It is almost 2015 and the start of brand new year. You and every other group producer have completed the incredibly hectic fourth quarter renewals, which accounted for 60% or more of your business. If you want to significantly increase your business in 2015 you will have to make some decisions.

It is impossible to double your income if your value proposition is that you provide better service, offer more value-added services or that you are best equipped to help the prospect maneuver through the Affordable Care Act. And talking about saving money on a company’s health insurance is a losing proposition, with 60% of the market off of the table.

You may add one to three new groups, but competing on those terms is expensive. I suggest that you begin by identifying a new product that can make a difference and that is not already being sold by the majority of your competitors.

I would personally avoid products like critical illness, accident, dental and disability income. It is not that these are bad products, but that they are already being sold by a lot of your competitors. Another product that I would avoid is the insured gap plan. Any and all of these products position you as being like everyone else.  It is also important that your choice of product offer a strong renewal income that can be the basis of a residual income. Once you have identified your product (or service) focus and the need that it meets, simply follow these steps:

  • Call you best clients and explain that you have an idea that you would like to share and why. In the group market, I suggest that you avoid an employer-paid benefit and focus on employee-paid.
  • Complete the enrollment and insure that your contacts within the group are happy.
  • Connect on LinkedIn with all the individuals involved in the decision-making and management role.
  • Using LinkedIn, identify 10 to 20 potential referrals.
  • Thirty to sixty days after enrollment, visit with the group decision-maker and accomplish these two tasks:

1)      Get a testimonial.
2)      Using your LinkedIn referral list, have your contact identify the individuals he/she knows well and secure permission to contact.

If you are following the LinkedIn lead system, each client should result in four to seven really good referrals. With referrals in hand, begin to contact each one explaining that you just helped your client accomplish some goal and you would like an opportunity to discuss how this product or service can help them.  

Do not, under any circumstances, say that you are a benefit consultant or talk about benefits in any way.

The reason for using a product or service not typically being sold is to avoid being categorized as a group health agent. By not talking “employee benefits” or “group health,” I get the opportunity to talk prospects without hearing any of the following objections:

  • We are happy with our agent
  • Our agent handles all of the benefits
  • We just finished our enrollment, so call us in a year

Using this approach, you should get one to two appointments for every five referrals. Secure permission to add everyone else to your newsletter list and connect with them on LinkedIn. For every four appointments you should end up with two new clients. A certain percentage of your new clients will ultimately give you all of their benefits, many in the first year.
Try this approach and it will change everything.

Schlesinger is an independent consultant focused on helping benefit professionals double their income. Reach him at (336) 777-3938 or through getmoregroupclients.com.

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