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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.

  • 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.

     

  • Keeping Your Client Information Secure

    In 2015 there were multiple data hacks with big companies where client’s information was infiltrated, leaving clients vulnerable to fraud. Now, moving forward from these huge data breaches, many companies are cracking down on making sure client’s information is as secure as it can be, especially in the insurance field where client’s information is floating around on applications, ID cards, etc.

    As an agent it is your responsibility to keep your client’s data as protected as possible. But what information needs to be protected and how far do you actually need to go to protect the info?

    What information needs to be kept secure?

    The first thing about making sure your client’s information is protected is knowing what information actually needs to be protected. The most basic and secure answer is that everything should be protected. It is your responsibility to protect any information a client gives you which includes their addresses, email addresses, social security or tax identification numbers, credit card or bank account info, and anything else that you collect that could be used against your client in a fraudulent manner.

    This means applications, copies of clients ID cards, and other personal documents all need to be securely stored, whether in electronic format or hardcopy. Also, when disposing of old documents make sure they are disposed of properly such as with a paper shredder or similar method.

    How do you keep clients information secure?

    Keeping a clients information secure really depends on how you are using your client’s information. Is it a hard copy application or document or is it purely electronic?

    • Hard Copy: All applications and documents with client information should be kept in a locked area. This could be a room or something as simple as a filing cabinet with a lock. Applications and documents should not be left out in the open or stored in areas easily accessible by outside persons.
    • Electronic Storage: Documents with client’s information should be kept in limited access areas, even on computers. This means making sure a computer is password protected, and that firewalls and anti-virus software are in place, etc. Also, the computer or server where the client’s info is kept should not be something that is easily accessible by the public or even employees who have no reason to have access.
    • Electronic Communication: All electronic correspondence regarding your client should be done through a secured manner, such as a secured email system. You can find your own form of secure email by doing something as simple as googling “secure email service” or talk with fellow agents or up line* to see what they’re using.

    *Agent Pitstop offers a secure email service for our agents to correspond securely with us, free of charge. If agents would like full access where they are able to email anyone, it is $60 per year.

    What can happen if you don’t keep your clients info secure?

    If you are not currently doing everything you can to keep your client’s information secure, you are not only putting your clients at risk, but yourself as well. If you are found at fault for not securing your client’s information and it is stolen you could be at risk of not only losing your contracts with carriers but also your insurance license in general.

    If you have any questions or concerns about securing your client’s information contact our compliance department at compliance@agentpitstop.com.

  • Communicating with Seniors

    As an agent you spend most of your working hours trying to make connections to gain more business. But what happens when you make these connections? How do you connect with clients in the senior market to build the trust needed for them to allow you to handle their health care needs?

    Here are a few tips to help build lasting relationships with your clients.

    Speak Clearly and Articulate Your Words – Something as simple as speaking clearly and articulating your words can go a long way. It’s also important to watch your volume. You want to be audible so they can understand you, but you don’t want to be shouting, which could be misconstrued as aggression, when a casual speaking voice would suffice.

    Listen and Remember – People enjoy talking, especially about things they’re excited about like family achievements, upcoming events, or stories from their past they think you’ll enjoy. Learning how to be a good listener is simple but can go a long way to build trust. Especially if you retain some of the details you’ve learned about your client and are able to bring it up again the next time you see them. Asking things like “How was your 50th wedding anniversary celebration,” can go a long way to keep you in good standing with your client.

    Repeat but Don’t Talk Down – As an agent it’s one of your main duties to make sure your client understands what they are signing up for when it comes to their health plan. Making sure they understand might result in you needing to repeat yourself a time or two. This doesn’t mean you should talk down to your client though or that you need to “dumb things down.” It just means you might have to go over the highlights more than once.

    Ask, Don’t Assume – Showing your clients you care about what’s going to work best for them can build a solid foundation for trust. Part of this is asking them to describe what their needs are in their own words. Don’t just assume you know what product would suite them best without having a conversation and getting their input.

    Be Patient – When speaking to a senior client, don’t rush them or talk over them. This really ties into the points above about listening and not assuming. Sometimes it takes a moment for a person to collect their thoughts so they can properly articulate what is needed to be said. Patience goes a long way in building trust.

    Overall the important thing to remember is that the client matters most. If you’re treating the client with respect, listening to their needs and trying to communicate effectively, you’re doing your job right.

  • Why Do Clients Want a Brand Name?

    Often agents can be frustrated by a client’s insistence on going with a particular brand name carrier, despite price and benefits that suggest they should go with a different company. So what is it that makes clients willing to spend more money for a brand name?

    They think higher cost is worth lower risk – Clients can perceive the more familiar company as being a lower risk than another, lesser known company. Higher cost is a tradeoff that they’re willing to make, because health care isn’t the type of thing on which most people want to take a risk.

    They think higher price means it’s better – It’s not uncommon for clients to expect that the higher priced product with the company name they know is somehow better. As an agent you know this may or may not be true, but clients are generally looking at their insurance purchase the same way they would any other purchase. The more expensive brand name is likely better than the less expensive generic version. Remind them that it’s more like generic prescriptions, where they’re essentially the same thing at a much lower cost than brand name.

    So how do you combat this?

    Show clients the CMS materials – By showing clients the “Medicare and You” or “Choosing a Medigap Plan” booklets, you can help them see that plans are regulated and that they’re protected by the federal government. For Medicare Supplement clients, show them the chart in the “Choosing a Medigap Plan” booklet that shows the different plan benefits and the part where it says that all letter plans are standardized and provide the same benefits.

    Show them ratings and explain company track records – Star ratings and financial ratings for insurance companies can go a long way to soothe a nervous client who is reluctant to choose a plan that would be a better fit because of company brand recognition. If you can show a client that both plans they’re considering are four star plans, or that both companies have an A rating, it can help them see past their bias towards a familiar company.

    Give them what they want – Ultimately, if a client is set on a particular “brand name,” give them what they want. Explain the benefits and the downsides and let them make the choice, even if it isn’t the one you would make. They’re the ones who have to be comfortable with the coverage provided and the cost.

    As is usually true, your job is simply to educate your clients and let them make the choice with which they’re comfortable.