I don’t know why it is so hard to talk about commissions with our clients, but I know that almost NO ONE brings up the subject and that should change.
A common mistake that almost all agents make is not explaining that the client will not pay more to purchase an insurance plan from the agent vs buying directly from the company over the phone or on the internet.
Consumers ASSUME that there is a savings to cut out the middle man–and why wouldn’t they? We all do it. Most of us have gone to a retail store to find a product we want only to go home and order it online for a lesser price. We cut out the middle man and our clients often think they are being a savvy consumer by taking the recommendations we provide them in the sales presentation and buying directly with the company.
Shame on you if you don’t make it a point in EVERY PRESENTATION to dispel this misconception.
Explain that purchasing the Medicare Supplement plan will cost the same if they buy it from an agent or if they call the company directly. The insurance company pays agents, so the client is basically getting the assistance of a live, local, professional agent FOR FREE.
Who wants to call an 800# and explain who they are and what they need with a call center based in a foreign country–when they can build a life long relationship with an agent at no extra cost?
Clients are very receptive to this explanation. In all the years I’ve sold insurance, I’ve always offered to tell my clients how much I make for the different companies and never have I had someone take me up on the offer. Money is taboo. People do not feel comfortable asking me what I make But it doesn’t have to be that way. Do it a few times and you will see that it puts clients at ease when you bring up the topic (because they were wondering!). We are all trying to stretch our dollars as far as possible, don’t blame the client that tells you they need to think about the plans after your presentation. Then, when you call them to follow up, they announce that they “just went ahead and enrolled online.”
When this happens, AND IT WILL HAPPEN (and probably has happened already), you have only yourself to be mad at. It was your fault for not explaining there is no cost-savings. At this point, I often get agents calling into Gordon Marketing asking how the client can re do or un do the sale so the agent can get credit. The answer is not so simple. If the client purchased the plan you recommended, she will have to cancel it for 30 days before you can re sell it to her and become of the agent of record (unless it is with one of the few companies who alllow AOR transfers.)
Experience Often Comes At A Price
Since you clearly can’t put your client on an inferior plan for a month, you leave the client alone and forgo a commission. This type of experience can get expensive, so hopefully you learn not to let it happen again. We work to pay for our food and housing. We are reputable professionals and there is no shame in talking about how we get paid.