Stop thinking of communication with employers as one-size-fits-all. That’s just not the case. Employers are in different stages of a relationship with you and they need different types of communication from you or your agency relevant to that relationship. They may be a client or they may be an active prospect or someone just looking. Take time to be mindful of that status and communicate with them in a way that is most relevant to them.
Clients have already made the commitment to working with you, having felt along the way that they can trust you to help them make good decisions about their HR and benefits program. They want to create a program that runs well, stays in compliance, and honestly, is fairly easy to manage.
When they’re in this stage, what they need from you are practical tools, resources, and information to help them successfully manage their programs and effectively communicate with their employees. They need updates on legislative changes, reminders on dates and deadlines, how-tos on getting ready for form filings, health and wellness tips for employees, and reminders on how to use their benefits.
There are some great content providers in the industry that offer a plethora of information to keep a steady stream flowing over the entire year. Some providers send information out on your behalf. With others, you can pick and choose what you want to send, when you want it to go, and to whom on your list it should go.
It sounds easy, but it takes time to get everything queued up properly. Make it a priority to have people on your team who organize this and allow them the time to get it done right. It’s incredibly valuable communication that clients not only need, but that they expect to get from their adviser as part of the working relationship.
Prospects need different things from you. See, they already have an adviser and hopefully one who sends them practical information on what they should to be doing to run an effective HR and benefits program.
What they need from you is to learn how you are different from their current broker. They’re looking for things that clearly show your differences from their current situation. And showing you’re different doesn’t mean saying, “Here are the 5 ways we’re different.” No, not that. Don’t TELL people you’re different, just BE different. Share thought-provoking ideas that challenge their current way of seeing a benefits package and managing an HR program.
Write, talk, and share information about topics of interest to those prospective clients. When you have defined your ideal client and put in the time and work to understand what their challenges are, then you’ve got a trove of topics you can write about that would be immediately appealing to those employers.
- Share third party articles and write your own articles about creative plan designs and cost-saving techniques they could consider.
- Explain what happens when you have access to data and how you can make different decisions about the plan design.
- Share stories about pharmacy programs and the cost savings you can create with an independent Rx vendor.
- Let them know about the benefits that are proving the most successful in attracting and retaining different generations.
- Talk about managing compliance and keeping them out of the crosshairs of the Department of Labor.
People want to know how you think before they want to do business with you. If all you’re doing is regurgitating factual information they can get from any number of sources, how are you demonstrating your ideas and showing them how you’re different? If there’s nothing noticeably distinct, why should they go through the hassle of making a broker change? It’s easiest to just stay where they are and save the trouble.
If you can show them a different approach to seeing benefits beyond the spreadsheet and you’re willing to share ideas, opinions, and advice before they ever become a client, your chances of winning them over improve significantly. Remember, prospective clients wouldn’t be out looking at options for new advisors if they were completely satisfied with what they currently have. Give them a reason to want to take a meeting with you.
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