Tips For Selling Insurance During Hard Times

Last year was an unusual year. Many people suffered, from business owners to employees who lost their jobs. Some small businesses had to shut down, which ended in them closing their doors for good and laying off their employees. All of this means that many Americans are facing hard times financially, so you might find that selling insurance is challenging right now. But we have some tips to help; after all, people still need insurance. You can help them, as long as you approach each sale with care and offer ways for customers to save.

Address The Importance Of Insurance

set of hands with paperwork in front of them on a table.
It is important now than ever to explain the importance of being insured during tough times.

When selling during tough times, you need to make clear to your prospects just how important insurance is to their health and well-being. Help them to understand the possible consequences of going without insurance. Create different scenarios to illustrate your point. Remember, though, the goal is not to scare them into a sale, but rather to help protect them from the unexpected.

One way to highlight the importance of insurance to your prospects is to show them that not having insurance can lead to financial risk and loss for everyone, whether it is a business owner who chooses to cut back on commercial insurance, or an individual choosing to opt out of health insurance. A business owner who forgoes insurance can jeopardize their business, because all it takes is one lawsuit to lose everything they have worked for. An individual who chooses to remain uninsured can end up in medical debt if they have an accident or develop a chronic condition. Again, approach the matter with care and compassion, and make it clear that you are not trying to scare them, or they might feel like they are being bullied into a sale.

Look for Discounts

If current customers are thinking of cancelling a policy, or changing to a cheaper plan, sit down with them and see if you can find any discounts available for their current plan. There might be some discounts that you can apply that will help lower costs. For business owners, let them know that they might be able to save money by bundling their insurance policies. Even saving your client a small amount of money such as $5-10 can make a difference to them!

Suggest a Higher Deductible

blue arrows, one pointing downward and the other pointing upward.
Having a higher deductible allows people to save with lower monthly premiums.

If a customer is struggling to pay their monthly premiums because of financial issues, the easiest way to help is by suggesting they go with a plan with a higher deductible. High deductible plans will have lower monthly premiums, which can help them save more money each month, as long as they do not have an accident which will require them to meet their high deductible.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused hardships for business owners and their employees, it has also caused hardships for agents. But if you follow the tips provided, and help people prioritize insurance, then you can succeed during these tough times.

Remember, if you’re looking for leads, one way to guarantee you’ll find them is by working with Benepath! Hundreds of leads looking for all types of insurance fill out our online forms everyday, and after they fill them out, we immediately transfer calls to our agents. Our leads are exclusive and offered in real-time, which sets us apart from other companies. Not only do we offer exclusive real-time leads, but we will even create a thank you page for you. This way leads know exactly who they are about to speak to before the call is transferred! To find out more, fill out your information on the bar to the side, or call 866-368-0377.

What Does “Ready To Sell” Mean?

When it comes to selling Medicare Supplement Plans, you don’t have to limit yourself to the Open Enrollment Period! There are over 11,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, which means not only opportunities to make a lot of sales, but also to earn a residual income. Selling Medicare Supplement Plans is a lucrative business that you can make a good living from, but before you begin selling, you must be “ready to sell.” Just because you are contracted with an insurance carrier does not necessarily mean that you’re “ready to sell.” There are certain steps that you have to take first.

computer mouse over the word license
Check your local state requirements to get licensed.

1. Get a Medicare License To Sell

Before completing any of the following certifications, you have to be properly licensed to sell Medicare products per your state’s Department of Insurance requirements. You must pass a state licensing exam and then apply for your license. Make sure to check with your state’s Department of Insurance for licensing requirements for your specific state.

