You may not know it by its name, “Jacked Up," but you have probably seen the State Farm commercial. It’s the one where one guy is having a horrible day (finding his car stripped in the parking lot), while a young lady has the day of her life (finding her new car in the driveway). It’s a very clever look at how the same words can have entirely different meanings.

There are a lot of employers out there having really bad, “my car has been stripped” kind of days as they meet with their traditional benefits broker to receive the inevitable bad news.

But, increasingly, there are other employers out there having very unexpected and exciting, “new car in the driveway," kind of days as their forward-thinking benefits advisor delivers new strategies for their benefit program.

Same words, very different conversation

I can only imagine how these ironically similar-in-words, but oh-so-different-in-tone conversations are playing out during renewal meetings all over the country.

“Is this my renewal?!”

Distraught client of traditional broker absorbing the shock of ANOTHER unmanageable price increase.

Ecstatic client of forward-thinking advisor absorbing the news of a program that will significantly REDUCE their healthcare spend.

“This is ridiculous!!”

Distraught client realizing that not only has their budget been shattered (again), but they will also have to reduce the quality of their medical plan, AGAIN.

Ecstatic client as they anticipate the new business opportunities they can now afford AND they will actually be able to improve the quality of benefits.

“This can’t be happening!!”

Distraught client fearing the goat they are about to become to the rest of their team.

Ecstatic client anticipating the hero-status they are about to enjoy.

“Oh, it’s happening sweetheart.”

Traditional broker frustrated at the lack of options for the client but, at the same time, counting the additional commission he/she will be receiving.

Forward-thinking advisor deeply satisfied in the difference he/she made for the client and the recognition that they will likely be a client for a LONG time.

“Shut up!”

Distraught client. No, seriously, shut up and get out of my office!

Ecstatic client in respect, admiration and appreciation for having been delivered a solution they hoped for, but didn’t expect or even know existed.

“What a day.”

Distraught client feeling it just can’t get any worse, but knowing it likely will next year.

Ecstatic client recognizing one of their greatest problems has just been solved.

Distraught or Ecstatic?

What kind of renewal conversations are you having with your clients? While I don’t expect you are having the “ecstatic client” conversation with every client, I am hopeful that you are moving in this direction.

For the first time in maybe forever, there are exciting ideas and strategies being implemented by forward-thinking advisors all over the country. While it is likely too late to put them into play this renewal season, now is the perfect time to position yourself to change the tone of next year’s conversations.

Photo by Tero Vesalainen

New Call-to-action