AEP is quickly approaching. Currently, many agents are focused on building or adding to their Medicare Advantage book of business by purchasing leads or sourcing leads.
While it’s important to grow your book of business and constantly look for new sales, retaining your current book is just as, if not more important than growing it.
Why do we say that? Well, think about this: Your clients are another agent’s prospects. That’s a topic we don’t spend a lot of time on, but retaining your clients is huge. Think about how many of your clients were once enrolled into a policy with another agent. Did that stop you from taking the application? No. Just like another agent won’t hesitate to take a client from you.
Client Retention During AEP Means Less Spent on Marketing
As agents, you spend a lot of money to acquire new clients, but many spend very little to retain their Medicare business. According to numerous reports, it costs 6-7x’s more money to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one. This means that you can retain your residual income by servicing your current clientele and perhaps reduce some of your marketing expenses since they’re existing clients.
Also, keep in mind that referrals can be the lifeblood of a book of business. If you bring Steve on as a client and he refers Marie, studies show that Marie is 4x more likely to do business with you because Steve referred her. Both clients could be sources of income and referrals for years to come.
How to Retain Medicare Clients During AEP
Here are some ways to increase your retention in your Medicare Sales book of business this AEP and throughout the year.
- Be the first to make contact. Don’t allow other agents or infomercials to influence your clients. Get in touch with your clients now, remind them of AEP coming up, and schedule a meeting. If you’re using letters to contact customers, mail them today. Preparing a strategy now for AEP can help you be more successful.
- Reply with urgency. Fast response times matter in sales. If a client contacts you and you must miss the call, try to respond within the hour. Don’t let the day end without contacting them. Get back with your clients promptly, and you’ll see an increase in your retention.
- Know what you are going to say before you call. Prepare for your call by getting your client’s information pulled up in your CRM. When dialing, remember to keep in mind “what’s in it for them.” Plan what you are going to say, but don’t read from a script. Be genuine and sincere. If you have a question about CRMs, be sure to check out our CRM 101 webinar. Agents contracted with NCC can find all webinars on the Agent Dashboard under “Training Videos.”
- Be professional (even if they already know you). Comfort can be a killer. We know always to be personable and friendly, but you can be too slack. Never take your client for granted. Someone else could swoop in, make a better impression on your client, and take their business.
- Remember to make it about the customer. You and Your are very effective words in sales. You don’t have to be pushy. Ask your client questions, and then listen. For example: What do YOU like about your plan? What are YOUR hesitations about YOUR current carrier?
- Communicate often. Even with current clients, you’ll have to follow up and communicate proactively. A strategy like Humana’s 3/30/60/90 plan will help you be proactive with touching base with your clients.In AEP, that timeline may be expedited a bit, but that strategy can help you throughout the year as well. Personal calls or cards throughout the year will keep you top of mind with your clients, and they’ll be more likely to remember you when you reach out to them for a meeting.
- Enroll quickly. Once you get a go-ahead from clients, don’t delay. Use our online enrollment tool, Enrollment Central, to quickly take applications for enrollment. Keeping the customer in the loop during the process will ensure they understand what’s happening and will help with their happiness afterward. Happy clients are more likely to stay with you.
- Say thank you twice. Thank your customer at the end of your appointment. Then as soon as you’re done, write and mail a handwritten thank you card. Be sure to include some business cards for referrals. Handwritten cards are a sure-fire way to set yourself apart from other agents.
Moral of the story: make sure you are not a single handshake agent. Reach out a couple of times a year, and make sure your clients know you are there to serve them (and their referrals).
We here at National Contracting Center are always here to help if you need assistance. Give us a call at 800-695-0280 to talk client retention, AEP, or anything else related to Medicare Sales.