When it comes to Medicare phone sales with online leads, timing and pre-call preparation are essential to your success. Failure to prepare will almost certainly result in failure when it comes to Medicare phone sales with online leads. Having a “good” online lead company is a nice idea but unfortunately, not a reality in most cases. Some online lead companies may be better than others but all of them will have their issues at times so you need to keep realistic expectations.
Medicare phone sales with online leads overall goal
The overall goal will be to talk with the prospect, email them an application and have them email, fax or mail it back to you. If you happen to be in an area with a competitive carrier that has a phone enrollment or electronic enrollment process, that is even better. Some companies do not yet allow e-apps or phone enrollments so it will be necessary to email out applications in many areas. Some agents try to set up meetings with online lead prospects but it is generally better to work with them by phone and not meet face to face. It is ideal if one of the companies with online enrollment capability (Omaha and Cigna are examples) have strong rates in the area you are calling.
Find some decent online lead vendors
The first step with Medicare phone sales with online leads is to call the various online lead vendors and get set up so you can start receive leads. You do not want to turn the leads on yet. Although you should talk to the various vendors and set the table to receive leads. Not all companies charge the same per lead so it is helpful to do some comparison shopping. We have provided a list of some of the more common vendors used.
It will be important to determine which type of lead you want to work. Most agents choose between exclusive and shared leads. Exclusive leads are supposed to be leads only sent to one person and they also are much more expensive than a shared lead. Shared leads are sent to multiple agents at once. Most agents ultimately end up working shared leads due to the lower price point and because exclusive leads only yield a slightly higher closing rate.
Please note: Online leads have increased in price in the last year (2017 and into 2018) and the lead quality has gone down. Online leads still work but it is now more important than ever to document any “bad” leads and submit them for a credit. Many agents also incorporate list calling and old/aged online leads using a power dialer.
Getting prepared to work online leads
You must be prepared to be successful with Medicare phone sales with online leads . We have provided a list of steps that agents should follow in order to succeed at selling online leads:
- Have a very brief phone script ready. It should be brief and to the point. Let them know you can help find the best plan for them. Identify the type of plan they want and make a suggestion as to what fits them best. The conversation must be fairly casual. The formal/corporate tone and language will not work as well.
- Have all your emails ready to go. You should have pre-set emails ready to send out with the application and instructions how to fill them out and where to send them back. A separate email is necessary for each company. Sending them all in one email is too confusing. Keep it simple. Having pre-set emails in a lead or contact manager can be very helpful. If you use a gmail based account, you can also try Google labs, “canned emails”.
- The email you send out with the application must make it very obvious what the consumer needs to do to fill out the application and how to get it back to you.
- Know the products in the area you are selling in. It is vital to know all the plans well. Which company has the lowest cost supplements and which MAPD plans are the most competitive. You need to be able to make good recommendations on the spot when you are talking.
- This does not require a contact management system although it can certainly help. You should track all calls in some way to be sure that you are using all contacts and leads.
Calling the lead and other important steps
- Call the lead immediately- remember that there may be 3 to 8 other brokers that also received the lead. You need to get in touch with them first and be prepared when you do contact them.
- Continue calling until you get the person on the phone. Your success rate goes down substantially if you don’t get them first but you will still get some sales from older leads if you stick with it.
- Say “Hello, (persons first name) this is (your name). I received your request for a quote. I work with multiple companies in (state). Do you have a specific company or plan that you are interested in?” The idea is to keep it casual. You do not want to sound robotic. Use first names and speak at a normal pace.
- If they know the plan they want, tell them that you can answer any questions they may have and that you will email them plan a summary and an application. Have the email’s pre made and ready to be sent out with benefits summaries and applications. Make sure it is very clear on the email what they need to do and where they can send the completed application back.
- Answer their questions and set up a follow up call the next day to see if they completed the application and sent it in. (make sure to track all scheduled follow up calls and make them)
If they are not sure which plan they want,
- tell them about two good plans in thee area. Talk to them about the plans and send them the enrollment forms and benefit summary information for both plans. Set a call back time for the following day.
- Try to feel out if they want an advantage plan or would rather have a supplement and drug plan. You can ask them if they want to pay little or nothing for a premium but in return need to pay co-pays and have to follow a network (Advantage plan) or if they would rather pay a premium and have little or no out of pocket costs and go to any doctor that accepts Medicare. You should know the prices and benefits of the more popular advantage and supplement plans in the clients county. If you do not know an area well, you should avoid getting leads there until you do
Medicare lists and old leads using a Power Dialer
- Power dialers are a good way to increase call out put and speed when calling lists or old leads. Dialers are web based and allow you to upload lead lists for the system to call. You can greatly increase the number of live people you speak with per hour. They are useful for both agents and telemarketers. While a dialer is not absolutely needed for working online leads, it can help as the dialer can be set to work with your CRM in order to get a call out to the lead the second it comes in. Dialers are essential if cold calling aged leads or DNC scrubbed lists. Calling simply is not efficient enough without one. Without a dialer you waste too much time dialing numbers and getting answer machines.
- We can provide DNC scrubbed lists for any state and age to our agents at no cost. This includes turning 65 and 65+ lists adjusted by income.
Other important information
- Be sure to follow up with them at the time planned. It is essential that you schedule all call backs using a contact management system. If you do not have a contact manager, use an excel file. Schedule follow up calls with all leads you did not get in touch with. Some agents close sales with leads that are 6 months to a year old
- Inform them that you do not charge a fee for your services. (Many clients will think that you are going to try to bill them)
- Most companies will provide a credit for “bad” leads. Make sure you follow/track every single leads and request a credit for any bad ones. Regardless of the carrier you use, you will get numerous bad leads. Failure to request credits for them will result in huge amounts of lost money over time.
- Also, have some applications and summary packages ready to mail in the event the client does not have a printer at their home. Make this the exception and not the rule.
- Your goal should be to call the lead within 5 seconds of it coming in. If you don’t get to them first, the chances of closing go down dramatically.
- Try different lead vendors. Some will share leads with large amounts of agents. Others will send you leads that are not real time. Keep track of the quality you get from each lead vendor.
- Of course, be selective with the lead company you use. (call our office for current info on this topic) Shared leads may not be popular but a good agent will get a much higher return on investment with shared leads vs. exclusive leads.
- See if you can find some of the more obscure lead companies. Some companies generate online leads for the popular lead companies. If you can get set up with one of them, you may find a much less expensive and higher quality lead source. They are not easy to find so it will take effort to find one.
- Know the drug help income levels in your state. Some states have much higher drug help levels than others. Even other states have extra programs. Drug help allows you to enroll someone any time during the year which is very important.