Insurance Broker’s Medicare AEP Game Plan
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With only 54 days to sell the heck out of your product portfolio, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all that must be done for Medicare’s Annual Coordinated Election Period (AEP). Allow us to take some stress out of the process. Use our Medicare Broker AEP game plan to win more leads and sales for open enrollment.
There’s a lot to do when preparing for AEP. Your preparation really should commence in August, starting with a review of carrier plans for the next year. Know what’s changed and which plans look like all-stars for the coming year. You should be able to easily recommend strong plans best-suited to varying client health needs and budgets.
Here’s a checklist you can use to stay organized and on-task for your AEP prep.
Medicare AEP Sales Preparation Checklist
|Go through customer list and schedule follow-ups/benefit reviews||Prioritize your sales visits based on best customers and most appealing prospects.|
|Get carrier certifications||Find our next training event near you with our events calendar.|
|Practice and perfect sales pitches and presentations||Find out how to craft the perfect sales pitch.|
|Understand latest CMS changes to 2017 Medicare Marketing Guidelines (MMG)||Learn everything you need to know here.|
|Order CMS-approved marketing materials||See our contact info.|
|Gather leads||Get more Medicare leads with our agent programs.|
|Build a web presence||Create your agent website.|
Part of effective selling is successful marketing. To get started on creating a solid sales and marketing strategy, target your audiences appropriately.
You’re not just selling to one stock character. New and old clients alike have a unique set of needs. They may be:
- Applying for Medicare benefits for the first time.
- Switching from Original Medicare to an MA plan.
- Switching from one MA plan to another MA plan (including to and from plans that do/don’t have prescription drug coverage).
- Dealing with changes and unsure of their best course of action.
- Unaware of possible cost savings or benefit opportunities.
That being said, you can take two approaches with your Medicare AEP sales and marketing strategy: retain your current client base and attract as many new clients as possible.
Offense: New Client Strategy
Getting new clients takes longer, so let’s start there.
Prospecting for AEP
The key to prospecting for AEP is to market yourself now.
Really, you should have started yesterday.
But since AGA pays half our agents’ advertising bill through our co-op marketing program, you have little to worry about! Get more Medicare leads with some of these ideas:
- Send out direct mail to a leads list.
- Run a local radio or TV advertisement.
- Hold a live Q&A via radio, webinar or social chat.
- Put on a Medicare 101 seminar. (Since the seminar invitation can be considered a scope of appointment, you don’t need an SOA form for these!)
- Make some short YouTube videos explaining what Medicare is and how to pick a plan. List your contact information as your call-to-action. (And don’t forget to promote videos on your social pages/send to your email list, etc.)
New Client Goals
Once you start meeting with new clients, focus on these 4 goals:
- Assess their health needs and budget
- Find out which plans they’re eligible for
- Outline a few ideal options
- Explain their possible Medicare options
Fast-Track Your Brand Exposure for More Sales
Defense: Current Client Strategy
Now comes the trickier part. A lot of insurance agents tend to neglect a very important part of sales: maintenance.
Touching base with current clients to see if they’re happy is critical. If you haven’t had an annual benefit review for, if not most, but all your current clients, you’re not doing everything you can to act in their best interests.
Communication is Key
You are tested on all carrier plan changes. But your hard work doesn’t stop after the test is over. You should be analyzing all those changes to see how they could affect your clients.
- Who can be getting better coverage?
- Who can be saving more?
- How much can you save them?
When you meet with your current clients, open up a dialogue about their current situation to find opportunity to provide as much value as you can as a Medicare agent.
Current Client Goals
During your sales meeting/benefit review, focus on these 4 goals:
- Understand changes in health needs and budget
- Offer new plans (if any) that may work better (Don’t forget about Medicare Supplement plans!)
- Explain any possible changes to benefits and costs
- Ensure a comfortable decision is made
You can always end your sales meeting by asking for referrals (only if your client is a member of that plan). Since you’ve taken the time to check in with them and ensure their best health coverage, they should be more than happy to extend a word on your Medicare broker services.
Compliance tip: When asking for referrals, only request a name and address.
Now that you’ve got your Medicare AEP game plan, get some good practice in and get ready to win. Go team!