2. Complete AHIP Certifications

America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, represents over 1,000 companies that offer insurance. In order to sell Medicare products, you will be required to complete AHIP training. The training is designed to educate agents on selling Medicare plans as well as on protecting seniors. When you receive this training, you will learn the basics of:

  • Medicare fee-for-service eligibility and benefits
  • Eligibility and coverage
  • The different types of Medicare plans
  • Compliance with marketing guidelines and enrollment procedures
  • How to detect and report fraud, waste, and abuse

Once you have received this training and are familiar with CMS regulations and guidelines, you will satisfy the requirement of insurers to sell their plans.

2. Complete Carrier Specific Certifications

illustration of a man in a suit motioning towards a certificate

Once you have completed the AHIP certification, the next step is to get certified with the insurance carriers you are going to work for. Some of the large carriers, such as Aetna and Humana, require individual product certifications in order to be able to sell their plans. You will be given three opportunities to pass their product certification test; if you fail all three times, then you will be unable to sell their products for one full year.

3. Finding Valuable Leads

Once you have completely passed all the certifications required, then the final step is to find valuable leads so you can start selling! The best way to do this is to work with Benepath, because we offer real-time, exclusive leads. Customers come to our site, they fill out our form indicating that they are interested in purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan, and then the lead is immediately sent to you in real time. You will receive a live transfer call, as well as a text and an email; they will even be linked to your CRM.

What sets Benepath apart from other companies is that our exclusive leads always expect your call. We provide a custom thank you page for each one of our agents: each prospect will see your information including your picture, your logo, and a brief description of you or your agency. We provide you with better tools, more guidance, and the best leads available thanks to our constant researching and technological advancement.

6 Things You Need To Know About Selling Medicare Supplement Plans

Did you know that more than 10,000 people in the United States turn 65 every day? For insurance agents, that can mean a lot of sales if you get into selling Medicare Supplement Plans. In order to create long-term sustainability for your business, you will need a residual income, and there is no better way to ensure this than by selling Medicare Supplement Plans. If you work hard enough, you could even see a six-figure residual income in as little as three to four years. In order to sell Medicare Supplement Plans, there are 6 things that you absolutely have to know.

illustration of an ambulance
Medicare covers ambulance services, doctor visits, and more.

1. How Medicare Works

In order to completely advocate for a customer, you have to be knowledgeable about the product you are selling. Medicare is divided into 2 parts: Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Part B covers essential medical expenses including:

  • Ambulance services
  • Doctor visits
  • Lab tests
  • Cancer screening
  • Diabetes screening
  • Rehabilitation
  • Durable medical equipment

Parts A and B cover 80% of costs after deductibles and coinsurance, and the other 20% is paid by the beneficiary out-of-pocket. However, if they purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan, it will cover that 20%.

Beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Part A, but they need to sign up for Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period, which includes the 3 months before the month they turn 65, the month they turn 65, and the three months after they turn 65. If they do not sign up for Medicare Part B during this period, they will have to pay a late enrollment penalty of 10% for every year they delayed enrollment. The only way they can avoid this penalty is if they are still insured through an employer’s health insurance plan.

2. Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment

The Initial Enrollment Period mentioned above is also the best time for someone to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan. Technically, a customer can sign up for a Medicare Supplement Plan whenever they want, but if they do not sign up during their Initial Enrollment, then they will face medical underwriting. They can then end up being denied or charged more due to pre-existing conditions.

3. What Medicare Supplement Plans Cover

bag full of dark red blood laying on a table with tubes
Medicare Supplement Plans help cover some things Medicare does not cover, such as blood transfusions.

Medicare Supplement Plans cover the 20% gap that Original Medicare does not pay for. What’s unique about these plans is that they cover health and wellness benefits that Medicare doesn’t cover at all. This includes:

  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Coinsurance and hospital costs for up to one year after Medicare benefits are used up
  • Blood transfusions for up to three pints of blood
  • Hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Medical costs incurred while traveling outside of the U.S.

In addition, Medicare Supplement Plans K and L have annual out-of-pocket limits. Once you reach the plan’s limit, Plans K and L cover 100% of covered out-of-pocket expenses for the rest of the year.

