From the October 2011 issue of Benefits Selling:
Some people in the industry call it “big game hunting.” Or they might refer to it as “reeling in a big one.”
Do the research
In any large organization, there’s most likely going to be a committee of people making the decision on benefits packages. Industry veterans say these committees usually consist of the chief financial officer, the head of human resources and the person in charge of risk management. If a union is involved, expect a representative and maybe a little confrontation. Some organizations will appoint employee representatives. There may even be some elected officials on the committee.
Michael McIntyre, author of The Authentic Salesman: Mastering the Art of Transforming Real Objections into Real Transactions and CEO of Dallas-based Benefits America, says brokers have the ability to identify decision makers on the Internet with ease.
Be a consultant
Brokers need to present themselves as people with solutions. When the market changes, be the first broker to approach large employers with solutions to their new business challenges. The more brokers present themselves as problem solvers, the more likely they are sign up new clients.
Also, find out if the benefits packages line up with the employer’s goals. Most successful brokers say if an adviser and a large employer have similar strategies and philosophies on benefits packages, the deal can actually come as an afterthought. It’ll take some research, but it’s worthwhile.
Sometimes, in an effort to save on costs, an employer will institute a wellness plan. Or, employers will have to make a change in benefits plans that won’t exactly excite a majority of their employees. Stautberg says brokers who demonstrate the ability to communicate with employees effectively will get more clients.
“It’s a partnership,” Stautberg says. “It’s working with the employer, the employee, the insurance company and their adviser. It’s making sure we’re listening to the needs that they have and communicating to them and their employees what it is they want to do.”