Due to some recent confusion over plan changes and eligibility from the recent Medicare Access and CHIP Re authorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), we thought we would try to provide some clarity.
Information not applicable for all states
It’s understandable that there might be confusion over the changes. As an agent you will need to clarify and explain the changes to your clients, as well as what plans may be good alternatives in the absence of Plans C & F.
As always, our marketers are here to help.
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Tags: Sales Strategies
As a small business owner you should always be on the lookout for inexpensive ways to grow your business.
Of course, what might not cost you in dollars, will cost you in time and effort. But the right effort in the right places can pay off in spades.
Below are 7 ways to help grow your business. They aren't all that complicated, or expensive. They just aren't always used to their fullest effect.
Individually they are all important, but, used together they are a force multiplier that will amplify your chances to grow your business.
Start with your WHY. Is there a bigger purpose to selling senior insurance products?
Do you want to help seniors find the best solutions to access medical services so they can better enjoy their golden years?
Do you have a personal experience that people can relate to? Maybe you have a family member that had a hard time accessing health care as they got older, and now you want to help people avoid that situation.
Whatever your bigger picture is, put it into words and make sure it really captures WHY you do what you do.
Let that purpose define your business. Use it to describe not just what you do but who you are. Avoid a business introduction that just says “I sell this or that product”.
People don’t really care what products you sell. There are plenty of people selling those same products.
Potential clients will only care what you sell when they find out how much you care about helping them.
There are a number of competitors who may sell what you sell, but how many of your competitors have the same WHY as you?
This is a unique value that makes you stand out from your competitors.
Lead with your WHY statement and show them you care about helping them. When they show interest, answer their questions from that perspective, tying in products that might help them.
It goes without saying that communication is incredibly important.
Communication starts with listening. If you can’t listen carefully and understand why someone is seeking a solution you provide, then your chance of selling to that customer is greatly reduced.
Your ability to be empathetic and be a good listener is key to not only getting more sales but to maintaining a happy workplace.
No matter how good you think you are at communication, you will need to up your game over time.
There are a lot of ways to do that, but it’s critical you pick one, and put some quality effort into getting better.
It’s critical to keep the right notes on your clients, in a way that will facilitate future communication.
Besides the obvious personal info and relevant history, below are a few things you may need to think about (not an exhaustive list):
Communicate too often and they will tire of hearing from you. Communicate too little and they will think you don't care.
Whatever you decide your communication frequency should be, share it with your client and ask if they are good with it?
Ask them if it is too much communication. Show respect for their time and understand that they are being barraged with email and calls as it is.
They will appreciate you asking them and will not feel interrupted when you contact them, since you get their buy in or permission for the communication.
This can seem like a trivial detail, but consider it a part of matching the communication style of your client.
Meet them where they are and you will have a better chance of contacting them.
Is there a birthday or other important event that might trigger a specific communication?
Obviously there are endless items you may take notes on. You will need to identify the most important items for your clients and your specific needs.
Although each client may vary a little, you could likely create a default template that will work with most clients that would really simplify the communication process.
“ If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles. ”
There are a number of ways to reach out to your potential clients. You should experiment with each and decide which work best for your business.
We can break these different ways down into 3 categories: Owned, Earned, and Paid media. Let’s define them real quick.
Just to clarify, you may not own a social media platform like Facebook, but you do control your presence on the platform.
Content you share on social media is Earned Media. Mentions of your Brand on other domains or press coverage is Earned Media, as well as links on other posts that support your brand.
It’s considered earned for obvious reasons. If you want to benefit from it, you have to earn it.
This type of media exists on business owned channels that will not show up organically through web searches or on social media. They will exist as an ad placement only.
Try as many as you see fit, but don’t use just one. Use multiple channels and you will find a much greater success.
As an entrepreneur you’re expected to have a knowledge base that covers a lot of ground. From your own industry to business fundamentals, marketing, communication, and on and on.
Business technology is also changing at a break neck pace. Whether it’s a social media platform or a CRM software, you can’t afford to get left behind.
It’s important to understand which of these tools might be right for you and your business needs. If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors will.
Make learning a lifelong journey and explore what means the most to you and your business. Stay out in front of coming changes, or you risk getting run over by them.
I’m sure we don’t have to talk about how important referrals are. So, let’s talk about how you get referrals.
For starters, before you can get referrals you have to first be referable. In order to be referable you have to create a first class customer experience.
