There are some agents who are never happy with their open enrollment numbers. Every year, millions of Medicare users need to re-enroll and they rely on their advisors to assist them with the process. Each year, these advisor are able to pull great numbers, but many of them look at the numbers and wonder how they can get better. It’s no shock that people who are in sales, to an extent, are unhappy with their numbers. This is part of the upside and downside of working on your own and being able to make more money if you do better.
It’s a hunger that drives us and there’s no better time to go after these sales than during this time of year. However, at the end of the day, you need to look at what you are doing right and what you need to work on if you want to see your numbers improve next year. The challenge many agents have during open enrollment is that they do not see the early push from clients that they expected or hoped for. So many people like to wait until the last minute. That’s why, even if you’re ready to sell on October 15th, the client may not be interested in talking until early December.
Mistakes You Made Before Open Enrollment
It’s important to look at your mistakes so that you can learn from them. However, it’s sometimes very difficult to see our own mistakes. That’s why we sometimes need to take a more serious look at why we are struggling and see if there are things we could do to avoid the issue from happening again. In terns of open enrollment, sometimes the biggest mistake you can make is simply not being prepared or being proactive enough.
Yes, you want people to enroll earlier in the enrollment period because it makes your November and December easier. However, did you talk to those prospects and clients throughout the year? Did you send them emails about changes to coverage, updates on ways to save and other helpful tips? What about calls? Is this the first time you’ve spoken with your clients since last open enrollment? This is why it’s so important to look at what you’re doing and how it impacts the results you are getting right now.
What Are Your Current Struggles?
Many agents believe that there are current conditions that are slowing down their results. One of the best examples of this has to do with the elections. In years of an election, it’s not rare for voters who are eligible for Medicare to vote first and then focus on their health insurance after. While this may not be your direct course of action, it is a process that many follow and in some cases, it has more to do with the advertisements they are seeing than anything.
You may simply and literally be seeing fewer calls and leads than you did at this time last year. When you consider what many consumers have gone through this year with inflation and now with potential layoffs, can you see why people may be distracted when it comes to things like health coverage? If your current struggles are not enough leads, then consider what you can do to make that situation better.
Changes You Can Make Now
Look at your list of clients. How many have you contacted? Why not reach out now and remind them that you’re available to assist them with their enrollment. Calls, emails and other forms of communication you are allowed to make are all acceptable. However, you need to also focus on making sure that you are not being pushy. Some may have already enrolled while others simply are not ready to do so and they want to gather more information or unfortunately for you, wait until after Thanksgiving.
By contacting them and letting them know that you are here to assist, you can subtly make an introduction but also inform them of the importance of enrolling as soon as possible. Leave the door open for them to contact you by scheduling an appointment for their free consultation and assistance with enrollment. Other than that, work with your broker and see what else you can do to grab more leads based on how they are generated in the office.
Changes You Can Make For Next Year
Open enrollment may feel like a feeding frenzy for some, but the truth is that it is the result of how much work and effort was put into the process throughout the year. Yes, communication with clients during the year may not net you immediate results, but it could land you big numbers during open enrollment. People like to work with the same people. That’s why, even though we rarely see them, we keep the same accountants, dentists, mechanics and even Medicare advisors. By reaching out throughout the year, you are keeping that person aware of you and the services you offer.
When we talk about communication, it often does not have to be as formal as you may think. A monthly email talking about changes in Medciare, ways to save, friendly tips on health or benefits and other options will all be ideal and a greay way to keep the client informed. An email in September covering everything they need to know for enrolling this year will be better received than calls made in November. Additionally, communication throughout the year allows you to reach your clients while they have time to talk, rather than at the end of the year when enrollment is just one of the many things they have to focus on.
This open enrollment period, many seniors, even on Medicare, have to focus on elections, increased costs for their homes, increased costs for everything else, potential jobs they have, financial concerns they may have, travel, the flu, seeing family, planning events, planning next year and so much more. You can see why enrolling may not be at the top of the list, just like many of us are with paying taxes. Instead of waiting on them at the end of the year, work on establishing better communication earlier on. It makes a big difference and can also boost those early numbers.