Tips for Selling More Medicare Over the Phone

Tips for Selling More Medicare Over the Phone

August 25, 2023 | Convoso

The American population is aging, and fast. As Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers head toward their golden years, the over-65 population is expected to more than double between 2020 and 2040, growing to 80 million.

All that growth spells opportunity to insurance sales teams busy in the Medicare space, as long as they have Medicare lead generation and sales programs that can take advantage and beat out their competition.

Make the most of ongoing growth in Medicare Advantage and Medigap enrollment with this collection of sales tips and strategies to improve the way your team sells Medicare over the phone. 

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Why Selling Medicare Over the Phone Works

The very nature of Medicare creates enormous opportunities to effectively drive high sales numbers over the phone.

As each new senior reaches retirement age, they become eligible for Medicare. However, a massive number of them still wind up looking for more help with healthcare, a trend that’s only grown in recent years. And that’s where Medicare Advantage (or Part C) plans and Medicare Supplements (or Medigap) come in.

Medicare Advantage plans have greatly increased in popularity in recent years. In 2023, more than half of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. That number is expected to reach 62% in just ten years. Meanwhile, 34% of traditional Medicare enrollees now get supplemental coverage through Medigap offerings.

Today’s Seniors Have Gone Mobile

In both cases, outbound dialing presents an ideal way to reach Medicare prospects as an independent agent or broker. Not only do they have a long-term preference for the voice channel, relative to other generations, seniors are also increasingly mobile-friendly.

Recent polling from the Pew Research Center found that 85% of seniors now use mobile phones, giving Medicare marketers more chances to contact seniors on the hunt for healthcare coverage.

Whether you’re trying to learn how to sell more Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplements over the phone, outbound dialing offers an effective way to reach and convert a high number of new customers all year round. Use the phone sales tips below to boost your over-the-phone performance and turn even more prospects into policyholders.

How to Sell More Medicare Advantage Over the Phone

Quality Medicare leads are costly these days—and their price is only going up. If you can’t get these leads on the phone, your efficiency and profitability is going to suffer as leads age and ultimately go to waste. 

Caller ID Reputation Management

It’s an unfortunate truth that, particularly as they become more digitally savvy, scams targeting seniors are on the rise. To make matters worse for consumers in general and outbound dialers in particular, fraudulent robodialing is also a growing issue. In response, legitimate callers are struggling to maintain adequate contact rates as their own numbers increasingly get flagged as spam.

For those trying to sell Medicare over the phone, your caller IDs are a reflection of your business’s reputation. And without a clean bill of health, you can hardly expect your Medicare leads to be picking up the phone at a high rate.

That’s why caller ID reputation management tools are an absolute must-have in Medicare sales. Tools like Convoso’s ClearCallerID™ give outbound teams a clear view of their caller IDs’ statuses and call volume statistics, and alert them as soon as numbers are flagged. This way, numbers can be rested or swapped out before “Spam Likely” labels do harm to contact rates and other critical KPIs.

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Speed to Lead

When it comes to healthcare, senior consumers are notoriously reluctant to shop around. While they reward businesses with loyalty and regular renewals, their resistance to exploring options is all the more reason that Medicare sales teams need to be quick on the draw.

Speed to lead can make all the difference between reaching a lead and losing their interest—and losing out on their business to a competitor. Study after study shows that lead response time is critical to both contact rates and conversions: one study finds that leads contacted within five minutes or less were 100 times more likely to connect and 21 times more likely to be qualified when compared with those contacted after an hour. 

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Smart Call Cadences

Of course, no sales process is perfect. Even if you’re the fastest when it comes to calling your leads, you’ll still inevitably miss some of them on your first attempt. That’s why not only initial response times but lead follow-up strategies need to be optimized. Workflow automation software allows Medicare sales teams to dial in the ideal redialing cadences. Rather than overdialing immediately after the first attempt, your team can space out well-timed attempts and extend the life of all those costly leads.

Omnichannel and Smart Voicemail Drops

As we mentioned, Medicare prospects are only getting more and more savvy with their digital devices. Supplementing your call attempts with outreach in other channels only offers further opportunities to make contact and drive conversions. Outbound SMS and email messages are ideal components of an omnichannel approach that ultimately can help you sell more Medicare over the phone. In addition to building interest and boosting callbacks, these messages can streamline the Medicare sales process, helping your team to set appointments and share Scope of Appointment (SOA) forms.

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Make Life Easier: Automate Your Medicare Sales Process

Speed to lead, workflow dialing, omnichannel outreach—all these approaches underscore the importance of automation today.

Call center automation tools save time and unlock efficiency that enables Medicare sales teams to spend more time on what matters most to their business. And with the right technology investment, a full suite of tools will complement the most important automation solution for today’s Medicare teams: the predictive dialer.

