In this article we will talk about generating leads through targeting veterans and their benefits. In article # 6 we discuss relationship marketing and traditional marketing approaches. In article #8 we discuss how community educational presentations will produce the perfect candidates for Life Resource Planning. In article #9 we will talk about networking as a source of candidate leads for planning.
Approximately 20% of all seniors could be eligible for the so-called aid and attendance benefit, which will provide income up to $2,120 a month to help seniors pay for long term care costs. The Life Resource Survey Questionnaire and the Retirement Planning Survey Questionnaire are both designed to identify older individuals who would be eligible for this benefit. Some of the practitioners who are using our planning system concentrate solely on a veteran’s market and they do quite well.
If you find through a Life Resource Survey or Retirement Planning Survey someone who could qualify for the aid and attendance benefit, our affiliate – The Center for Aging Solutions – will help you obtain benefits for that individual. You will also be paid by The Center for Aging Solutions to do a prefiling consultation in order to determine whether the potential applicant qualifies or not.
Reaching 20% of all seniors – the percentage who are veterans or who are surviving spouses – through promoting veterans aid and attendance benefits is an effective marketing tool. Veterans and their families will come flocking to presentations that you do in the community about their benefits. The cost of marketing to veterans is significantly less than marketing to any other segment of the senior market. Veterans respond very readily to any kind of promotional activities educating them about their entitlements.
The response rate from veterans to mailers or advertising is in the range of 5% to 8%. Compared to the typical response to direct mail of 0.1% to 1%, this is a phenomenal result. Because of the heightened interest, direct mail for veterans benefits presentations can result in 100 or more attendees with little out-of-pocket cost. And the beauty of using this as a way to get in front of seniors is that you are educating them on benefits that many of them don't even know about. Substantial benefits in many cases. Everybody is happy. You feel good about helping people and they feel good about finding money to help pay for their care costs or the cost of senior care communities.
Startup Kit for the Successful Senior Marketing System
We have included a strategy for veterans benefits, Medicare benefits and Medicaid planning into our startup kit for the Successful Senior Marketing System. We recommend using this particular strategy to get started with our marketing tools by putting together presentations at little cost and in a short timeframe. Using this approach, you should have, within a few weeks, a number of people lined up to do Life Resource Planning.
Veterans Benefits for Assisted Living, Independent Living and Adult Day Care Services
A good way to find a concentration of individuals who are in need of the veterans aid and attendance pension benefit is to work with assisted living or other similar type care providers such as independent living or adult day services.
Assisted living is a generic term relating to care communities that provide room and board as well as some help with activities of daily living or supervision for people with dementia. Most states use different terms to describe these types of facilities. Licensing requirements and service requirements will vary from state to state. As a general rule, VA will approve a pension benefit for any of these types of facilities in any state.
Veterans Benefits for Non-Medical Home Care Providers
You might be able to develop a relationship with nonmedical home care providers if you offer to help them get the veterans benefits. The aid and attendance pension benefit is a great source of revenue for private duty home care. You would approach them the same way that you approach assisted living and offer your services. As part of our marketing system we will teach you how to approach these companies and how to offer your services. Veterans Benefits in Nursing Homes It is surprising that practitioners who promote the veterans aid and attendance benefit tend to ignore nursing homes. It may be due to the misconception that the pension benefit only pays $90 a month if someone in a nursing home is receiving Medicaid. This is not always true nor does it always apply. There are numerous strategies that allow pension to be a viable planning strategy for people in nursing homes. We will help you with these strategies as part of our training process.
Direct Mail Strategies for Veterans Benefits
Although direct mail has fallen out of favor for many marketing programs, it still works very nicely for veterans. The mailer is sent to the veteran household, but as a rule, it is often one of the children who reply because they are caring for their parents and making decisions concerning long term care. On the other hand, if it is a healthy veteran, he or she will respond directly to the mailer. People who are doing mailings across the country to veteran households are reporting anywhere from a 5% to an 8% response rate. This is phenomenal considering that most direct mail pieces are deemed successful if they return a 0.5% response rate. We will help you determine how to do direct mail and whom to contact for your mail house.
Direct Mail to Create a Phone Calling List for Veterans Benefits
A number of practitioners are using direct mail to veterans to prospect for new people to get in front of and to sell services or product. The goal here is less to help veterans get their benefits and more simply to push product or service to individuals who happen to be veterans. We don't agree with this strategy. If you are going to use the veterans benefits as a prospecting tool, you should be prepared to help your elderly clients solve their planning needs for their final years of life which might include Medicaid planning as well. The other problem with this direct mail strategy is even though it creates a large number of inquiries, it requires someone with patience to make phone calls, set up appointments and try and weed out those who will be clients and those who will not. Practitioners who have used this strategy in the past have generally given up pursuing it as an ongoing strategy. They have found it produces very little business for them. Hardly anyone answers their phone nowadays. This is not the business model that we embrace.
Direct Mail to Invite People to Workshops on Veterans Benefits
This strategy involves using direct mail to invite veterans or their children to a workshop that educates them on the veterans benefits. The focus here is on education and solving their problems. This strategy does not have as high a response rate as a mailer to produce inquiries only. It does have the advantage of pre-qualifying those who would be more interested in working with you on a planning basis. In other words it helps to weed out the "tire kickers." We like this method because it fits in with our Successful Senior Marketing system for educational presentations.