The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) can make or break your year. Imagine this: you have a 53-day window to make the bulk of your sales for the year. During this relatively short time frame between October 15th and December 7th, you can exponentially grow your book of business... or you can lose a bunch of sleep and wake up in January not sure what happened.
As a Medicare agent, the challenges you face during AEP may seem overwhelming. The competition becomes more fierce every year as captive insurers bolster their call centers and insurtech companies find new ways to attract your clients.
We’ve all heard the old adage “work smarter, not harder.” This is the drum beat that propels AgentMethods and guided them to create the AEP Sales Playbook. Inside you will find 6 plays you can put in place this AEP to be more efficient, competitive, and most importantly – profitable!
Note about the AEP timeframe (October 15th - December 7th)
Reminder on what changes can be made during AEP
Call to action to discuss current plan and any new options available
Flyers are customizable with agent details and logo
Request details today and take advantage of these great resources. We would also encourage you to call 800-998-7715 and speak with one of our marketers to discuss ideas and we can personalize our services to benefit your business.
Prospecting challenges often come down to mindsets, skill sets, and tool kits.
To produce better results, create better opportunities.
To gain more meetings, improve your overall prospecting approach.
The greatest challenge in sales is creating enough quality opportunities to reach your goals. Improving your results starts with identifying the obstacles to producing them. Use this post as a sort of diagnostic—it can help you discover the source of your prospecting problems and begin to do the work to improve your results.
Reaching the Roots
Here are a few root causes of poor prospecting results and earning too few meetings.
Lead Reliance:“The leads are weak? You’re weak.” InGlengarry Glen Ross, Blake was part of a dominator hierarchy, one that rarely inspires employees to do their best work. But he had a point. One of the reasons salespeople struggle to create the meetings that result in new opportunities is their high reliance on leads. Lead dependence causes all kinds of problems, including complaints about the quality of the lead and its qualification, leading to too few opportunities.
No Strategic Targeting:A lack of strategic targeting in B2B sales results in too little effort and energy exerted serving your dream clients. Even though it’s difficult, you must spend time on the targets who invest a great deal of money in your category and who derive massive value from what you do and how you do it. Targets are what direct your aim.
No Prospecting Sequence:Too many sales organizations and salespeople treat prospecting as an activity instead of a well-designed set of communications that lead to a meeting. While you should employ a “phone first” approach to your sequence, creating value should be the core of your sales approach, starting with prospecting.
No Nurture Sequence:When you are trying to win major accounts, it is helpful to nurture relationships over time, capturing mindshare by helping your future clients better understand their future decisions and how they should think about their future results. In competitive displacements, you need to play the long game, both tactically and strategically.
No Theory of Why Change:You find the worst prospecting results in sales organizations that lack a theory of why their prospective clients should change. The root cause of this challenge is a legacy approach to sales—one that falsely assumes decision-makers value learning about the salesperson’s company and enjoy answering the question, “What’s keeping you up at night?”
No Time Blocks:Endless distractions and tasks masquerade as work, but they have little or nothing to do with the primary outcomes salespeople are responsible for producing. If you don’t keep your prospecting time sacred, other tasks will crowd out prospecting—to your detriment.
Many sales leaders underestimate the number of methodologies necessary for a modern sales force and modern approach.
No Value to Trade for Meeting:Ask yourself this question: “How is your client going to benefit from meeting with you, even if they never buy anything from you or your company?” If there is no value proposition for the prospective client, there is no reason to take a meeting. The more value you trade for time, the more appointments you will generate.
No Commitment-Gaining Methodology:Selling is about conversations and commitments. Without a commitment-gaining methodology, you leave one of the critical outcomes of a professional sales force up to chance. And chances are good that your results would benefit from improving your ability to acquire commitments.
Inability to Handle Objections:Your contacts object to meeting requests because they don’t want to tell you that you sound like a waste of time. They’d rather be polite and offer you an objection. Unless you recognize the objection is masking the contact’s genuine concern, you will struggle to resolve that concern.
No Gatekeeper Strategies:The inability to get past the gatekeeper can make it challenging to create new opportunities. Without a set of strategies, tactics, and talk tracks, you will struggle to get meetings with some decision-makers who would benefit from what you sell.
These are the very human character traits or attributes that lead to success in sales and any other human endeavor. Failing to develop them leads to poor results.
