Here we are in October, and while it seems 2017 has flown by,our time is now dedicated to open enrollment and final 2018planning. There's no time for details—just the essence of ideas. Sothis month, I’m sharing a litany of tweet-sized benefits-relatedinfo bites, any of which could be a full column in a normal month.Themes covered include voluntary products, enrollment, customerservices, sales ideas and planning.

  • Football games are great times to think aboutbusiness. Use the timeouts as planning opportunities!

  • Record your business elevator speech in a short video and send it toyour customers for their critique.

  • Life insurance is such a basic protection thatit's easily taken for granted. Don't let that happen.

  • Practice your customer message with your team every week. Thiswill help all of you fine-tune the story.

  • People think disability income protection is for someone else.That is, until they are that “someone.”

  • When talking to your prospects, imagine they are Jim Rome. You’dbetter have a take and it had better be good.

  • Make sure your wellness services include mental and financialhealth.

  • Urge enrolling employees to cover their basic protection needs:health, life, income, retirement. Then think of other needs.

  • Remind customers how important an EAP can be to employeewell-being.

  • Never stop asking your customers “what else can we do to helpyou?”

  • Employees love benefit plans that are relevant, affordable andunderstandable. Employers love them, too.

  • Use your phone contacts proactively. Text a customer or keybusiness partner each day, just reminding them you are ready tohelp.

  • Customers are never upset when you make life easier.

  • Creativity and solving customers’ problems both begin withcuriosity.

  • If you want to change, it's not a matter of willpower. It's adecision. Can you make one?

  • “Never off phone.” Don't waste slow times—use them for calling,tweeting, texting or emailing customers. Ask how you can helpthem.

  • What's the best contact method? Always ask customers whetherthey prefer calls, texts or emails. This helps avoid wasted contacttime.

  • Many times, the best contact is the assistant rather than theleader.

  • Keep a log of discussions with customers so you don't miss anydetails. A little discipline makes a big difference.

  • When traveling to a customer, reach out to prospects in thearea. Some may want to meet, and you could discover a newopportunity.

  • Profile your case successes and send them out to customers withsimilar needs.

  • At least once a quarter, reach out to customers to ask forfeedback on your services. You are a resource for them.

  • When a prospect chooses your organization, say thanks! Thankexisting customers, too. It is amazing how this builds customerloyalty.

  • Disability coverage is strongly tied to benefit planning becauseboth the employer and employee are customers.

  • Medical coverage leaves gaps. We provide savings account peoplemay not have via voluntary options.

Finally, I hope at least a few of these ideas are useful to youin building your business success during thisbusy time of the year!

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