Broker blog from Delta Dental

Category: Insights for selling (Page 3 of 7)

Get tips and tricks to help you sell Delta Dental plans.

The role of the broker post-COVID

The pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of American life, and selling insurance is no exception.

Your clients are conducting business differently. Budgets have been cut and many employees continue to work remotely. The benefits landscape has changed as well. Many of your clients’ employees are dealing with new economic realities, so they’re looking at benefit choices differently.

Here are some of the trends that have transformed the role of the benefits broker in the era of COVID.

New ways to connect with clients

Despite the challenges of the past two years, you’ve still worked to connect, engage and build relationships with your clients. While you’ve probably had less interpersonal contact with your clients, their expectations of speed, personalization and convenience have risen, and virtual enrollment has become the norm.

As a result, delivering value to your clients through digital services and compelling experiences can help you thrive in this new environment. For 2022, be sure to check Delta Dental’s marketing resources for a selection of digital resources that can help you communicate with your clients, from individuals and small businesses to larger companies with 100 employees or more. 

Advising clients on benefits that work in the new normal

What your clients and their employees want from their benefits is probably different from what they wanted a few years ago. With a decentralized workforce, flexibility and choice are more valuable than ever, and savvy brokers have kept pace with employees’ interest in new and expanded benefits.

Consider:

  • Ensuring that telehealth, such as Delta Dental’s Virtual Consult, and expanded mental health services are included in health care offerings.
  • Offering benefits and perks that promote employee well-being, including overall wellness, mental health and even financial health. Delta Dental gives enrollees access to attractive value-added features, such as discounts on Amplifon hearing aids and QualSight LASIK eye surgery.
  • Taking on an advisory role to help clients and employees understand what’s available to them and choose the best options.

The number of employers offering voluntary benefits increased 27% during the COVID pandemic. For brokers, this is an opportunity to expand workplace benefits offerings. 

Greater focus on the whole family

Your clients’ employees probably spend more time at home than ever before. Some became caregivers for their parents; others took on educational roles for their children.

Now more than ever, employees are looking for benefits that extend to their family members. A recent survey of employers found that 41% of respondents plan to newly offer or expand senior care benefits to employees, and 63% said they plan to increase their company’s current child care benefits.

Looking ahead

You likely saw your business change in the past few years. But crisis breeds opportunity. Economic challenges offer you the chance to demonstrate the value you bring to your clients and their employees and help them navigate this new world.

Your end-of-the-year checklist

As the year comes to a close, you’ll want to set yourself up for success before you take your well-deserved holiday break. Here are four things you can do to bring yourself success in 2022 and beyond.

Renew any required certifications and licenses

The first step to selling success is making sure you can legally sell. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, so check with your state insurance board when it comes time to renew your license or obtain a new one. Some states also require additional certifications to sell certain types of plans, such as California’s certification requirements to sell Covered California plans, so you’ll need to follow up on those as well.

Review the plans you offer

Once you have the licenses and certifications required to sell, you should review the plans in your portfolio. For your potential clients, Delta Dental offers plans through three lines of business:

No matter which plans you sell, resources are available to help you answer your clients’ questions and achieve business success.

Review the tools and resources available to you and your clients

Speaking of resources, we have a wide variety of flyers, marketing collateral, websites and apps available to help you sell.

You can make the most of our online tools with an online account. Be sure to log in or create an account if you don’t already have one. 

Online resources to help you sell include:

  • Individual plan brochures available on the Resources page
  • Recurring webinars that offer tips and insights into selling (coming in January 2022!)
  • Helpful information about Delta Dental plans available on public exchanges

Plan for the future

Finding success in 2022 will require versatility and flexibility in your sales approach. As the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and workers look to change jobs, you may want to diversify the clientele you serve. To that end, make sure to:

You can also make life easier as a business owner by:

And finally, be sure to subscribe to the Insider Update newsletter to stay on top of the latest features and industry news.

Note: This post was updated to remove references to the broker rewards dashboard. This feature is being updated and is currently unavailable.

