Last week, we wrote about something near and dear to our hearts as a company: why employers should use a group insurance Advisor. At Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc., we believe that there is no direct, and we double down on this belief by supporting our Advisor partners in growing their business and arming them with the knowledge they need to do so.
To make good on our promise, this week, we’re going to focus on how an Advisor can showcase the value that they bring to the table. If we’re arming employers with the knowledge about why they should work with an Advisor and how to choose one, we also want to make sure we’re informing Advisors about how to communicate that value, for the benefit of everyone!
Demonstrating Value as an Insurance Advisor
Group Insurance Advisors bring a lot of value to their clients – we know, you know it. But do your clients know it? If you’re not sure (or you answered “no”), the time to show your value is now!
Here are some easy ways for you to showcase your value to a client:
#1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Communication is imperative to the successful relationship between an Advisor and their client. Check in with your clients to see how the plan is going, or proactively reach out in the event of problems like high claims or poor experience. Your BBD Client Manager will keep you in the loop as to a groups’ claims and experience with our 3/6/9 program to make keeping track of your groups’ own history easy.
#2. Do What the Robots Can’t
Robo-advisors and direct sales tools from major Insurers are becoming more and more common, but there’s one thing you can provide that they can’t: advice and personalized service. These technological solutions don’t handle the day-to-day of the benefits plans, and they’re not around when and if problems occur – that’s where you come in! Take the opportunity to be there every step of the way and you’ll quickly prove your worth.
#3. Discuss Plan Sustainability
Many plans are heavily discounted for the first year, which looks great on paper but causes a lot of problems at their first renewal. When plans are built with future sustainability in mind, the upfront cost at plan setup might be higher, but (barring any major complications) the renewals are a lot easier to handle.
Employers who shop around for a new plan every year will need to go through the whole process again – from quoting and implementation, to employee enrollment and training, and then the renewal process all over. Taking the time to explain the merits of sustainable plans can save you and your client a lot of time and energy.
#4. Take a Good Look at Plan Design
Let’s do this one as an example: Your client is facing a high renewal thanks to heavy usage of the paramedical benefit (massage and chiropractor). The employer doesn’t want to remove paramedical coverage entirely and upset employees, but can’t continue to pay for it at this rate. So what do you do?
You could recommend that they remove paramedical coverage from the plan and encourage the employer to provide a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) instead. This would allow employees to use their dollars for massage but still provide a measure of cost-containment for your client. Everyone wins!
#5. Help Them Find Their Benefits Philosophy
Advisors who can really get to the bottom of the benefits philosophy will be far better equipped to suggest plans that will work best for the client and deal with any issues that arise. Try asking questions like, “What do you hope to achieve by offering a benefits plan?” or “What prompted you to call me about implementing a benefits plan? Why now?”
Listen for answers like, “I want employees to be happy” or “My main competitors have benefits plans, and I have trouble hiring” or “I want to protect employees from major expenses or medical problems.” These can give you insight into what kind of coverage will best achieve their goals!
With today’s technology advancing quickly, some Advisors and employers may be wary of things like robo-advisors or direct sales tools, but we’re here to tell you not to worry. There will always be a place for group Insurance Advisors, particularly ones who can demonstrate the value they bring to clients beyond selling them a benefits plan.