Five Retention Tactics to Use All Year Long
Your sales strategy should focus as much on client retention as new client acquisition. Why? Because it tends to be easier to keep the clients you already have. Existing clients can become your best, most loyal clients if you focus on building a lifetime relationship instead of treating it as a single transaction. Here are five tactics to help you leverage your existing Book of Business now for both short- and long-term success.
First, you’ve got to rethink the value of retention to your sales strategy and truly understand the value that existing clients bring to your Book of Business. It’s been shown that loyal customers are five times as likely to repurchase, five times as likely to forgive and seven times as likely to try a new offering,¹ which is great news for Agents aiming to convert dental or vision enrollees into a Medicare Advantage plan. Here’s more great news about client retention: when your clients see you as a trusted advocate, they are more likely to tell others about you. Word of mouth is not only free but it’s also powerful. Of all Americans, 83 percent say that a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend or family member makes them more likely to purchase that product or service.2 With more people living into extended old age,3 you have a greater opportunity to work with clients for 10, 15, or even 20-plus years. When you shift your sales strategy to retention, you’re more likely to see growth.
Focus on Solutions, not Sales
As an insurance Agent, you should think of yourself as a problem-solver not a salesperson and think of plans not as products but as solutions to strive for better health. Your goal should be to find the plan that meets your client’s health needs within the budget that works for them. As such, you’ve got to do the work upfront to determine which plan will be the best fit. To do that, you’ve got to ask open-ended questions and really listen with an intent to discover, empathize with and meet your client’s needs. For example, in-network providers and prescription drug costs are two main concerns for many enrollees. You want to get to know your clients on a personal level and understand their health goals. When you do this, you’ll prevent rapid disenrollment and ensure your clients see you as a resource. Use our 10-Step Sales Process to ace your next sales appointment.
Find a Doctor with Care HighlightTM
If you aren’t doing so already, leverage Humana’s Find a Doctor tool as part of your needs analysis. In addition to finding in-network providers, Find a Doctor includes Care HighlightTM, a rating tool that enables users to see a provider’s care quality and cost effectiveness. This tool can help open up compliant conversations with clients about providers and the importance of primary care to overall health. Advise clients to consider what’s important to them and that the ratings aren’t the only thing to keep in mind when choosing a doctor. Learn more about Find a Doctor at MarketPoint University.
Another online tool Humana created for Agents to help improve transparency is the Rx Calculator, which integrates with Blue Button 2.0. With Rx Calculator, Agents can identify medications on a plan’s formulary and understand copay costs in addition to premiums and deductibles. This tool enables you to up your solutions-oriented game. You can help clients identify pharmacies with preferred cost sharing like Humana Pharmacy to help them save money. You can also help them identify if any name-brand prescriptions could be switched to generics with lesser copays. When you take the time up front to pinpoint potential problems and find solutions, you prove your value to your clients. Need to beef up on Rx Calculator? Head over to MarketPoint University for training.
Communicate Often and Clearly
Communication remains foundational to long-lasting relationships, and it doesn’t stop after enrollment. In fact, it’s just beginning. Use the 3-30-60-90 Day Conversation Guide to start your clients off right. Be proactive rather than reactive to help address any post-enrollment needs or concerns early on. Some Agents might avoid client check ins for fear of service inquiries; however, My Humana Business Center’s inquiry feature makes it easy to securely report issues 24/7 with just a few clicks. When communicating with clients, aim to be as transparent, honest and accurate as possible. Admit when you don’t know, but communicate when you expect to have an answer. When you catch issues early, they tend to be easier to solve. Plus, your members will be more likely to give you not only their gratitude but also their loyalty.
Be an Advocate
As a health insurance Agent, you’re uniquely positioned as a doorway to healthcare. You help clients access healthcare and lead healthier, happier lives. You’re also one of their greatest healthcare advocates. Help them understand the value of their plan to help support and even improve their health through plan benefits like the OTC allowance, SilverSneakers and Go365.4 Help them to capitalize on the tools and resources Humana offers. Ask them what they most need and help them find ways to answer those needs. You are their champion. Ensure sure they know it too.
Make Service a Priority
Showing clients that you care goes a long way, and it’s easier to accomplish than you might think. It could be taking one afternoon a month to write and send birthday cards. It’s listening with care and empathy. It’s connecting the dots for Members between their everyday lives and their overall health with friendly reminders about eating healthy and moving their bodies. It’s about helping them connect to services at Humana and in their community.
Relationships Drive Success
We’ve said a lot about retention, but it may all boil down to this: it’s about building a relationship not closing a sale. Healthcare should be one of the most personal experiences yet too often it feels transactional. Treat your clients like the incredible people that they are. Show them how much they mean to you. That’s Human Care. You’ve got the power to make healthcare more human. Now’s the time to get started. Begin by listening to our podcast, Make Retention Your #1 Sales Strategy, for more insights and best practices.
Looking for more retention know-how? Explore resources.
4Benefits vary by plan.