Why Predictive Dialers Power More Medicare Phone Sales

A powerful predictive dialer gives sales teams the ability to maximize time on the phone with potential policyholders while minimizing agent wait time. It also streamlines and accelerates the way you contact Medicare leads by automatically calibrating the dialing rate based on agent availability and only connects agents to live prospects.

Plus, the best predictive dialer software will also give you the ability to prioritize the warmest leads and improve speed to lead. When combined with tools above, Medicare sales teams will have everything they need to get more Medicare leads on the phone—and make their lives easier.

After Making Contact: Everything Else You Need to Boost Medicare Phone Sales

Technology can help you get more of your leads on the phone, but you’ll still have some selling to do. Use these tips and strategies to close more of your Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement leads.

Understand Your Plans

Selling Medicare over the phone relies heavily on the right pitch, but there’s much more to it than that.

Medicare is complicated—there’s no escaping that. So, in addition to being an expert salesperson, you also need to become an expert in Medicare plans.

Take the time to really understand the plans that you’re offering to prospects, their pros and cons, their fit with other plans that prospects may already have, and what makes them competitive.

Stand Out from the Crowd

If you’re selling Medicare over the phone, you’re far from the only one doing so. To make more sales, you need to differentiate yourself from all the other agents or brokers.

One of the best ways to do this is through sheer preparation. If you’re able to leverage customer data to deliver a personalized experience, you can show that you really care about connecting prospects with the plan and care that they need.

Likewise, you can build confidence and trust with your Medicare Advantage leads by sharing standout reviews and customer testimonials—both over the phone and within your Medicare marketing materials.

Build the Right Medicare Phone Sales Script

When you’re selling Medicare over the phone, having the right script on your side can make all the difference. Make sure your Medicare sales script includes:

  • A strong hook: Quickly and succinctly get your lead’s attention and set expectations for your call. Knowing the source of your lead can be very effective here: by reminding them when, where, and how they opted in to be contacted, you can build on and capitalize off of their initial interest.
  • Speak only at a good time: After letting them know why you’re calling, give them an option to have the discussion at a more convenient time for them.
  • Qualifying questions: During your initial call, you may already have pre-qualifying information about your lead. However, to make absolutely sure they’re the right fit for your offerings—and to be sure you can offer the right plan and/or supps to them—ask a variety of qualifying questions that help you learn more about their situation and needs, including their age, current coverage and costs, and any other necessary health information.
  • Only discuss what’s covered in your SoA: If you’ve secured an appointment with a lead, the Scope of Appointment form must be completed, shared, and agreed upon ahead of the appointment, even if you’re selling Medicare over the phone and not in person. 

Luckily, technology can also play a role in crafting (and sticking to) a successful Medicare sales script. Dynamic scripting software can be integrated with your CRM to automatically populate customer information into a personalized script that responds and updates in real time as an agent moves through a conversation, guiding them toward a conversion.

Follow the Rules for Making Outbound Calls in Medicare

Dynamic scripting doesn’t just help agents deliver a well-crafted opening pitch or closing presentation. It also helps outbound sales teams support compliance. (And given the complexities of the Medicare space, they sometimes need all the help they can get.) TCPA compliance and keeping up with CMS marketing guidelines goes well beyond just scripting, though.

Be sure that your team takes a proactive posture to all compliance issues: conducting compliance regular risk assessments to identify shortcomings, equipping team members with up-to-date information on regulations, obtaining and capturing consumer consent, and more.

Medicare Phone Sales Guidelines

When engaging in outbound calling within the Medicare sector, it’s vital to adhere to established protocols and best practices. These guidelines not only uphold the credibility of the system but also ensure the equitable and respectful treatment of all parties involved.

Instead of fixating on the limitations, it’s often more constructive to highlight the actions that are permissible. Here’s a breakdown of the dos and don’ts for selling Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplements over the phone:

  • DO reach out to existing enrollees, encompassing those under non-Medicare schemes, for discussions related to their plans.
  • DO respond to incoming calls or messages directed to you.
  • DO initiate a call when you’ve received explicit consent, such as through a response card or an email indicating a call back is desired.
  • DO NOT use non-related business discussions as a strategy to generate Medicare leads.
  • DO NOT place unsolicited calls to potential enrollees.
  • DO NOT reach out to attendees of a sales event unless they provided clear consent during the event for a subsequent call. It’s crucial to document and securely retain evidence of this permission.
  • DO NOT contact potential enrollees just to verify the receipt of mailed items, such as checking if they received a direct mail card.

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Use these tips to get more prospects on the phone and increase your success with them once you do. By following the guidance we’ve outlined above, you can make your process of selling Medicare over the phone more efficient, more effective, and more profitable—all while supporting compliance.

Learn more about how Convoso can help you generate more policyholders this year and sign up for a free demo today.

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