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  • 10 Words That Could Kill a Health Insurance Sale

    Setting up a meeting with potential new clients can be a lot of work. Why ruin a potential sale by using easily avoidable words?

    Here are ten words that can kill a sale and how to avoid them if possible.

    Customer
    Yes, the people you serve are considered customers, however the word “customer” isn’t a very personable word. Using a word like “client” instead of customer helps make a person feel more valued.

    Commission
    When you remind client’s you’re getting paid for helping them with their insurance needs they might suddenly feel like you’re looking out for your own interests instead of theirs. Even though you both know you’re more than likely getting something out of helping them, there’s really no reason to bring it up.

    Buy/Purchase
    It’s important your clients knows exactly how much they’re going to have to pay for their insurance. However, it’s also important not to sound too pushy. Sometimes the word “buy” leads a client into feeling like they’re cornered or like they’re talking to a pushy used car salesman and not someone helping to plan their insurance needs. Using words like “enroll” or “invest” help create a friendlier environment.

    Free
    Calling an insurance plan “Free” is just asking for an issue later on down the road. When there is a zero premium plan do not tell your clients that it is “free.” Instead, call it exactly what it is: a zero premium plan.

    Cheap
    Whether or not something is “cheap” is completely subjective. This is a word that could lead to hard feelings or could create an awkward environment. Instead, try using the phrase “relatively inexpensive.”

    Maybe/Possibly
    Both of these words could make you look wishy-washy. The only way these words are ever acceptable is if they’re followed up with an action plan. EX: “Possibly, but let me just call the company real quick so I can have a solid answer for you.” By adding the action sequence, you’re telling the client that you’re not sure but you’re willing to figure it out.

    Honestly
    “Honestly” completely backfires because it actually causes distrust. If you start a sentence with “Honestly…” your client will subconsciously think you’re not being completely honest with them.

    Satisfaction
    This word is one of the most used words in sales, which is why it has come to have a negative effect in sales meetings. Just saying the word lowers the meeting in a way where it can sound like an infomercial.

    Obviously
    If the information you are providing your client is obvious, then they wouldn’t need you. To assume what you’re saying is already known could cause the client to feel like they are incompetent. Making your client feel incompetent could cause hard feelings, in turn making you lose the sale.

    Best-Seller
    Just because something is a best-seller, doesn’t mean it’s the product that’s best for your client. It’s easy for a client to feel like you’re not doing your due diligence in helping them and are just putting them in a box because it’s what other people choose. It’s better to make a client feel special than making them feel like they’re just one of many. Even if a product is a “best-seller” it’s better not to mention it unless a client specifically wants what’s most popular.

    Phrases and words like these can hinder your ability to reach clients. Subtle changes like these can help you improve your relationships, in turn helping you bring in more business.

  • How to Complete a Medicare Drug Review

    According to the Department of Health and Services around 73% of seniors take prescription drugs, which is why prescription drug coverage for those on Medicare is so important.

    Here is a step by step guide on how to help your client find a prescription drug plan that suites them best, based on their prescription needs.

    STEP 1: Go to www.Medicare.gov and click on “Find Health & Drug Plans.”

    Step 1

    STEP 2: Put in your client’s zip code and click “Find Plans.”

    Step 2

    STEP 3: Enter your client’s information based on what fits their situation best. Click “Continue to Plan Results.”

    Step 3

    STEP 4: Enter your client’s drug information. When you start typing in the name of the prescription, the name of the drug should auto-populate. It will then let you know if a generic option is available and allow you to choose that option if your client is interested. After that it will ask the prescribed amount of pills per month, etc.

    Step 4

    STEP 5: Once all of your client’s drug information is inputted, click “My Drug List is Complete.”

    Step 5

    STEP 6: Next choose which pharmacy your client would like to use. You can choose multiple options so that you can compare prices between pharmacy options. Then click “Continue to plan results.”

    Drug_Step7

    STEP 7: On this screen you can narrow down your search based on if they are looking for just a Prescription Drug Plan, or if they are looking for Medicare Health Plans with drug coverage. Once that is chosen click “Continue to Plan Results.”

