If selling health insurance were a sport, then the ACA (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment period would be the playoffs. It’s a make it or break it time for many agents. From November 1st through December 15th, the insurance market will be flooded with people who want to either switch plans, or acquire a new policy. How you prepare for this crucial period will directly impact your immediate income, and possibly even your career.
With the date rapidly approaching, it’s important to think about how you’re going to take advantage of open enrollment. Here’s
Mark Twain once said “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” Opportunities only exist when you open your eyes and recognize them. To be successful during this crucial time, you have to recognize that open enrollment season is going to be very different from selling major medical and supplementary insurance during the rest of the year. And by different, we mean more profitable–if you do it right.
During open enrollment, people are going to be very motivated to get insurance because with the continuing rollout of ACA regulations it’s going to become even more expensive to not have insurance. People who don’t want to get hit with fees for being uninsured in 2017 will need to get coverage. This is an exciting time to be an agent, absolutely bursting with opportunity. The only question remains: how are you going to take advantage?
Don’t let January roll around with the sinking realization that you’ve left sales on the table. If you take this opportunity for what it is, you can make this the most lucrative time of the year.
Find Out Who Can Offer You The Best Commissions
You don’t just want to make the most sales. You also want to make the most money off every sale you make. Pull out your policies from insurance carriers and compare commission numbers. Directing leads toward policies that pay more will increase your per call commission numbers. Familiarize yourself with upselling and cross selling opportunities so you can introduce them quickly while you’re on the phone.
Your leads get insurance. You get a boost in commissions. Everyone’s a winner.
Buy More Leads Than You Normally Would
During most of the year, it’s understandable if you want to be picky about the leads you buy. But open enrollment is a different ball game. Unless you have a qualifying life event, you can only get health insurance during the open enrollment period. People are also especially motivated to get covered since under Obamacare, most Americans will incur a tax penalty if they don’t have health insurance. Between their limited window to buy and the tax penalty, open enrollment is an insurance agent’s dream. The market will be flooded with people who have to buy what you’re selling. Now’s the time to take risks and test new verticals.
It’s time to shift your mindset.
Now that it’s open enrollment season, and people from all walks of life are checking their health insurance options, open yourself up to a broader demographic of leads. NextGen Leads allows you to fine-tune the type of leads you receive. Electing to loosen those filters, and even include leads with very low incomes and health issues, will help you fill that lead pipeline. You may have to adjust your selling technique slightly when dealing with a larger number of low income leads, but in the end, you’ll close a higher percentage of sales, and make more money.
Just be sure to have a ready answer to the “I can’t afford that” objection. Remind them them of the cost of not having insurance, both in terms of risk and the ACA fee, and be ready to educate them on available subsidies.
Fine Tune Your Sales Call Process
Now is a perfect time to take a step back and examine your sales call process.
- Sales Scripting – If you work with a team, set up a meeting to discuss sales scripts that have proved effective. Closely examine your first contact sales script and follow up scripts to see if you can improve the message.
- Automatic Voicemail Messages – Many autodialers allow you to drop a prerecorded message when you encounter someone’s voicemail. That not only preserves your speaking voice and prevents you from having to repeat the same message repeatedly all day, it also saves you time. While you’re leaving a message automatically on voicemail, you’re onto the next call.
- Online Lead Nurturing – Sales don’t always close on the first call. In fact, a phone call might not be the crucial factor. If you haven’t already done so, start an email drip campaign that engages your leads in between calls. If you already have one in place, check your analytics to see how well it’s performing, and if there’s any place you can make improvements. Edit the drip emails to include information about the open enrollment period. Remind leads of the deadline to buy insurance, as well as the financial consequences of not being covered.
Sales is a process. And more you refine that process, the more successful you’ll be.
So how well are you going to perform during playoff season? For many agents, the number of sales they close during this high volume, highly competitive time of year will be decided before open enrollment even begins on November 1st. How you prepare for the month ahead is far more important than how you react once the masses start shopping. Get your strategy in place now, and this could be your best year ever.