How do you pick the right referral source? Maybe it’s a client that is very appreciative of the work you do, or maybe a local business with customers in common that could bring referrals your way.
Make sure your referral sources know how to refer you. Don’t leave anything to chance.
Give them some content to pass along or send an email detailing how you want your business to be referred.
Give multiple points of contact so customers can find you where they like to communicate. Phone, email, text, Facebook, Linked-In, etc.
This should all be set in a methodical system. There are software applications that can really streamline this process. Decide what works best for you, just make sure you take the time to do this right.
Don’t forget about an incentive for your referrals. You want to be referred over and over again, so make it worthwhile to those referring you.
A steady stream of referrals is business gold, and will be pay off big time. Take your time and get this process wired tight.
It’s better to put the time into developing a good referral process than it is to get out there and find new clients by yourself.
Take time to review and evaluate
Since you’ve developed so many good business practices and have been keeping such good data on your clients and prospective clients, you will need to review these processes from time to time.
No strategy lasts very long without needing change. How will you know if your strategy is working? Should anything be changed, added?
Every year, take some time to view things from a higher perspective. Is what you are doing now going to work next year?
Are there new tools that could help grow your business?
Review your processes objectively and don’t go easy on yourself. If you see something that could be changed for the better, set goals to change it.
Remember to show off your own unique style that communicates WHY you do what you do. The WHY is what people will connect with.
Put these tactics to work in a meaningful way and you will find customers are much more excited to work with you, bringing you continued business and the success you desire.
We wish you luck on your journey and, as usual, our marketers are always here to help.
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6 Tips to Improve Client Communication
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How to Deal with Difficult Customers
Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Although you can learn a lot from an unhappy customer, a big part of running a successful business is keeping long term, happy customers.
Tags: Sales Strategies
You're not the only salesperson who feels apprehensive about the close. However, without that feeling of risk, successfully closing a sale wouldn't be so thrilling -- which drives salespeople to continually strive for more.
Because sales professionals are expected to generate the best possible win rates for their effort, a large number of closing sales techniques have been developed over the years.
Here are a few proven closing techniques, and why they're so effective.
Email or Call? The Best Way to Reach Out to a Prospect For the First Time
After all, first interactions with prospects are key -- you're aiming to establish trust, provide value, gather key information, and perhaps even secure a follow-up meeting. If you don't use the right medium, they'll be less receptive to your message (and that's assuming they engage at all).
Luckily for sales reps everywhere, more than 20 sales experts and practitioners on Quora decided to weigh in.
The Best Way to Reach Out to a Prospect For the First Time
When In Doubt, Email First
The majority of experts recommended starting with an email. "An initial email usually makes more sense because it doesn't require [the prospect to] answer at the moment they receive it," writes Robert Graham, author of Cold Calling Early Customers.
Plus, as others pointed out, you can use an email as a reason to call.
"I always start by referring to this first email to show we're one step further in our relationship," explains Stan Frering, head of Client Relationship Management for Easytrip France.
Emailing has a third advantage over calling, according to EchoSign co-founder Jason Lemkin. It lets you educate your prospect on the product's value proposition, and clearly connect it with the prospect's situation.
"The prospect needs to understand the value proposition first," he explains. "It needs to be very strong, and very clear. No one will take a random call about a product they've never heard of it's not 100% crystal clear they have a huge, pre-defined need for it."
When to Ignore the Email-First Rule
However, there is one exception to the "email first" rule.
Lemkin says once your brand has been established, it's time to start calling your prospects.
"If your prospect has already heard of [your company], they'll know if they want to speak to you about the product and learn more about buying," Lemkin writes.
For example, say you're a salesperson for Dropbox. You call a prospect and say, "Hi John, I'm with Dropbox, and I noticed your CEO tweeted that your company is almost out of free virtual storage. I'd love to discuss how we could get you some more so you can keep all your files in one place."
John already knows Dropbox and understands why it's a useful product -- so he's got a good reason to stay on the phone.
However, if you were selling a brand-new cloud storage solution, Lemkin argued that it would be better to send John an email first so he has more time to consider your value prop.
Not sure how much clout your company name carries? To quickly gauge brand awareness, go to Google Trends and compare how many people are searching for your company versus your top competitors. If your company gets the most searches, that means it probably has the highest name recognition in your space.
A Better Method Than Phone Or Email?
But to one expert, the question of "phone vs. email" is innately flawed.
