Sutter Health Plus News & Trends

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10 Tips for Standing Out in the Benefits Industry

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in News, People

In this article published in the January 26, 2017 issue of BenefitsPRO, Rob Carnaroli, Sutter Health Plus vice president of sales, and Monica Majors, vice president, strategic sales and marketing, provide tips to brokers on how to attract and keep clients and customers. 

As many brokers know, customers have a lot of choice when it comes to who they do business with.

That’s why it’s so important to set yourself apart from the pack. As the benefits industry continues to evolve, there will be some brokers who change with it, and others who may have a tried and true approach. Either way, every broker and benefits professional must find ways to stand out from the crowd or risk losing business to someone else who does it better.

As part of our our marketing and sales tips series, we asked our audience for their thoughts on how to be the best of breed broker and benefits professional. We wanted to know what draws clients and customers in and keeps them around, and this is what we heard. Here are the 10 tips we liked best.

1. Make an impact by making it real

“Most people relate best when they see real-life situations that may be similar to their own. My experience tells me that unless you can put something into a real-world scenario, it’s nothing more than words on a page that might be missed.” Rob Carnaroli, broker & vice president of sales, Sutter Health Plus

2. Do your research

Read up on prospects and gain an understanding of their problems, then position yourself to add the most value to every interaction.

3. Ask yourself a tough question

“The top question you need to answer is, ‘Why should I use you as a broker?’ How is it that you set yourself apart from other brokers? Be sure to document and explain the advantages you can bring to the employer.” Monica Majors, vice president, strategic sales & marketing, Sutter Health Plus

4. Observe and recommend

“In today’s health insurance landscape, there are many new boutique plans that offer unique benefits like discounted or free health club memberships, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Listen to your clients, observe their culture and recommend unique benefits that are right for them. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail.” Sally Poblete, founder, Wellthie

5. Skip the spreadsheets

“No one likes spreadsheets. They’re hard to decipher, and it’s nearly impossible to compare plans side-by-side with so much data crammed in. Employers today want to see plan options visually, so they can clearly understand their options.” Andy Nunemaker, CEO, Dynamis Software Corporation

6. Voluntary offerings are your friend

“Brokers who choose not to offer a full range of voluntary benefits — both traditional and non-traditional — are missing tremendous sales opportunities.” Gil Lowerre and Bonnie Brazzell, president and vice president, Eastbridge Consulting Group

7. Personalization is the future

“The traditional way of offering group benefits is outdated and bloated with waste. Instead of these antiquated traditional beliefs, smart people are creating systems and methods whereby employees can build personalized benefits packages that meet individual needs and circumstances.” Nate Randall, founder & president, Ursa Major Consulting

8. Not an add-on, but a must-have

Benefits that were once considered add-ons are now considered mandatory. Round out the benefits package with an appealing mix of standard features and voluntary options.

9. Innovate to create lasting value

“There is a huge opportunity to revolutionize the industry by turning challenges into opportunities and strengths. We cannot afford an evolution from the past, but must truly transform the industry through revolutionary innovation and value.” Reed Smith, senior vice president, CoBiz Insurance

10. Take the road less traveled

“It requires a better type of mind to seek out and to support or to create the new than to follow the worn paths of accepted success.” John D. Rockefeller, Sr.