    Step 7

    STEP 8: This screen will show your client’s various plan results. From here you can compare plans based on costs, benefits, etc. Clicking on the plan name (such as the one circled in red below) will show you the plan details, which will give you a more in depth view of the plan, as well as the star rating.

    Step 8

    STEP 9: This is an example of the plan detail page.

    Step 9

    Remembering to review your clients medications annually will help make sure that they get the coverage that makes the most sense for them.

  • The Impact of the Election Year on Medicare Marketing

    The results of the upcoming Presidential election could bring about a host of changes, but even before that, the election year itself can mean new marketing challenges for agents during AEP. So what should you be prepared for?

    Fear of changes – Because Medicare is a major campaign issue, seniors are likely to be more concerned about potential changes and less certain about their options for 2017. With the promise of a new administration reforming Medicare, clients may be worried about making a decision, only to have things change.

    Congested advertising space – Remember that the election is smack in the middle of AEP! In the final lead up to the election, people will be inundated with campaign related direct mail pieces, television commercials, and print ads, making it harder for yours to be seen.

    Limited advertising available – Due to the volume of political ads being scheduled in the lead up to the election, television networks will almost certainly run out of available advertising space, and print publications may as well. Both will likely charge a premium, particularly on the specific networks and publications that best reach seniors.

    So, how do you combat this?

    Be prepared to reassure clients – Clients may be more cautious with their choices or less sure about their options because of potential changes to the Medicare program. Have some talking points in mind to remind them that any changes as a result of a new Presidential administration will take time and they should make the best choice they can based on where things stand now.

    Plan for advertising early – Get in touch with your contacts at television providers, newspapers, and direct mail houses earlier than you think is necessary to make sure you can get your advertising out when you need to. There’s likely to be longer turn around time in addition to less availability, so getting in early will be key.

    Be as creative as possible – There will be so much advertising, it will be more important than ever to find ways to stand out from the crowd. People are going to have red, white, and blue postcards by the dozens in their mailboxes and wall to wall ads in their newspapers and magazines, so start thinking now about how to make yours stand out.

    While planning marketing for AEP is always a significant undertaking, remember that this year will bring with it unique challenges. Plan ahead and save yourself some headaches!

  • What NOT to do When Working With Clients

    There are tons of articles out there telling agents what they should remember to do while on a client visit… but what about what not to do?

    Here are 4 tips on things to avoid when working with a client.

    Treating Your Clients like a Sale and Not a Person
    Sometimes when you get caught up in the moment you just want to “close the deal” but when it comes to insurance that “deal” is actually a person. Insurance directly affects the well being of a person so it’s always important to remember to go into a sales meeting with the best interests of the client in mind, not with whether or not you’re about to make more money. This thought process can actually help create more business through referrals, because if your client is happy, they’ll want people to know.

    Showing up Without Being Prepared
    When you schedule a meeting you’re not only carving out a chunk of your own time, but your client’s time as well. They also have places to be or people to see, so showing up unprepared could easily be the primer of what makes them unreceptive to what you have to say. Taking the time to ask a few questions and do a little research beforehand could be the thing that helps you seal the deal.

    Leaving out Information or Options
    One of the biggest reasons an agent can face an allegation is because they didn’t thoroughly cover the plan options with their client and later their client becomes confused. It’s important to give the information as plainly as possible and also to leave all of the necessary paper work so the client has the information at their fingertips. The client is relying on you to help them understand their policy so by leaving out pertinent information you could be jeopardizing your relationship with your client and also the client’s health in general.

    Forgetting to Complete a Follow-up
    You’ve met with your client, you’ve figured out their needs, you’ve written the policy and now you’re done, right? Not exactly. Following up to make sure your client’s policy was approved is an important final step to securing your sale and making sure your client is insured and happy. Don’t go through all of the work just to fall flat at the last step by forgetting to make sure there aren’t any loose ends that need attention.