The 5 New Year’s resolutions brokers should make for 2022

The past year has been anything but predictable, and the new one promises to be just as turbulent. But setting goals can make all the difference between a productive year and a chaotic one. It’s the perfect time to look back and reflect on the ups and downs of the previous year, and also to make a plan for moving forward.

You may already have some personal New Year’s resolutions in mind for 2022, but why not include some professional ones, as well? Here are our ideas for the top resolutions to make for 2022.

Update your look

Stay-at-home orders and social distancing may leave you feeling a little sluggish and idle, but the outward-facing appearance of your business can’t sit stagnant at this time.

If anything, your digital presence — whether that involves your website, your logo, your presentation slides, your social media, your email signature — is going to be the first impression many people have of you this coming year. You want to be sure that’s a good one.

In 2022, resolve to take a closer look at:

  • Your website. While it’s true that not every website needs every bell and whistle imaginable, you also don’t want potential clients to think you’re stuck in 2011. Start by making sure your business site is clean, professional, up to date and easy to navigate, and if it’s not, resolve to fix it in 2022.
  • Your emails. Make sure any email signatures and avatars are up to date and truly represent you and your business. Brush up on email etiquette (we especially like the 10 golden rules of work email), and be sure your business is following up promptly and politely, even with leads that don’t seem imminently exciting.
  • Your presentations and virtual booths. To improve your appearance, also think about how to create better presentations for clients. Consider creating tailored presentations for each client to add a more personalized touch to the health insurance quoting process. Content is important, but looks matter, too! Make sure your presentation slides have a sleek, engaging, unified and professional look, as do any virtual booths for big events.
  • Your social media. With social media, aim for quality not quantity to attract more user engagement. Be creative and conversational. If you’re at a loss for what will interest people, think of the type of content you most enjoy reading and start from there. Make sure your various profile pages are up to date and that they represent you and your business well.

Seek safe ways to step out of the silo

Whether with clients, potential clients or employees, your face-to-face interactions with others likely had to drop to almost nil in 2020 and 2021. But once these meetings were no longer possible, you probably also began to realize how important these interactions could be. Sales is a tough job that constantly requires re-direction and realignment, and these often take shape through personal interaction.

Consider some safe ways to step briefly out of your digital silo in 2022. Consider planning a small outdoor coffee klatch in a spot where everyone feels safe and comfortable. If you have a longtime client in your area, consider planning a walking meeting in a local park to catch up with your contact. Deployed with the utmost care, a few ”safety first” interpersonal interactions could help make a difference in 2022.

Read more

After a long day in front of the screen, it’s tempting to relax by, well, staying in front of the screen, either surfing the internet or diving in to the latest bingeable TV series. But reading a book every now and then can truly help you relax. And the right book could even help with your sales.

If you feel you don’t have time to read, you can always find good titles at sites like Audible.com. The books download to your smartphone, and you can learn more about insurance sales and marketing while you drive, exercise or do yardwork.

Don’t be afraid to follow your own interests and read to fill the gaps in your own knowledge.

To get you started in 2022, consider picking up these new titles:

Prepare early for open enrollment

Open enrollment is a busy time, but it’s one you can prepare for. Make your resolution this New Year’s to prepare early for open enrollment, so that the crazy time of year will feel a lot less hectic in 2022.

As much as possible, make sure emails, websites, presentations and flyers are up-to-date and accurate well before the season begins. You may also find Delta Dental’s resource page for open enrollment helpful in preparing for the busiest time of year.

You yourself are the best source of knowledge about how to prepare. This new year’s, think carefully about the successes and shortcomings of the open enrollment season in 2021. Make a list of what you could have done better and make the resolution to improve any problem areas through better preparation.

Relax

Don’t forget to take some time for self-care in 2022! In this “new normal,” it’s easy to get wrapped up in work and to forget that pacing yourself is actually one of the most crucial aspects of productivity.

