What are some of the most successful benefit advisers doing to reinvent themselves and to accelerate their revenue growth?

Addressing an employer’s major business concerns that are impacting human capital management is paramount. And in the process, these forward-thinking advisers are connecting with the business owner, CFO, or controller — not just with HR or benefits personnel. Engaging the C-suite in a strategic dialogue about what the organization is trying to accomplish with its benefits program over the next three to five years is a winning approach, especially when it gets documented in a written benefit strategic plan. The process helps the employer to develop a “roadmap” to guide all their major benefits decisions. Ultimately, it makes for a much clearer picture of what the adviser and the client are trying to accomplish together.

In some cases, firms that we work with started making changes four to five years ago, and in 2015 those firms saw their revenues grow 25-40%, resulting from an increase in new client sales and improved client retention.

Jack Kwicien

What happened with your business? Have you even analyzed your business results? Do you know what the key drivers were that caused your results to turn out as they did?

Courses of action
Given your personal motivations, age, skill sets, organizational structure, financial stability, human capital and a myriad of other considerations, certain options will likely not apply to your circumstances or you may be unwilling to pursue certain tough decisions.

Some advisers have decided to move upmarket to only pursue new accounts that are 50-plus employee lives. Others have decided to focus all their new business development efforts in one or two industry verticals. Some have invested in hiring new talent with consultative selling skills. Others are are now charging consulting fees for creating benefit strategic plans, thereby supplementing their revenues and decreasing commission dependence.

Also see: "For young brokers, 'there is no standing still.'"

We also know of a handful of visionary thought leaders who are transforming the way that healthcare is being delivered by creating their own physician networks, developing onsite medical clinics at employer worksites, launching onsite pharmacies and administering self-funded plans with provider incentives to deliver superior medical care while reducing the overall expenses of delivering healthcare. Still others have added voluntary benefits to their suite of product and service offerings. Most are by now leveraging technology to bring their clients greater value and to increase employee engagement.

So as you can see, there are lots of innovative options that have been implemented by those who are being proactive and that are changing their roles to become human capital consultants, trusted advisers, or healthcare network administrators.

The common denominator is that they all are changing and innovating, not only for their own personal gain, but also to provide greater expertise, counsel, services and solutions to their clients. That is their competitive advantage, and that is why they are taking clients away from their competitors. Perhaps you know a firm like I am describing, in which case you should be concerned. Or perhaps this is how you should be conducting business in 2016. Remaining the same in the face of all the dynamic changes in the marketplace is not an option.

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