Don’t let 2022 sneak up on you. If you don’t start planning now, the year will pass you by before you realize it, and you might end up without a lot to show for it. By embracing the four Rs of planning, you can make 2022 your best year ever.
If anything goes wrong, good recordkeeping can make the difference between a crisis and a minor inconvenience. We recommend that agents retain all of their records from various sources of enrollment.
Download all of your documents, including your carrier enrollments, HRAs, Scopes of Appointment, and MedicareCENTER online enrollments, and save this information.
Yes, the carrier and MedicareCENTER should store these materials for 10 years, but in case there’s a technical issue, you want to have your own copies. It’s smart to make copies of everything and store these copies in your CRM or another secure location. Plan on keeping your records for 10 years in case you’re audited.
Take some time to reflect on your performance in 2021. Think about what worked well and what didn’t and consider how you can tweak your strategies for the new year. Based on this information, create a plan for 2022, or at least for the first half of the year.
When creating goals for 2022, also pay attention to your personal strengths, comfort level and availability. For example, do you shine when delivering in-person seminars and educational events, or do you prefer direct mail? Do you have extra time, or are you stretching yourself too thin and risking burnout?
Referrals can be a great, cost-effective way to grow your business and make more sales, but it’s important to be aware of CMS rules. For example, you can’t collect phone numbers and start calling prospects. That would go against the CMS rules banning unsolicited phone calls.
One thing you can do, however, is hand out business cards. When you send out your handwritten thank you notes, enclose some business cards. Thank your clients and let them know that you appreciate referrals.
For more information, see our article developing a compliant Medicare referral program. Also make sure that you are familiar with the current CMS Marketing Regulations.
Finding new clients is great, but retaining your current clients can be even more important.
This is a good time to clean up and organize your CRM data and plan for the year. If you have a lot of clients, this can be a big project. Set aside some time, sit down and focus on how you’ll retain each client.
Here are some best practices to include in your retention plans:
- Plan outreach for each client, each month. Some months may include two touches.
- Incorporate both group client outreach methods and individual outreach methods.
- Group outreach methods can include newsletters, relevant updates, helpful tips, webinars and seminars. Cover key topics for seniors, including cost-of-living adjustments, pandemic news, Social Security updates and Medicare issues.
- Individual updates are more personal. Make sure your CRM system includes key dates, including birthdays and anniversaries, and send cards for those occasions.
- Look for seasonal reasons to reach out, such as Valentine’s Day and Grandparents Day. You can also focus on months and days that raise awareness for issues. For example, February is American Heart Month.
- Look for Medicare-related reasons to reach out. For example, give your clients a heads-up when they should expect important notices or the new Medicare & You handbook in the mail.
For example, a client communication plan might look like this:
Our Communication Planning Guide can help you keep track of key messages to communicate throughout the year.
Once you’ve planned your outreach, enter your planned communication into your CRM so you don’t forget to execute.
Make 2022 Your Best Year Ever
If you follow, this 4R approach, you should be well-organized for your best year ever. Brushing up on training is another way to master Medicare and increase your sales. Head to the Medicare Library.