Selling ancillary products outside of major medical insurance can help you boost your commissions per client and create more comprehensive health plans. Here are tips and resources that can help you achieve this in a cost-effective way.
Each year, insurance agencies look forward to special enrollment periods such as the open enrollment period (OEP) and annual election period (AEP) because it’s the time when most buyers can sign up for health insurance. For those looking for new or changing coverage in 2021, the OEP runs from Nov. 1, 2020, to Dec. 15, 2020, with coverage kicking in Jan. 1, 2021.
Although major medical insurance is the primary category that independent agents and insurance agencies push during this period, open enrollment also presents incredible opportunities to sell ancillary benefits—such as dental, vision, life, short-term disability, and critical illness coverage.
Because clients and prospects may already be reaching out to you to meet their health insurance needs, why not capitalize on this by seeking out potential cross-selling and upselling opportunities?
Why You Should Sell Ancillary Insurance Products
If you haven’t made it a priority to sell ancillary benefits, you’re missing out for these key reasons:
- You aren’t making as much in commissions per client as you could.
- You aren’t providing the most comprehensive coverage for your clients.
- You may not be setting yourself up as a trusted advisor for your clients.
Based on those reasons, you are doing yourself and your clients a disservice. When you show that you are thinking about all of their health needs, clients will feel more invested in your professional relationship.
Once clients and prospects begin to think of you that way, they will likely keep coming back to you to solve their insurance needs. Why go exploring other insurance companies if you’re happy with the agent you’re already doing business with—and you actually trust them?
Beyond that, selling ancillary insurance products makes your business “stickier.” If someone is using you for a number of insurance needs—health insurance, dental, vision, and life insurance, for example—moving to a new brokerage is going to be a taller order.
According to a 2018 study, 88 percent of employees agree that a company’s health benefits have a big impact on their decision to accept a job offer. Companies can’t really afford to take away an ancillary insurance benefit once they start offering it unless they are willing to lose employees because of the decision.
What’s more, ancillary insurance also keeps your clients healthier. Sure, someone might be able to go a year or even several years without visiting the dentist. But sooner or later, that individual is likely going to have an issue with their teeth. And like with anything else, it’s better to catch such an issue as soon as possible—before it spirals into a painful ordeal.
Finally, there’s the dollars-and-cents angle to consider. When you sell more insurance products, you’re able to generate more commissions and strengthen your bottom line.
Tips for Selling More Ancillary Insurance Products During Open Enrollment
By now, you have a better understanding of how important and beneficial selling ancillary insurance products can be. But if you haven’t made this a central focus before, you might be wondering how, specifically, you can get ready to push this new initiative in time for the open enrollment period. With that in mind, here are some tips that should make the process a bit easier on you and your team.
1. Start educating your clients and prospects about ancillary insurance products today
As a trusted advisor on all things insurance, it’s your job to make sure your prospects and clients are aware that the open enrollment period is approaching and understand what that means for their coverage.
You can do this by launching an educational marketing campaign that includes blog posts on your company’s site, social media outreach, and email marketing initiatives. With the right approach, it’s possible to ensure that all of your clients and prospects—or at least those who check their email regularly—are in the loop.
Pro tip: Make sure you are collecting your prospects’ and clients’ email addresses or mobile phone numbers in your health insurance CRM to set up easy email automation.
Using email marketing automation, you can write email templates (or even use our free ones) and send them to all of your clients and prospects, personalizing your outreach by automatically referring to each of them by their first name or with other details stored in your CRM. Once you have their attention with a note that lets them know the OEP is right around the corner, you can also take the opportunity to educate them about ancillary insurance and let them know that you can help them with those needs, too.
For example, you might want to schedule an email for a specific list of contacts Sept. 1, letting those contacts know the OEP begins in two months. Then you can follow up Oct. 1, Oct. 15, and Oct. 25. With the right email marketing automation solution in place, you won’t even have to manually oversee the process; the technology will take care of it for you. You can even personalize this further for your Medicare clients.
2. Develop deeper, more personal relationships with your clients
The more you get to know your clients on a human level, the more you’ll be able to solve their insurance needs on a personal basis. It’s that simple.
Here, a customer relationship management solution can help. Such a solution keeps track of all client and prospect information in one place, so you’ll be able to reference relevant information whenever you talk with any of them—which sure beats having to ask a question the client has previously answered, for example.
3. Invest in tools that make it easier to sell insurance
At this point, you might be wondering how you’re going to find the time to pull up all of these various ancillary insurance quotes for all of your clients and prospects. Not to worry.
By making smart investments in online quote and enroll tools, you can easily quote any number of ancillary insurance products so that clients can make side-by-side comparisons to determine which plans make the most sense for them.
Believe it or not, quote and enroll engines also enable your clients to buy ancillary insurance products while you’re sleeping! This functionality caters to those who might prefer to buy insurance at their own convenience instead of working with an agent.
With the right tools in place, you can serve up quotes for all kinds of insurance coverage in just a few clicks—instead of having to hop from one carrier site to another and back again.
Did you know the Quotit Professional Quoting Engine actually makes recommendations for ancillary products based on your client’s data if you forget to add them to your proposal? Try it out here.
Check out our article: “How to Quote and Enroll Clients in Ancillary Insurance.“
4. Follow a tried-and-tested sales cadence for selling ancillary insurance
If you’re new to selling ancillary insurance, you might be a little intimidated. It’s a new world, after all, and no one can become an expert at anything overnight.
The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. In fact, we’ve put together a sales cadence for selling ancillary insurance products that includes email templates you can plug right into your email automation platform.
Check out our free nine-step sales cadence to learn how you can add more value to your client relationships, stay organized and timely with steady communication, save time writing emails based on free templates, and boost your profitability.
Ready to Make the Most Out of the Open Enrollment Period?
In order to maximize your opportunities during the open enrollment period, you need to start planning ahead as soon as possible to make sure you’re prepared.
With Quotit’s health insurance solutions in place, your agency can sell more health insurance during open enrollment while also boosting your ancillary insurance sales. Your agents will be able to offer more insurance products to more clients and prospects—and in a fraction of the time.
Schedule a demo to learn more about how Quotit’s health insurance software can help your organization sell health insurance and ancillary insurance with ease during the busiest time of the year.