Now that AEP is upon us, you may be scrambling to finish up your appointments and certifications, in addition to ordering materials. All of these items are obviously important, but two items are at the top of your list: Retention and growth.
Reach out to your clients now if you have not already done so. We have a Needs Analysis Form that allows you to record everything your clients want in a plan. You should be thinking about posting or emailing this document to your clients at any time of the year, as a reminder that you are here and want to understand their needs.
Start meeting with your clients to review their current enrollments. Contact every client regardless of whether you think they should be changing their plan, you never know who needs to hear from you.
Is your client’s plan still affordable for them? If your client has a Medicare Supplement they may be considering a Medicare Advantage plan? Have their medications changed? Has their lifestyle changed, do they need a wider or a narrower network that may save money? How has the plan they enrolled in changed, does it still meet their needs? Or simply do they need to add a dental plan? A great review processes ensures that they come to you whenever their needs change or they have questions about advertisements that they come across.
This process might sound time-consuming. however, service, retention and referrals go hand-in-hand. There are so many new clients available throughout AEP due to agents not connecting with their clients.
Consider these tips for ensuring that you retain your current clients, while maybe even growing your client base with those clients who are under-served by their current advisor.
- Be the first to make contact. Don’t allow time for other agents to get their foot in the door. If you haven’t already done so, get your retention letter in the mail and place a follow up call to schedule an appointment at the beginning of the AEP window.
- Reply with speed. Fast response time makes all the difference in selling. If a client calls you, try to return the call within five minutes. The first five minutes is the golden window and gives you a huge advantage. Whatever you do, don’t let a day pass by. Get back to clients and prospects immediately.
- Know what you’re going to say BEFORE you call. Good introductions can make a huge difference in your success.
- Host an event. Make it simple for your clients to meet with you. Host a drop-in enrollment event where clients can stop by, and meet with you to discuss their plans.
- Be professional even if they already know you. Of course, be friendly and personable, but don’t slack. Even if you’ve known the customer for a long time, you need to be prepared, put your best foot forward and present well. If you don’t make a good impression, someone else might. Never let the clients feel like you take them for granted.
- Communicate frequently. You should follow-up politely and repetitively. If clients don’t reach a decision, they may be confused. They need you to help simplify things.
- Remember to be HIPPA compliant. Your clients are sharing Protected Health Information, it is your responsibility to keep this safe. When communicating with carriers, colleagues or clients do not include PHI in the subject line.
- Enroll quickly. Once you get a green light from your client, don’t delay. Use online enrollment tools (if possible) to quickly submit all the needed forms. Confirm every step of the process with clients, so they know what’s happening and they feel confident that nothing is slipping through the cracks. Agents cannot submit applications before October 15, 2019.
- Say thank you. Thank your client verbally and follow-up with a written thank you note with a few business cards enclosed. This is an important step that will position you well for next AEP.
- Get help when you need it.You are not alone. Our team at LeClair Group is here for you every step of the way. If you have questions reach out to us.
And don’t forget your AEP checklist:
- Have you completed all carrier certifications to ensure you get paid – check
- Do you have the products your clients need – check
- Have you gotten all of your plan supplies ready – check
- Meetings scheduled with your clients – check
- Confirmed your Agent IDs, tested carrier enrollment portals and e-Apps– check
- Key carrier and LeClair Group service phone numbers ready – check
Even after AEP, let your clients know you are thinking of them, reach out with birthday cards, newsletters, or quarterly emails/mailers. That way they’ll think of you if a friend has questions or they need additional coverage. Follow up at the end of January to check that they got their new cards, and ensure they understand how their plan works. Education and service is a year-round business.
Your clients are your most important assets. Provide them with the care, respect, and understanding that they expect.