If travel isn’t possible, consider taking a staycation this year, using the time to do some fun (and safe!) activities in your own area, such as local hikes or an outdoor concert in warmer weather.

And don’t forget the little daily things, like a tea break in the afternoon or a walk around the block after work, that can really help you de-stress.

Resolve to get a healthy dose of relaxation in 2022, and you’re bound to have a more balanced and productive year.

8 ways selling got easier than ever this past year

In a year like 2021, it’s easy to lose track of the many updates to Delta Dental plans. From telehealth options to online resources, here are eight features, resources and improvements Delta Dental introduced in 2021 that will make selling in 2022 easier than ever.

1. Teledentistry lets clients use their benefits outside of the dentist office

In 2021, Delta Dental launched not just one but two teledentistry initiatives. Available under Delta Dental PPO™ and Delta Dental Premier® plans, Toothpic and Delta Dental – Virtual Consult let members use their diagnostic and preventive benefits to see Delta Dental dentists remotely at no cost.

Toothpic is perfect for members who just need a quick check-in, and Virtual Consult is meant for members with more serious concerns that may require a prescription for treatment.

2. New videos make understanding networks and plans easier

The world of insurance can be difficult for your clients to navigate. As an industry professional, you know the value of clear and easy-to-understand communication. That’s why we’ve put together videos that you can share with clients to help them understand the differences between plans and the online tools and resources available to them.

3. The Delta Dental Mobile App is getting more features and more user friendly

Delta Dental is relaunching the Delta Dental Mobile App for 2022. The new app is faster and more stable and offers useful features such as member ID cards, dentist search and a cost estimator. It will also be available on both Android and iOS. The old version of the app will be unavailable starting December 20.

4. Delta Dental and VSP are partnering up for paired vision and dental

This year, Delta Dental partnered with VSP to offer vision coverage to Small Business Program (SBP) groups. This coverage is available for groups with as few as two members and as many as 99 and is structured in the same tiers as regular SBP coverage.

5. New open enrollment resources for your clients are available

This past open enrollment season brought multiple new features to help your individual clients and your group clients’ employees understand and make the most of their coverage options. In addition to the videos and teledentistry tools already covered, these resources include a new focus on “virtual” booths for open enrollment periods conducted remotely, quality ratings for dentists and refreshed website and customer service experiences. Speaking of quality ratings…

6. DentaQual ratings help clients find dentists they’ll love

Delta Dental added DentaQual ratings to our dentist directory. Members can use DentaQual ratings to compare dentists based on objective measurements such as procedures success rate, value and patient retention. These ratings offer a simple and transparent solution to the problem of finding a great dentist.

7. Customer service gets reimagined

After two years of development, design and implementation, we rolled out our new customer service initiative, CX Reimagined. CX Reimagined brough an emphasis on soft skills, like empathy, active listening and de-escalation. Since we rolled out the CX Reimagined initiative, more customers than ever before have told us that they’re satisfied with their service and that they’d recommend Delta Dental’s customer service to others. That means that you can feel confident recommending Delta Dental to your clients.

8. Delta Dental’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed

Delta Dental Insurance Company’s NCQA Credentialing Accreditation was renewed through March 2024.

“Achieving NCQA Credentialing Accreditation demonstrates that Delta Dental Insurance Company has the systems, process and personnel in place to conduct credentialing in accordance with the strictest quality standards,” said Margaret E. O’Kane, president of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA’s Credentialing Accreditation is a quality assessment program that focuses on consumer protection and customer service improvement.


These major updates from 2021 will help you manage your business and sell Delta Dental plans. We’re proud to be your partners in delivering great coverage to your clients. Together we shine, and we’ll see you in 2022!

Note: This post was updated to remove references to the broker rewards dashboard. This feature is being updated and is currently unavailable.

What to expect in 2022 benefits trends

In the midst of the Great Resignation, benefits are more important than ever for groups and individuals alike. About 37% of employees would rather receive more substantial benefits than additional salaries or bonuses.

