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, there is another option. 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. Instead, I meet prospects for coffee at a neutral third-party location.
Making yourself available for Medicare beneficiaries to meet with you in spaces that coffee shops or restaurants rent out to small groups or organizations is a great idea for agents. If the coffee shops or restaurants around you don’t have a space to rent out, you can simply ask the manager or owner for permission to conduct light business in a quieter part of the space away from the food. Best of all, agents that meet prospects for coffee save a bundle in overhead.
I would recommend doing this at more than one space around town to make it more convenient for your prospects. Try to do regularly and at the same time and day each week for informal meetings. The staff will appreciate the consistency. Think of it this way: There’s probably a Starbucks within 10 minutes of all of those turning-65 seniors agents hear about all the damn time.
This amounts to having a business lunch with a prospect or already existing client, but without the lunch because the Medicare Marketing Guidelines prohibit agents from giving beneficiaries anything more than a cup of coffee with a donut, bagel or something light. Of course beneficiaries are free to buy their own meal after meeting with you, which might make them feel less pressured about the appointment.
Have a conversation with the owner and see if you can spend some time there meeting with beneficiaries during times that are not busy, like mid-morning or mid-afternoon. You should tip the staff generously because you’re not going to be buying beneficiaries lunches or dinners, and what you’ll pay out is going to be far cheaper than a lease. Pick times outside any morning or afternoon rushes and go with places where seniors will be more likely to know and like.
One more reason I’d tip staff well: If a beneficiary came in and asked about me because they heard of my meetings from a friend, they’d be tickled to let me know so I can stay longer and bring in some more business.
RB Insurance and Medicare Compare get permission from a Starbucks in our home state of Arizona every AEP to reach about 100 beneficiaries and start the enrollment process when we do our community marketing. Starbucks even gave our agents $25 gift cards to pay for the coffees. You’re not limited to chains, though — local shops can attract beneficiaries too.
The key to sales success during AEP is managing your time spent working Leads and taking care of existing clients. You can leverage your time if you put yourself in one spot and make phone calls when beneficiaries aren’t coming to you.
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