing Association and putting on workshops at local golf clubs throughout the state. We contributed dollars utilized to fund junior scholarships in exchange for their efforts in filling seats at our workshop events. It was truly a win-win-win scenario as those in attendance would sign up for a needs analysis with a member of our team. This was a perfect cohort to market to because they had the requisite health and wealth by virtue of their participation with golf, and after our workshop were usually very motivated to see us.

“Marketing is nothing more than doing all the fun things that you enjoy and inviting your clients to join you. The best part is that you can then deduct it as a business expense.”

The keys to any successful marketing strategy are:

  • Consistency in both planning and execution. Plan the work and then work the plan.
  • Determining a master marketing strategy and establishing a timeline for implementation.
  • Develop or acquire materials that suit your marketing purposes.
  • Conduct events that clients find attractive, relevant, and of interest to them.

As we noted earlier, the critical aspect of your professional partner’s role is the management of client relations. Ideally the advisor is in regular communications with his client base, and as a matter of course is conveying ideas regarding products, plans, and strategies. Quite often with long term care insurance and similar products they may be at a loss as to how to do this in an effective manner. To this end, a letter such as the following may be a natural way for the advisor to introduce the concept to his clients.

The Initial Client Letter

[Advisor letterhead]

[Client Name] [Date]
[City, State, Zip]

Dear [Client]
It is an immense pleasure working with you to plan your financial future and to maximize your assets. I feel confident that we have established the financial plan best tailored to your needs and wishes for the years to come.

I have become increasingly aware of the financial and emotional risk facing my clients over the age of fifty…namely, the high costs associated with long term care. Most of us know someone who is receiving care at home, in assisted living, or other long term care facility. I had hoped the Federal Government would include long term care in the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and in subsequent legislation. Some progress has been made in the availability of Partnership plans in a number of states, but the accompanying cuts in Medicaid means that this problem largely remains the responsibility of each of us to look out for ourselves and for those we care about.

An increasing number of my clients are concerned about this risk. It was reported by the Federal Government’s Agency for Health Care Policy and Research that seven out of ten couples, reaching age sixty-five, can expect at least one partner to use a nursing home sometime before the end of their life. Depending on where you choose to receive care and the quality of care that you require, the annual cost of an extended stay in a nursing home will range from $90,000 to $140,000 per year! With the stay in care averaging over 2.8 years, this amounts to a substantial reduction of your principal investments. Is it any wonder most retirees count outliving their resources as their greatest fear?

A more recent study reports that almost half (48%) of patients currently in skilled nursing homes do not require such a high level of care and need not be in a nursing home! Which brings me to the most important point associated with this critical planning: The value of assuring one’s ability to “age-in-place,” to stay in the comfort of your own home, avoid overwhelming caregiving costs, and maintain choice and control of your own destiny.

After a lot of research, I have found a dependable solution to this problem. I am proud to be able to offer the services of agent name. Mr./Ms. , and his staff of professional long term care advocates, know all about the different types of care and the products available that cover this kind of risk. What impresses me most about Don and his staff is their ability to explain the complexities of the plan in understandable terms, as well as to tailor a plan to fit the needs of the people that they are consulting with at that time. After spending some time with Don or one of his associates you will have the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not long term care insurance coverage is appropriate for you. We also have a wide range of product offerings available to tailor to your specific wants, needs, and desires.

This is such an important issue to you, that I have asked , a member of my staff, to give you a call within the next two weeks to set up a time for Don or a member of his staff to meet with you for a Needs Analysis. Everyone associated with Don is a true professional on this subject, and better informed than I am about the options available to cover this imposing risk to your financial future.

Don and his staff have my highest recommendation, and we are proud to consider them as trusted associates in serving you and your needs. You will be able to trust his professional guidance in making the best decision for your particular circumstances. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to safeguard the future of you and your family.

[Your signature block]

P.S. If you choose not to meet with Don or a member of his staff for any reason, please return this letter to me so that we will know that you have considered this advice, and that we may update your file accordingly.

TO: [your name]
Thank you for your attention, and kind recommendation to consider long term care insurance at this time. We expressly decline to meet with [your name] at this time to discuss long term care insurance coverage and understand the potential financial ramifications of this decision.

Client Signature(s)

While a letter such as this will provide some level of defense for the advisor in the event a long term care crisis arises, and they themselves become a target of an ever growing and successful plaintiff’s bar, we obviously prefer to be proactive and positive by providing protection to the client rather than merely a “CYA” type letter for inclusion in the client file.

The intent of this letter is to serve as a warm introduction of the concept of long term care insurance, you, and to pivot on the strength of the relationship that the advisor enjoys with her clients.

As previously noted, we also encourage you and your new partner to sponsor joint events to which you can invite your own clients as a sign of appreciation but also to encourage them to bring friends along in hopes of developing even more clients.

We have been raving fans of client events that are both tokens of appreciation to our existing clients and become referral events by virtue of our clients inviting their friends to accompany them to the event. We have found that if the venue is a nice restaurant that it is extremely easy to subliminally convince our clients to in turn “host” their friends at our events. As producers we were extremely successful at converting these guests into new clients which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of new premium.

Take A-ways:

  • Marketing events create awareness of our products and available solutions; agents complete the sale.
  • It all starts with making your elevator speech part of who you are and what you do.
  • Say “thank you” to those you know and get to know everyone you don’t know.
  • “Every partnership requires either a Managing or General Partner to drive the ship. Accept the fact that in most cases this will be you.” —Don Levin

In the next article, we will address the key elements of building memorable marketing events.

Don Levin, JD, MPA, CLF, CSA, LTCP, CLTC, is now the Strategic Relations Director for the Krause Agency following their acquisition of USA-LTC. Levin is the past three-term chairman of the board of the National Long Term Care Network and the past president and CEO of USA-LTC.

Levin has been in the long term care industry since 1999, during which time he has been an award-winning agent, district manager, regional sales manager, marketing director, associate general agent, general agent, and divisional vice president. Levin is also a former practicing Attorney-at-Law, court-appointed arbitrator and is a retired U.S. Army officer.

In addition to his various law and life and health insurance licenses, and the above designations, Levin has also earned Green Belt certification through GE’s Six Sigma program and is a graduate of GAMA International’s Essentials of Leadership and Management. He has also taught Managing Goal Achievement®, Integrity Selling® and The Way to Wealth® to hundreds of leaders and salespeople over the past fifteen years.

He previously possessed FINRA Series 7, 24, and 66 licenses. Levin earned his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School, his MPA from the University of Oklahoma, and his BA from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Defense Strategy Course, U.S. Army War College.
He is a published author of fourteen books in a wide range of genres.

Levin may be reached via telephone at (509) 348-0206. Email: