How do you view and treat your carrier reps and service providers? Many of us treat them as vendors:
- Having unrealistic expectations regarding proposal turnaround time
- Requesting an RFP on every case even if the industry, size or product is not an appropriate fit
- Always negotiating and grinding for the best price knowing they will not get the business
These actions tend to strain relationships and reduce the probability of mutual success. Perhaps we should consider treating them, much like we do our clients . . . as a strategic partner. What does that mean?
- Understanding their competencies, core markets and work flow timelines
- Treating them with respect
- Not expecting or demanding the impossible
- Requesting RFP's that fall within their core market
Their resources are limited, much like ours, and much more can be accomplished by working with them as strategic partners.
To demonstrate our commitment to our strategic partners, on October 20, our company will host our "10th Annual Strategic Partner Appreciation Night". This is a catered event where we invite all of our strategic partners to our home as a way of thanking them for their support and contribution to our success throughout the year.
We have between 60-80 attendees, many of whom come from around the country. These include our local carrier reps, underwriters and owners of service providers. We provide a variety of prizes including a first place prize consisting of two nights at any Starwood Hotel plus $250 in cash.
How often do benefit consultants or producers acknowledge the support they receive from their strategic partners? Probably not often enough!
The question to you is, would you prefer working with a strategic partner or Vendor?
Torelli, CLU, ChFC, MSFS is president of Los Angeles-based e3 Financial.
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