Prospecting: What You Need to Know Now
You have to do it: You have to create opportunities. If you are in sales, you are responsible for creating new opportunities, and that requires prospecting. There is no way around it.
You have to do more of it than you think necessary: If there is a challenge in sales right now, there is none greater than creating enough opportunities. A little prospecting generally doesn’t work. More is better. More than that is what’s required.
Consistency is King: Consistent prospecting produces better results than cramming. Daily is better than weekly. Daily is better than three call blocks throughout the week. Daily is better than any other strategy you might believe serves you.
Cold calling is a Ferrari: If you want speed to results, you use the phone as your primary medium for prospecting. If you are overwhelmed with opportunities and independently wealthy, you might choose another medium.
Email isn’t really prospecting: If no one can hear you ask for a meeting, and if there is no one there for you to whom you make your case for time, then you aren’t really prospecting. Email is for nurturing relationships.
Speaking of nurturing: If you aren’t nurturing your dream clients over time, then you cannot expect to be known for the value you create when you finally have the opportunity to ask for meeting.
The failure to prospect hurts later, not now: You can go days without prospecting. Weeks, even. You might be able to go months without creating a single opportunity. Then, two quarters from now, you have an empty pipeline, and there is no way to build one fast enough.
Your prospecting is not my prospecting: Some people are so effective as to be able to create more than enough opportunities quickly and easily. Others can spend days working targets and produce nothing. What works for you is good if you reach your goals. What is wrong for you might be right for someone else.
Social selling is an above the funnel activity, not prospecting: Nurturing relationships is important. So is establishing yourself as someone with ideas and insights. But if you are not asking for a meeting, it isn’t prospecting.
No one can do your prospecting for you: Not your SDR. Not your marketing department. Not the content creators that work in marketing. Not the event planner that gives you the attendee list of the conference you are attending.
Opening is the new closing: No opportunity is ever closed without first being created. No opportunity is captured before it is created. The top of the funnel is where the action is. The bottom of the funnel is easier.
There is no right time to prospect: Mondays are fine. So are Tuesdays. Thursday aren’t magic. Neither is Friday late, or Saturday morning. The best time to prospect is always now.
If you want to be a rain maker, make it rain. Order takers are going to quickly find themselves disintermediated.
Helping Those in the Lone Star State:
Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information
How to Effectively Answer, "Why Should I Do Business With You?"
No matter what industry you’re in, you’ve likely received some form of, “Why should I do business with you?”
When most salespeople hear this question, they go into tap-dance mode and immediately list all the reasons why they’re great: “Our company is the best, our service is outstanding, we’ve been around for 100 years, and we have the best quality.”
Of course, your prospect expects you to say this, because your competitors are using this same response.
Think about it -- everyone claims to have the best quality and service, even if it isn’t true. Read on to learn how you can switch up your approach, dominate the competition, and capture your prospects’ attention when they ask, “Why should I do business with you?”
1) Start by saying, “I’m not sure that you should.”
Again, your prospects are expecting a tap dance, so this response will completely catch them off guard. It may be unexpected, but it’s also the truth: You’re never sure a prospect is a fit until you’ve had a thorough conversation. Not only is this response more genuine, but it also boosts your credibility. After all, no doctor claims to have the answer until they fully understand the problem at hand.
2) Explain, “I’ll need to know more.”
This shows prospects it isn’t a lack of confidence making you unsure whether they should do business with you. Instead, you’ll come off as the expert who never rushes to make a judgment. While most salespeople swear they’re a solution to everything for everyone, you’ll show that you take a prescriptive approach.
3) Ask, “Would it be okay if I asked you some questions to determine whether I can actually help you?”
This critical question flips the entire interaction on its head. Instead of your prospect grilling you while you perform, you’ll be the one asking the questions -- with their permission. This relieves any pressure to pitch your product or service, instead letting you focus on fully understanding whether there’s a fit.
4) Prompt them by saying, “Tell me about the biggest challenge you’re facing right now.”
This simple prompt allows you to engage your prospect on the real issues they’re facing. At this point, your conversation is no longer about your offering and is instead centered around what the other person hopes to accomplish. This is how to start a value-based conversation with any prospect -- and it’s radically different from the typical conversation that begins with the challenge, “Why should I do business with you?”
