10 Ways to Build Rapport and Trust When Selling Health Insurance Over the Phone

Fran Majidi
October 1, 2020
Build Rapport and Trust When Selling Health Insurance

Health insurance is not like car insurance or homeowners insurance. The consumer can’t just switch a policy as soon as they realize what they bought is not working out like they’d planned. They have to wait another year until Open Enrollment comes around again to make another choice. No, they can’t even switch with a penalty. And they won’t be happy with you if they are not happy with the health insurance plan they bought. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when selling health insurance over the phone.

1. Tweak

You may need to tweak a client’s plan based on how much they were accruing in out-of-pocket expenses last year. That’s all fine and to be expected. You’ll just bump them up a tier next fall, and it’s that simple. But you’ll want to avoid quoting a bronze plan to someone in their early 60s, who has a chronic illness that requires regular care, because chances are you won’t be hearing from them come next Open Enrollment. Make sure to match your client with the right tier.

2. Forget the Premium Price

Don’t bait people with a low sticker price. If the shopper doesn’t understand that the cheaper product means that they will spend hundreds of dollars a month in copays, there’s no good in having bought the lower-tier health plan.

As an insurance agent, it’s good to remember the obvious points because the right coverage can really affect a client’s well-being, both physically and financially. The wrong plan could easily lead to huge debt, all while that person is unwell. There’s a reason it takes some time to build trust with health insurance clients: They are entrusting you with just about everything. What else is there besides your health and finances?

3. Take Responsibility

Understand and take responsibility for what happens to your clients after you make a sale. This is also how you’ll grow your book of business, with great referrals from happy customers. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the products you’re selling. Only then can you begin to build rapport and trust when selling health insurance over the phone.

4. Follow a Script

Hopefully, your agency has a script because a first impression is an important one. It could make or break a sale, so it’s never a good idea to just shoot from the hip and hope for the best. As for the script, avoid talking fast or sounding like you’re repeating a script. Use the client’s name as often as you can while you’re talking. Smile because it comes through. And make that first impression count!

5. Get to Know the Customer

It’s hard to build rapport with someone who feels like you don’t know them. While a customer understands that you’re running a business and have many other customers, when it comes to taking care of their healthcare needs, you’ll need to establish a more familiar relationship so as to help that prospect get the plan they need. Often, this means discussing very personal matters. Don't be too informal however.

6. Ask Questions

It’s a good idea not to pry too deeply into people’s health care issues, unless they volunteer the information. But it is necessary for you to find out how much they’ll use their insurance policy so you know which plans they should and should not consider. It’s also important for you to establish whether or not they have specific doctors they want to stay with and if those doctors accept the plans they are considering buying.

7. Get a Good CRM

Part of getting to know someone as a prospective client means remembering important details each time you speak with them. You just can’t stay organized these days with a good customer relationship management software in place.

With a CRM, you can glance at notes before you make a call so you’re up-to-date with where you are in your follow-up process. Make sure to take detailed notes so that you know where you left things off next time you call each client. Many CRMs also come with auto-response technology that can benefit you too. But do keep your notes as personalized as possible. Again, you’re handling someone’s well-being, so automated group emails won’t bode well.

With each call, it’s always a good idea to mention what you’ve talked about in the previous call, so the client feels like you remember who they are.

8. Listen Actively

Do not take over the entire conversation by being domineering. Make it a point to talk less than the prospect. You’re trying to find out as much as you can about the person. Get what you need to say out in your initial script and then ask questions and listen as deeply as you can. Restate key words or phrases that they say to ensure them that you are really listening.

Avoid interrupting, criticizing or arguing, even when you know they are considering a plan that just doesn’t work for them. Instead give them the reasons why it may cost more. Get into the meat of the policy and show them why you disagree instead of disagreeing outright.

9. Zoom

Consider inviting your prospect to do a Zoom meeting but don’t be pushy. Many people are using Zoom to see family members and to conduct business meetings. Your prospect may already be familiar with Zoom, which may help you make a more authentic connection, but if your prospect is hesitant, don’t push the idea.

10 SmartFinancial Leads

Especially this year, SmartFinancial’s health leads are the caviar of insurance leads but at a reasonable price that includes guidance from a seasoned Account Manager. SmartFinancial leads are never shared with other agents your insurers works with, so you don’t have to compete with one of your own. Also, health leads are only shared with three agents at a time, which is better than what other vendors offer.

Give SmartFinancial health insurance leads a try this Open Enrollment.