With the new year underway, a good strategy you can embrace to enhance your future sales is to review what worked – and what didn’t work – for you in 2021. Beyond building on your prior successes, adopting these five sales trends can help you thrive in 2022.
5 Sales Trends to Use in 2022
1. Implement (or expand) value-based selling
Employers and their employees are better informed today than in the past . . . even about health insurance. While they may seek out your expertise, it is no longer enough for you to put together a proposal and assume they will sign. They expect you to get to know them and find a plan that’s right for their specific needs and budget.
Value-based selling can help you overcome buyer objections, because your product offering is based on the information your customer gives you. When you match the insurance product to their needs, they are less likely to say no. Successful agents and brokers sell the benefits, not the features of products. If your customer understands what they will get from the coverage you’re recommending and the value it offers to them, they are more likely to buy.
2. Embrace social selling
Many sales articles are pushing for increased “social selling” in 2022. It’s a concept that has been around for years, but it’s becoming more popular as the number of social media users continues to increase.
How can you do it? Rather than meeting with your prospects and customers and talking about what’s new in the marketplace, social selling gives you the opportunity to share news about what’s happening in the health insurance world, and its impact on the health plans, medical providers, and businesses in your community.
If you have an existing social media profile, or you’re sending your customers and prospects a quarterly newsletter, you can use both to provide updates and introduce new products and services. Your outreach should include those you serve, those you’ve connected with in the past (but not yet sold), and others (like referrals you receive from your current clients). If you do not have a current social media profile or newsletter, now is the time to create one. If you don’t, you risk losing customers and prospects to your competition.
3. Consider AI as part of your marketing
It’s been forecast that Artificial Intelligence (AI) adoption by sales teams will exceed 130% for the next few years. AI can help you collect customer data that you can use in developing your future marketing messages. Harvard Business Review (HBR) published an article a few months ago that discussed AI’s increasing adoption. It cited a study by PwC that found 86% of companies believe AI is becoming a “mainstream technology,” while a Harris Poll in collaboration with Appen found increased adoption in 2020 due to COVID-19 and two-thirds expecting further AI acceleration in the future. According to Benchmark International, AI is capable of performing 40% of sales tasks, including information gathering from your customers, which can help you craft more effective marketing strategies to increase sales.
4. CRM is essential
We’ve discussed the importance of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) in the past. It can be especially helpful to health insurance brokers because it can help you automate your communications with prospects and existing clients (like the newsletter mentioned above in connection with social selling). CRM can help you increase your productivity, enhance client and prospect customer service, and boost your profitability, too.
You can use CRM to improve your calendar management, generate sales leads, and track client and prospect contact information – including family composition, marriage (or parent) status, pre-existing health conditions, short- and long-term goals, renewal dates, last outreach (and method), ongoing sales performance, and much more. Our prior post from 2020 offers a comparison of a half-dozen CRM tools.
5. Adopt sales technology
Word & Brown offers a diverse range of software, apps, and tools to make your job easier. Some of these include:
- WBQuote: The most advanced quoting engine in the industry, WBQuote gives you an easy way to compare carriers and plans, view rate differences, and select coverage that best fits your clients’ – and their employees’ – assorted needs. WBQuote Lite lets you quote anytime, anywhere, with a quote that represents you and your brand (with your logo and your client’s company logo, too).
- WBMedID: This Word & Brown mobile app gives your California groups with coverage from Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, or Health Net the ability to access their Medical ID Card information right on their smartphones. They get instant access to ID Card info as soon as their coverage begins.
- Integrated Provider and Rx Search: Instantly search, confirm, and build quotes with the doctors, medical groups, and hospitals your clients want. We use the latest carrier data, so you have instant access to information when looking up providers for each of the plans your clients may be considering.
- Mineral HR: Be a hero to your clients by offering them free Human Resources support from Mineral (formerly Mammoth/ThinkHR). Easily make census data changes, including adding or deleting employees and dependents, changing an address, or making other updates. Clients also get a complimentary suite of powerful online tools and resources.
To learn more about our industry-leading technology, contact your Word & Brown representative or visit the Broker Resources section of our website. Don’t overlook the other advantages of partnering with us, too, including:
- A broad product and service portfolio
- Built-in safeguards to prevent quoting errors and ensure rate accuracy
- In-house compliance experts to answer questions from you and your clients
- 24/7 online documents and forms plus our exclusive Health Plan Reference Guides
- Continuing Education classes and other training – online, on-demand, and in-person
- COBRA and POP services for eligible groups
- Round-the-clock assistance from industry professionals committed to your success
We’ve been a valuable partner to brokers for more than 35 years. We can help you expand your sales in 2022 – and beyond. Contact your Word & Brown rep, or if you’re not already doing business with us, call or email any of our six regional marketing centers in California or Nevada. No other General Agency is more committed to helping you write more new business and keeping your customers coming back year after year.