The Annual Enrollment Period can be very stressful, but you don’t need to worry. We’ve laid out some tips and tricks on how to stay organized, so AEP can be a breeze this year!
Get Organized Before AEP
Don’t get caught off guard once AEP has already begun. Get organized before the “busy season,” so you won’t have to add to your already loaded schedule.
Partner with a Field Marketing Organization (FMO)
An FMO’s purpose is to provide independent insurance agents with helpful products and services. Ritter Insurance Marketing lifts stress off agents’ shoulders by offering solutions to Medicare concerns or questions via one-to-one sales support.
FMOs like Ritter offer niche resources to their agents. Ritter has the Medicare Quote Engine, to help agents quickly and easily find good policy matches for their clients. Medicareful is another exclusive quoting resource with added personalization benefits. CMS-approved and free for agents, Medicareful offers agents the ability to quote and enroll directly on the site and market with their own personalized website.
Also, agents partnered with Ritter are invited to AEP preparatory events such as the Summits, which help agents connect and learn about the best and brightest in Medicare to gear up for the busy season ahead.
Reach Out to Existing Clients
Client retention is just as important to a successful business as increasing your client base. Ease clients’ concerns and make sure that they know what to expect during the upcoming AEP season by sending emails or letters prior to AEP.
To save money on your marketing efforts, use all of the resources available to you from either your FMO, agency or other company you have affiliated with your business. For example, Ritter offers a marketing co-op to its contracted agents, which splits the cost of what you spend to market yourself. Plus, Ritter has its own shop where agents can browse and purchase marketing resources that feature their logo or name.
If some of your clients are a bit more tech-savvy, try using an appointment scheduling app, such as Appointlet for easy scheduling. Of course, a phone call will also do the trick for your less tech-advanced clients.
Prepare for the Busy Season
Prior to the “busy season,” make sure to organize information about each of your clients in their own folder (either digitally or physically) to be easily accessed once AEP hits. Become accustomed to the tools and resources your FMO provides, as well as anything else you will be using, prior to AEP. Assemble a bag or (digital) folder with any documents that are necessary during your future appointments, including resources such as the Medicare Quote Engine and Medicareful! And of course, organize your office space by cleaning up your computer and giving everything on your desk a home.
To be the most knowledgeable agent during AEP, stay up to date on the latest Medicare and carrier-specific updates and news by subscribing to resources such as Agent Survival Guide online, and attend carrier meeting and webinars. Between August 20 to August 23 you can also get exclusive first looks at Medicare Advantage and Part D products in your area by attending a Summit.
Stay Organized During AEP
To make the most out of the 54-day AEP period, and remain stress-free, be sure to maintain what organization you know works for you.
Keep Track of Appointments
Whether you prefer to use a digital planner/calendar on your phone, or a “good old-fashioned” paper planner, noting your appointments is very important! Remember to not just plan for the appointment itself, but also jot down commute time and location. In fact, most digital calendars even offer the option to add the address of your appointment on your schedule! Also, try highlighting the 54-day period that you have (from October 15 to December 7), so you can keep track of how much time is left in AEP.
Maintain Usable Office Space
It’s all too easy to allow your office space to get messy, especially if you are super busy! Prior to AEP, you designated where everything goes, now it’s time to make sure that items remain there. As simple as this sounds, giving each item its own spot will make cleaning up and finding the files you need much easier. If you find problems staying well organized, plan a 30-minute period each week, dedicated to straightening up all AEP items.
Keep Up Organization After AEP
Don’t let all your hard work be thrown out the window — keep it up!
Organize Your Client Information
Once AEP ends, you should review all of your clients’ new or updated information. After you’ve validated information such as client’s name, DOB, Medicare ID number, their plan details, and their contact information, begin to organize that information. The best way to keep your information well organized and easily accessible is to use an Excel spreadsheet or customer relationship management (CRM) software.
The information that you note will help you be better prepared for your selling endeavors next year, as well as help you predict your commission payout in January 2020.
Follow Up with New and Old Clients
Once AEP is over, let your clients know what to expect in the future! This is a great opportunity to remind clients of your contact information in case they have any future questions or concerns. Contacting your clients will also give you a chance to confirm their correct contact information. You can share another Ritter perk, Medicareful Living, a blog geared towards advising seniors about health, diet, lifestyle, and Medicare! Ask our Medicareful specialist about how to get leads by sharing Medicareful Living content.
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You should have lots of resources in your toolbox to help you sell policies during the Annual Enrollment Period, but organization will prove to be one of the most important! By staying organized you will be able to focus on maintaining relationships with your clients, close successful sales, and stress less.