Sutter Health Plus News & Trends

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Three Things Brokers Can Do To Remain Relevant in a Digital Environment

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in News, People

In this article published in the July 2017 issue of California Broker, Sutter Health Plus Vice President of Sales Rob Carnaroli discusses how brokers can stand out from the competition by remaining relevant in a digital environment.

There’s no doubt the broker arena is changing. As one generation readies for retirement, another is coming into its own—bringing a different style and brand of engagement to the market. At the same time, technology creates opportunities for savvy brokers to stand out from the competition. To remain relevant in a digital environment, we encourage brokers to continue focusing on three areas: building relationships, demonstrating expertise and embracing technology.

Building Relationships

For years, brokers earned business based on their expertise and the relationships they built. That hasn’t changed.

Relationship building continues to set brokers apart from each other and from online tools that some view as a threat to their business. For some time—as long as many in our business can remember—relationships were formed more on the golf course than in the office. Lately the focus is less on golf and more on charitable or community events, such as 5K races, youth sporting events or non-profit fundraisers. These activities offer great opportunities to bolster professional relationships with prospects and clients while promoting worthy causes rooted in the community.

Demonstrating Expertise

Brokers need to leverage what sets them apart—expertise is front and center. Brokers should take an active role in educating clients. It’s important to keep up with legislative changes and other market trends, and understand how they will affect employer groups.

To remain relevant, brokers must continually be part of the message. Rather than simply sharing an article link—something that a search engine or news feed can do—brokers can add value by creating original content that delivers insight to their clients.

In today’s marketplace, it’s important to recognize that the ability to provide information and expertise are two completely different things. Thanks to the internet, information abounds. The ability to weed through and analyze this information in the context of market trends and customer needs is where expertise comes into play.

Brokers should showcase their expertise by sharing relevant information as a blog post, on LinkedIn and Twitter, or directly to prospects and clients. This brings a unique perspective readers may not get from a national publication. The result can be powerful in attracting prospects and retaining customers.

Embracing Technology

To outrun competition, brokers need to leverage available tools to improve engagement and customer experience. Blogging can help illustrate broker expertise, attract prospects and deliver added value to existing customers.

Brokers should engage on social media by sharing community information, recognizing customer achievements, responding to LinkedIn questions and retweeting posts from prospects, customers and business partners.

Taking the concept of original content a step further, brokers may consider creating and developing their own webinars on relevant topics. Or try creating short educational videos and posting them on YouTube and other social media sites. Google owns YouTube, so a strong YouTube presence can also improve Google search positioning for the broker’s website.

Yes, today’s consumers expect a digital experience. But it’s the brokers who build relationships and demonstrate their expertise–along with embracing technology–who will stand out and remain relevant in today’s marketplace.