October 20

5 Tips for a Successful AEP – Special Message from Ronnie James


Annual Enrollment Period is here! For some of you, you have planned your work and now you're working your plan. You're off to a great start and we hope this will be the best AEP that you've ever had.

This is a marathon and not a sprint.

Ronnie James

For some, your plans have not exactly worked out as anticipated. The beauty of this industry is that we have the ability to adapt and overcome. It's not too late to still have a very successful AEP even if it has not started as strongly as you had liked. I would encourage you to continue to keep driving. This is a marathon and not a sprint.

It's seven weeks of hard, hard labor. We're going to work hard, but we're going to reap the benefits come January. I would say that if you are not running as smoothly as you had anticipated, here's a few suggestions.


Continue to look for retail opportunities.

The carriers in your market may have opportunities inside of local pharmacies that they can open up to you that would give you an opportunity to sit and be seen.

Because for many agents, especially those new ones, being able to be seen and have people to talk to is an obstacle to overcome. So I encourage you to look for retail opportunities.


LeadCENTER: Continue to look for direct mail lead opportunities.

We have a fantastic lead system built into MedicareCENTER. If you're not using it, I would encourage you to look into that because you can get real time, exclusive leads that will give you great opportunitiesreal-time.


Don't forget about doctor's offices.

There are still doctors offices such as IORA, Oak Street, ArchWell, and Dedicated that are looking for agents to work as agents of the day in those locations. It can give you the exposure that really you need to take off in this industry. So again, if you are looking for opportunities, they are still out there.


Work through local pharmacies and dentist offices.

Don't forget, most individuals who considered making changes last year with their Medicare Advantage plans were considering doing so because of the dental. If you can partner with a local dentist office, it may be shocking how many of those would be willing to refer customers over to you because they like a dental plan is easy to use and you should have a product in your portfolio that has fantastic dental.


Look at some of the regional carrier players.

There are some new carriers in many areas and those new carriers may be regional and they may not have as many agents that are working and selling their product. They may be interested in a more dedicated relationship with you than you realize.

As you commit to them, they may be willing to commit opportunities to you. Not saying that's a guarantee, but they may have some leads that they can offer you if you will commit to selling their product.

If you have questions, you have concerns, we'll be happy to help you here at Tidewater Management Group. We're off to a fantastic start, and I don't want you as agents to get caught up in a lot of the static, because I know there's things on social media now where people are saying, "I'm selling this," "I'm selling that" – that's fantastic.

I'm happy for those individuals, but at the end of the day, what we want to do is take care of you so that you can take care of the clients. We know that the best relationships are those where everybody wins. We want to be transparent with you. We want to help you not only survive AEP, but thrive during AEP.

Be sure you have ordered your sales supplies.

If you are an experienced agent, be sure that you have ordered your sales supplies. I know there have been some delays in sales kits. I'm there with you. The frustration over that can be a little bit overwhelming at times, but we have to work through those things. We are good at adapting, so download supplies, download provider directories, and formularies.

We should be able to go into an appointment and feel very comfortable and confident with what we're sharing with those clients. So be prepared for the unexpected. Stay safe. Get some rest, because this is a marathon and I am super excited about the progress that we've seen coming in, the testimonials we've heard so far. I know that the new recording requirement has been frustrating for some, but it's amazing to me that some that were the most frustrated when they started just over a week ago, recording their calls, are now some of the ones that are saying, "it's easier than I expected., and I actually am enjoying recording the calls with my consumers and they're comfortable with it" – so it's just new. And sometimes new can be scary. But if we're willing to, again, adapt, we then have the ability to grow. I heard one wise man once say, "the most dangerous place to be in the world is in your comfort zone." Because as long as you're in your comfort zone, you will never grow.

Meet the consumer where they want to be met.

Try something new and be willing to have an open mind about those recordings. As always, I still enjoy the face-to-face interactions and it's exciting to see that as COVID has released its grip on us as a society, more and more people are willing to do face-to-face meetings. So as an agent, be willing to go out and meet the consumer where they want to be met. Our CEO Bryan Adams said that we want to meet people where they want to be met, either in person, online, or over the phone. With Tidewater Management Group, you have the capacity to do that.

We know that your willingness to help individuals will help you to overcome any fears you may have. Again, this is a word of encouragement to let you know that we're behind you. It's exciting to see what's happening, and we want to continue to help you push forward, and look for new opportunities. Always be driving forward. Don't look in the rearview mirror.

Keep pressing on, because I know that you'll find success if you don't give up. As always, we wish you the best.


AEP, Annual Enrollment Period, Ronnie James, training

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