In May, The Hill reported that “A crowd broke out into chants of ‘PowerPoint, PowerPoint, PowerPoint,’ at Democratic presidential hopeful and entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s” rally in Seattle after the candidate announced that he would use PowerPoint in his State of the Union address if he wins the election. Yang has admitted that his is “the nerdiest presidential campaign in history,” but clearly his idea has resonated with some voters.
Perhaps the reason people like the promise of a visual aid during a presidential speech is because, according to Forbes, “Humans are visual creatures” and “65 percent of us are visual learners.” That’s why infographics are so popular: because people understand pictures better than they do the written or spoken word. These sorts of visuals are useful tools when trying to explain difficult and abstract concepts, like those presented during a political campaign.
It’s unlikely that many of the people reading this article will be running for elected office, but you don’t have to be a politician to benefit from an understanding of the way people learn. Insurance, too, is an abstract concept that is difficult for people to understand, so agents must continually seek ways to translate insurance terms into language that makes sense to our clients and prospects.
When meeting with clients in person, we can use visuals to help make our points. However, not all meetings are conducted face-to-face nowadays; in fact, some agents sell almost exclusively by phone. So, the obvious question is this: do visual learners buy insurance over the phone? And, given that most agents earn enough money to pay the bills each month, the obvious answer is yes, some of them do. But that does not mean that we’re not missing out on some business when we forgo visual sales tools that would enhance our clients’ understanding.
Here are a few ideas:
Ask your clients to do their homework before your scheduled phone call.
Even if you sell over the phone, you can easily incorporate infographics and other visual tools into your sales presentation. Simply send them to the client ahead of time and ask that they look the material over before your call.
What information should you cover in these infographics? Just the basics, like the difference between an HSA and a copay plan and the difference between the different network options. You’ll also want to make sure they understand basic insurance terms like deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. If you spend the entire phone call explaining how insurance works, you won’t have time to compare their options and make a recommendation. Infographics can give them the background information they need in order to have a productive call.
Color-code your spreadsheets
Obviously, the main purpose of your phone call will be to review the various health plan options with the client (as well as any supplemental coverage you’re offering) and make a recommendation based on the client’s needs. To accomplish this goal, you’ll no doubt send the client some spreadsheets with a bunch of numbers on them. To a non-expert, reviewing the options and making a decision can seem overwhelming. To help simplify the material, be sure to use a large font size and leave a lot of white space on the spreadsheet so it’s easy to read. It’s also helpful to use color to highlight the important sections that you’ll want to draw your client’s attention to—things like the calendar-year deductible, out-of-pocket limit, and monthly premium. That way, when you’re on the phone, you can ask the client to focus on the blue column showing the total in-network exposure, the green column showing how much each plan would cost, and the yellow highlighted row showing your plan recommendation, for instance.
Use technology to simulate an in-person meeting
There are now a number of affordable online meeting tools that allow you to have a “face-to-face” meeting with your clients even when you’re in different locations. This way, you can turn on the camera so your client can see you and control what material your client sees during the call.
Similarly, you might choose to record a short video explaining your client’s options and your recommendation that your client can view on his or her own time. It sounds like a silly idea until you realize that this strategy is fast, free, and highly effective.
Long story short, your job is to sell insurance, but that’s a lot easier said than done. People have a difficult time understanding health insurance, and even those who do understand probably don’t enjoy it. As agents, we must find a way to simplify and speed up the process so we can give clients the information they need in a way that makes sense to them in the small amount of time they allow us. That’s especially difficult to do over the phone since most people are visual learners, but there’s nothing that says we can’t incorporate visuals into the process. In fact, if you’re not using visuals you might be missing out on some sales. Give it a try and let us know what you think.