To get more insight into improving your sales approach, take this free one-minute sales strengths-finder quiz.
Projected Growth in Medicare Advantage Market Creates Untapped Opportunities
Despite rapid-fire growth that has resulted in upwards of 33% of all Medicare beneficiaries now being enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, few health plans are proactively marketing their offerings to consumers and all but a select few plans are falling short when it comes to successfully addressing provider integration and access to care for their members. Those are the key findings of the J.D. Power 2017 Medicare Advantage Study released today.
"Medicare Advantage plans represent a significant growth opportunity, but many health plans are not maximizing that potential," said Valerie Monet, Senior Director of the Insurance Practice at J.D. Power. "Our data shows that the ability to deliver consistently strong customer satisfaction in the Medicare Advantage market is becoming a key differentiator for the leaders in this space and that satisfaction is achieved through a series of highly choreographed best practices."
Following are some of the key findings of the study:
» Health plans missing premarketing opportunity: Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has been consistently growing. The proportion of the population age 65+ in the U.S. is projected to increase from 14% to 21% in the coming two decades. Despite the significant opportunity to capture share of this market as they qualify for Medicare benefits, just 11% of members in the 60+ age cohort indicate that they had received any communications from their health plan regarding moving from current coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan. Among the 11% who have received premarketing contact from their health plan, overall satisfaction scores are 52 index points higher than among those who received no marketing contact (762 vs. 710, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).
» Just half of members completely understand how their plan works: Industry-wide, just 54% of Medicare Advantage plan members say they "completely" understand how their plan works. When it comes to the cost for prescription drugs, fewer people understand how this works compared with last year.
» Provider integration remains a friction point for most members: Ensuring members generally see their doctor as a trusted partner in their medical care is the most important factor driving the highest levels of overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans. Somewhat surprisingly, it is not the soft skills that engender this feeling of trust, but rather assistance navigating the myriad of healthcare providers and managing associated costs that matter most.
» Coordination of care emerges as key driver of customer satisfaction: A new KPI in 2017 is found to be one of the most important factors driving overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans—coordination of care among doctors and other healthcare providers—but most members say their plan isn't able to effectively help them with this. On average, just 34% of Medicare Advantage plan members indicate their plans met this criterion.
» Medicare Advantage member satisfaction stable year over year for most health plans: Overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans is 799, on average, which is 9 points higher than the J.D. Power 2016 Medicare Advantage Study.SM Despite the significant opportunity to grow in this segment, only one plan improved the member experience significantly from the previous year, WellCare.
Medicare Advantage Plan Customer Satisfaction Rankings
Kaiser Permanente ranks highest in Medicare Advantage member satisfaction for a third consecutive year, with a score of 852, which is 49 points higher than the second-ranked plan. Kaiser outperforms all other plans across five of the six factors that comprise the overall satisfaction index. Highmark ranks second with a score of 803 and Humana ranks third with a score of 794.
The study, now in its third year, measures member satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans—also called Medicare Part C or Part D—based on six factors (in order of importance): coverage and benefits (25%); customer service (19%); claims processing (15%); cost (14%); provider choice (14%); and information and communication (12%).
The 2017 Medicare Advantage Study is based on the responses of 3,442 members of Medicare Advantage plans across the United States.
For more information about the 2017 Medicare Advantage Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-medicare-advantage-study.
See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2017124.
Tags: Medicare Advantage
Part D Saving Beneficiaries Billions on Prescriptions
WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire - The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) today released a new study, "Value of Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR): Impact on Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) Program Stakeholders," showing that the price concessions that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate with drug manufacturers and drugstores and report to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as DIR are generating significant savings for the federal government and are projected to save enrollees in standalone Part D plans $48.7 billion on their premiums over the next 10 years.
"Without DIR, Part D premiums and program costs would be much higher," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.
Major findings from the Milliman study:
Total Value of DIR:
Federal Savings from DIR:
Premium Savings from DIR:
The study assumes Medicare Part D stakeholders do not change their behavior in response to changes in DIR levels.
Tags: Medicare Part D