It happens all the time. A competing broker swoops in, dazzles your client with promises of lower rates, better coverage, more robust services and signs them to a broker of record form. Just like that, you’re out a client. So, you spend time wondering. Why did I lose that client? Could I have done things differently?
This is the broker of record practice—and it’s time to break it to keep it from working against you. You can do that by making yourself so valuable, so in-touch, that no offer could entice your clients away from your services.
Fortunately, breaking the broker of record practice so it doesn’t impact your business is simple if you follow two recommendations.
If you’re like most brokers, you’re likely used to approaching health insurance in a transactional manner. You’ve got your marching orders from your client, the carriers and your spreadsheet that you bring out every year and present to your customers. In fact, you’re probably getting ready to do that as I type this since open enrollment is right around the corner.
STOP. Put down the spreadsheet and pick up the phone, fire up your email, or both. Reach out to your clients today if you can. But when you do, don’t talk to them and try to sell them on next year’s menu of plans, or what could be a double-digit rate increase. Instead, listen to what they have to say by asking a series of questions:
Then, create a highly customized recommended plan of action based on their responses. Develop your own recommendations and walk them through your thought process. Don’t just show them the menu the carriers gave you. Show them a recipe for success that’s going to help them save money and implement excellent coverage, gain control of their health care spend, and provide them with actionable, transparent plan reporting, while giving them a health plan that provides a competitive advantage.
The initial sale is only the first step; the weeks and months ahead are where you can truly differentiate yourself from other brokers. This is where you go from someone who sells insurance to a trusted business advisor who understands your clients’ business and provides them with valuable consultation all year round. It’s where you become so invaluable to your clients that they will not leave you—no matter how many broker of record forms land on their screens.
Those forms will no longer be enticing. Why? Because they have you. If you’ve positioned yourself as an invaluable resource who is closely aligned with your clients’ health insurance needs—not just late in the year but through all 12 months—no amount of promised ROI or savings will be enough to get them to consider leaving you for a different broker.
We’ve called this metamorphosis “becoming the broker your clients need,” and it serves a greater purpose than just keeping other brokers at bay. If you become a true consultant to your clients, they will not leave, and this will allow you to focus on, build and manage your own stable, successful consultancy. As a result, you won’t have to play the petty games that have become all too commonplace in the health insurance industry.
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