“We have had to expand our core consulting as we're having toget more creative in helping our clients strategize and controlcosts now more than ever before. We've been very successful inthinking outside of the box and our employers appreciate fresh newideas that a short time ago they may not have been willing toconsider. We are having success with things like voluntarybenefits, onsite clinics, telehealth, medical tourism, PBMconsulting, referenced based reimbursement and many others.”

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Danny Talley, senior vice president, HUB InternationalInsurance Services Inc.

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“Here are a couple of things we are doing to stay relevant:

  1. Get paid for your advice: We are consulting like crazy.Don't want to sign a BOR? Not a problem; but I'm not going to workfor free. As my mama always told me, if you don't value your time,no one else will.

  2. The millennials are invading: So, I've hired a rock starproducer that is 25 and speaks their language. For millennials,mentoring and feeling imporant is huge. For example, we've starteddoing “how to” videos where I record my screen and show clients howto do a doctor search.”

Susan Combs, owner of brokerage Combs & Company

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“The average age of insurance agents is in their mid 50s, so Iam traveling all over the United States teaching both new and olderagents how to use social media, technology and free Internet toolsto sell insurance over the phone.”

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Robert J. Russell, Robert J Russell Companies, 2015 Brokerof the Year Finalist

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“The mentality of just being a broker to your clients isobsolete. Showing up once a year for open enrollment with coffeeand donuts and then disappearing behind the curtain for 12 monthsis no longer acceptable. Employers and consumers demand more. It'sno longer just about benefits. As a trusted advisor we must gobeyond insurance and consider how we can provide innovation andsupport the business of our clients. My goal is to develop a costmitigating and sustainable long term strategy to attract developand retain key talent for my clients.”

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Jack Tartaro, Human Capital Practice Consultant

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“For us, it's personal. In light of the changing face of thebenefits industry we are expanding our operation, not shrinking it.With hundreds of clients who already know and trust us we'veexpanded from the core company FirstWest Benefit Solution to addfour other divisions over the last few years: Retirement Solutions,Wealth Management Solutions, Human Resource Solutions and RiskManagement Solutions.

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Our passionate and collaborative team is dedicated to deliveringthe best solution. And we do that by nurturing relationships builton trust, communication and performance. We are looking to become astrategic partner, not vendors. It's our personal touch and genuinecare that creates enduring relationships.”

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Lyle G. Swenson, benefit consultant

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the editor-in-chief of BenefitsPRO Magazine and BenefitsPRO.com. He has covered the insurance industry for more than a decade, including stints at Retirement Advisor Magazine and ProducersWeb.