It's August (already) and that means that Autumn is just around the corner. This season of change brings with it multi-colored leaves, harvest festivals, a crispness in the air and . . . the next open enrollment for consumers in the insurance market.
To be successful during this feeding frenzy, preparation is the key. It's not too soon to start pre-paring for AEP/OEP so that you can capitalize on the opportunity when it arrives. Brokers who delay may find their options limited or possibly locked out altogether.
Hopefully, you're already appointed with the insurance carriers you'll require to properly serve your clients and with cross-selling being an easy way to double or triple your earnings potential, are you situated with the necessary ancillary and supplemental products? Are you prepared to present a valuable benefits package to fully protect your clients? Gap products like our exclusive TrioMed and AcciMed plans include coverage for accidents and critical illnesses to help minimize exposure to out of pocket costs. And don't forget to offer dental and final expense plans.
If you're not appointed yet, submit your applications now because your window of opportunity for new appointments as well as the chance to move your appointments will likely shut before OEP commences. . Many people procrastinate and this creates a New York or Los Angeles style traffic jam for the insurance companies. You don't want any speed bumps to deter your progress. Log onto www.ahcpsales.com, select the carriers you're missing and get those applications in!
Let's face it, getting certified is something that most agents dread more than a trip to the dentist. Many brokers were caught unaware last year - that they needed to get recertified for both AEP and OEP each year in order to participate. CMS is preparing to launch year 2016 training on a new Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) later this summer. The option to take training on an approved vendor MS will also become available at a later date.
Be prepared and set aside some time to focus solely on getting your certifications completed. Inform those close to you that you'll be busy so that you can prevent as many interruptions as possible.
Start marketing via social media now. Whether it's through advertising, networking or posting updates on your agency blog, remind your audience that open enrollment is just around the corner. Remember the marketing rule of 7: People need to hear or see something seven times to respond to it. Plant the seeds that show your expertise and availability so that when the time comes, any potential clients will seek you out or recognize you as the go-to agent.
In sales, nothing else matters if you don't have consumers to present your product or service to, right? Do you have a plan in place as to how to acquire potential clients? Do you have money set aside to invest in leads? Where will you advertise? Will you partner with a local drug store or health clinic? How will you generate leads?
The overall focus here is planning, and as the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Open enrollment is an incredible opportunity, it can literally make your entire year financially. Therefore, you must plan it properly and position yourself to succeed so that you can make this fall season your biggest harvest yet!