There is a stark difference between a sales person pitching products to meet monthly goals and an advisor working with clients to help them create better business results. The primary difference is the willingness to say things to prospective clients that they may not want to hear, but are in their best interest.
And when we think of Josh Butler, we think Advisor. Hands down. He puts himself in a position to always be learning, accepting new ideas, and expanding his circle so he can help his clients stay ahead.
As much as he takes in, he gives back in at least equal measure. He’s always there to offer an idea, take a call, respond to a question.
Helping others is truly his calling, but don’t expect him to just say what you want to hear. Josh pulls no punches and says the things that needs to be said, but doing so in a respectful way that leads to better decision-making and ultimately better results.
And speaking of results, we are all are better as a result of having Josh in the Q4iNetwork!
Q4i: At a time when so many brokers/agencies seem to be selling and getting out of the business, you decided to jump into it. What’s your motivation?
JB: Well, I’ve worked in the insurance industry for almost 12 years, but just decided about four years ago to exclusively focus on health insurance and healthcare consulting. At that time, my wife Allison, who also has experience in the insurance industry, and I decided to start our own brokerage and consulting firm.
More than anything, seeing how healthcare has stolen, and continues to steal the American dream away from so many people, is my biggest motivation to jump into this frying pan. The number one reason individuals file bankruptcy in this country is because of medical debt, and I wanted to do something about that.
It’s easy for us to point out the problems and challenges that we all face in our healthcare system, but I didn’t want to just be a siren, I wanted to be part of a solution for people.
- Helping a family, that yesterday was paying $350 per month for a medication for their child and is now paying $12 per month, is what motivates me.
- Showing an employer how they can literally eliminate an employee’s deductible on a knee surgery, that motivates me.
- Showing people how to access top notch healthcare at a fraction of the price, that motivates me.
No matter what happens in our healthcare system, one thing is for sure: people still need to see doctors, take medications, get tests done, and have surgeries. I feel more fulfilled now than ever before in my career because we are helping people get great care at a lower price.
Q4i: You take a very straightforward approach to working with clients, not holding back on information and details. Do you find employers appreciate this style or are they turned off by it?
JB: I hope I’ve never had an employer be “turned off” by our approach, although I do make almost every single one of them mad during our early conversations. Mad at our healthcare/health insurance systems – the way they operate, make money, pay brokers, hide conflicts of interest, deliver care, and grossly underperform.
But that anger frequently acts as the needed catalyst to meaningful change. I believe that all people, not just our clients, should be able to easily access a transparent and fairly priced healthcare system. So, it’s pretty common for me to share information with employers who aren’t our clients, and even share information and details with other brokers/consultants.
Q4i is an organization setting the standard in this area. I love the fact that I can dial up another Q4i colleague and share ideas, ask questions, or discuss a particular problem we’re facing. Just being able to talk through situations with other innovative consultants is priceless.
Q4i: What has been your most ah-ha realization in building out the organization over the last couple of years?
JB: That delegating duties and responsibilities to others in the organization is not only smart, but more profitable for the organization as a whole. We do our best to allow our team to focus on where they excel. For me, and for a couple of others, it’s sales. For Alli and our service team, it’s service.
Everyone stays happy and energized because they’re not stuck doing work they don’t enjoy. We work in a “both/and” world on so many levels, including professionally. It takes both sales and service to succeed in our business, and I think we have a great equilibrium.
You might have seen a recent LinkedIn series I did over several days where I introduced our organization and had a few funny things to say about everyone. We’re very proud of our team, and getting closer and closer to finding our stride.
Q4i: What has your peer group in Q4i meant for your development?
JB: For starters, it’s opened my eyes to new innovations and ideas that I wish I could take credit for myself! Some of these people never cease to amaze me with solutions they have either discovered or developed themselves for their clients. I’ve really enjoyed the camaraderie within Q4i. Kevin and Wendy and the whole organization have helped us with internal processes, agency valuation, planning, and sales training that is tailor made for our agency.
And equally cool, we’ve made many lifelong friends that we hope will last even beyond our careers.
Earlier I mentioned just being able to talk through challenges or concepts with other innovators being priceless. It truly is. I hope I’ve helped some of my colleagues as much as they’ve helped me.
Q4i: What piece of advice would you offer other agency owners running a shop in an area mostly populated with smaller businesses?
JB: Just don’t fall into the trap of believing that innovative ideas are only for large employer groups. There is so much that can be done to help small employers and their employees. Stay creative and stand out, don’t be afraid to be different. You might not win every case, but the cases you do win will be like-minded and philosophically aligned partners. The ones you want, anyway!
Josh Butler, President, Butler Benefits & Consulting
Josh Butler is President of Butler Benefits & Consulting in Amarillo, Texas. Motivated by the crushing cost of health benefits on families and employers, he helps his clients shift the way they think about healthcare and health insurance, allowing them to realize the importance of managing the healthcare supply chain. He works with employer groups to actively influence this type of change within his community every day.
Blog photo by Geralt