Now more than ever employers are looking for their broker to be a trusted adviser, which means producers are carrying the weight of heavy client expectations on their shoulders.
Therefore, brokers need to know what their client’s needs are, prioritize those needs and tackle them one at a time. “If you do it all at once, you won’t be that trusted source for a client,” said Joe Donlan, senior vice president at Connecture, Thursday during EBA’s Workplace Benefits Renaissance in New Orleans.
A broker must think like an employer and employee to understand all the decisions an individual needs to make. “We need to think about how do you come together as a trusted adviser, technology provider and carrier to solve and address each of the related questions an individual is faced with,” Donlan said. “The consumer journey. We have to keep that in mind. What is the array of benefits” they’ll need.
Four key areas
The four key areas to conquer, Donlan said, are keeping up to date on legislation, being retail-orientated, utilizing data and analytics, and increasing engagement.
- Legislation: Although brokers cannot predict the future, Donlan asked a packed room to think how many times someone has been asked about Trumpcare since the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Almost 75% of hands went up. “What is important as trusted advisers is to start having an informed opinion,” he said. “We need to be knowledgeable enough to have a discussion with our clients.”
- Retail-oriented: The U.S. has become “Amazon Primed,” where everyone wants everything now. It is a similar expectation in healthcare, such as someone waiting at an emergency room and getting frustrated.
- Data and analytics: Donlan said to focus on customer population data, knowing the makeup of a company.
- Engagement: This relates to the “age-old problem of millennials,” Donlan said. “They dominate the workforce.” Therefore, advisers need to look not only at their traditional mechanisms but also their digital market strategy.
Brian Drummon, vice president of Walton Insurance Group in Jackson, Mich., who attended the session, agreed with Donlan’s message. “You need to be effective in” all areas, Drummon said. “It is no longer OK to be good at one area and ignore the other areas.”
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