Create a differentiator in the market by negotiating your compensation based on performance. Most advisers still get paid based on a commission percentage. As the health plan rates increase, so does the broker compensation. Most employers are beginning to ask themselves, ‘What’s wrong with this equation?’

What if you proposed a different arrangement, one based on achieving certain defined metrics for success? For example, negotiate to maintain a flat fee-based compensation. In addition to that, if you save your client, say, $200,000 from the prior year, you agree to a 70/30 split, which would provide a $60,000 bonus to your compensation. You could define performance standards to achieve in other areas as well and develop adviser incentives for realizing them.

Also see:Key insights from EBA’s 2015 Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising.

This fresh way of looking at your compensation will also lead to important conversations with your client about expectations and the goals and objectives of their employee benefit program.

How can you achieve success if you don’t mutually define what success looks like? Now, memorialize that on paper and commit to it by having some skin in the game. If you are committed to the long-term success of your client’s benefits program, and therefore looking to secure a long-term relationship, this seems like a win-win to me.    

Beattie is an EBA advisory board member and president and chief executive of South Miami, Fla.-based Selden Beattie Benefit Advisors. Reach her at (305) 661-9090 or

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