As part of my work to help employers better manage employee absence and disability, I’ve worked with a lot of brokers. I’ve been part of all aspects of the sales process, from responding to RFP questions to presenting at post-sale implementation meetings. During these interactions, I’ve learned that some brokers have a good grasp of their client’s disability management problems and how to meet their needs, while others are less tuned in to the details.
Having a strong understanding of your client and their organization’s challenges with disability management can do a lot for your business relationship. While many employers and brokers think that disability insurance is just a commonplace benefit, a comprehensive disability program can make a difference for your clients.
Ahead of your next check-in meeting, refresh your disability sales approach and better meet your client’s needs by doing the following:
Dig in to your clients’ pain points
While you may have an idea of some of the things on your clients’ minds, do you really know what aspects of disability management are keeping them up at night? There is a lot that may be going on behind the scenes that is causing your clients a lot of time and, potentially, frustration. Often, your clients may not even know that disability carriers can help solve some of these challenges, including:
- Managing ADAAA accommodations and complying with federal regulations
- Administering and tracking FMLA leave
- Helping employees return to work after a disability
- Engaging employees experiencing health issues before they go out on leave
Make benchmarking data your friend
When an employee goes out on a disability leave, an employer’s first question is usually: When is the employee coming back to work? When selling a new disability carrier, data points around employees’ disability leaves — including disability incidence, duration and average cost — can be impactful. I always recommend brokers use data sources, including those from the Integrated Benefits Institute, to benchmark the customer’s current data alongside a carrier’s data. These numbers can show how a carrier could help reduce the overall strain they may be experiencing in regard to employee disability leaves.
Know the key stakeholders
When finding a disability management solution, it’s important to know the key players in an organization. Aside from your main contact who helps manage and administer benefits, are there other people who are key in helping manage disability? Is there an ADAAA coordinator who helps with accommodations or a point person for FMLA leaves? Does the organization have a facilities services department that helps source equipment?
An important aspect when onboarding a new program is to make sure that everyone — from upper management to facilities services — is involved and understands the accommodations process. They also will have unique perspectives that can help tailor a disability management plan to align with that organization’s existing policies and procedures.
These are just a few approaches to take when refreshing your approach to disability sales. Not only can it make your client relationships stronger, you also can feel good in knowing that you’re helping your clients chart a path for employees who may be in need of assistance to stay at work or return to work after a disability.
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