SVP at LivePerson Sean Burke says that, in fact, your default shouldn't be calling or emailing. He recommends using your network to get an introduction -- great advice, considering that having a referral makes a buyer five times more likely to engage.
"You'd be surprised how often this crucial first step is ignored," Burke writes.
Once your mutual connection has agreed to introduce you, ask him or her which communication method the prospect prefers. Most people have an individual preference for calling or emailing.
However, if you don't have a shared connection, Burke suggests looking at the prospect's social media presence. If she is "social" -- meaning she's got 500-plus LinkedIn connections and an active Twitter or Instagram account -- use those channels to interact with her and start adding value. If she's "traditional" -- meaning she doesn't meet those criteria -- Burke gives you the go-ahead to call or email.
Whatever You Do, Don't Cold Call or Spam
While opinions differed on the relative merits of calls vs. email vs. social media, the experts were unanimous on one point: You should never reach out to a prospect via any channel without doing research first.
"Ultimately, you are in a much better position -- either calling or emailing -- if you have background information on the person you are contacting," notes Jeremy Boudinet, head of marketing for Ambition. "That way, you can tailor your message off the bat, since you have an idea of how you can add value to that person or company."
Sales Email or Sales Call? Experiment and Find Out
Although these guidelines should definitely guide your prospecting strategy, don't forget they're just that: guidelines. "Why not take a test-and-learn approach to this problem?" writes Nick Dellis, Weebly's VP of Business Development. "What works for you may not work for others."
Dellis suggests emailing first, then calling with 10 to 20 prospects, doing the reverse with another 10 to 20 prospects, and comparing the results.
"Taking this approach of testing ideas and optimizing is the only way to find out for yourself," he says. "And it'll help you be a better salesperson in the longer term."
First Contact Email
If you choose to start the conversation with an email, be sure you include a rapport-building element and communicate your value proposition.
Not sure what a first contact email should look like? Here's an email template you can use to start your outreach.
How To Do One Thing At A Time
In his 2013 book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, author Gary Keller reminds us that everyone has 24 hours in a day. So why do some people earn more, achieve more and get more done? They “go small,” he says:
“When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should always be the same. Go small. ‘Going small’ is ignoring all the things you could do and doing what you should do. It’s recognizing that not all things matter equally and finding the things that matter most. It’s a tighter way to connect what you do with what you want. It’s realizing that extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.”
Going small to follow one path sounds easy, but there are fresh opportunities and shiny objects around every corner. Distraction is everywhere. There are times when you want to test the waters, and creativity often requires sampling. But if you truly want to move the needle, it demands a narrow field of vision.
For example, our company always chooses an annual focus area. Last year was about data. Across all our teams and functions, everyone worked to boost user productivity by leveraging data. That task looks different for each employee, but we’re aligned with a single, shared goal. When you focus on what’s important, the results can be incredible.
Lay out all the options and pick what really, truly matters. Set your focus area and stick to it.
Start as small as possible
The advice to “go small” works on multiple levels. Choosing your goal or main project is the first step. Then, once you know what you’re trying to achieve, zoom in closer.
When we’re working on a major project, I always try to step back and ask: “What’s the smallest version we could create that would still produce results?” Once you have that mini version, gather feedback. Refine and work your way up to a bigger, better model. Keep going, and you’ll achieve more than you thought was possible.
Create automated systems
Technology is far from foolproof, and until recently, our admins were constantly tackling server issues at 3 a.m. Every time it happened, I reiterated the need to find a real solution – one that didn’t require midnight wake-ups.
Eventually, we installed automated tools that tell us, for example, when our servers are 80% full. They notify us again when the servers reach 85% capacity. Now we never hit that 95% panic zone. We’ve automated an issue that drained our focus.
Systems aren’t exciting, but they are essential. Create efficient processes and automate as many steps as possible. You’ll free up valuable time and energy to stay focused on your “one thing.”
Designate a leader
Sports teams need coaches and captains. Orchestras need conductors. Group activities almost always function better when someone’s leading the way, even if the work is highly collaborative. At JotForm, all of our cross-functional product teams have leaders – and good ones dramatically increase both focus and productivity.
So what makes a strong leader? In my experience, it’s someone who can make quick, smart decisions. They listen closely, gather information and make choices that move the group closer to its goals.
If you’re working solo, it’s equally important to step back from your daily tasks and measure what matters. Be your own leader. You can always reach out for help, too. Whether it’s a friend, colleague, mentor or advisor, a different perspective is often highly valuable – but remember that the final decisions are always yours.
