Are You an Expert Insurance Agent/Broker?

Being an expert in selling insurance, understanding all the policies, what they offer and do not offer, how they can help buyers and how to deal with claims against those various policies is one thing. The other must have to sell insurance is the ability to understand your audience, know their needs and wants, and knowing what would work best for them when it comes to health insurance.

Health insurance is very individualized and no one policy fits all. The savvy insurance agent that knows that does well in sales as they work hard to match a policy to the needs of an existing or potential client. That’s what selling insurance is really all about – helping people take care of their health in the best way possible with a policy that suits their needs and budget.

That means being an expert in all aspects of every policy you handle. What that means is you have an intrinsic understanding of what policies fit each one of your customers and you do not try to “make” a policy fit someone. It’s one of the best ways to be a leader in selling insurance – put the customer and their needs first.

Staying Organized Is Important

It goes without saying that selling insurance requires organization. That said, selling insurance is not always conducive to being neat and orderly, and for certain, it is not always about being able to make and keep appointments the first time they are booked. Selling insurance comes with people hanging up the phone, refusing to make appointments to discuss insurance or canceling a meeting.

A day in the life of an insurance agent is hectic. A normal day may involve phone calls, walk-ins, meetings with staff, making calls to follow up leads, appointments inside the office and other tasks. With on-the-go days it is easy to miss things.

Staying as organized as possible is important for insurance agents. Your sales record depends on your organizational skills.

Selling Insurance? Know Your Product

Often insurance agencies sell more than one health insurance policy. Agents need to be able to sell different types of polices. Selling insurance, no matter what type of insurance, means agents need to know their product inside and out.

To successfully sell insurance, agents need to know their products inside and out. You need to intimately know that conditions and terms of all the policies. It is critical to be able to explain the pros and cons to clients wanting information on health insurance. It is all about educating the potential buyer to sell them what they want and need.

When dealing with multiple insurance policies, not only is it important to know each policy, it is also critical to know how to answer tough questions. Clients will often have questions and concerns.

What about counter-arguments? Yes, most definitely you need to have those lined up as well, particularly to the most common objections that you usually hear when discussing insurance. Only by understanding the policies in great depth are you able to close sales and grow your agency through conversions.

The Difference Between AEP and OEP

Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, Open Enrollment, Annual Enrollment.  There are so many buzz words associated with Medicare insurance sales that it is often difficult to differentiate what it all means.  One of the most confusing things to understand as an agent, let alone as a consumer, is what the difference between AEP and OEP is.

We are quickly approaching Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage plans, not to be confused with Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that is correlated with Medicare Supplement plans.  AEP is an 8 week period from October 15th through December 7th where consumers can sign up for Medicare Part D and/or Medicare Advantage plans.  

OEP and Medicare Supplement plans (aka Medigap) is a little more complicated than AEP. OEP is a six month period from the beginning of a consumer’s Part B effective date. This is when a consumer can receive coverage without any health questions being asked.  There are a few circumstances that would begin an OEP including:

  • -Particular circumstances for someone on disability before their 65th birthday
  • -An individual’s 65th birthday
  • -Retirement and therefore loss of current group health plan after the age of 65

Once an individual has timed out of the six month period, they forfeit the opportunity to buy a Medicare Supplement plan without any medical questions being asked.  A consumer can sign up for a Medicare Supplement plan after that six month period, but they will be subject to health questions that could disqualify them for coverage by some insurance companies.

This graphic from easily explains the differences we have explained above.  We recommend using this to help engage and explain the difference with your clients searching for information on their Medicare options.

Medicare insurance is an incredible investment for new agents or agents looking to expand their product portfolio, but it is exactly that; an investment.

Through our research and discoveries with our long term clients, we have found that Medicare consumers are likely to remain on an agent’s books for upwards of 8 years.  Though forming a client book will happen over time, lead services are a great way to guide consumers your way over a local competitor. While the marketing costs may be higher than referrals, the volume of potential clients is immediate, and the return over that consumer lifecycle pays for itself. 

When you are ready to increase your typical Medicare Supplement volume with exclusive leads, give us a call, because together we succeed!

Are You A Problem Solver? Then Selling Insurance Is For You

You have no doubt heard that old saying: “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions.” This is applicable in selling insurance as well. Customers do not want to hear, “We don’t have a policy that can do what you want,” or “Your family cannot be covered under this policy. You need a more expensive one.”

When people are ready to buy insurance, for example, Medicare/Medigap, they do not want to hear how complicated it is, when the deadlines are, why they cannot have what they want or that they are going to have to do without things. This is a problem for you to solve. The best agent will dig in and find the best deal they can for their client with as many benefits as possible.

