Halfway Through AEP: Reflect & Renew Your Medicare Sales Strategies

November 10 marks the halfway point for the 2024 Annual Enrollment Period!

If you’re selling Medicare products, now’s the time to reflect on your success during the first few weeks of AEP and recharge yourself to make the most of the last few. We’ve got some thought-provoking questions and tips to help you do just that!

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Start Off By Asking Yourself…

Am I Following the New Compliance Rules?

You are probably well aware that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now considers all insurance agents and brokers to be Third-Party Marketing Organizations (TPMOs). This means that you need to include a special disclaimer on your email communications, website, print materials, and any other sales materials.

If marketing fewer than all plans within a service area, use:

“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent [insert number of organizations] organizations which offer [insert number of plans] products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.”

If marketing all plans within a service area, use:

“Currently we represent [insert number of organizations] organizations which offer [insert number of plans] products in your area. You can always contact Medicare.gov, 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) for help with plan choices.”

Read more about what these new rules mean for you

Am I Recording Phone Conversations with Medicare Eligibles?

You probably know that The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is enforcing a new call recording requirement for all Medicare agents and brokers. Even though it may seem like a hassle, it will keep you and your clients protected.

CallVault, created by our in-house development team, allows you to securely record and store inbound and outbound calls with clients. It’s simple to use and even stores your recording in your client’s record.

To make this feature even easier to use, we recommend loading your clients’ phone numbers into the Clients tab of the Platform so it’s ready to go!

Who Am I Finding the Most Success with Helping?

Who are you more likely to close a sale with: Jeanine, who was referred to you by a loyal client; Jonathan, who attended one of your Medicare sales events; Janice, who contacted you through your Shop & Enroll website after seeing it on a slim jim card in a pharmacy; or somebody else? How was working with the gentlemen in his mid- to late sixties who came up to your table at Walmart, versus the one who was in his mid- to late seventies?

As you reflect on your recent business endeavors, try to determine if you’re having more success with clients of certain ages, incomes, or health backgrounds. Think about where the majority of your leads are coming, and which types of people are actually buying policies. Lastly, consider how much time and money you spent trying to get the leads in the first place and when it’s worth it. This information will help you better target future prospects and your resources.

How’s My Medicare Portfolio Performing?

When you meet with a client, do they find the Medicare Advantage, prescription drug, and/or Medicare Supplement plans in your portfolio appealing? Are the plans that you have in your portfolio among the most competitive out there premium-wise, network-wise, and formulary-wise? Are there certain plans that you offer that your clients could care less about?

Answering these types of questions can help you gauge how well your portfolio is working for you. If you’re not selling the products your clients need or want, you’re likely not selling much of anything at all, right?

If you’re not selling the products your clients need or want, you’re likely not selling much of anything at all, right?

Want additional help and expertise? Our expert sales specialists will review your portfolio for free and give you a rundown on what plans are competitive and popular near you! Get a second opinion

Next, Think About Some Logistics…

Am I Working as Efficiently as Possible?

Having trouble juggling all of your business? We make it simple! The Ritter Platform helps you conduct your business in one place. Our client relationship management (CRM) tool is a great resource to quickly pull details for prefilled quotes and applications so you don’t have to rummage through your client record. You can also store client call recordings and notes.

How Much Time Am I Spending on Paperwork?

Paperwork is a necessary part of the job, but it should only be a small part, if you want to keep growing your business. If you feel like you’re drowning in client records, Scopes of Appointment (SOAs), applications, and other documents, maybe it’s time to think about hiring an assistant or using technology that can help you streamline your sales process. Many carriers have e-Apps and allow applicants to complete applications for Medicare products online. Ritter Insurance Marketing offers the Ritter Platform and Shop & Enroll, which work in tandem with one another.

If you feel like you’re drowning in client records, Scopes of Appointment, applications, and other documents, maybe it’s time to think about using technology that can help you streamline your sales process.

The Ritter Platform is our comprehensive agent dashboard that provides insight into your clients, contracts, enrollments, downlines, and commissions! You can create tasks to organize your schedule, add and update clients’ records, share leads with your downline(s), estimate drug costs in different plans, send clients prefilled enrollment apps, and more! Shop & Enroll is our online platform that’s consumer-facing — where you can take SOAs and applications, send prefilled applications, as well as directly enroll clients in many major plans online. Your clients can even create an account on your personally branded Shop & Enroll site and update their own client records, and you’ll see their changes in the Ritter Platform. Save time and the trees while making selling a breeze!

Why Haven’t I Closed More Medicare Sales?

It’s not you, it’s me. Sales rejections basically boil down to that break-up phrase, don’t they? But, what if it really is you? It’s worth taking a few minutes to consider what could be inhibiting your charm and sales success rate.

Do you have a good, positive attitude at appointments, or do you tend to show your stress and frustration, especially by the end of the day? Do you avoid senior speak and looking at your watch? Is your sales pitch too salesy? Nobody’s perfect. Everyone can improve themselves in some way! Remember, being a likable agent is good for your insurance business!

Nobody’s perfect. Everyone can improve themselves in some way!

What Medicare Products Are My Clients Looking for That I Don’t Currently Offer?

Think back to your past appointments. What Medicare plans were your clients looking for that you didn’t have? Was it a general product type like Dual Eligible Special Needs Medicare Advantage plans, a more specific plan type like Medicare Supplement Plan N, or a prescription drug plan? Are there any carriers that your clients brought up who you aren’t contracted with? Offering competitive local plans is all well and good, and we recommend it, but what if your clients haven’t heard of them and don’t trust them? Brand names can play a major role in the chips or drinks someone buys, so of course they’re going to have an effect on the insurance someone purchases! Diversification could be the key to improving your sales success!

See our Medicare Advantage contract recommendations for 2024

Consider Your Personal Feelings… (Yes, They Matter!)

How Do I Feel Right Now?

Has this AEP been easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy? Or, are you feeling a little stressed, depressed, lemon zest?

If it’s the latter, that’s completely understandable. AEP is the time to make Medicare sales, and it’s only 54 days long! You’re trying to cram a lot of business in, and that can be super overwhelming. However, we know you can do it; you can survive this AEP and thrive! If you’re feeling stressed, be sure to take some time for you — schedule it if you must! Your health is a priority, and you don’t want to burn out now, do you? Maybe it’s time to take a more relaxed approach to your insurance sales

Your health is a priority, and you don’t want to burn out now, do you?

What’s Something I Can Do to Improve My Feelings?

After you figure out how you’re feeling (e.g., fine and dandy, stressed, crunched for time, frustrated, etc.), it’s necessary to take a few moments to figure out what you can do to feel better about and improve your situation. There are plenty of wellness tips for AEP that you could start following and stress relief tips to check out if you need them. We’ve also got some AEP organization tips and tricks that may help you minimize the chaos and maximize your calmness. However, if those posts don’t help, don’t just suffer and sell in silence. Reach out to a friend, your upline, or a representative at your friendly field marketing organization (FMO). They could help you figure out a better way to proceed!

Recharge & Renew Your Medicare Sales Strategy

Do I Need to Add/Remove Any Products to/from My Portfolio?

By this point, you should have examined how your current portfolio’s performing and made lists of the products that your clients are and aren’t interested in. Now, it’s time to really think about if you need to take actions to update your portfolio.

Do you feel comfortable cutting your ties with a carrier, or would you like to build a bridge with a new company? While you may not be able to get contracted and certified in time to sell new products during the rest of this AEP (depends on the carrier and your FMO’s turnaround time), it still might be worth updating your portfolio as soon as you can. There are still Special Enrollment Periods when you can sell Medicare plans, and thousands of people age into Medicare each day!

If you find that many of your clients are interested in a product type you don’t sell, don’t worry! We’ve got great educational resources, like Knight School, webinars, eBooks and guides, and more, to help you get up to speed fast!

Could I Better Use Technology to Save Time and Sell More?

Even if you don’t feel crunched for time, or if you have an office assistant or two, fully utilizing the technology that’s available to you can make things even easier for yourself, your staff, and your clients. It could also help you save time and energy, allowing you to shift that into new sales and more money! For example, how are you generating your leads? By word of mouth only? Why not try using your own personally branded marketing and enrollment website?

Why not try using your own personally branded marketing and enrollment Shop & Enroll website?

Our company makes it easy by setting up your unique site for you and getting it CMS-approved! You can just enjoy the benefits, like a consumer-facing quote engine, a website URL you can share on marketing materials, electronic permission to contact and electronic Scope of Appointment, and even enrollment buttons to help your clients enroll directly in plans via your own site. Using customer relationship management software, like the Clients tool in Ritter’s Platform, and Medicare commissions tracking software can help you keep your book of business organized. And, an agent platform like Ritter’s can also help you compliantly record your sales calls and manage your clients’ info, your contracts, your commissions, your submissions, your downlines, and more!

What’s My Plan for Following up with Clients?

It’s important to check in and stay in touch with your current clients, whether they’ve been your clients for years or only a few months. If you don’t, you risk another agent stealing your business. You worked hard to get those clients, so why not try your hardest to keep them? Keeping loyal customers engaged in your business means they will keep coming back and refer family and friends!

Are you using social media to connect with your clients? While it’s great to have a website to establish credibility and provide contact info, it’s not the only way you can connect on the internet. Right now, your clients might be seeing your relationship as purely transactional. By interacting with them on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you can personalize and strengthen these relationships.

So, how often will you follow up with your clients? It’s up to you and should depend on each of your specific client’s preferences, but you should have a plan in place. Just don’t forget to follow the necessary compliance rules!

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Whether you feel ready for AEP to end or not, you only have less than a month left to go. We know you’ll use it to its fullest. And, we hope this year’s selling season is one of your best ones yet!

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