With Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) preparations underway, and important sales looming on the horizon, what are you doing to ensure this selling season is better than last year?

Now’s the perfect time to put an action plan in place. Here are three methods you can use to boost your Medicare business.

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Invest in a Well-Rounded Portfolio

There’s no such thing as one plan to rule them all. A senior’s health, needs, income, and general preferences may vary greatly from one to another. A Medicare Supplement plan isn’t a fit for every client, just like a Medicare Advantage plan won’t work for everyone. Therefore, to bring in a wider net of leads, it’s important to stock a lot of different options that can meet your clients’ or your prospects’ needs.

With AEP getting closer by the day, it would be a shame to miss out on being able to serve a client — and a potential referral — by choosing a one-trick portfolio. While some agents shy away from offering Medicare Advantage due to compliance and training requirements, the numbers show that Medicare Advantage enrollment is steadily on the rise.

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis of CMS enrollment data shows that, since 2010, Medicare Advantage enrollment has grown 71%, and that one out of three Medicare members is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has steadily increased since 2004

And obviously there’s more to health insurance than primary coverage. By completing your portfolio with ancillary plans, you can promote yourself as a full-service agent. These little things can not only create multiple sales for a single client, but can heighten the potential for you to be referred to others as well.

Utilize Available Technology to Make Your Job Easier

Thanks to e-Apps and new online tools, technology can be an agent’s best friend. For instance, BenefitsCheckUp is a great website for finding additional benefits your clients may qualify for. There’s also Ritter’s Medicare Quote Engine, which helps agents compare a multitude of options with the latest plan data and rates.

Then there’s Medicareful, a unique website available for free to agents contracted with Ritter. Medicareful offers several self-enroll features that allow your clients to have greater control in comparing the options available to them and speed up the enrollment process. Learn more about getting a Medicare site

If you aren’t already tech savvy, we recommend getting familiar with the software and applications available today. Surveys show technology use among seniors is on the rise. With the youngest of baby boomers turning 58 this year, it’s only a matter of time before falling behind the curve puts a dent in your sales.

Technology use among older adults

Technology can also help you optimize storage and save time. When writing business, you can end up with a high volume of paperwork to organize. Investing in secure electronic filing with a back-up has the propensity to give you back valuable space and time. If you’re organized, saving files electronically can be a faster and more efficient method for keeping track of your work.

Get Involved in Your Community and Surrounding Areas

Any agent will tell you, referrals are some of the best leads. When you get a new-to-Medicare client, it’s likely that they will have other friends and family that are, or will soon be, new-to-Medicare as well. Setting yourself up in your community, whether it be your local school board, church, or volunteer group, provides ways to find prospective enrollees on your own stomping grounds.

Of course, staying compliant should be a top priority, but if you become known as the agent that helped people find the right plan, the word will get out. To reach a whole group at once, you should consider hosting an educational or sales event. People want to work with someone they know, someone they can trust. By getting out there, getting involved, and contributing to the community, you not only spread awareness, you contribute to your true place of business: your own community.

Make This AEP Your Best Yet

Don’t let AEP come and go without putting your best foot forward. You can make this year better than the last by investing in your portfolio, becoming comfortable with technology, and getting involved in your community. The power to make or break it this year is in your hands. It’s time to make the most out of your Medicare business.