4. What Medicare Supplement Plans Do NOT Cover

older asian man looking at a pill bottle in his hand with other bottles sitting on the table in front of him
Unfortunately, there are some things Medicare does not cover, such as prescription drugs.

Although Medicare Supplement Plans cover some services that Medicare does not, that does not mean that these plans cover everything. Medicare Supplement Plans do not cover:

  • Dental care
  • Eye exams
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Prescription drugs
  • Long-term care

5. When Medicare Supplement Plans Are Accepted

If a doctor accepts Medicare and Medicare assignment, then they will accept Medicare Supplement Plans as well. They can be used for treatment by any doctor, whether in-network or out-of-network. This makes these plans a great option for people who travel.

6. The Difference Between Plans & How to Switch Plans

There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans; the difference between all of them is the coverage that they offer and their price points. A letter identifies each Medicare Supplement Plan: A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, N. Not all states offer all Medicare Supplement Plans, so you’ll have to know what plans are available for customers in your state.

chart of the different medicare supplement plans coverage

***Plans C, Medigap Plan F, and high-deductible Plan F are no longer available to seniors who became eligible for Medicare benefits on or after Jan. 1, 2020.

If your customer already has a Medicare Supplement Plan and wants to switch to a different plan, the only way that they can get the best price is if they pass the set of health questions the insurance company provides. If the customer is within their 6-month Medicare Open Enrollment, or if they have had their current Medicare Supplement Plan for less than 6 months, then they can bypass the underwriting process. If they are not switching within this time frame, then the company can charge them more or deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

Cold Calling Tips For Agents

Selling insurance is a competitive business. Even if you have the most comprehensive policies with the best prices, it won’t matter if you don’t master the art of cold calling and selling your plans. Cold calling requires determination, energy, and a lot of preparation. Calling people who are not expecting to hear from you can be stressful and overwhelming. If it isn’t done right, your calls could end with a hang up. To avoid rejection, we have some tips to help you get through cold calling, as well a sample script you can use to start making successful calls.

Plan Ahead

caucasian woman writing on a whiteboard

Before hopping on a call, make sure that you are ready and know what you’re going to say and ask. Don’t talk about yourself; instead, focus all of your questions on your client. You want to learn as much about them as possible. The best way to do this is by planning all of your questions in advance.

Be Personable

Start your phone calls feeling optimistic and, once you get a potential customer on the line, be open, happy, and personable. After all, your first impression is everything!

Never Ever Ask “Did I Catch You At A Bad Time?”

African American man in a suit sitting outside smiling on the phone while typing on his laptop
Be personable, state your full name and the company you work for so you are in control of the phone call.

If you ask “Did I catch you at a bad time?” odds are the potential customer will say yes and ask you to call back at a later time, with no intentions of ever speaking to you again. You are opening the conversation with a way out for them, so avoid asking this question at all costs.

State Your Full Name & Company

Remain in control of the conversation by stating your full name and the name of your company first. If you leave it to your customer to ask “Who is this?” or ”What company are you with?” then you are put on the defensive. You always want to be the one that is asking the questions and getting to know them. In general, the person who is asking the question is the one who controls the conversation.

Sell The Meeting, Not The Product

After stating your name and the company you work for, state the reason for your phone call. Cold calling is not about trying to sell the product right off the bat; you don’t want to overwhelm your prospect during the first conversation. It is more about getting to the next step of setting up a time to speak again. They did inquire online about insurance, so your job is to find out what their needs are, and see if you can schedule a meeting. Once you have a meeting set, the rest is a piece of cake.

Brush It Off hands at a desk with both pointer fingers touching the thumbs.

There are going to be times that you are going to have to deal with rejection, or with people being flat out rude. Don’t let it get to you; you have to learn to just brush it off and move on. If you get told off during a phone call, you have to remain pleasant, because if you’re rude then you’ll end up with a bad reputation. If you get denied, just get on another call and focus on the next lead.

