Are you striking out when trying to sell supplemental and ancillary insurance? Maybe it’s because you’re trying to cram all of your sales efforts into a single call or appointment. There are three big reasons why this may not be a good idea.

Reason #1: People are busy

It’s a fact of life nowadays: people have way too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it. Yet the government picked, for many people, the busiest time of the year for annual the open enrollment period. The fourth quarter of the year is also the open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries and for most employer plans.

Perhaps that’s at least part of the reason why “56% of people said they spend less than 30 minutes researching their benefits and 34% said they spend less than 15 minutes” according to a recent Aflac survey. A half an hour or less isn’t enough time to explain someone’s health insurance options; it’s definitely not enough time to explain health insurance and a bunch of other benefits.

So perhaps you should spend the time you have with talking about health insurance, helping them truly understand how their coverage will work and how to best use it, rather than trying to sell other stuff? They will appreciate your request to schedule a follow-up call to review other ways to protect them rather than robbing them of another 20 minutes.

Reason #2: Americans don’t have the attention span

It seems that everyone nowadays has ADD. Or perhaps Twitter is to blame—if it can’t be said in 140 characters or less, is it really worth saying? Regardless of the reason, modern people have a short attention span. They don’t like to focus on anything too long. Maybe that’s the true  reason that people spend so little time researching their health insurance options.

It’s also possible that people just don’t like insurance, and they dread the process of sitting down, looking at all of the overpriced plans and trying to guess which one is best for them and their family. In fact, the same Aflac survey, reported by, found that “many people would rather complete tedious chores than research benefits with 38% who would rather clean out their email inbox, 23% would rather clean their toilet, 21% would rather pull weeds, 18% would rather do their taxes and 12% would rather have a dental cavity filled.” Those are some strong objections to overcome. At the end of this process, people are exhausted. The last thing they want to do when they finish making an insurance decision is make another insurance decision. So if you feel you’re losing your client’s attention, maybe you should break up the insurance conversation into bite-size chunks.

Reason #3: It’s a bigger financial decision

It’s no secret that health insurance is expensive, and it’s getting more expensive every year. In fact, the news reports nearly every single day that rates are going up across the country. And your customers, naturally, are a little stressed out by the high prices. True, some people qualify for a premium tax credit to lower the net cost of their individual health insurance, but not everyone does.

If you’re successful at convincing your clients that health insurance, though pricey, is necessary and that they need to bite the bullet and shell out the money to pay for health coverage, congratulations! That’s your job as an agent. But you also need to realize that this could be the very worst time to try to sell them something else.

If health insurance is stretching their budget to the breaking point, they’ll probably have trouble finding the funds for other types of insurance, even if it would benefit them. Holding off on the extra sales for a while could increase your overall customer satisfaction level. It’s a lot easier to sell a $20 per month product if you haven’t just sold your client something that costs $400 per month.

So what’s the answer?

Does this mean that you should give up and not offer other types of coverage? Absolutely not! Many of the products AHCP brokers represent are designed to fill some big gaps left by today’s health insurance plans and may actually help your customers ultimately save money.

And, further, you should talk with your clients about how additional polices can reduce their overall exposure;  the future is unpredictable, and it’s always better to get that coverage now rather than later. Recommending health insurance and ancillary benefits as part of a total solution can help your clients see that all of the products fit together to protect their family from financial loss.

But if you’re having trouble closing the deal when you’re talking with your clients about health insurance, you may consider saving part of the conversation for a follow-up call. After all, don’t you look for excuses to talk with your clients more than once a year? If you’re getting resistance when trying to sell dental, life, accident, critical illness and other types of coverage, just realize that your clients aren’t necessarily saying no; they may just be saying “not now.” Don’t give up on the sale.

Instead, set that follow-up appointment or make a note in your clients’ files to circle back with them sometime in January when they have more time, are better able to focus and haven’t just spent a pile of money on health insurance.

Remember, there’s a limited open enrollment window for major medical health insurance, but that’s not the case with supplemental and ancillary coverage. This gives your tremendous opportunity to maximize year-round income and remain in touch with your clients.

Speaking of open enrollment

OE is officially underway and that means you’re going to be super busy for the next three months. We want you to know that AHCP is committed to helping you manage your time efficiently so you can be as successful as possible. Best of luck this selling season, and let us know if we can help!