Build, don’t buy your Medicare Book of Business

The No. 1 request I would hear from agents during my many years working for senior health insurance carriers, especially as AEP crept closer around the corner, was “Can I get a list of the clients I’ve sold to?”

Sure, it seems like a reasonable request, but it always astonished me why agents didn’t already have this information at their fingertips. When I think of how easy it is to keep up with clients versus how hard it is to get their contact information from a carrier, I see that it should be a top priority for agent s to manage their Medicare book of business.

Early in my sales career I was not unlike the agents I now mentor — the back seat of my car was littered with yellow copies of applications I had to fish through for several minutes just to get a client’s phone number. I remember thinking to myself that there has to be a better way. There is, and thankfully it’s simple: Organize your Book of Business!

It’s time get a handle on your clients.  It will vastly improve and simplify your business, and if you’re diligent, you might actually be able to carry passengers in the back seat this AEP!

Every agent should be able to tell you who their clients are, where they live and, most importantly, how to get in contact with them. Can you?

There are many reasons why it’s important to have an organized lists of clients’ vital information, but here are my top five reasons why cleaning up your Medicare book of business can increase your revenue:

1. Send your Annual Review Letter 

Carriers send out their Annual Notification of Change (ANOC) letters to all Medicare Advantage beneficiaries by October 1.  You should send each of your clients your own correspondence at this time as well.  You will not violate the Medicare Marketing Guidelines by sending them a personalized letter alerting them that AEP is about to begin and that you will be reaching out to them soon to advise them on their health care options.  When clients can see their agent has not forgotten about them, they will be more confident and less likely to make a decision without your good counsel.

2. Reconcile Commission 

Your Medicare Book of Business may be hiding opportunities to increase client confidence and secure renewals if it's currently sitting in a banker's box in your back seat. Look no further than The Agent's Advantage blog to learn how to organize your Book of Business for optimal senior insurance sales.

Most agents spend little time reviewing or reconciling their commission statements, which I still cannot comprehend. What could be more important than your remuneration for hard work?!

More often than not the answer is because many agents do not have a system for monitoring their client base  such as a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool.  Many marketing organizations offer them and there are many available for free — an Internet search will turn up several great options. Do you know how much money you’re losing each year because your can’t readily identify your clients?

3. Sell additional products

Have you noticed that carriers solicit your clients to purchase other products when you sell them a product? These are your clients, so they should be buying additional products they need from you! If you don’t have a systematic way to send your clients brochures, newsletters or other marketing materials, rest assured that the carriers will do it for you.

4. Stay in touch!

Most agents find out in January that some of their clients have left a plan because they have lost commission.  Those agents are forgetting that lifetime renewals are paid for servicing a client, not just writing them.  Simple “I’m just just checking in” calls keeps you abreast of changes that could impact their enrollment and help you preserve the business (or write another product!).

5. Generate referrals

Obtaining referrals for Medicare products is dictated by the Medicare Marketing Guidelines, so be sure to stay compliant. With other products such as life insurance, you can ask for referrals anytime and anywhere.  Of course, in order to do this you must stay in contact with your clients beyond the initial sale. Are they thinking of you when their friends mention insurance? Only if you are at the top of their minds will they refer, so structured contact should be your goal with each client.

If you don’t have a system in place, don’t worry.  Now is the time to begin putting it together.  More on accomplishing that next week.

Click here to subscribe the The Agent’s Advantage weekly newsletter.