America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) will release their annual Medicare training modules June 22nd for the 2016 sales season. I’ve been involved with Medicare since 1996, so I’m proud to say this will be my 20th campaign as a successful senior insurance advisor!
AHIP has gone through many changes in the past two decades, but one thing that has never changed is the great opportunity waiting for agents who will take it.
October 15 will be here before we all know it, and while some agents will be ready to maximize its great opportunity, others will not. That’s why you should seize the Medicare sales season starting now.
If you’re a new agent, AHIP and everything else an agent needs to take care of before AEP can be daunting. However, I can tell you personally that the career satisfaction and earning possibilities through lifetime renewals far outweigh the effort you will expend.
Whether this is your first AEP or your 20th, your most precious asset is time.
How can you make the most of it? Make a plan and take action.
Planning is vital to sales success during AEP and beyond it if you are looking to sell year-round. Multiple to-do’s will be competing for your time and energy, so having an outlined process is critical.
If you’re a seasoned agent working the Medicare Advantage market, then you already know the drill that is the Annual Enrollment Period, the legally designated sales period for Medicare Advantage. You need to complete AHIP certification, complete various carrier trainings and Continuing Education for licensing; read up on new products to stay current and keep revenue flowing in; do member outreach and education to make sure you don’t lose current clients; engage in CMS-compliant marketing strategies to find new clients and continue to add to your portfolio of products to maximize cross-selling activities.
You can adapt my personal outline below to your specific business approach:
- Begin your AHIP certification the moment it becomes available. It will help you get through most other carrier certifications faster. with less time involved.
- Complete carrier’s certifications and live trainings as soon they are made available, too.
- Organize your clients for outreach and education activity. Are you using a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool?
- Prepare your Annual Review Letter for an October mailing to your clients (I’ll be posting more about this soon!)
- Conduct plan reviews to identify the strongest in your market.
- Identify your mentor. Who will turn to when questions pop up while you’re in the field?
After you have created your plan you must take action. Make each step simple so you still have time for all your other daily activities. For example, you can do one AHIP training module a day and finish the test by the end of the week. Getting an early start leaves enough time for effort without rushing. It will help you feel organized, which just might keep you from getting frustrated or overwhelmend.
Whatever you decide to do — and how — do not procrastinate.
That simple advice is also the hardest to do, but understand the sales season means nothing if you are not Ready To Sell!
Will you be ready?