It’s that time of year again when all of us at NCC start helping you prepare for Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). This means game planning your lead generation and marketing techniques now. Lead generation and marketing during AEP is a crucial aspect of any successful sales strategy in Medicare. It requires a plan, effective communication, consistency with outreach, and a diverse range of tactics to maximize your results. We are here to dive into the key points of lead generation during AEP and provide you with best practices to optimize your efforts.
No matter what lead sources you decide to focus on, it’s so important to remember your leads are only going to convert if you work them. When working with leads, it’s essential to set realistic expectations from the outset. Understand that converting leads requires multiple touch points (the average sale takes 8 touch points to close) to build trust, establish credibility, and address their concerns. Don’t expect immediate conversions; instead, focus on nurturing relationships. Remember, we are working with seniors here, they thrive on trust and communication in sales. By setting realistic expectations, you’ll be better prepared for the journey ahead.
Working Leads During AEP
Once you have the lead in hand, to effectively work leads during AEP it’s important to set some “best practices” you plan to bring into your daily routine. Some great examples of best practices used by some of our highest producing agents are:
- Prompt Response: Time is of the essence. Respond to leads promptly to demonstrate your commitment and professionalism. The type of lead will also depend on turnaround time for outreach. For example, when dealing with online leads, you will want to call immediately. If you’re working with mail drops, reaching out the same day you receive the leads is sufficient.
- Active Listening: Understand your leads’ needs and pain points. Active listening allows you to tailor your approach and offer personalized solutions. This is so important when selling Medicare and working with seniors!
- Relationship Building: Cultivate relationships by providing value beyond sales pitches. Educate leads, offer resources, and establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Presenting yourself as an educator will also help when it comes to your clients being contacted by other agents. The better they know you, the better they will be at hanging up and calling their agent, YOU.
- Consistent & Customized Follow-ups: Persistence pays off. Consistently follow up with leads through various channels to stay top-of-mind and maintain engagement. This means reaching out in various ways. If you have multiple methods of contact, use them. Email, call, text, and mail are all excellent ways to reach out and this will help you learn their preferred method of communication.
AEP Lead Generation Strategy
While planning your lead generation AEP strategy, it’s important to not rely on only one lead source. Your clients can be anywhere, so it’s your job to be in as many places as you can to help them! Outside of lead purchasing make sure you’re also using other lead generation techniques.
- Referrals: Encourage satisfied clients to refer friends, family, and colleagues who may require insurance coverage. When you do your outreach to your current book to let them know it’s that time of year again, remind them that you are excited to help their friends and family as well.
- Partnerships: Collaborate with local businesses, healthcare providers, and community organizations to gain access to their networks and tap into their customer base. It’s so important you do this year round, and if it’s something you’d like to leverage for AEP- get started on this asap!
- Online Marketing: Leverage digital channels such as Facebook, your website, and Google listings to reach a broader audience. Remember, CMS provides amazing digital content for use each year during AEP here.
- Events and Seminars: Host informational sessions, workshops, or webinars to answer questions, educate, and be a quality resource to seniors in your community. This could look like setting up a table in a dollar general, laundromat, or foodbank. It could also be leveraging your online presence for those who would prefer to attend an educational webinar.
- Lead Purchasing: There are so many lead purchase options when it comes to Medicare. When choosing your lead purchasing option(s) keep in mind your availability, results from previously lead purchasing campaigns, how you work best, and trying something new! If you’d like to discuss what lead purchase options might be best for you, reach out to your sales support representative.
When Your Leads Aren't Converting
When you feel like you have prepared all you can or maybe you find that you didn’t cover all your bases when it comes to AEP prep, it’s important to be prepared when your active lead sources are not working for you. Sometimes leads may not convert as expected, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. It’s time to adapt and overcome the setback.
- Review Your Approach: Assess your lead generation and follow-up strategies. Identify areas for improvement and refine your approach accordingly. Is it time to work on overcoming objections? Do you need to be more prepared for questions that you may not feel comfortable answering?
- Seek Feedback: Reach out to leads who didn’t convert and ask for feedback. This can provide valuable insights into potential pain points or misunderstandings. It could be as simple as another agent got to them first or it may give you an incredible area of opportunity for improvement.
- Refine Targeting: Revisit your target audience criteria. Adjust your lead generation efforts to focus on more qualified prospects who are more likely to convert. Pay attention to the areas you work year round that give you higher success rates or areas that have the best plans available and adjust as needed.
- Learn from Experience: Treat setbacks as learning opportunities. Analyze what worked and what didn’t, and use those insights to enhance your future lead generation efforts. Keeping documentation of your sales, what lead source they came from, how many touch points they required, their preferred method of communication, etc. You may start to see a pattern and this will help you increase your business year round.
NCC Can Help You Prepare For AEP
Lead generation during AEP requires a multifaceted approach and diligent execution. By setting expectations, following best practices, diversifying lead sources, marketing yourself effectively, and adapting when leads aren’t converting, you can optimize your lead generation efforts and achieve greater success during this crucial period. Remember, building strong relationships and delivering value to your leads are keys to long-term success. This is where NCC is here to help! If you need to discuss your lead options, marketing, how to improve your sales presentation, where to focus your efforts in your area, etc. We have a team that can help you! Make sure you get started now so your plan is in place and you’re ready to roll in October.