Sample Script

The following is an example of a script that you can use to help you schedule a meeting, and possibly make a sale:

“Hello [Prospect Name]. My name is [Your Name] and I am calling from [Agency Name].The reason I’m calling is because I see that you’re interested in comparing insurance plans and quotes. I know that having the right insurance coverage is a top priority for you. I would like to review your current coverage and compare quotes in your area for free, so we can see if we can get you a great plan with more benefits at a great price. I’m offering this service for free – all I need is a little bit of your time. I suggest we have a 15 minute meeting so I can assess your needs and discuss your insurance options. Do you have your calendar handy?”

How To Effectively Use Video Marketing

Did you know that YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world? This makes sense: if you’re looking for a quick answer to a question, what better way to get it than by watching an engaging video on the subject? In fact, in a recent survey, nearly 60% of executives said that they prefer watching a video to reading a text. If that’s not enough of a reason to start using video marketing, then consider these stats: only 20% of website visitors read an entire page, but 80% watch videos from start to finish. In addition, your chances of ranking on Google goes up 50 times when a video is incorporated into your website. Now that you know why video marketing is so important, let’s look at how you can use this tool effectively.

red pie chart with 80% and 20% on each piece
Only 20% of website visitors read an entire page, but 80% watch videos from start to finish.

How To Create An Eye-Catching Video

There are many different kinds of videos that you can create, such as “Why work with our agency” videos, customer testimonial videos, videos that answer FAQs, videos that explain types of coverage, or even fun birthday and holiday videos. Before uploading a video, make sure that it is eye-catching, that it will keep the audience engaged, and that it will market your company well. Some tips to consider include:

  • Don’t make your videos too long. Videos under 2 minutes are the most effective, and most people prefer to watch a video that’s only 30 to 90 seconds long. So if you’re creating, for example, a holiday video, keep it short and sweet by choosing an animated format. On the other hand, if you want to make an explainer video with lots of detail, try breaking the information up into smaller segments. It’ll be much easier for your audience to digest the information if they are only given a little bit at a time.
  • Consistency is key. When you are building your company’s brand, you have to be consistent in creating relevant content that helps and entertains your audience. Don’t stray away from your message and start creating irrelevant content, or your audience will get confused as to what you’re selling and what your brand is all about.
  • Be yourself. If you want to engage your audience, get to the point and don’t try to force humor or emotion into your content. Content that feels forced will just make viewers want to skip over your video to find the answer they’re looking for. Simply be yourself and state what you or your insurance agency has to offer. Try recording a non-scripted video so you seem more authentic.
  • Make your video look as professional as possible. You don’t need to have a high-tech camera, you can simply use your iPhone, but make use of editing apps to make your video look as professional as possible. And always film in landscape mode! act now on a yellow diamond sign
  • Add a call to action- Make sure that you give your audience a way to contact you or your agency. You can add a link to your website or phone number where they can reach you.

How to Market Your Videos

Once you feel comfortable with creating videos, it’s time to focus on how to get your videos seen. Try marketing your videos through:

  • SEO linking – When uploading your videos on YouTube, add tags, an appealing thumbnail, and a compelling title and description. Make sure your agency’s name is in the title whenever possible.
  • Email –Include your videos in your email newsletter: when videos are included in emails, click-through rates increase by 200-300% and opt-out rates decline by 75%.
  • Scheduling sites– Use a social media scheduling site to make sure you post videos on a regular basis.
  • Social media– Run a video campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, so that viewers are more likely to share and spread the word about your business and what you have to offer. Keep your video at the top of your Twitter feed so that it doesn’t get lost among your new tweets.

    people with laptops and connecting, forming of a network
    Participate in online communities with the same interests as your business.
  • YouTube– Post your video on YouTube to get it out there, to allow people to share it with others, and to allow them to comment and ask questions.
  • Groups with common interests – Target online communities with the same interests as your business. Participate in conversations or discussions while sharing your video on social media sites such as Facebook or Reddit.

