Ramping Up for AEP: Winning with Retention

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) presents a lot of opportunity for insurance agents to grow their business by acquiring new customers. Because Medicare enrollees can switch plans during this time, the busy selling season also presents the risk of losing business to other agents who want to swoop in and scoop up current clients. Needless to say, retention should be a top priority and today we outline a method agents can use to help retain their hard-earned clientele.

Segmenting current clients into three categories can help prioritize how & when to contact each group.

Keepers: clients who intend to keep their current plan. There are no drastic changes to the client’s needs and their current plan is stable.

Shoppers: clients potentially shopping for a new plan. Foreseeable changes may prompt these clients to shop for a new plan (doctor changes, Rx changes, etc.).

Movers: clients who will need to move due to major changes – their current plan is being terminated or is losing valuable benefits.

Having a good profile built out for each client can help identify their needs and likelihood of switching. Doing so in turn helps prioritize who to contact, when and how. For example, a proactive agent might send a client retention postcard to everyone in their book of business sometime in August or September reminding customers to schedule a plan review. When it comes to hitting the phones on October 1st, however, that agent first contacts the clients most likely to switch plans: Movers. Then the agent calls their group of Shoppers, and then the group of Keepers. The process is admittedly simple and straightforward. Yet having this structure in place heading into the frenzy of a peak sales season can provide consistent retention results to agents who make the process a regular part of their AEP marketing plan.

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period presents agents with the challenge of employing two strategies: playing the short game of making the most sales possible in a limited period of time and playing the long game of giving sufficient attention to client retention. Entering AEP with methods in place for each gameplan gives agents an advantage because they’re not reacting to events that unfold. Rather, they are creating the events that unfold. In our experience, the proactive agent wins the day.

 As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our Medicare agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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