Are you an insurance broker who has seen your commissions drop due to the Affordable Care Act and health insurance providers’ new policies? Struggling with falling commissions and uncertainty about the future of the industry, two years ago 49 percent of insurance brokers were thinking about leaving the industry, while 67 percent said they knew someone who had, according to the Aflac Workforces Report for Brokers.
Finding Profits in Ancillary Benefits
But for those who stayed the course,. Your customers will love ancillary benefits like vision, dental, life, and enhanced disability insurance because it gives them an “extra” to provide to their employees in the face of healthcare cuts. And you will like ancillary benefits for the added commissions and multi-line discounts that make it easier for you to purchase these products from one carrier, saving your customers money and streamlining paperwork and administrative costs for you.
Consultative Selling: The Key to Ancillary Benefits Sales
But it’s important to remember these benefits don’t sell themselves, and a consultative approach is a proven method to closing more deals. Rather than the traditional features-and-benefits approach, consultative selling is a more active sales technique. Initially, it may take some time to establish trust and get your customers onboard with your recommendations. But once you’ve established that relationship, it’s easy to sell them the ancillary benefits to meet their needs and budget and nurture the relationship through continued service.
How To Shift to Consultative Selling
Consultative selling focuses on identifying your client’s needs and choosing the solution that meets those needs best. “Consultative selling means brokers will need to show that they have a high level of knowledge about the product,” writes Jeff Kolesar in an article published at LifeHealthPro.com. “That knowledge will create a bond between the buyer and seller allowing brokers to recommend ancillary options once the big medical decision has been made.”
Although healthcare insurance has become difficult and complicated to sell, ancillary benefits haven’t changed in recent years. The options remain straightforward and profitable. It’s all a matter of learning about the different carrier choices and finding the bundled plan that appeals to each customer. With that difficult step done, the insurance sells itself because your client already trusts your recommendation. But how do you get to that point when you’re already strapped for time and trying to make bigger insurance sales, faster? That’s where your insurance wholesaler comes in.
It’s All About the Service
Consultative selling is all about the service you provide as a knowledgeable insurance consultant (hence the name…) for your customers. In his article on ancillary benefits, Kolesar writes, “I recommend leveraging your carrier expertise, where possible. If brokers are strapped for time, they should partner with a carrier that’s equipped to step in and answer questions.”
At DBL Center Ltd., we provide the knowledge of not just one, but multiple carriers, so you can give your customers more options and better prices. We serve as your back office, shopping the various carriers to find the best plans to offer your customers. We share our knowledge. You establish trust through that knowledge and then sell the products. We all win. Your customers get the ancillary benefits they want, we provide white-glove service, and you cash the big commission checks.
Start cashing larger commission checks right away with ancillary benefits:
Get the white glove service you deserve with DBL Center Ltd.
by Dawn Allcot
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) saw many employers – especially small-to-medium size businesses, forced to reduce their company healthcare benefits in order to afford coverage. Healthcare insurance providers modified their plans to include higher premiums, larger deductibles, less coverage, and fewer options in healthcare providers. Additionally, ancillary benefits such as vision and dental care, which were previously part of a comprehensive health care package, are being dropped from healthcare plans.
Employees who still have basic medical coverage are counting their blessings: “Well, at least I still have coverage and I’m not being fined for not having healthcare at all.” Other Americans, who are self-employed or unemployed, face a scenario of healthcare options they can’t afford through the government marketplace, or paying fines for being uninsured.
If you look at it that way, employees are fortunate to still have coverage. But these hard-working Americans are doing the same work for their employer, working the same long hours, earning the same pay, but saw their take-home pay or their healthcare benefits reduced for no logical reason. Is that “lucky” or “fortunate?” We don’t think so.
Could you imagine joining a company with full dental coverage, expecting to have your children’s braces paid for or knowing you were covered if you needed oral surgery, only to find those benefits gone as a result of ACA? Maybe you have worn glasses your whole life and specifically requested a vision plan during salary negotiations to save you hundreds of dollars a year. Now, that benefit has been taken away and your employer isn’t sure how to make it up.
To be sure, changes in healthcare coverage place employers in a difficult spot, because they might face reduced company morale. They have to get creative with affordable perks or think outside the box in terms of benefits. (Continue reading and we’ll share more on how you, as their insurance broker, can help with this….)
Finally, insurance agents are seeing profit margins erode. Healthcare is more difficult to sell, while commissions have dropped. Your customers are unhappy, but the products aren’t available for you to provide them with a better deal.
Insurance agents are fleeing the business in droves. According to the AFLAC Workforces Report for Brokers, 49 percent of insurance agents are leaving the industry, while 67 percent say they know someone who has already left.
The upcoming 2016 election brings even more uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act, the future of health care in the U.S., and the profitability of a career as an insurance agent. But there’s no need to fear. Brokers across the U.S. are finding increased profits in selling ancillary benefits, including dental, vision, Group Life/AD&D, and enhanced disability benefits.
For employers, these ancillary benefits – which can be offered as 100 percent coverage or on a cost-sharing basis – can be the answer to reducing dis-satisfaction with current benefit plans and improving company morale. In some cases, they can replace benefits – like vision and dental – that were previously part of a company’s comprehensive healthcare coverage. In other cases, they can simply reduce the sting of higher healthcare premiums and deductibles, fewer choices in providers, or overall reduced coverage.
Ancillary benefits put the power back in the insurance brokers’ hands, so you can provide your customers with products that will make them – and their employees — happy.
As your full-service provider and back-office administrator for ancillary benefits like dental, vision, Group Life/AD&D and enhanced disability coverage, The DBL Center Ltd. can point you to the benefits packages that offer the greatest value to your customers, with multi-line discounts when you purchase benefits from the same carrier – and put money in your pocket.
If the Affordable Care Act has you shying away from selling health insurance, isn’t it time to consider bolstering your business with ancillary benefits?
Contact The DBL Center Ltd. today to see why ancillary benefits are the answer to increased profits and disability insurance is just the beginning.