The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is approaching fast! It’s every year from October 15 – December 7, and if you haven’t started preparing, you’re already behind. AEP preparation is a lot of work, but you will reap the benefits if you have the right game plan.
As many coaches say, “Championships are won in the off-season.” The months before October are your off-season, and AEP is your Super Bowl. Proper preparation is the key to a successful AEP.
Stay Organized & Set Goals
If you’re unorganized during AEP, you’re setting a death trap. Get yourself aligned NOW. Find a good planner or calendar. Mark important dates and set up a system to keep yourself organized. Set and WRITE DOWN your goals in a place that you’ll see every day so you can constantly be reminded of the hard work that you’ve already done and what needs to happen.
Be a Marketer
You’re not just a sales agent, you’re a marketer. That’s true not just during AEP, but all year long. If you don’t market yourself and the products you’re selling, you won’t find leads, and if you don’t find leads, you won’t have anybody to sell to. That could mean that you won’t receive any sales commissions.
One way to do that is through digital content marketing (social media, blogs, websites, etc.). You can also practice building partnerships, hosting seminars, and marketing through “old-school” methods like hanging flyers in Medicare eligible and senior residences and publishing print ads.
Maintain Client Relationships
Don’t forget that AEP is NOT only about finding new clients. It’s almost MORE about retention because AEP is the 54-day period where your clients can FINALLY make changes to the plan they’ve been annoyed with all year.
In the months leading up to AEP (like now), you should be contacting your existing clients to see if they are happy with their plan and ask if they would like to meet with you to discuss the changes they can make at the end of the year.
Use a high-quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to help maintain your client relationships. Your CRM can remind you when to make those follow-up calls to ask your clients important questions about their plan satisfaction.
Cross-Sell to Maximize Your Commission Potential
Cross-selling is the act of selling one client multiple products (like a Medicare plan in addition to an ancillary plan, such as a cancer or life insurance policy). With Medicare, there are very specific rules involving cross-selling. Mainly, you cannot sell one client two plans on the same day, and you cannot discuss more than one type of plan without written consent.
If you have an appointment with a client, you have to fill out a Scope Of Appointment (SOA) form which lists the types of products that you intend to discuss. Your client must agree to those terms. If the client decides that they would like to discuss cancer policies, but you did not list cancer policies on the SOA form, you’ll have to inform your client that you cannot discuss that until a later appointment is set.
Make sure you are licensed to sell ancillary products with your carriers!
Now that you know the basics for jumping into AEP, are you ready to sell?
- Get Certified – Legally, you cannot sell Medicare plans until you are certified with AHIP.
- Get Contracted – Insurance carriers do not allow you to sell their plans until you sign their contracts. You can eContract with Senior Market Advisors today, through agentcontract.com
- Gather Information & Supplies – Order informative packets and marketing materials from the carriers that you have contracts with and/or your FMO. They’ll help you better promote your services and guide your clients in the right direction.
- Organize Your Leads & Referrals – Before you get out there and start seeing clients, have all of your lead and client information organized in a safe place such as your CRM. Make sure you comment on your leads after appointments to remember what you discussed and what products you sold.
Set Yourself up for Success with Senior Market Advisors This AEP
Are you looking for a field marketing organization that can guide you through AEP in a breeze? SMA will help fund your marketing efforts and guide you to stronger leads! Our experienced sales and marketing team is dedicated to helping you reach as many people as you can.
At Senior Market Advisors, we give our agents the tools for success. When you contract with us, you get free access to our proprietary CRM so you can maintain your important client relationships. You also get extensive Medicare and carrier training so you can stay up-to-date on the latest CMS and carrier policies.
Ready to start? eContract with us now.
This post was originally published on August 16, 2017, by Anastasia Iliou and was updated by on July 19, 2019, by Troy Frink.