Posting videos is a great way to market yourself and your business. By promoting yourself online you’ll be visible to a wider audience of possible customers. Effective video marketing opens up your business to endless possibilities, and will allow you to stay one step ahead of the game – and your competitors.

How To Improve Your Business’ Customer Service

If you want to grow your business, then customer service is one of the most important things that you need to focus on. Each interaction that a customer has with your business will either build it up or tear it down. Great customer service leaves customers satisfied, and when they are satisfied they’re more likely to continue to do business with you, and possibly refer you to others. And bad customer service? Just remember that customers tell an average of 15 people about a negative experience versus the 11 they tell about a positive experience, and 51% say they will never do business with a company again after just one negative experience. No matter how focused you are on your customers, there’s always room to improve your customer service so that you can increase your sales performance.

make a great first impression written on an orange notepad
First impressions are everything when it comes to attracting a customer.

Your First Impression Is Everything

We have all heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And it holds true; first impressions are powerful and memorable. Within a few seconds of meeting you, a customer will have a solid impression of who you are. Studies show that 55% of first impressions are made by what people see (visual), 38% are made by how you speak (vocal), and 7% are the actual words you say (verbal). So if you are meeting a client, make sure you look professional yet approachable, and when speaking with a client, focus on both your tone and what you say.

Feedback Is A Plus

One of the best ways to improve your customer service is by asking your customers for feedback, and learning from it, whether it is good or bad. You can do this by asking your customers to complete a brief phone or email survey at the end of your interaction with them. Use the responses that you get to learn what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you can make improvements.

african american woman sitting in front of a laptop, holding a cellphone to her ear and laughing
Customers want a personal connection with you, so make sure to build a rapport with them.

Build Rapport

All customers want to feel like they are more than just a customer. Build a rapport with your customers by showing them that you care about them. Use their name often and try to build a personal connection with them. Don’t just focus on automated email responses or run-of-the-mill check-up calls. Make your meetings more personal by showing sympathy with and empathy for your customers. Listen to your customer’s complaints, allow them to get it all out, and show that you care while being respectful. If it is something that you can help them with, then make it your problem so you can help them find an appropriate solution. Use phrases like “I’m sorry to hear that…” or “I can understand how frustrating it is to…”

Respond Quickly

Make sure that your customers can easily get in touch with you, and make sure that you respond to any messages within a reasonable amount of time. In a world of advanced technology and social media, there is plenty of opportunity to connect with your customers faster than ever. Return calls within a reasonable amount of time (88% of customers expect a response within 60 minutes), follow through, and always establish the next steps, so that your customer knows what to expect and when they can expect to hear from you.

Communicate Clearly2 women sitting across from each other talking.

The insurance world is a complex one, and it has a language all its own. Customers are coming to you to find the best deals, but they are also coming to you for help translating that language, or because they don’t fully understand the process. Simplify the process as best you can and make everything as clear as possible for your customers. Always end your conversations with a question like, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” or “Is there anything you would like me to go over again?” This gives customers an opportunity to ask questions so they are not left lost or dissatisfied at the end of the conversation.

Admit Mistakes

If you make a mistake, always own up to it, even if the customer hasn’t noticed it yet. This not only builds trust, but also restores your customer’s confidence in you, and allows you to control the situation. After you correct a mistake or solve a problem, be sure to call and follow up so that your customer stays satisfied with your service.

thank you note surrounded bu flowers, macarons, and a pen
Thank your customers so they feel appreciated.

Thank Your Customers

Always thank your customers for entrusting you with their business. Make them feel appreciated and thank them after they provide you with a new referral, or give them an incentive for providing a referral to you. There are different ways you can show how thankful you are, such as buying them a cup of coffee or sending them a thank-you note. A little appreciation can go a long way.

Lead Types

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