Your job is to solve the problems of those applying for health insurance, not create them. Sure, some policies may not fit the person shopping, but there is always something, somewhere that be the ticket for them. While it may not be 100 percent on the money of what they wanted, if you can offer them a solution that is very close to what they envision, it is a win-win.

Benepath Agent Success Series Webinar – Calling Like a Professional

How do your phone communication skills size up according to your clients? Closing sales for insurance agents on the phone is hard enough, but if your phone call delivery is lacking in even one aspect, your efforts could be . We at Benepath want to help ensure your phone calls are as effective as possible, for this reason we are thrilled to announce our first Agent Success Series Webinar.

In this 30 minute webinar hosted by Benepath President, Clelland Green, and Revity Sales Consulting Partner, Morgan Smith, we will coach you in effectively calling your consumer leads to make the most of every second on the phone with them. Clelland and Morgan get right to the point, coaching you topics including:

  • The importance of tone throughout your call
  • Effective messaging to guide a consumer into a sale
  • Proper contact etiquette

We also give you the ability to ask your specific questions to the professionals that will be answered at the end of the webinar!

Sign up here.

How You Use Your Social Media Will Make or Break Your Insurance Sales

Social media can be fun to use, a good place to meet new people, find and share new ideas and even sell a thing or two. The thing is though it is not just a place to hang out if you have serious intentions of finding customers online who are interested in buying insurance. Social media is, also, not the place to lurk and pounce, immediately offering to sell someone an insurance policy. Nothing puts people off insurance agents like being asked to consider buying a policy when they do not know what you sell or who you are.

The best approach to selling insurance online can best be summed up as educating others. When selling insurance you have to first educate your audience about insurance and its benefits. This does not have to be a marathon novel relating to the intricacies of Medicare or other forms of insurance. It can instead be a short “5 Things You Did Not Know About Medicare.” At the end add in your name and contact information and offer to send further information or answer any questions people may have about your post.

A little goes a long way on social media. A little education mixed with a more personable approach of you offering to answer questions will help gain you leads. After all, a little bit of information that makes people want to know more catches people’s attention. A graph, chart or gif offers people an inside look at how Medicare works. The choices you make on what to post are up to you, but remember above all else, to market you as well.

Do Not Be in a Rush When You Join a Social Media Platform

When you first join any social media platform you may be feeling excited and eager to begin posting nonstop. While that sounds appealing, do not jump right in to posting on your social media platform(s). Give yourself time to familiarize yourself with the social media platform. Read what others say, how they say it and study what posts get the most attention.

Taking your time to get a good sense of how the social media platform works saves you the possible later anguish of running afoul of the group rules. For instance, if the platform has certain rules about posting videos or making sales pitches, it is imperative those rules are followed. Taking your time to decide what to do is the smartest thing possible when you are marketing your business online. Selling insurance online is different than knocking on doors, cold calling leads or even buying good leads.

Remember, you are not just selling insurance. You are also selling you. So take the time to be approachable, teach people about insurance, answer questions, be helpful and be personable. The more people read your posts, the better they feel they know you. If you build an online rapport, chances are they are more likely to buy a policy from you later when they need one. In other words, do not just market a policy. Market yourself as well.

How to Talk to New People About Insurance?

Sure, this happens to everyone. You have never met the people at the table where you are enjoying a business lunch with, and suddenly, the spotlight is on you the insurance agent with great policies to sell to those in attendance. While you may have never met the people at your table, other than to shake hands hello, do not speak to them as if you had never met. Now is the time to talk to them like you know them.

This does not mean launch into a hard sell for your favorite policy. It means treating everyone at your table and in the room like they are partners in a venture with you and you would sure like them to come along and learn a few things they may not know about A or B. Call it a moment of education about what insurance can do for people and its benefits. Selling softly is often the best way to open the door to previously reluctant buyers. Watch the room light up when you engage the people in it in a non-salesy way.

Marketing Needs and Customer Needs Do Not Always Align

It is inevitable that you and your customers will not have the same point of view on insurance. In fact, a large number of marketers do not understand the consumers’ point of view. The marketer’s point of view is selling insurance to grow a company and earn a good reputation. Consumers look at it from the point of view of their wants, interests and needs. Customers also look at the marketer and if they come across as being a product driven sales person. Most consumers switch off listening and ignore the pitch. They ignore it because it does not serve them and under those circumstances, a sale is not likely.

To avoid losing sales, you will need to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Be your customer. If you were looking for insurance what would you want, need, prefer and would be interested in? Is it Medicare Advantage? The new plans coming for 2019? The new insurers coming online? The extra options that will be offered to Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries?

If you gain a better understanding of your customer needs, then you will be more successful in obtaining new customers.


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