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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.

  • Quick tips for Submitting a Clean app and Avoiding Kickbacks

    Applications being rejected or kicked back can be frustrating and time consuming. You are not only setting aside time to figure out what plan works best for the client but to also meet with them and help fill out the application as needed. Don’t let your time or your client’s time be wasted because of little mistakes that could have been prevented by taking an extra minute to check over your work.

    Be Thorough – One of the biggest hold ups with processing can be that you’re missing the most basic information on an app. As an agent you are responsible for obtaining information such as a client’s name, phone number, address and Medicare ID and these are very important bits of info. However when you get into the groove of writing apps, especially in group settings or during the annual election period where the process comes at a faster pace, you may move right past a question without answering it. Always scrub your own app before submitting to check for these easy to fill questions.

    Make sure the plan selected actually works for your client – Sometimes a simple mistake of choosing the wrong plan can create a kickback. For instance Blue Shield of California only partially covers Contra Costa County and Care1st has a partial county in Alameda County. Knowing a plans coverage area and double checking zip codes is key to making sure you’re selecting the right plan for your client in situations such as those

    Other possible snags to watch out for are making sure you’ve selected the correct special election period (SEP), whether or not your client is dual eligible, or choosing a plan that helps with a specific health issue such as diabetes or a heart condition.

    Provide the Right Paper Work – At various times extra paper work is needed along with the client’s application. Think ahead and predict what documentation could be needed. For instance, in California, Medicare supplements being written on the birthday rule almost always require proof of prior plan. Having a copy of the client’s previous policy ID card and submitting it with the application could save you time from needing to do so later, while the application sits on hold. When writing an application that has an SEP it’s also very important to include the correct information on why it’s an SEP. If the client has recently moved to a new zip code or state where their plan no longer exists then include a letter from their policy’s provider showing they have moved out of the network.

    Paper work showing Power of Attorney (POA) is particularly important to point out because many agents often forget about including documentation for POA since it doesn’t frequently come up. Although there are a few companies that don’t require documentation, the majority of companies do, which is why it’s a good policy just to always include POA documentation.

    Don’t Dawdle with Corrections – If you do have an issue with an application (like you wrote down the Medicare ID incorrectly or have missing paper work, etc.) make sure to get it to the company ASAP. Providers offer a time frame to get corrections in before they reject applications. Once you miss a deadline it is rare that the company will open that application back up again. This leaves you either having to write an entirely new app if the election period is still open or, worst case scenario, it can leave your client without coverage.

  • You Are Not Selling Medicare Advantage, You Are Educating

    People typically don’t like feeling like they’re being sold on something, especially when it comes to something as important as their health insurance. If you give your clients the information they need, they can make their health care decisions with confidence and without you ever needing to give them a sales pitch.

    Here are some things to remember to make your presentations more educational.

    Clients will feel most comfortable if they really understand their plan. – Whatever plan a client chooses, they’ll be happiest if they know what to expect in terms of copays, premiums, deductibles, networks, and added benefits. Disappointment and frustration can set in when a client expects something to cost a certain amount of work a certain way and it doesn’t.

    Clients want to feel like you respect their intelligence. – You may be the expert on insurance, but clients want to be spoken to as intelligent adults and not talked down to. Even if they need the absolute basics explained, treat them with respect and give them the information they need in a way they can understand.

    Explain what they need to know instead of showing off what you know. – All the interesting, complex things you know don’t matter. What matters is that clients get the information that they need. Resist the urge to use unnecessary jargon and go off on tangets. Explain the terminology they do need to know and don’t waste your client’s time with excessive information.

    If you approach client meetings less as elaborate sales presentations and more as conversations with someone you care about, all of this will come naturally, leaving your clients well-informed and confident.