From the April 2012 issue of Benefits Selling Magazine • Subscribe!

Seay: What I've learned

David Seay, Broker on Record

David SeaySince being one of the first brokers on the cover of Benefits Selling, David Seay has continued to be one of the leading benefits brokers in the Atlanta area. He’s known for building strong relationships with his clients and is proactive with them, especially in keeping them in compliance.

An industry associate said of him: “David has an impeccable reputation not only with his clients but competitors, carriers, and really anyone in the industry. I’m not sure I know of anyone with more integrity or compassion and I’m always thankful that I’ve done business with him.” Now the senior sales vice president of Covenant Benefits Group, David took a few moments to give us some insight on the state of the industry today, how it’s changed and where it’s going.

Be a techie

Just in the past few years, technology has dramatically altered the benefits industry. It’s leveled the playing field between the large brokers and the small ones. In fact, the smaller agencies now have the flexibility to make quick decisions to customize and personalize business plans, and give the client the personal service they like and expect. Smaller firms can compete by outsourcing a technology solution for a much more reasonable cost than before and certainly less expensively than building their own system like a larger broker could. There’s almost no reason to try and build your own system now.

Take the time

It takes time to find the right vendor, and often it takes someone to test two vendors. If properly communicated with a client, they can be the best test cases to see which vendors can deliver.

Be an HR liaison

Build that strong relationship with a client. But that doesn’t mean just playing golf with the CEO. It also means discussing with an HR director their pain points (ask them what they need and how you can help). We as brokers need to become an extension of the HR department and create solutions that help an HR director to do their job more efficiently.

Be the solution

To be a have a good company partner you have to be a good broker partner. That means finding solutions and vendors that can do a variety of benefits-related functions, such as COBRA, payroll, FSA, and  HR specialists. Also help effectively communicate all their benefits whether through benefit statements or a strong voluntary partner.

Over deliver under pressure

Your clients need to know how each carrier will work, what each carrier’s expectations are and what we can expect from them. Always leave a timeline of expectations. We’ve got to know these insurance companies’ strengths and weaknesses before we can even recommend a solution to a client.

It’s not about the money

Don’t worry so much about the commissions. It will always take care of itself in the end if we do our job the right way.

Photo by Kevin Garrett

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