Explore – within your boundaries
All this talk of single-minded focus can sound really dull, especially if you’re a creative person. I get it. But doing one thing at a time isn’t about boring yourself into efficiency. There can still be room for exploration if you create clear boundaries. Build your sandbox, and then you can play in it.
Because we spend a full year chasing one big goal, our teams are welcome to follow some tangents along the way. There’s no rush to the finish line. I also realize that off-the-wall ideas can spark innovation, so we encourage experimentation.
If your team is eager to explore, set some markers so you don’t get lost. For example, our Friday ‘demo days’ are the time when everyone checks in and shows what they’ve done. If a team has gone off the rails, we can gently bring them back on track. Usually, though, we’re excited about what they’ve accomplished.
You can set up markers as a solopreneur as well. Think of your project as a large circle that contains lots of smaller circles or checkpoints. Once you have those boundaries in place, you’re free to wander.
Set tech limits
In a 2010 study published in the journal Science, Harvard University psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert discovered that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re currently doing.
Even more striking? Distractions make us unhappy. As Killingworth explains, “Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people’s happiness. In fact, how often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”
That’s a stunning thought: being focused can actually make you feel better, regardless of what you’re doing. From starting a business to finishing a spreadsheet (without checking Instagram), single-tasking will not only help you achieve great results, but you’ll enjoy the process a lot more.
Startup gurus and productivity experts have endless suggestions to help you stay focused, but here’s what consistently works for me:
Box your time. Creating time limits is oddly motivating (and effective). Whatever you want to do, try ‘boxing’ it into a set time period and ignore distractions, including email, calls, texts, making coffee, alphabetizing your bookshelf or grooming the cat. Get laser-focused for that set period of time and then take a break. Repeat as needed. You can apply this same principle to projects, teams, products or just about anything else that requires true focus.
Box your energy. We all have energy limits. Even the so-called “sleepless elite” (high performers like Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and fashion designer Tom Ford) will eventually run out of fuel. Doing one thing at a time will preserve your precious energy. And just like time-boxing, you can get even more intentional about shifting your energy toward what matters.
For example, if I have a big interview or presentation on my calendar, I’m careful about what I schedule around it. I try to avoid meetings. I get more sleep. I eat more leafy greens and I do what I can to stay relaxed. I’m ‘boxing’ my energy toward an important goal.
Make a clean break
In June 2018, the makers of a message board app surveyed more than 11,000 employees at 30 of the biggest technology companies. They asked: Are you currently suffering from job burnout? More than 57% of participants said yes.
Many people are struggling to stay on what can feel like a treadmill without a ‘stop’ button. The tech-fueled blur between work and personal time can be difficult – and confusing. And if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s all in your hands.
The solution? Create as many boundaries as you can, within your sphere of influence. As much as possible, separate work from your personal life. I know this might sound overly simple, but even if you work from home, it’s up to you to create real limits.
Set office hours, for example, and don’t clock in outside those periods. When I leave the office, I do everything I can to leave work there, too. I want to be present for my family. I want to enjoy my time with them – and I need to rest and recover. I don’t work on the weekends, either. If I do have a new idea on Sunday afternoon, for example, I’ll send a quick note to myself (but I won’t dig into it).
If I want to share something with a team member, I will send them an email, but I’ll write ‘FOR MONDAY’ in the subject line. If I see emails at night, I remind people that they should wait until the next morning (and then I try to take my own advice).
Take real time off
I can’t say it enough. Even if you’re working hard to build a business or accomplish great things, downtime is not optional. You need to rest. Your body needs to recover, your brain needs to consolidate all those inputs, and you’ll be infinitely happier and more productive if you give yourself a break.
The data confirms it: After a vacation, 64% of people say they’re “refreshed and excited to get back to [their] job.” Hiking in nature and staying disconnected from all devices for four days can lead to a 50% spike in creativity. If employees took just one extra day of paid leave each year, the result would add $73 billion in output to the US economy.
So, whether you’re crafting a business plan, writing a novel, lifting weights or perfecting your Bolognese sauce, give it everything you have. Do that one most important thing and then move on. It’s that simple – and that powerful.
How to Develop Empathy with Your Prospects and Close More Sales
The robots are coming. And they're here to take your sales job.
At least, that's what we're afraid of. It might be true that technology can be integrated into many steps of the sales process. But, thankfully, it can't do everything.
For now, there are a number of skills computers can't learn, and one of those is our human ability to create empathetic connections with prospects and customers.
