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5 Tips to Make the Most of AEP

September 10, 2021

No matter if you’re a seasoned AEP pro or just stepping onto the track for the first time, getting it right from the get-go is your key to success. Here are some tips to help you maximize your time during this Annual Enrollment Period.  

1. Making it Count

Make the most of your 54 days during AEP. It might seem like a marathon, but it goes by like a 5K, so the sooner you get organized the better. Keep in mind, you won’t actually have 54 days when you take out Thanksgiving holiday and weekends. Line up your new prospects and pull out your existing client list well ahead of October 1 so you are ready to reach out as soon as AEP kicks off.

2. Getting Prepared

Having your contracting and certifications in place before October 15 is your first step in AEP preparation. Before you can sell Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, you’ll need to complete your annual carriers and AHIP certifications between July and September.

Staying on top of plan changes and knowing which products your clients are most interested in allows you to identify those clients who may be affected by any changes so you can be prepared to help them adjust their plans. It’s also an opportunity to decide which carriers you want to focus on most.

3. Prioritizing Clients

Make your current clients your top priority as soon as AEP begins—even if there are no changes in their current plans. Focusing on client retention lets you sustain your business with the least amount of effort during AEP.  

Your clients already know and trust you as a valued part of their Medicare journey, but other agents will be competing for their business also. So, send a retention letter early to let them know as soon as plan information is available, you’ll be in touch after October 1 to discuss any changes in the market. In the letter, give them a specific time frame you’ll be calling to follow up—one week is a good plan.

4. Cross-selling Creates More Opportunities

Always focus on their primary health coverage first but do take the opportunity anytime you are in front of clients or new prospects to cross-sell with other ancillary products you have in your portfolio that could provide additional protection. Observe and listen for cues as an opening to bring up products for other needs, including final expense, critical illness, hospital indemnity, accident, life products, vision, dental, and hearing.   

Don’t necessarily expect to make the sale for ancillary products at that first meeting. Instead, schedule a follow-up time to ensure everything is a go for their medical coverage, and use that opportunity to discuss additional products.  

5. Marketing is Key

The Medicare market is competitive, so focused marketing efforts can help you gain an advantage. From networking, direct mail, social media, and community events, agents can take advantage of a variety of marketing strategies to stay in front of clients and prospects.

Building relationships is an important part of marketing. Make sure you are in front of your clients, even when you can’t be physically, by sending emails, newsletters, birthday wishes, and relevant information they may find useful. It all goes a long way in showing you are thinking of them.   

As AEP approaches, keep these simple but essential tips in mind to help make the process successful! When you partner with an FMO like CareValue, we can help you navigate AEP and plans, contracts, regulations and much more. 

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