Cross-selling is an essential component to a successful insurance sales business.
Our ASG Podcast host, Sarah J. Rueppel, sat down with Josh Hurley, a former member of Ritter’s More than Medicare team, to dive into insurance cross sales, and everything you need to know to get started.
To hear the full interview and even more about cross-selling, listen to the full episode:
Can you tell us a little more about the More than Medicare team first, and what you do here at Ritter?
The More than Medicare team is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. At Ritter, as you know, we are primarily focused on Medicare, but within our department, the More than Medicare team, we focus on all the products that we have here that are not Medicare.
Let’s start off with a quick definition of cross-selling, because I think, sometimes, people mistake cross-selling with upselling. Can you explain a little?
Yeah, so that’s a good point. When you’re thinking about cross-selling, especially with these [ancillary] insurance products, we really like to think of it as more of complementary products. So, you’re going to complement what you’re already selling, whether that be Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements. These [ancillary] products are really just going to kind of be the missing puzzle piece.
Now that we have that definition, let’s get into a little bit more of the why behind cross-selling. Why should agents implement this particular strategy into their insurance business?
Let’s just take a look at some of the top reasons why an agent might want to cross-sell in the first place. So, the first one, and maybe one of the most important, is that it’s going to provide more comprehensive coverage for your clients.
As insurance agents, we really want to make sure that our clients don’t have any coverage gaps. So that’s where these plans are really going to come into place. Now, by doing that [cross-selling], you’re also going to build stronger agent/client relationships. When they [clients] see that you’re really trying to make sure that all their bases are covered, they’re going to know that you really have their best interests at heart…
Along with that, it’s going to improve upon client persistency. It’s no secret when you have more than one product in a home or with a person, that client is more likely to stay. So, that client is more likely to be a lifetime client, rather than just, you know, here for one product and maybe jump ship later or go to another insurance agent for another product or something like that.
And that’s where the next point comes into play as well. So, when clients know that you have all these other products to offer, they’re going to really perceive you as a full-service agent or even an advisor … they’re going to come to you first because they know that you have all these products to offer, rather than trying to seek somebody else out.
The fifth and final reason I’d say [to cross-sell] is just higher income for you as the agent. What you’re really doing is selling to your current book of business or people that you’re already selling to in the first place.
So, without much more effort or going to find new leads, you can really just stack on top of the income that you’re already making by adding these products into your portfolio and into your selling process.
Those are all excellent reasons to pursue insurance cross sales. So now that we know the why, how do we go about it [cross-selling]?
That’s really going to look different for everybody. But the first thing I’d say to do is just kind of reset. Maybe you want to change your paradigm. How are you looking at this insurance business in the first place?
Do you want to be a salesperson? Or do you want to be an advisor? Because [being] an advisor is how you turn those customers into clients, let them know that you have their best interests at heart…
Then, I’d say take a look at your portfolio. There are products under the More than Medicare blanket that may pair better with certain insurance products than others.
For example, a Medicare Advantage plan is going to pair really well with a hospital indemnity plan. They’re really designed to go with the Medicare Advantage. Same thing goes with a Med Supp. If you’re selling Med Supps, dental, vision and hearing is probably one of your go-to products because Med Supps don’t offer any coverage for dental, vision, or hearing services.
So, just taking a look at that and what you’re currently selling, who you’re selling to, can really open up your eyes to where you should head next, what products you should start with…
Right. There’s a lot of different ways that these products can work together. What else do we have here at Ritter as far as ancillary products that agents can add to their portfolios?
We do have a number of products under the More than Medicare blanket … I’d say the three biggest products are probably going to be hospital indemnity, dental, vision, and hearing, and final expense. That being said, we do have annuities, cancer, heart attack, and stroke, or critical illness plans, short-term care plans, accident, disability income, and even short-term medical…
Well, that is a lot of products. You have given us so much information here today, Josh. Is there anything else you would like to mention?
I’d just say the biggest takeaway is don’t be afraid to ask. And you don’t need to be an expert on these products to bring them up to your clients.
That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to help you out. And along with that help, we do have a number of resources, including tons of trainings that we conduct all the time. They’re More than Medicare specific. We do it on all the products.
If you want to learn more about how to start cross-selling during AEP, listen to our full podcast episode! Also make sure to register with Ritter for free to access our easy-to-use tools and sales technology!
Editor’s Note: This article is based on an episode from our ASG Podcast. We have modified content from the original recording. To listen to the full episode, visit RitterIM.com/podcast.