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Choosing the Best Field Marketing Organization

A Guide for Insurance Agents and Advisors

Insurance Agent Meeting With Clients About Health Insurance

What is a Field Marketing Organization (FMO)?

A field marketing organization (FMO) is an intermediary sales office that operates between insurance carriers and insurance agents/agencies. In exchange for a fee (usually as part of an operating agreement, i.e. contract) FMOs perform a number of business functions including recruiting, product and brand management, training, contracting, commissions, technology, leads and more. An Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) operates in a similar fashion as an FMO, and the two were traditionally defined by the size of the organization, products offered, and commission amounts. However, the two terms are now used more interchangeably. FMOs and IMOs can offer a variety of insurance products like senior health insurance, Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance, under 65 year old individual health plans, life insurance, annuities, long-term care and retirement planning solutions.

Key Terms to Know


Field Marketing Organization (FMO) — an organization designed to support essential business functions of both the insurance carrier and sales agency. Historically, FMOs were established to market medical insurance products, but modern FMOs are not limited to offering one type of product or selling in a specific area.

Independent Marketing Organization (IMO) — an organization designed to support essential business functions of both the insurance carrier and sales agency. Historically, IMOs were established to market financial insurance products, but modern IMOs are not limited to offering one type of product or selling in a specific area. Independent Distribution Company (IDC) is a synonym for IMO.

Managing General Agents (MGA) — organizations that partner with IMOs and form their “downline” or sales structure. MGAs can have specialized business agreements with IMOs that help their businesses thrive.

General Agents (GA) — individuals licensed to sell certain insurance products and are contracted directly with an IMO.

Insurance Agent Utilizing Her FMO's Back-Office Support

What Are the Benefits of Partnering With a Field Marketing Organization?

All agents and advisors want to provide an excellent client experience. However, the reasons agents choose an FMO will vary depending on where they are in their career. Agents new to the industry may need help understanding products and generating prospects. Other agents may be nearing the end of their careers and thinking about succession planning. Most agents get into the industry because they love to sell insurance and many need help with the administrative portions of the business. They require quality carriers and products to offer, as well as the tools necessary to support the needs and desires of their clients. In addition, most agents would like their partner to be their back-office support, guiding them through the process of submission and monitoring that process through completion.

FMOs also serve an important role in protecting the rights of clients, as well as preserving the livelihood of agents. Whether it's becoming a lifesaver for busy agents to compliance updates to simply being an advocate, an FMO will help many insurance agencies weather the storms of the industry.

Medicare Agents Contracting the Top FMO

How Do Insurance Agents and Advisors Select the Best Field Marketing Organization?

Before selecting an FMO to work with, agents should know and understand the unique value proposition of the FMO. At Senior Market Sales we are dedicated to helping agents leverage their time, make more money, and put their business in a position of distinction. Often times, FMOs are evaluated only when things get “bumpy” (industry changes, commission/production issues, etc.). When agents partner with Senior Market Sales, they get a dedicated marketing consultant who will support their business plan and is invested in creating a positive day-to-day working relationship. Don’t just to take our word for it — learn about how Senior Market Sales has impacted agents and agencies from across the industry.

Looking to Find a New FMO? Here Are Some Questions To Ask Before Making a Change:


Is this FMO well-established and has a background of industry leadership?

Does this FMO partner with quality lead-providers and offer marketing systems that are proven to work?

Does this FMO offer numerous quality carriers and products, especially in or around my sales area?

Does this FMO offer sufficient technology that will extend my business and make it easier to sell?

Does this FMO offer concierge-level service?

Medicare Agent Using Lead Advantage Pro With Clients

Why Do Insurance Agents Choose Senior Market Sales as Their Field Marketing Organization?

Senior Market Sales has a reputation for being honest and keeping their promises, and believes that agents shouldn’t be forced into doing business in a particular way. Over the years, Senior Market Sales has been a driving force of innovation throughout the industry. Lead Advantage Pro®, our quote-to-enrollment platform was built based on decades of experience, and has helped agents and agencies quickly scale their businesses. Whether providing proprietary tools or partnering with other industry leaders, Senior Market Sales can enhance a producers’ business and give them everything they need to compete, whether large or small. With the partnership of a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), agents who partner with Senior Market Sales can fully support their clients from both a health and wealth perspective. Learn why agents think Senior Market Sales is the best IMO in the industry.

Financial Advisor Choosing The Top FMO

What Are the Reasons for Not Working with or Switching from a Field Marketing Organization?

Partnering with an FMO isn’t always the best fit for every agent. Some agents prefer the regiment of working for a captive (directly for a carrier) brand. Others may already be working with another FMO and find it too difficult or costly to switch. In some cases, Senior Market Sales can negotiate a release and find a way for agents to amicably switch FMOs. It may take some time, but a successful partnership is always worth the wait. Senior Market Sales has been in business for over forty years, and we plan to continue long into the future.

How Can Insurance Agents Join Senior Market Sales?

Insurance agents and financial advisors wanting to join an FMO should consider what sort of value they need from a partner. Senior Market Sales continues to help agents nationwide with their businesses. Start a conversation with a marketing consultant and learn how we can help you.

It’s like having an entire powerhouse at my fingertips.

Susan
SMS Agent

SMS has been there to help us overcome any obstacle.

Heather
SMS Agent

They always have the time for you. They’re a pleasure to work with, responsive, personable and hardworking.

Tim
SMS Agent

A holistic approach to working with seniors.

Todd
SMS Agent

Having a partnership with SMS allows us to focus on what we do.

David
SMS Agent