This is a key ability for the modern seller. Develop empathy and you'll enjoy more effective sales conversations. More importantly, you'll build a skill set that’s in demand and hard to replace with technology.
What is Empathy?
Quite simply, empathy is the ability to understand the emotional state of another person and respond appropriately. It doesn't mean you have to feel the same thing (that's sympathy).
Empathy is your capacity to sense what’s going on in someone's else mind and guess at the best way to engage based on your understanding of that perspective.
How Empathy Drives Sales Conversations
At its heart, sales has always been about the interpersonal engagement between two people. We always hear about sales professionals being "people people." That's simply another way of saying they’re empathetic.
When we talk about emotional intelligence, one of the most important things we're referring to is the ability to recognize, understand, and respond to the emotional state of others in an appropriate way.
Think about your sales interactions. Key steps include building trust, uncovering needs, and creating confidence. If you can't do those well you're not going to find a lot of success.
All of them are driven by sales professionals' ability to create a bridge with their prospects. By picking up on the subtle and not-so-subtle clues that our conversational partners apply, salespeople with high emotional intelligence can create stronger connections and more easily influence others.
This is especially important as sales processes get more complex and involve more people. It's critical to be able to understand the motivations and thoughts of everyone involved in the process. In a world where information is a commodity, you need to be more than a source of facts and figures.
You need to possess the ability to engage on an emotional level and become a resource for potential customers. If you want to guide them through their buying journey, it's imperative you connect on the human level.
Tips for Developing Empathy
Luckily, your emotional intelligence isn't a fixed trait. Much of your empathy is developed as you mature, but it's a muscle that can be exercised and improved. There are actually pathways in our brains called mirror neurons. They have evolved to recognize and respond to the hundreds of small, usually unnoticed, signals people give off when they interact.
Taking it a step further, as we grow up, we develop what neuroscientists call the Theory of Mind. It describes our ability to put ourselves in the place of someone else and see things from their perspective. It also allows us to understand others might have thoughts, feelings, and motivations causing them to do what they do. And it's why you can pick up on the unspoken signals of your friend and ask, "What's wrong?" before they even have to tell you they just had a bad day at work.
Building your ability to pick up on these signals, and learning how to interpret them, can pay huge dividends. And it's not complicated. You don't have to take special classes or training seminars.
In fact, your daily sales activities provide constant opportunities to build your capacity. Here are five exercises you can use to cultivate your empathetic skills.
Medicare Still Doesn't Cover Dental Care. And That Can Be a Big Problem.
This is a good read on the lack of dental coverage provided by Medicare and the important role of a insurance agent to help keep beneficiaries covered. PSM offers an array of dental plans available to our agents along with the guidance on how to best incorporate into your business.
From the article...
Many people view Medicare as the gold standard of United States health coverage, and any attempt to cut it incurs the wrath of older Americans, a politically powerful group. But there are substantial coverage gaps in traditional Medicare. One of them is care for your teeth.
Almost one in five adults of Medicare eligibility age (65 years old and older) have untreated cavities. The same proportion have lost all their teeth. Half of Medicare beneficiaries have some periodontal disease, or infection of structures around teeth, including the gums. Bacteria from such infections can circulate elsewhere in the body, contributing to other health problems such as heart disease and strokes.
And yet traditional Medicare does not cover routine dental care, like checkups, cleanings, fillings, dentures and tooth extraction.
Paying for dental care out of pocket is hard for many Medicare beneficiaries. Half have annual incomes below $23,000 per year. Those who have the means, but are looking for a deal, might travel abroad for cheaper dental care. Tens of thousands of Americans go to Mexico every year for dental work at lower prices. Many others travel the globe for care.
Although low-income Medicare beneficiaries can also qualify for Medicaid, that’s of little help for those living in states with gaps in Medicaid dental coverage.
According to a study published in Health Affairs, in a given year, three-quarters of low-income Medicare beneficiaries do not receive any dental care at all. Among higher-income beneficiaries, the figure is about one-quarter.
Traditional Medicare will cover dental procedures that are integral to other covered services. So if your Medicare-covered hospital procedure involved dental structures in some way, important related dental care would be covered. But paying for any other care is up to the patient.
Lack of dental coverage by Medicare is among the top concerns of beneficiaries. The program also lacks coverage for hearing, vision or long-term care services. However, many Medicare Advantage plans — private alternatives to the traditional program — cover these services.