That means that in-office perks like free snacks or casual dress won’t necessarily cut it on their own. Instead, workers are looking for more specific, long-term investments into their financial and physical well-being.

Voluntary benefits

Historically, companies have offered blanket benefits and resources that give the same support to all their employees. Often, benefits packages are designed to satisfy employees in key groups, like emerging talent and leadership, while other employees’ needs are prioritized much lower.

Employees with mature careers and families to care for have different priorities in mind than those who are just starting out. In 2022, many employers are looking to design more flexible benefits packages so that all employees get more of the coverage they want, with less fluff. That means adding opt-in benefits like pet insurance, critical illness plans and increased mental health support.

Expanded health services

The pandemic solidly established the connection between employee well-being and productivity ― and employers took note. About 32% of employers indicated they were working on expanding and strengthening their virtual care or telehealth programs. Another 25% said that they would increase the mental health support services offered to employees.

Individuals who purchase their plans directly from you are also looking for virtual care programs. With these kinds of benefits becoming valuable, expect to see Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) increase in 2022 as well.

Flexible work arrangements

Employees want to be able to design the work-life balance they need, rather than trying to fit in to what their company has previously set. The good news is if your group clients are looking to hire in 2022, you can share with them that flexible work will be an easy way to drive applications and retain employees.

Flexibility is the fastest growing priority for job seekers. Jobs that offer remote work receive four times the applications than onsite jobs do, LinkedIn found. But flexibility and remote work aren’t just good for getting new applications — employees who are satisfied with their work schedules and locations are more likely to enjoy working for you and recommend your workplace, according to the same study.

Paid family leave and child care assistance

The lines that separate work time and home life blurred significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and enrollees are looking for benefits that acknowledge the realities of life. Only 40% of employers offer paid family leave for both mothers and fathers, and only 6% offer child care benefits, despite many parents working full-time.

The lack of reliably safe child care during the pandemic has enrollees looking for financial support when it comes to child care and paid time off to take care of their kids. To build a benefits package that supports your enrollees and their kids, consider rebates or financial help with the costs of daycare, or even adding more paid time off to care for young children.

Investments for financial security

Did you know many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? After roughly 9.6 million U.S. workers lost their jobs due to COVID-19, the stress of living without a solid financial backup has many people looking to boost their savings. Employees are looking to their employers for support when it comes to money, and they’re open to more than just a higher salary.

Employees indicate that financial benefits — like tools that automatically put part of their paycheck towards debt — would lead to less financial stress in their lives. Programs like emergency cash grants or loan programs have shown great results as well. In one study, 72% of employees who benefited from a hardship fund expressed they were more likely to stay with their employer and about 65% indicated that the fund greatly lessened their financial stress.

Whether you work primarily with groups or individuals, keep in mind that enrollees are looking for support. By taking a flexible approach to benefits packages that allow different priorities to shine, you’re expanding your pool of potential enrollees.

The easiest way to get credit for your sales

Getting credit for your all your sales can make a big difference in your commission. We’ve made it easier for you to get credit for your clients’ online enrollments, no matter where or when your client chooses to enroll.

The easiest way to get credit

Instead of reminding your clients to input your broker information into a form while signing up, all you need to do is include your unique broker link on your marketing materials. (Using a shortened version of the URL may make it easier to type.)

Your clients can visit your link and you’ll automatically get credit when they complete enrolling. The more places your clients see your link, the more likely you are to get credit.

More ways to get credit

Tell clients to choose “Yes” when asked “Are you working with an insurance agent or broker?” on the online enrollment application. Then have them enter your broker number in the Broker Number field.

Or, when your clients are filling out printed applications, remind them to add your Delta Dental information, including your broker number, in the Agent/Producer Information section.

How to find your broker link

To find your broker link, log in to your online account and select the Business Information tab. You’ll find your unique broker link under the Links tab.

If you don’t have your unique broker link or need more guidance, just email producerservices@delta.org or call 866–760‑4080.

For additional information about selling, commissions, appointment and more, check out our broker resources.

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