Selling Medicare Insurance – Tips for Picking Your NMO

As an independent agent selling Medicare insurance, selecting your NMO partner is one of the first as well as one of the most important decisions you can make for your career. Understanding the benefits of choosing an NMO that has your back can help agents avoid the common mistake of assuming that all NMOs are the same. In today’s article, we provide insights into how contracting with the right NMO can help you build your business and lead to lasting success.

Let’s begin with what an NMO is. “NMO” stands for National Marketing Organization, though the term is commonly compared with IMO (Insurance Marketing Organization) or FMO (Field Marketing Organization). The designation “National Marketing Organization,” however, is traditionally reserved for the highest level carrier partners. These companies provide agents and agencies top level contracts with Medicare insurance companies that the agent/agency is unable to obtain on their own. Moving forward, we’ll use the term NMO.

Here are the top two reasons why carriers require agents/agencies to contract through an NMO:

  1. NMOs provide necessary support. It’s often said that Medicare insurance sells itself as almost everyone aged 65 and older needs it. While this is certainly the case, Medicare insurance is also a government regulated industry and NMOs are best equipped to assist agents with navigating the particulars of compliance. In addition to compliance guidance, the nation’s top carriers understand that the ideal NMO is also adept at providing sales, marketing, training and other forms of support that ensure agents end up selling more of their insurance products…
  2. NMOs are proven effective at advancing product distribution. As carriers develop new insurance products, they need: a) methods for making consumers aware of their products; and b) ways to sell those products to the consumer. The fact that NMOs (the agents contracted with them) account for roughly 80% of Medicare Advantage sales is testament to the fact that the FMO distribution model works.

Now that we have a better understanding of why an NMO is required for agents to sell top level carrier contracts, let’s take a look at how NMOs differentiate themselves in today’s competitive Medicare insurance marketplace.

Marketing Support. Standout marketing materials that differ from the typical advertisements pumped out by corporate machines give agents an immediate advantage. Beyond exceptional print pieces, event materials, social media videos, etc., your NMO should be able to provide one-on-one assistance with branding and marketing strategies that help you shine in your market.

Technology. An NMO with an ambitious approach to technology makes agents’ lives easier by providing the tools and resources that save time, money and give the agent an advantage in the marketplace. The ability to sell remotely across a number of devices or platforms is critical in today’s environment.

Contracting & Certification Support. Certification and appeals specialists provide step-by-step assistance and personal processing guidance to ensure agents sail smoothly through the contracting process.

Training & Sales Materials. Accessibility is key to ensuring agents have the information and tools they need to succeed — access to experts who can train and guide you, and access to in-field sales materials like personalized Medicare 101 guides and customizable digital presentations.

Commission & Payment Structure. Some NMOs take part of their agents’ commissions, but why would you give away the money you’ve worked so hard to earn? We believe each agent deserves 100% of their commissions! Agents are also served well by receiving their commissions directly from the carrier rather than having the NMO involved as a middleman when it comes to getting paid.

Shared Goals = Individual Attention. There really are two different approaches NMOs take in regard to their agent partners. Unfortunately, many NMOs simply try to make as much money possible by contracting as many agents as possible. The rare NMO, however, understands that their own success depends on the success of their agents and they nurture each relationship in order to maximize shared goals such as increased number of customers, increased sales, increased market share, etc. This latter approach gives each agent or agency more individual attention because success is shared by a mutually beneficial relationship.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you have options when it comes to choosing your NMO partner. That’s why we work diligently to provide each agent/agency with the tools, resources, and individual support they need to succeed. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320. 

Please share!