Communication is not just important for business … it is essential for the very existence and operation of any business. A benefit adviser must transfer its knowledge to clients as well as receive information – communication consists of a mutual exchange. With the advent of technology, we have cell phones, video conferencing, and emails. However, how we use these avenues is the question we must ask ourselves.
Do you convey your message appropriately and effectively? Do you know for certain if your client understands your message? Our clients rely on us to help them make decisions that impact their bottom line. Our clients must understand, in their vernacular, why you are making the recommendations you are making. They must understand how your firm can add value and clearly see how you are making a difference.
Your client base might be similar; but, not all clients are alike. You must consider the audience before deciding what means is the best communication as well as often simplifying your vocabulary for the “non-benefit” expert. This is true for day-to-day communications and major face-to-face presentations. Misunderstanding can be anticipated and solved through asking questions and follow up. Minutes spent talking now will save time later having to clear up misunderstandings later on.
A good communication strategy will help ensure you deliver the customer service your client deserves. Your client base will know you are keeping abreast of compliance issues, competitive pricing, and all-in-all acting as their partner to manage their benefit program.
How do you communicate with your clients? What barriers do you encounter? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Beattie is president and chief executive of South Miami, Fla.-based Selden Beattie Benefit Advisors. She can be reached at 305-661-9090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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