4 Tips for Making 2018 Your Best AEP Ever
Open enrollment used to last 3 months. Now, in most states, the Annual Enrollment Period lasts for 45 days. Because the AEP also coincides with the holidays, and you factor in days when it will be difficult to meet with clients, your window shrinks even smaller. That makes it essential to start things off on the right foot.
Making 2018 Your Best AEP Ever
Preparation is the name of the game. Being organized will help you make sure you don’t rush through and miss any steps. From now through September, carriers and AHIP release their annual certification courses for selling Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Spend this time making sure all of your contracting and certifications are complete before AEP opens on October 15.
From August to October, carriers will release details of next year’s plans to licensed agents. This gives you time to review the plans and map out your selling strategy. Knowing the details of the plans, which products clients will ask for, and which plan you think will be strongest for you, will allow you to be more prepared when conducting plan reviews. This is a great time to practice and perfect your sales pitches and presentations.
To be more effective at selling you need to create a successful marketing strategy. It’s important to target your audiences appropriately in order to create a solid sales strategy. Get your call lists and any new leads in order before October. Scrambling for leads during AEP takes time away from selling.
Beginning October 1, go through your customer list and schedule follow-ups and benefit reviews. Prioritize this list based on your best customers and your most appealing prospects. If you anticipate that a client may want to change plans, based on any life changes, make sure to convey that message to your client when you reach out.
A lot can change in a year, so financial situations and health status have a big effect on plan selections. Touching base with current clients, that means all of them, to see if they’re happy is essential. Even if there are no changes to their current plans, you’re not doing everything you can to act in their best interests if you aren’t contacting each of your clients for an annual benefits review. When you meet with your current clients, open up a dialogue about their current situation to find an opportunity to provide them with as much value as you can.
It’s easy to get distracted worrying about clients whose plans may have changed, but all of your clients need communication from you. Remember, all of your clients are another agent’s prospects.
While you are checking in with all of your current clients, you can also be on the search for new clients. Keep in mind that new clients take longer than current clients. Once you start meeting with new clients you should be focusing on these goals:
- Assess their health needs and budget
- Find out which plans they are eligible for
- Outline a few ideal options
For all of your clients, you should be analyzing the various health care options to see who can be getting better coverage and who can be saving more.
Don’t forget about potential cross-sales. When you are communicating with your clients make sure you are asking questions that could uncover additional coverage needs. Asking a client if they have a family history of cancer could lead to them purchasing a supplemental cancer policy.
Sales might not happen right then and there during your annual visit with your client, especially cross-sales. Focus on helping clients get their primary coverage first, and then schedule follow-up meetings as necessary. Always work on making the most of your time with each client, while providing them with a high level of service. Let your clients know that you are there for them throughout the year to answer questions or provide assistance when needed.
Throughout the year reach out to your clients through birthday cards, newsletters, or quarterly emails. If you are on their mind, you will be the first person they think of to recommend to a friend or colleague. Follow up with your clients once their plans go into effect, make sure they have received all of their enrollment materials and check to see if they have any questions on how their plan works.
At ASPECT Management we understand that your clients are your most important assets. That’s why we provide our agents with products and support that allow them to better focus on providing clients with the care, respect, and understanding that they deserve. Our mission is to forge long-term relationships that lead to more customer opportunities. Contact us today to see how we can provide you best-in-breed products with specialized lead concepts.