"Do emails get delivered on Sundays?"
That's a hilarious caption for the 'Grandma Finds the Internet' meme online. This particular meme features an image of an elderly woman staring at a laptop screen, wondering whether emails get delivered on Sundays. While this meme depicts seniors as a digitally clueless bunch, a 2017 Pew Research Center report says otherwise.
According to the Pew report, 82 percent of 65- to 69-year-olds today are internet users. Two-thirds of this age group have internet access at home, making it easier for them to go online any time they want. Plus, four in ten seniors (adults aged 65 and up) now own smartphones, a rise of 24 percentage points (from 18 percent to 42 percent) since 2013.
All this data about seniors adopting the internet and smartphones may not be a good thing for their grandchildren who have to deal with every embarrassing (but adorable) comment, tweet, or message from them. But this is definitely good news for a busy Medicare Supplement Insurance agent like you.
Rising digital literacy among seniors make it easy for them to find insurance agents over the internet. But when you partner with a Medicare FMO like TR King Insurance Marketing, we make it easier for you to get in touch with potential clients, increase your coverage area, and make faster sales.
Why Selling Medicare Supplement Products Over the Phone Works
Around 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 every day. While these thousands of Baby Boomers are automatically eligible for Medicare, they still need Medicare Supplement Insurance, so they don't have to pay for the healthcare costs that Original Medicare doesn't cover.
You can fill that coverage gap by reaching out to them via phone. After all, the younger seniors are comfortable to use their smartphones to connect with others and navigate the internet to complete transactions quickly and paperless.
Other than being digitally capable, people aged 65 and above don't like spending a lot of time shopping around for the best healthcare plans, making them the perfect clients to talk to over the phone.
One reason for reluctance is that seniors feel anxious over plans that look too complicated. You can easily address this issue by making quick and concise presentations over the phone. Using other digital tools, such as videos and infographics, which you can send through email after the call can also help simplify the idea of the plans.
Another reason seniors don't shop around for more healthcare coverage is they get too comfortable with their old choices. They stick with the same basic plan year after year, even if this means losing out on potential savings for insurance copayments and other out-of-pocket medical expenses. But with you reaching out to them, you can help seniors prevent the costly mistake of having gaps in their coverage.
Selling Medicare Supplements over the phone is an advantage for you as well. You can reach more potential clients in less time, while still delivering the same value. You can reduce mailing costs and unnecessary paperwork. You can speed up the enrollment process. Plus, you can sell across the state without ever having to leave your office, which means reduced travel costs for client meetings.
It's also more personal than having to talk through email or instant messaging because you can negotiate with and convince customers in real time. There's little to no uncertainty if they'll reply to your offer or answer your questions. And when it comes to vital tasks like selling Medicare insurance, calling is ideal. The reason for this is clients prefer talking to a real person when it comes to high-value purchases like insurance.
But of course, doing business over the phone comes with a few challenges. For one, you lose the face-to-face connection that is crucial to building rapport and reading body language. Phone conversations can also cause misunderstanding. Fortunately, there are a few ways to overcome these challenges.
Here's a Four-Step Guide on Selling Medicare Supplement Products Over the Phone
Develop a Simple Script
Following a script when selling over the phone helps you present a plan in an organized manner. Still, you need to make sure you maintain a flowing conversation with a prospect and not sound like a robot. Vary the pitches in your voice or tweak the script depending on the personality of the prospect.
Pro Tip: We often encourage using scripts as guides and developing your own way that fits YOU!
Selling over the phone is different from prospecting, but these two share the same basic sales fundamentals, such as qualifying the prospect, building rapport, and introducing a product. If you already have a script for prospecting, you can base your script for selling on that.
Otherwise, here are a few reminders when developing a script for your sales pitch:
- Create a Quick, Concise Opening Line - Introduce yourself and what you do in one or two sentences. Don't take too long as the prospect may hang up. Also, state how long you anticipate the call to be and make sure to stick to that time schedule.
- Qualify the Prospect Right Away - While building rapport with the prospect, qualify them so you don't spend too much time on the phone when there's nothing you can do for them. Ask their age, current insurance coverage, monthly premium, and other necessary health information to see if they can benefit from what you're about to offer.
Explain the Plan That Fits Your Medicare Client
Pitch the plan. Paint a clear picture of the unique benefits of getting a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan, especially how it can help them save on out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Make sure they understand that Original Medicare Part A is different from Original Medicare Part B and that there's a gap between these two coverages.
Medicare Part A covers hospital expenses, including hospital stays and skilled nursing care (as long it's not a long-term or custodial care). Part B, on the other hand, is the health insurance coverage. It covers expenses that come with a doctor's office visits, lab work, outpatient surgeries, and other preventive services.
Part A and Part B doesn’t cover 100% of certain health services. If seniors need such services and all they have is Original Medicare, they have to pay for these costs with their own money — hence, the need for Medicare Supplement Insurance plans.
Pro Tip: If the prospect is already equipped with Medicare Supplement Insurance, tell them how a different carrier or an alternate plan can be a good option. Highlight the unique selling points of your insurance products and solutions.
In addition, provide time for answering the questions your prospect may have after hearing your pitch. Make sure to have a conversation to build a positive relationship with new clients, even without the face-to-face connection.
