Three ways to stand out ahead of open enrollment season
Check out this column in Employee Benefits Adviser:
It’s prospecting season for brokers — the slower time of year before open enrollment is a great opportunity to build your agency’s pipeline.
It can be tempting to push networking and prospecting to the backburner, especially for established agencies or brokers. But it’s never a good idea to get too comfortable — through a company sale, change in leadership or other unforeseen circumstances, long-time clients can always become former clients.
Spending a few weeks auditing your sales strategy and considering ways to stand out with prospects can lead to new business before open enrollment and into 2020.
Here are three things to add to your prospecting and sales process.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, alternate funding is becoming a more attractive option for more small and mid-sized businesses. Recognizing the opportunity to compete for what has traditionally been fully-insured business, vendors and carriers are also making this strategy more accessible for smaller groups.
Presenting these options can be a competitive differentiator whether the prospect is ready to transition toward self-funding or not. Even if staying fully-insured makes the most financial sense for the group, most business owners want to be made aware of their options.
Simply communicating strategies like self-funding or reference-based pricing can be a deal-winner, even if the group stays fully-insured.
Most brokers know that quotes alone don’t win business. One way to stand out with prospects is to provide a software solution for the full scope of benefits and HR challenges they face. This is particularly effective for small groups, who are often managing benefits and HR through multiple team members, disparate processes and mostly on paper.
To get a sense of where you can add value, ask about the challenges your prospect faces outside of benefits. Hiring is a current concern for most businesses and represents a good opportunity for brokers to tie benefits — typically offered as part of recruitment and retention efforts — to the full scope of HR.
New lines of coverage
Most small and mid-sized businesses aren’t offering many ancillary lines of coverage. When prospecting, communicate the benefits of providing multiple voluntary options and how you can help the business better compete for talent by expanding their offerings.
This is another benefit of providing a software solution that streamlines offering and enrolling in benefits — small groups can offer more voluntary options without increasing the workload associated with doing so on paper.
Whether it’s disability, life insurance or one of the newer benefits rising in popularity — identity theft protection or legal coverage, for example — build the value and ease of expanding benefits into your sales presentation.
It never hurts to revamp your prospecting and sales strategy, and now — before the majority of groups enroll during the fourth quarter — is the time to do it.
New funding strategies, lines of coverage and technology will allow you to stand out against a prospect’s current adviser and build your pipeline through this year and into the next.
This column was published on Employee Benefit Adviser.
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