You made it through another bustling AEP season! That’s a reason to celebrate. Before you take some time to rest over the holidays, make sure you reflect on your Medicare sales this year. Here are four tips for your business post-AEP and into the new year.
1.) Get Your AEP Book Organized
Practicing good organizational skills may seem daunting, but it can save you lots of time and make your job easier. Now that the demands of your clients have slowed down, take time to review your submitted enrollments to ensure your files are organized. Consider utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software or something as simple as a digital spreadsheet to consolidate your client’s information.
We suggest including the following fields in your data tracker:
- Full member name
- Date of birth
- Phone number
- Medicare ID number
- Carrier Name
- Selected product
- Application signing date
- Application submission date (to carrier)
- “Replacement policy” or “new to Medicare”
- Anticipated commission amount
2.) Verify Enrollment & Confirm Commissions
After AEP, it’s imperative that agents verify every enrollment to ensure they were processed correctly and that you are listed as the agent of record. Overlooking this step could mean that you lose clients and commissions. Carriers make this process easy through their online portals where you can check if your customer data matches the carriers. If you happen to notice an error, submit an inquiry. If you’re unsure how, contact us. If a carrier doesn’t offer an enrollment data portal, you’ll need to call their broker services department to confirm each entry.
As mentioned, confirming enrollments is a critical step to help confirm commission payouts. Ensure your correct email and personal information is on file with Carolina Senior Marketing so you don’t miss any payout notifications. Please contact us if you have had any changes to your personal information. Having your customer database is a helpful piece to making sure your expected commissions match up to your payouts. If you notice a commission is missing, confirm the carrier’s process for missing commission inquiries and let our team know. You will need to have a record of the member’s name, Medicare ID number, birth date, policy number (if issued), date of application, and selected product.
3.) Prepare to Sell in the “Off-Season”
Just because we’re post-AEP, doesn’t mean that sales must halt. There are certain Medicare products you can offer to maintain sales. Specific Medicare Advantage (MA) products, like Special Needs Plans (SNPs), are available to sell post-AEP because those eligible have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Medicare Supplement Plans (Med Supps) also add value to your sales portfolio. Med Supps can be sold year-round, and those who enrolled in an MA plan during their Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP) can request to dis-enroll and join Medicare Parts A and B during the MA Open Enrollment Period (OEP) – January 1 to March 31.
Though selling Medicare is very lucrative, limiting your sales to only Medicare products means you are missing out on business growth by not including other products. Consider selling ancillary products, life insurance, and annuities. Doing so allows you to form more relationships and increase referrals. Cross-selling to existing clients will also build their loyalty to you – you are their one-stop shop.
4.) Follow up with Prospects and Clients
Keep in mind that the sales process can depend on how an agent follows up and helps to provide solutions in the shipping process. Don’t miss out on viable prospects by waiting for them to reach back out to you. Intentionally making follow-up calls and appointments shows prospects you’re persistent and prepared to help them meet their coverage needs. These follow-ups also go the extra mile to express your loyalty to them as a client.
Whether your client is unsure of their decision process or solidified in the plan they chose, scheduling follow-up appointments is always a good rhythm to maintain in your sales process. Keeping the lines of communication open will help clients address questions and concerns they may have with a new plan, and if they want to switch you’re at the top of their minds because of the constant flow of communication.
As your North Carolina Medicare FMO, Carolina Senior Marketing is committed to serving you, the Independent Insurance Agent. If you have concerns regarding commissions this year or questions about post-AEP life, email us today or call (919) 460-6073.