Follow-up with your Medicare clients is an essential part of the sales process. Actually, no matter what industry you’re in, the procedure remains the same. You create a rapport with a client, sell them a product or service and follow up with them after they’ve had time to take advantage of their new purchase.
This well-established routine is part of nearly every industry for one important reason: it works. Follow-up, in particular, plays an essential role in increasing your clients’ trust and boosting your repeat business.
But what about the insurance industry, specifically Medicare? As a Medicare insurance professional, you’re well-versed in the many rules and regulations governing the sale of Medicare insurance. With Medicare, you’re dealing with a highly regulated government health plan, but you’re still selling insurance, right?
Yes and no. There are a few rules related to following up with Medicare beneficiaries that don’t apply in typical insurance sales. Here’s how you can follow up with your Medicare clients without breaking any rules.
Why follow up?
Of course, following up is a good way to build trust and secure repeat business, but there’s another reason you should be doing this.
Once a client starts to use their new plan, they may have second thoughts. Following up is a great way to capture those clients who aren’t satisfied with the plan they choose. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get them matched to a new plan right away or make a note to contact them during the next available enrollment period.
Either way, you would probably have never known they were interested in a different plan had you not followed up. We recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment during your initial meeting. Make a habit of this, and you’ll have lots of satisfied clients as a result.
How often can you follow up?
You can follow up as much or as little as you like, but there are a few details you should bear in mind.
Try to follow the 3-30-60-90-day rule. This means you contact your clients on these days following the start of their plan. Your three and 30-day calls will probably address housekeeping issues and general questions about the plan. The 60 and 90-day calls may get into a bit more detail since they’ve had more time to experience the plan.
And remember, just because they were satisfied in previous follow-up calls doesn’t guarantee their satisfaction in future calls. The more they use the plan, the stronger their opinion, either positive or negative, will become. Don’t neglect the 60 or 90-day calls just because they were happy at three and 30.
When you make these calls, don’t hound your clients. Leave a message or two and no more. Also, be sure to let them direct the conversations. Each Medicare beneficiary is unique and no two Medicare insurance plans are exactly the same. You can’t approach these follow ups with scripts and canned responses.
Understand enrollment periods for Medicare clients
If, through the follow-up process, you find a client who’s unhappy with the coverage they selected, you need to be able to present them with options.
Usually, this means they’ll have to wait until the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) or the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). If you need to brush up on these enrollment periods and how your clients can take advantage, check out the articles we’ve written on OEP and AEP.
You must also be aware of the solicitation rules related to enrollment periods. Agents may not send clients unsolicited information about OEP and their ability to make changes to their coverage during this time. You can, however, contact beneficiaries to check-in and ensure they’re satisfied with their current coverage. This is an important distinction, despite being a bit nuanced, and agents must not circumvent these guidelines.
But if you still need help, we’re here for you. The team at Financial Grade is available to answer your questions, provide tools and help you help your clients. Contact us today!
image credit: shutterstock/Jacob Lund