When asked who plans to be doing the same job, in the same way, three years from now, not one broker raised a hand Tuesday during a session on growth and profitability at the 7th Annual Employee Benefit Adviser Summit.
“You have to plan for the change,” said Kevin Trokey, president and CEO of Benefits Growth Network, at the event in Phoenix. “You might not recognize your job in three years.”
Change is the only constant, and what has driven success up to this point will not necessarily drive it in the future, he said.
Trokey defined what he sees as a “typical” broker and how that role differs from what tomorrow’s business may look like. Today, the typical broker is an insurance vendor that is paid on products and commissions, he said. He or she is focused on their own interests, he added, but works hard in execution.
He sees tomorrow’s broker as a business adviser who is paid on value-based fees. He or she is focused on the client, he said, but works hard in preparation.
“Change is scary and can be intimidating,” he said. “When we think about what we want to become and we think about the future of agents it can seem so far away and so unreachable that a lot of times we can become paralyzed right where we stand.”
There are three approaches today’s brokers can take in the sales process.
- They realize their primarily role is to teach their customers. Specifically, teach them how to become a more informed buyer.
- They realize they need to tailor their sales message to the customer.
- They control the sales process, not the client.
The single worst thing a salesperson asks their client is, “So what keeps you up at night?” said Trokey. That question assumes the client knows what they need, but most often their greater need is something they’re not even aware of, he explained.
Trokey said there is one positive takeaway from health care reform. “A lot of lead performers are going to be pushed out. Mediocrity is inadequate and unacceptable,” he said, adding that now is the best time to be in the benefits industry.
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