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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Embracing Over-the-Phone and Online Med Supp Sales

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jul 01, 2011 @ 09:03 AM

Medicare SupplementsAn agent’s interactions with their prospects and clients are rapidly changing with the online age and influx of Baby Boomers becoming Medicare eligible. Gone are the days where the agent has all the information and a face-to-face meeting needs to take place. Now, seniors are able to research available companies in their area online and have an idea of what will be the best fit before they speak to the agent. Also, the method is changing too. Seniors today are just as comfortable talking over the phone or via email about their options, and in most cases, a meeting is not needed for them to make a decision on which plan to go with.

Thus, it is a great time for agents to be selling Medicare Supplements over the phone. Some may fear the negative aspects of selling by phone: losing eye contact, body language, personal insight, and the thought that a client will disengage more easily than during a face-to-face meeting. However, online and over the phone sales have several distinct benefits as well.

The four main benefits are:

  1. This is how coming-of-age seniors want to do business. People turning 65 are accustomed to doing business by phone; it has been commonplace in industries for the past 10 years. Also, with all the other products and services available online, the idea of obtaining a supplemental insurance product the same way seems natural.
  2. Save time by not traveling to and from meetings. When you are “smiling and dialing” you don’t lose the time you would have spent scheduling a meeting, traveling to the meeting, conducting the meeting, and then traveling back to your workplace. Any good salesperson knows: the more people you see, the more sales you make, and that time savings can allow you to use the phone to "see more people".
  3. Don't lose time when you have "no shows." Ever taken the time to schedule a meeting only to have the potential client not show up? It’s annoying. If the client doesn’t show up to a virtual meeting or conference call you only loose minutes, rather than hours.

  4. Increased production and income. With a more efficient use of time you’ll be able to reach more seniors as well as expand your prospecting area. With Medicare Supplements you can be appointed in several states and target senior rich areas, regardless of whether they are in your “driving area” or not. Also, when you add the possibilities of a Combo App – like those from Forethought and Sentinel – you have the ability to double the sales on each call with a value-added product.

Once you decide selling by phone is something you want to pursue there are a few things you will need to consider. Seniors looking to do business online have a “shopping” mentality and are looking for information that will guide them into making the right decision. They are not looking to be “sold” on a particular product. Take the time to have a discussion; educate them and build trust that you have the right products, experience, and expertise for their supplemental insurance needs. Once you close the sale, make sure to keep in touch with your client. This will allow you to make sure your clients are not only happy with your service, but put you on the forefront of their memory when a friend or relative asks about their agent.

It’s important to recognize this changing market and prepare yourself for the new techniques used in online and over the phone sales. With thousands of seniors turning 65 every day, it’s more important than ever to keep up with the exploding marketplace.

Please give us your feedback!
Do you sell online or over the phone? How has it changed your business? Did you find the transition difficult?

Source: Agents Sales Journal

Additional Updates:
  • Universal Health Care Plans for 2012 - Learn More
  • Are You Capitalizing on the Medicare Supplement Market? - Learn More

Tags: Universal Health Care, Sales Tips, technology, Cold Calling, Leads, Customer Service

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