For example, 58 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees have coverage for dental exams. In receiving these benefits through private plans, enrollees are also subject to plans’ efforts to limit use by, for example, requiring prior authorization or offering narrow networks of providers. These restrictions can be problematic for some beneficiaries, and about two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries opt for the traditional program, not a private plan.
Adding a dental benefit to Medicare is popular. A Families USA survey of likely voters found that the vast majority (86 percent) of likely voters support doing so. The survey also found that when people do not see a dentist, the top reason is cost.
Ms. Willink’s study estimated that a Medicare dental benefit that covered three-quarters of the cost of care would increase Medicare premiums by $7 per month, or about 5 percent. The rest would need to be financed by taxes.
The cost of such a benefit might be offset — or partly offset — by reductions in other health care spending, reflecting the fact that poor oral health contributes to other health problems.
Making a case for this in the political arena would not be easy, though. The initial cost would be an inviting target for politicians who express concern about fiscal prudence, regardless of any potential long-term gain. But expanding Medicare has been done before.
In 2006, a prescription drug benefit was added to the program. The law for that program was enacted in 2003, and in that same year, the surgeon general released a report calling for dental care to be treated and covered like other health care. Whether by Medicaid or Medicare, that wish is still unfulfilled.
As you can see, more than ever it is important to carry a strong dental product in your portfolio. We would love to assist with any questions you have and make sure you offer this comprehensive coverage to your clients
A Comprehensive Guide to Talking to Prospects on the Phone
If you’re not comfortable on the phone, sales probably isn't the career for you. Learning how to capture and keep someone's attention without physically being in their presence is a skill all salespeople need. It’s also a skill that demands constant practice and improvement.
This guide covers everything from pre-call preparation to sales script tips. More of a visual learner? Scroll down, or click here, to see a detailed infographic from The Gap Partnership.
Phone Sales Tips
Make Sure You’re Comfortable on the Phone
There are a few basic characteristics everyone needs in a phone-centric career like sales. Don't have the characteristics outlined below? Either practice until you do or look for another gig.
Never dial the phone without preparing. Whether you’re taking your first call or your 400th, there are a few things you should do before every meeting:
Achieve a Relaxed Voice
You can sense when someone’s smiling on the phone, right? It’s not just your imagination. Talking with a grin creates a higher frequency in your mouth which changes the tone of your voice and reassures the listener.
To practice this technique, record a sentence in your own non-smiling style. Then record the same words again with a smile and notice the difference.
Also, you can achieve a relaxed and persuasive tone by putting your voice’s most powerful tools to work. Here’s how:
Take these examples:
• Apathetic: “What would you like us to do about it?”
Convince Your Listener
They key to running professional calls is being aware of how your physical cues are impacting your prospect and the energy of your meeting. Here are a few things to be aware of:
Use Your Call Script Successfully
Call scripts are there for a reason. Practice with them, but keep a few other things in mind before you jump on a call:
Be a Good Listener
Easier said than done. Many salespeople railroad their prospects with too many questions, giving them little or no time to respond.
Others ask too few questions and simply throw out solutions without really understanding their prospect’s unique use case. Here are a few tips for being a good listener who really “gets” your prospect:
Have Great Timing
The best time to conduct outreach is on Thursdays between 8:00 am and 10:00 am and again between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm. The worse time to call someone is on Tuesdays between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.
You can also use timing to get a leg up on your competitors. Know they’re calling prospects between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm? Try phoning prospects outside this timeframe to stand out, and maybe reach high-level prospects who normally have a gatekeeper screening their calls.
Don’t overwhelm prospects with your intense enthusiasm. Starting a sales calls with an eager “Hey! How are you [prospect name]!?” might come off as a pushy and inauthentic.
Maintain a genuine tone and mirror your prospect’s demeanor. A less salesy way to keep things light is by sprinkling positive language into your call. Here are a few examples of cheerful language:
And don’t forget to establish rapport. The best way to start off on a positive note is to be polite, honest, and personalized with your prospect. Use their name, give them your full attention, and take ownership of follow up and next steps.
Close with Style
All of this is worth nothing unless you close the call well. Be clear, offer a review of what you’ve discussed, and always thank your prospect for their time.
Successful phone calls are an art. Master these techniques and see more deals move forward and your peers and managers take notice. For more information on selling Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Plans over the phone, check out this resource page: http://www.psmbrokerage.com/sell-medicare-supplements-online or contact us at 800-998-7715 to request information.