• The Diversified Companies

Health Insurance Agents Embrace Working From Home

All around the country, millions of people have had to make the abrupt switch in routine to start working from home. In the age of social distancing, its imperative that companies generate the necessary changes and adjustments in order to stay afloat and conduct business as "usual."  For those working in the health insurance industry in particular, this is very out of the norm as many insurance agents are accustomed to working out in the field to meet with both existing clients and new prospects. 

The reality is this: Working from home has become the new norm, and it takes some getting used to. Having recently stumbled upon a LinkedIn WorkForce Report written by Senior Editor George Anders about this topic, he poses the thought-provoking question, "Is this a short-term hardship -- or the career refresher we never knew we needed?" With that being said, only 48% of those in the healthcare field are optimistic that remote work and effective operations go hand in hand. 

Diversified, for instance, has transitioned its field agents (who are living in various states across the country) to non-face-to-face sales - many of them having no previous experience in telesales. Some people may believe that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks," meaning that it is impossible to train an agent who has worked out in the field for 10+ years to be able to use new technology to sell policies over the phone. However, the sales team here at Diversified has proven that those skills learned from delivering policy to clients out in the field will absolutely transfer over to selling over the phone.

It is not impossible for a seasoned agent to make this adjustment, but obviously, it isn't without its challenges. Senior Specialist Joe Neveux is one of the agents who took advantage of this recent opportunity to teach himself a new sales approach. He told Diversified, "You just have to be a lot sharper over the phone. What I mean is like, you have to be ON. I catch myself playing with tonality a lot because you can’t be as visually expressive and I think I’ll make 75% of my sales by just being a goof, or that’s how I develop trust." Being that this is his first experience with telesales, he believes it's all the same experience - once you find your groove and get back in the rhythm of things. 

As someone who started off by selling health insurance over the phone and then went out in the field, and then back in the office over the phone again, agent Nichole Moore says she has had much success both in the field and over the phone. Speaking on her personal experience, she says, "Over the phone sales build tough skin by default. It's so easy for someone to get rid of you over the phone. They don't know you. They don't trust you. But if you master breaking that barrier, outside AND inside sales are a breeze." This is one of the many reasons why Nichole is the Training Manager for the inside-sales (phone sales) team. 

At the end of the day, the basic sales skills carry over across both in-person and virtual platforms. There may be a handful of sales one might assume they could have closed in person, or vice-versa. With experience selling Life and Health Insurance both in the field and over the phone, Diversified Senior Specialist Andrew Rowen gives this advice: "The bottom line is, they have to like and trust you to even want to do business with you. There also needs to be a need there. I do think if you're able to make a solid connection with somebody over the phone, that is the key." Andrew was the recipient of the 2019 Diversified Leadership Award. 

The working atmosphere Americans are living in is changing whether we like it or not, even though many people originally believed this would certainly not be a long-lasting ordeal. Fast forward a few months into quarantine and people are becoming adjusted to this "new normal," so much so that the pandemic economy’s new norms are actually finding surprising support in all sectors. 

Diversified's agents are living proof that adjusting to remote work and learning how to be successful at selling over the phone is possible for all agents, whether they have 1 year of experience in the field or 15 years. Learning how to survive and thrive using this new sales approach will be extremely beneficial, especially when it is possible to meet clients in person again. So for now, let's keep taking lemons and make the best lemonade, ever. 

Are you an independent agent seeking a new opportunity? Come work for an FMO that truly markets for you, and use the innovation Diversified offers to be a successful leader in the insurance industry! Visit our website to apply and learn more.  

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