1. Work with the new federal health exchanges.
2. Work with the private exchanges.
3. Build prospecting plans for each salesperson in your business that will lead to achieving revenue targets.
4. Be vulnerable. “I find it refreshing to be introspective both as an individual and as a company. Embrace the constructive areas of development and focus on continual improvement. Otherwise, ignoring those weaknesses will result in a stagnant, status quo environment.” —Mark Sinatra, CEO of Staff One, Dallas
5. 2014 is the pivotal year in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Know everything about it.
6. Choose your words. “When you find a phrase, interrogative or even cadence that seems to resonate with prospects and clients, remember it.” —Mike Loncono, senior vice president at Hub International, Mobile, Ala.
7. Hire the best people you can to your team. Don’t be intimidated by those that are stronger in other disciplines.
8. Focus on strategy, not just products. “Strategy means helping [employers] understand and create the best path for their business and still stay legal.” —Randy Mobley, president of Resource Seven, Atlanta
9) Ask for an exit interview. Not to relitigate the sale, but to better understand shortcomings.
10) Trust your instincts. “I listen to my gut, and that pays off a great majority of the time.” —Kristen Allison, president of Burnham Benefits, Orange County, Calif.
11. Treat people with respect.
12. Take some time off. You won’t always be “on” if you don’t stop to recharge your batteries.
13. Stay on top of the changes in the industry.
14. Attend Benefits Selling Expo (a shameless plug, yes. But we’ll see you in Colorado Springs, Colo., in April, right?)
15. Be more proactive with your clients. Don’t wait for your clients to come to you with questions or needs. Reach out to your customers regularly to advise them of new products, or offer them tips about improving their business. Talk with them often about wellness and how to improve the population of their workforce. —Mark Roberts, manager of national accounts at Careington International, Dallas
16. Think outside the box.
17. Lose graciously. “Don’t worry if you don’t win the sale — decision makers at companies come and go, but if you alienate the whole department you won’t be in good shape for the future.” —Loncono
18. Voluntary products — enough said.
19. Think like a rookie. “Rookies call on groups they’re not supposed to call on, mainly because they have to. They don’t know how it’s always been because they’ve never been there before. They enter an industry with new ideas and capture the market because they’re not prisoners of the moment.” —Benefits Selling columnist Brian Hicks
20. Follow-up. Don’t just sell a product and move on to a new customer. A follow-up shows customers you care about them.
Editor's note: Check back Tuesday-Friday to read parts 2-5.