Face-to-face meetings have a lot going for them. When you meet people in person, you can make a strong connection and a lasting impression. You can also use voice, facial expressions and body language to communicate clearly.
However, this year, face-to-face meetings also have a lot going against them. The impact of the pandemic cannot be ignored, and agents who are willing to adapt will be the ones who are positioned for success. Here’s why it makes sense to adopt virtual processes this AEP.
Your Senior Clients Are at Risk
The CDC warns that older adults have an increased risk of developing severe illness from COVID-19. As a result, they may require hospitalization if they get sick, and they could die. Approximately 80% of COVID-19 deaths have been among people aged 65 or older.
You might feel that your risk of infection is minimal, but many of your clients likely feel otherwise.
The CDC says that seniors should limit their interaction with others as much as possible. As an agent, you should help your clients comply with these guidelines by providing virtual services.
You Might Not Have a Choice
No one will blame you if you’ve gotten dizzy trying to keep up with coronavirus news. The situation is changing daily. Because of this, it’s hard to say where we will be this October, November and December – although it’s safe to say that the virus will still be a factor.
Recently, increases in cases have led to calls for stricter stay-at-home orders. When AEP comes, it’s possible that such stricter orders may be in place in some areas.
Even though the insurance industry is generally considered essential, agents should not assume that they will be free to meet in person whenever they want. Many orders and guidelines have stated that any work that can be done remotely should be done remotely. This could include insurance sales.
And even if your local or state government does not require you to conduct meetings virtually, your clients might. Medicare enrollees who want to avoid interaction with others – as the CDC recommends – may refuse to work with agents who don’t offer virtual enrollment.
Agents who prepare to provide virtual services will be ready for these possibilities.
You Might Discover That It’s More Effective
Change is always difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s always bad. Although virtual methods can take some getting used to, they can also provide many benefits.
When you work virtually, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or getting lost on the way to a new location. This means you’ll have more time for other things. You’ll also save money on gas.
There are many ways to work remotely. Depending on what you or your clients are comfortable with, you can use video conferencing, phone calls or email to review plan options – even texts in some cases.
New tools are making it easier for agents to offer virtual enrollment. Most carriers support remote enrollment, including electronic signatures and electronic Scope of Appointment completion.
And, our new Medicare Enrollment Express tool makes it very easy for you to facilitate digital meetings and manage the plan comparison and enrollment processes virtually.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
Marketing and sales have always been about focusing on prospects’ needs. This situation is no different. To be caring insurance stewards, we collectively must put our clients’ and prospects’ needs first. This isn’t about personal comfort or beliefs. It’s about doing the right thing for senior clients.
Your virtual presentation doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be caring and genuine. Your clients will appreciate that you are willing to try something new to protect their health.
We are here to help you succeed. If you have any concerns about your virtual sales capabilities, reach out to us. Also, sign up for the many training opportunities available through our event calendar.