Dos and Don’ts When it Comes to Selling to Seniors

May 5, 2022

When it comes to selling to seniors there are a few general guidelines you’ll want to follow to ensure you are on the same page. Follow along as we go through the Dos and Don’ts of connecting with the senior market.

The Don’ts:

Don’t Assume Someone Else Makes Their Purchasing Decision

When selling to older adults, never assume they need to consult with someone else like their children or caregiver to make a decision.  Seniors are not helpless individuals.  Often they are strong, healthy adults who like to make their own decisions. Remember, a lot of your clients are newly retired and just embarking on the older adult lifestyle.  Speak to them directly and assume they are the ones making a decision.

Don’t Use Words like Senior or Senior Citizen

When speaking to your clients, refrain from using words like “Senior” or “Senior Citizen.” Some clients may take offense to the label. Again, many older adults enrolling in Medicare are fresh out of retirement or newly 65 and may not view themselves as a senior.   Instead, refer to them as a client, customer, or Medicare beneficiary.

Don’t Use Fear Tactics

Fear is never a good way to sell and you should never use it when selling health insurance to your clients.  Instead of selling based on what could go wrong with not having Plan X or Plan Y, focus on the positives of enrolling in the plan.  Never say things like, “If your health begins to fail, this is the plan you’ll want to have” or “At age 70, a lot of people need hip replacements so you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for the expense” Instead, listen to their needs and tailor their health plan around it.

Don’t Rush Their Decision

A decision made in a rush can feel unsettling. Even if you are selling during AEP or at the end of a client’s IEP, you want to make sure they feel comfortable with the decision they are making. Enrolling in Medicare is a huge transition for many older adults. Instead of saying “we only have X days to make a decision” instead, anticipate their needs.  Have common concerns and questions ready with answers so there is zero downtime between communications.

Don’t Assume they aren’t Tech-savvy

If you’re not engaging with prospects online, you’re missing a huge opportunity.  According to a recent study, 40% of adults in the United States over 65 use at least one social media site. Older adults are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and are spending more time online. Engage with prospects online through educational content such as videos, guides, social posts, and more. For a more in-depth look at how seniors spend their time online visit, “11 Facts about Seniors to Fire Up your Medicare Sales

The Dos:

Do Listen to Their Needs

Listening is an important quality for an Independent Insurance Agent to have.  Build trust and rapport with your client by listening to their needs.  Ask questions to signal to your client that you’re listening.  Write down their concerns and provide solutions.  Never multi-task or answer a call when your client is talking.

Do Be Accommodating

Provide multiple ways in which a client can get a hold of you.  Find out what’s convenient for them.  Would they prefer you visit them at their location?  Would they rather do a phone call or virtual meeting? Provide them with a good phone number and email address to contact you.  Set expectations up front and communicate how long it may take you to respond.

Do Be Completely Transparent

When helping seniors it’s best to be completely upfront and transparent. Seniors generally want straightforward information and don’t respond well to shady sales tactics.  Be truthful about plan options.  Don’t oversell.  Being transparent and truthful will establish trust between you and your client.

Do Make it Simple

Medicare can be confusing for many older adults.  Chances are your client contacted you because they find Medicare complicated.  Simplify the process for them.  Make your content easy to read.  Ensure your processes are not overly complicated.  Try not to overwhelm with too much information.  

Do Follow Up

Your goal shouldn’t be to make the sale and move on.  Build a long-lasting relationship by following up after the sale.  Let your client know that you’ll be checking in periodically and actually do it.  Find out how their plan is working for them.  Reach out for a benefits review.  Building a relationship not only increases the chance of a client being a lifelong customer, but it also increases the chance of a referral.

Are you ready to take your sales game to the next level?

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