Why advisers may need to tailor their message
Stop thinking of communication with employers as one-size-fits-all. That’s just not the case.
Employers in different stages of a relationship with you need different types of communication relevant to that relationship. The employer may be a client, an active prospect or someone just looking. Take time to be mindful of that status and communicate accordingly.
Clients already have made the commitment to working with you so they likely already trust you to help them make good decisions about their HR and benefits. They want you to continue to help them create a program that runs well, stays in compliance and, honestly, is fairly easy to manage.
Employers in this stage need you to provide practical tools, resources and information that will help them successfully manage their programs and effectively communicate with their employees.
They also need updates on legislative changes, reminders on dates and deadlines, how-to plans on getting ready for form filings, health and wellness tips for employees and reminders on how to use their benefits.
There are some great content providers in the industry that offer a steady stream of information throughout the year. Some providers send a full package of information out on your behalf. With others, you can pick and choose what you want to send and where and when it should be sent.
It sounds easy, but it takes time to get everything queued up properly. Make it a priority to have people on your team organize this and allow them the time to get it done right. Clients need and expect to get this information as part of your working relationship.
Talking to prospects
Prospects of all types need a different approach because in almost all cases, they already have an adviser.
What they need from you is to learn how you are different from their current broker and how you’ll improve their current situation. To do that takes more than simply saying: “Here are the five ways we’re different.” Don’t tell people you’re different, show them you are. Share thought-provoking ideas that challenge the way they look at managing an HR program.
When you put in the time to understand what a prospect’s challenges are, then you’ve got a trove of topics to share information about that would be immediately appealing. Some suggestions:
· Share third-party articles and write your own about creative plan designs and cost-saving techniques the prospect should consider.
· Explain what happens when you have access to data and how you can make different decisions about plan design.
· Share stories about pharmacy programs and the cost savings you can create with an independent prescription drug vendor.
· Let them know about the benefits that are proving the most successful in attracting and retaining different generations.
· Talk about managing compliance and keeping them out of the crosshairs of the Department of Labor.
People want to know how you think before they will do business with you. If all you’re doing is regurgitating factual information they can get from any number of sources, you aren’t demonstrating your ideas and showing them how you’re different. If there’s nothing noticeably distinct, why should the prospect go through the hassle of making a broker change? It’s easiest to just stay where they are and save the trouble.
If you can show prospects a different approach and you’re willing to share ideas, opinions, and advice before they become a client, your chances of winning them over improve significantly.
Remember, prospective clients wouldn’t be out looking at options for new advisers if they were completely satisfied with what they currently have. Give them a reason to want to take a meeting with you.