When you think of client diversity, what comes to mind? Do you believe being a generalist is the appropriate course for your future?
My firm, e3 Financial, is the antithesis of market diversity. For the past decade our focus has been working exclusively with middle market, entrepreneurial service companies in select industry groups. The common thread that runs through all of our clients is their investment in their human capital. They tend to hire the best and brightest and are concerned with the quality of their benefit offering.
There are many advantages of market specialization, such as significant improvement in client retention; an increase in the average revenue per employee; and the ability to develop a trusted adviser relationship with clients.
I believe we all need to ask ourselves the following questions:
* What types of clients provide the highest level of satisfaction?
* What type of clients are the most enjoyable to work with?
* For what type of clients can we provide the greatest value?
* What types of clients provide the greatest rewards for us?
It's important to evaluate where you are and determine where you want to go. Specialization or diversity - it's for you to decide.
What can be done about the lack of diversity in the benefits industry?
Try genuine mindfulness about hiring and culture. Get out of the country club mindset. Does every lunch and dinner conversation have to include golf and college sports? Broaden the discussion!
A concerted effort to provide minority scholarships to minority students to bring awareness of this great industry.
Diversity happens when our minds are open and we are willing to "think differently." Our industry needs to do more to promote a career in employee benefits at the college level.
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