Independent agents and organizations prep for months leading up to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). It's a chaotic few short weeks of consumers shopping their rates, carriers advertising their plans for the new year, and agents scrambling to grow their book of business, while most are asking themselves how to make best use of their time. We're here to help you prioritize this AEP.
- Client retention
While AEP is the best time to obtain new prospects, retaining your current clients is equally important. Keep in mind that your clients are other agents' prospects.
- Reach out to your existing book of business during this time (even if they are not making changes to their current plans) to remind them that you are their Medicare resource. I suggest making two to four touches with current clients per year.
- Educate yourself on the changes going on in the Medicare world (a great way to stay current is to read our bi-weekly Medicare Connections News). Your clients are going to be bombarded by marketing material from other agents and carriers during the months leading up to AEP. By staying up-to-date with industry news and procedure, and in turn educating your client, scare-tactic marketing from your competitors will not affect your business because they will be armed with the facts that you provided them. Often your clients will then share these facts with their Medicare-eligible friends meaning referrals for you! Which leads to…
- New business
- While marketing leading up to AEP is critical, continuing to market yourself during AEP is also essential. Put an ad with your face on it at the mall, advertise yourself in the newspaper, count down on your social media.
- Make sure you are keeping track of your appointments. Nothing makes a worse first impression than a no-show.
- The more enrollments you are able to complete over the phone and online the better! If you haven't had a chance yet, make sure you watch our MedicareNow! demo (you can eScope, quote and enroll in half the time). Remember, your time is money. Going paperless saves you time, and is more convenient for you and your client.
- Have a plan of action for Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from January 1st to March 15th. OEP is the period where your clients who weren't happy with their selection during AEP can dis-enroll. It is critical for you to be thorough in explaining your clients plan decisions made during AEP. Customers that are confused are more susceptible to reach out to another agent during OEP than customers who feel secure and knowledgeable about their decisions.
- Stay organized
- Stay on top of kit orders, most carriers have online kit ordering available to make the process quick, painless, and easy.
- Keep your work area tidy. AEP is only 53 days, and spending even 10 to 20 minutes searching for a misplaced file is less time you have to be selling. Straightening up your work area at the end of the day will save you time and energy in the long run, and allow you to start fresh the next day.
- Take advantage of a CRM (customer relationship management) system. CRM's allow you to keep an organized calendar of your appointments, take notes, and track sales from start to finish. This way you won't have to worry about digging through notes and forgetting client information.
- Become accustomed to the resources provided by URL, we provide quick links to quoting tools, online enrollments, product information, and supply orders.
Remember, Dec 7th is not the end! AEP may be over, but lock-in is the best time of year to build your book of business as individuals are turning 65 and retiring. Get ahead of your competition by making a business plan for the upcoming year, and be sure that you don't burn out during AEP. Continuing to push while other agents rest can make worlds of a difference in your production.