Trying to be all things to all people is a recipe for failure. Does that mantra hold true for brokers and advisers today? Yes ... and no.

"Obamacare" isn't structurally changing our health care system; it's fundamentally transforming the financing mechanism with more than 25,000 pages of regulation.

With the financial meltdown of 2008 and the painful memories it left behind, business leaders aren't looking for a broker - they want someone they can trust, someone who understands their business and how employee benefits fits in with their business strategy. They are looking for someone who has a firm grasp on the market, and also want to know their adviser understands their goals, objectives and challenges and will tailor solutions to their vision.

It is important to know your clients intimately, understand the industries they represent, the size segments they occupy and the impact "Obamacare" will have on them and their employees once the law is fully implemented. As an adviser, understanding the markets you serve will help you shape your value proposition to serve those markets - and in the process, you will become a specialty niche player and a trusted strategic adviser. Great success comes when you find your passion and use it to serve a target market.

Is it necessary to develop a specialty in today's market?

If our P&C brethren have taught us anything, it is that we must become a master and not a generalist. Those who become masters are three times more successful than those who try to be all things to all people.


Most definitely, yes! By definition, a niche is a specialized or specific market that can allow you to become an expert and get noticed easier than going mass market. In other words, you can get bigger by making your world smaller.


I am a proponent. ... You need to decide where you can bring the greatest value.

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