You could continue to work harder at generating new business from leads. Or, you can make the most out of your existing clients who already trust you. We are guessing the second option sounds better. If you are not already cross-selling DVH plans (dental, vision and hearing) alongside your existing Medicare plans, you’re missing an ideal opportunity! We know what you’re thinking—resorting to shady tactics or selling something your client doesn’t need is the last thing you want. Of course, we don’t like that idea either! If done for the right reason and under the proper circumstances, cross-selling DVH plans is equally beneficial for you and the client.
What is Cross-Selling?
In simplest terms, cross-selling is when a salesperson offers the client a complimentary product or service in addition to what they’ve already purchased. Don’t confuse this with up-selling, in which a salesperson tries to sell a more expensive, advanced, or modified version of the initial product or service the client wants (which, by the way, is illegal in Medicare). Think about the last time you ordered a burger at a fast-food restaurant. When the cashier asks if you’d like a drink or fries, they’re trying to cross-sell a different, yet related product frequently ordered with a burger. On the other hand, an offer to add an extra patty for another dollar is considered up-selling.
Now imagine this from an agent’s perspective. Your client already has a Medicare plan, but you notice they’re lacking a vision plan and feel that having that coverage would provide them with greater benefits. This is an example of when cross-selling DVH plans makes sense. Just like the cashier wants to make the customer feel like they are getting everything they need in order to be completely satisfied with their meal, your goal in cross-selling DVH plans should be to help the client feel secure that their coverage is fulfilling all their needs.
Why Cross-Selling DVH Plans is Important
But why bother cross-selling DVH plans if you already have a steady stream of leads? It’s simple: selling to existing clients tends to be easier AND less expensive. According to this article, your success rate of making a sale to an established client is around 60-70%, whereas your chance of selling to a new lead is only 5-20%. It’s also 5-25 times more expensive to acquire a new lead than to cross-sell to an existing one. That’s a lot!
But let’s not forget the real reason for cross-selling DVH plans in the first place—it provides peace of mind for your clients. If your client only has Original Medicare (Parts A and B), their plan won’t cover routine dental, vision or hearing services, along with necessary items like glasses or hearing aids. As you know, Medicare Supplements won’t entirely fill in these gaps either. Likewise, Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) could cover many of these services, but these plans vary.
How to Start Cross-Selling DVH Plans
It’s important to assess each client’s needs carefully. Before you begin cross-selling DVH plans outside of Medicare, ask questions to become familiar with your client’s needs and current coverage (if they have any):
- Do they currently have a plan(s)?
- If so, what does it consist of (Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, separate DVH plans, etc.)?
- Are they completely satisfied with their plan?
- What about the client’s current state of health? Do they have any existing conditions or a family history that makes cross-selling DVH plans necessary?
- What does their budget look like?
You may be wondering if you have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) to start cross-selling DVH plans. Nope! One advantage of ancillary plans is that you can sell them year-round.
But Wait…There’s a Catch!
We know you are eager to begin cross-selling DVH plans but hold off before applying your newfound knowledge. You should know there are a few legal implications to cross-selling ancillary products to Medicare beneficiaries. You can’t cross-sell other types of health-related policies unless it’s agreed to in the Scope of Appointment (SOA). An SOA is a written or oral agreement about what products the client agrees to discuss when you meet. This must be settled before the appointment takes place. Never try to sell anything to a client outside the Scope of Appointment and, of course, don’t try to sell a client something that they don’t need.
But what if the subject of DVH arises during the appointment when there was no prior agreement to discuss it? In this case, wait until after the appointment ends so you can schedule another meeting. You’ll need to fill out another SOA beforehand. You must have a Scope of Appointment established before each new meeting. Although it might seem inconvenient, consider it as an advantage. Now, both parties have time to think about other topics they’d like to discuss. You get to look like a fully prepared rockstar at the next appointment.
As you can see, there’s a lot to take into consideration when cross-selling DVH plans. But, we’re confident that learning to implement this skill will bring many benefits to you and your clients. You’re saving time and money plus building client retention, while they have the advantage of getting all their necessary health coverage from one place (you!). Trust us, it’s worth it.