At the beginning of the year, we talked about how to set realistic goals for the year, and how to make sure your opportunities from AEP didn’t slip away. If you’ve been dedicated about working hard on your plan this whole time, chances are you’re getting a little worn-out. Human nature being what it is, it’s easy to get busy on the things that don’t actually make you money.
About Bob Bever
Bob is the managing member of RB Insurance Group, LLC, an FMO based in Arizona, specializing in providing senior insurance agents with family-style customer service, without sacrificing the tools and resources of a much larger corporation. Bob is an expert in direct sales and leadership, and a proud 4th generation Arizona Native! Bob has over 35+ years of experience in the health insurance industry, and his past experience includes working as a field agent for Intergroup, Health Net, Cigna and Farmers. Since 1978 when Bob first got licensed as an insurance agent, to now, his focus has been on bringing excellence to the senior health insurance industry. Bob has a heart for seniors, and his no-nonsense approach and dry humor have endeared him to the clients and the agents he works with.
Bob is semi-retired now, but his values of hard work, a positive attitude, and being an advocate for the needs of his clients continue to be the guiding principles of RBI.
Here at RBI, we are using the month of January to focus our thinking outside the standard AEP-box, with lots of training and materials to increase your sales.
I hope you took a few days off over the holidays to enjoy your family and to relax after AEP. It’s hard to believe it’s January already, and time to put that momentum from AEP to work for you! Let’s hit the ground running! Here’s what I focus on this time of year:
Our Phoenix Health Plans agents in Arizona had to swallow a bitter pill last month when the carrier announced its 2016 Affordable Care Act plans are non-commissionable. (Don’t worry — PHP Medicare Advantage and dual-eligible plans will be paying agents for their business.) The rest of our contracted Medicare agents who have been working hard to expand their business with ACA probably threw their hands up last week when they heard United Healthcare, the nation’s largest carrier, lowered its projected ACA earnings and suggested it might exit the Marketplace in 2017.
If the idea of a double sales rush makes you feel exhausted, remember that a vast majority if not all Medicare beneficiaries have kids, who may also have kids of their own. You can generate ACA Leads from your Medicare book of business relatively quickly, especially if your senior client has been happy with your service.
Between babysitting their existing book of business and chasing down quality Leads to create new business, agents are bound to be feeling a mixture of exhaustion and frustration at this point of the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Can you relate?
You meet a lot of nice people as an independent Medicare agent working in the field. Most of them are retirees who remind you of your parents or grandparents. On occasion, though, you run into people who are a bit peculiar to say the least.
It’s surprising how much can distract you or take you away from your appointment time during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. That’s why you need to be prepared for anything, especially if you want high commission payouts in January. The first you’ll want to do is check your attitude. You don’t want to pre-judge a Medicare member by the condition of their house or their appearance — these things don’t always give you the right reading of who a person is. Track how many times you feel like you’re dismissing a sales opportunity because you’re being judgmental.
Renting office space for appointments during AEP can set you back at least $1,000 a month, which is what you can make in just one day running appointments back to back. In my 30 years of experience in the field I’ve found that if I can’t or don’t want to conduct all of my appointments at the kitchen table, the best place for me to meet with beneficiaries to discuss their Medicare options is actually much more inviting to them than a stuffy office.
Our recent Harbor Health Plan 2016 Medicare Advantage product roll-out meeting in Detroit was one of the few meetings I’ve been a part of where a single agent didn’t leave early (That’s directed toward those of you who have stepped out, say, a few hours before an industry affair was totally over — you know who you are). In case you missed it or are curious about what packed the house, let me give you a quick rundown here.