When you go on a road trip, at what point do you fill the fuel tank - do you wait until you’re below the “E” on your gauge? Of course not - but that’s a little like some agents treat the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) - they fill up, and then coast.
Every October, the money starts rolling in - some of you make more money from October to December than you do the rest of year combined. While it’s great to be flush with cash in time for Christmas, you don’t want to spend the rest of the year scrambling for scraps. Here are some ways to keep the cash coming in year-round.
Why do you think AEP is such productivity booster? Simply put, it’s because agents contact so many of their clients and review their policies, in a short period of time. When you concentrate so many appointments together, you concentrate the paychecks as well.
It’s great to see so many checks coming in at the end of the year, but you don’t want this to become a cycle of feast and famine. If you find yourself in a bit of a slump, you can implement your own “Unofficial AEP” at any time. This is not a real Annual Enrollment Period at all, but it is an excuse for you to contact all or most of your client base and set some appointments.
Be proactive on approaching your customers 30-60 days before their policy anniversary date. You’ll usually know about rate increases before your clients do. Use that opportunity to show them that you are looking out for them! When you tell them “60 days from now your rates will be going up. Here’s a better option for you” they’ll be glad to have such a proactive agent.
If there’s not a rate increase on their policy, see if there’s a better fit for them - a new product perhaps. Have this info prepared before you meet with them, but you’ll also want to see if they’ve had any changes in their life that may impact your choice. For example, maybe their spouse turned 65, and now they’re eligible for a household discount, but from a different carrier.
Lots of policies are sold within 60 days of a person’s birthday. Make sure you have birthdays entered into your customer database or CRM, and set followup reminders. As the reminders come in, that’s your cue to contact your client. Make sure to contact them twice - once to simply wish them a Happy Birthday (without selling anything!) and the other time to set an appointment to review their policies.
Anytime you have a special of some sort, share it with your customers, whether it’s a great interest rate or a new product. If you learn of something that can either help or potentially cost your client, use that to touch base with them, and keep them informed. If you’re frequently communicating with clients, they are much less likely to switch to another agent, because they know you care.
Isn’t it better to gas up regularly, instead of coast until you’re completely empty?
If you are living in a cycle of feast or famine, and need to spread your income a little more evenly throughout the year, consider using the ideas above. No, this isn’t really a second AEP, but it is a way to keep money coming in regularly. After all, isn’t it better to gas up regularly, instead of coast until you’re completely empty?