Lack of Resourcefulness:Getting a meeting demands resourcefulness. You may benefit from treating it like a game, using your imagination and creativity to find a way to get your contacts to agree to a meeting. When you treat prospecting like drudgery, you produce fewer meetings and make it more difficult.
Lack of Discipline:Only bad things come from a lack of discipline. Those who cannot pick up the phone, follow their sequence, and do the necessary work daily will produce poor results. Those who only do the work sometimes will have uneven results.
Lack of Initiative:Professional selling comes with maxed-out autonomy compared to other business roles. No one is going to tell you to prospect, and there is rarely an immediate penalty for putting it off for a day or two. Over time, however, you will discover that you cannot cram prospecting into the last minute, especially when your competitors have been working faithfully to beat you.
Conflict Aversion:Professional selling comes with a small amount of conflict because business comes with some friction. Those who are uncomfortable hearing “no” or being confronted by a grouchy person—especially one with low blood sugar and too much stress—will struggle. Know that you can help that grouchy person by improving their results at work. Maybe send them a Snickers bar too.
Every business problem is a leadership problem—or it soon will be.
No Standards:When sales leaders provide no standards around prospecting and opportunity creation, they will get too little of both. If anything is acceptable, you can expect poor prospecting results. Leaders should expect their people to turn in their best performance—with the leader’s help.
No Accountability:You will never find great results without careful accountability. Setting high standards is valuable because it engenders a positive culture of accountability, described as a growth hierarchy. Leaders who don’t hold their teams accountable are failing them.
No Goals:Without goals, there is nothing compelling action—including the actions causing a sales force to grow, improve, and develop over time. Leaders who accept anything produce mediocre results. Leaders who expect more produce better results.
No Pipeline Meetings:Most leaders focus on winning opportunities without giving opportunity creation the same time and attention. A pipeline meeting ensures that you are creating new opportunities. The accountability for creating opportunities precedes the responsibility for winning them.
Do Good Work:
Make a list of the areas you might need to improve to generate more meetings and create more new opportunities.
Tackle these issues and obstacles by focusing on them one at a time, recognizing that you improve faster when you do the work of prospecting.
Put the same time and energy into creating new opportunities as you do into winning them.
The TCPA, or the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, was enacted to protect consumers from unsolicited sales calls. The TCPA requires prior express written consent by the consumer for non-emergency autodialed, prerecorded, or artificial voice calls or text messages to wireless phones (cell phones), as well as for pre-recorded telemarketing calls to residential, wired phone lines. It also applies to faxes.
Why is this important?
Because ANY phone call you make using an auto-dialer telephone system (ADTS), which can even include calls made from your cellphone, could potentially violate the TCPA if the person receiving the call did not sign a written consent for the call. Additionally, each violation of the TCPA carries an automatic statutory penalty of $500 per call. The amount goes up per call, if the court finds that the caller willfully or knowingly called someone who hadn’t consented to the call. And more people are suing, and winning, based on TCPA violations.
What should a third-party lead generator be able to provide?
If you’re using a third-party lead generator, find out if they obtain a clear, obvious agreement stating that those customers understand they’ll receive a telemarketing phone call, signed either on paper or electronically. (A verbal consent over the phone after reading an incomplete disclaimer DOES NOT count as express written consent).
Ask them to give you a copy of this customer-signed agreement as proof of consent. If they can’t or won’t, be cautious about using that third-party lead generator.
Then check that the signed agreement with the customer contains this information:
Names the identities of the telemarketers.
Says the telemarketing call may be made by an automatic telephone dialing system.
That the call may be made by artificial or pre-recorded voice.
That the person isn’t required to sign the agreement (either directly or indirectly), and that they’re not required to enter into this kind of agreement as a condition of buying anything.
That they can withdraw consent for these calls at any time.
Steps you can take right now:
• If you use, or intend to use, a third-party lead generator, make sure you review, or have reviewed, the agreement before you sign.
• The agreement should describe how the company complies with all TCPA requirements for prior written consent and proper disclosures, as well as how they intend to provide you with proof of compliance.
• Ask if they regularly scrub the National and State “Do Not Call” registries prior to making sales solicitation
If you’re accused of a TCPA violation, here are some tips:
• Contact your immediate upline/IMO.
• STAY Don’t respond directly to the complainant. Think about obtaining representation.