Close Strongly Selling Medicare Supplements Over The Phone
Write a closing line that effectively asks for the business. Offer to enroll them over the phone, and highlight the convenience of such process. If you can't make a sale right there and then, ask if you can follow up after a few days, so you still end the call with a clearly defined next step.
Or use an “assume the sale” approach. Simply ask for them to go ahead and get their Medicare ID card, checkbook, so they can be enrolled.
Use a Phone Dialer and Automate Your Processes
Offering Medicare Supplement Insurance plans over the phone helps you save time and effort. But if you want to be competitive among agents who also sell plans via phone calls, use a phone dialer.
A phone dialer is an automated online system that dials the numbers of prospects for you. It can pause and resume dialing, and play on-hold recordings to help you provide superior customer service. More importantly, it helps you save plenty of time from punching phone numbers manually. All you have to do is sit back and wait for someone to say hello so you can start your pitch.
Get Consumer Data For A Solid Plan
You now have a script and a phone dialer. You're ready to wow the first person to pick up their phone.
But wait, who are you going to call? Do you already have a list of leads to call?
Companies that provide phone dialers often offer a dialer + data package. This package is one of the most efficient ways to get call lists. You no longer have to worry about who you're going to call. Your phone dialer automatically dials all the consumers' phone numbers that are already in its system.
Pro Tip: You may also feed your own call list to a dialer. This is a good strategy if you want to call your clients for retention or have a specific group you want to get in touch with.
With a phone dialer, it's easy to make your consumer data lists targeted by using various filters. These filters include age, location, income, and net worth. With targeted lists, you can do a better job helping consumers get the insurance plan that best suits them — and this can be your edge as an agent.
Offer E-Enrollment For Your Clients
Since seniors today are comfortable with navigating the internet, electronic enrollment is an ideal way for them to speed up the process of getting the right, adequate medical coverage. They can complete forms from the comfort of their home. The same goes for the agent: you can arrange the paperwork without leaving your office, making the enrollment process more convenient and less time-consuming.
But before all that, you need to make sure your insurance carriers offer enrollment online or over the phone, with no face-to-face requirement. This is where TR King Insurance Marketing comes in.
We help agents connect with reputable insurance carriers that don't only offer great Medicare Supplement Insurance policies but also allow e-enrollment for those plans. As an insurance field marketing organization, we're here to make your everyday work as an agent easier.
We even provide online training programs to improve your product knowledge, helping you feel confident when talking to prospects over the phone. That's why, other than our four-step guide, we offer additional tips to help you master the art of selling Medicare Supplements over the phone.
We Have Additional Tips for You
- 1Call Your Prospects by Their First Name. Addressing your prospects by their first name helps you build rapport. Plus, this makes the conversation casual. Your elderly prospects won't feel like they are pressured to buy something right away.
- 2Smile and Be Energetic. Your prospect can't see your face, so your voice is the only tool you can use to show your personality. Smile, be energetic and talk to them like they're right there in front of you. It's hard to sound unpleasant when you are smiling and full of energy during a sales call.
- 3Expect Getting Rejected. Phone sales are much less personal, at least in the initial conversation than a face-to-face sales presentation. And since you're reaching out to far more people, there's a chance more people would tell you "no, thank you" or "sorry, not interested" and hang up.
Pro Tip: Don't take rejections personally. Instead, focus on the idea that every 'no' gets you a step closer to a 'yes'.
Bonus Tips for Expanding Your Reach
- Call Across Your State - Maximize the opportunity to sell across the state without leaving your office. This doesn't require new state licensing, so you don't have to worry about that. As you should already be licensed in your resident state. Once you get more comfortable in selling Medicare Supplements over the phone, you can start expanding your reach by calling prospects outside your state. This will require new state licensing.
- Call After Business Hours or on Weekends - Keep in mind that many seniors, especially those who are in the 65 to 69 age group, are still working or leading active lifestyles. Reaching them after business hours or during weekends is a viable option.
- Leave a Voicemail - If your prospect doesn't pick up the call, don't forget to leave a voicemail. Keep the message short and mention your name and contact details. Make a follow-up call after two or three days if the prospect does not get back to you.
Position Yourself to Be Profitable Today and Tomorrow
A new kind of senior citizen is emerging today — a digitally capable kind. These seniors are on Facebook, they know how to take selfies, and more importantly, they embrace the power and convenience of smartphones.
If you're a health insurance agent targeting seniors, you can count on electronic gadgets and apps to be the perfect tools to get in touch with them today and tomorrow.
As mentioned, 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 today, and around 10,000 more will cross the retirement line every day for the next several years. Remember, these seniors won't be waiting for your sales email on a Sunday, so you better get moving, run your dialer, and start reaching out to them.
Want to know more about selling Medicare Supplements effectively? Give us a call today.
Key Takeaways In This Article
- Selling over the phone is a viable option that should be considered to save time and effectively provide value to your client while increasing revenue.
- As technology continues to be utilized face to face is becoming less important and value being delivered is increasing.
- Be punctual, call on time and be professional. Build meaningful relationships with your clients.
- Establish yourself with a partner that can help you gain experience with Medicare supplement phone sales.
Over to You
We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on:
- Do you sell insurance over the phone, why or why not?
- Have you considered selling Medicare supplements over the phone, what is keeping you from taking the leap?
- Do you currently utilize electronic applications, why or why not?
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We will carefully read each one of them. Happy Selling!