In the never-ending quest for growing your brokerage firm organically, our 2011 Broker Services Survey really gives you a pulse of today’s industry – results represent more than 2,100 employer groups of all different sizes from around the country. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I shared some interesting stats already, but below offers more than 140 characters of detail. I can’t think of a better prospecting opportunity than to get inspired by these results and start translating your pitch of “great service” into real deliverables.
What are the top reasons employers choose brokers? It’s no real surprise that the top 3 things are 1) a broker’s ability to challenge/negotiate the renewal with the carrier, 2) exceptional service, and 3) relationship. Is that what you’re delivering? The survey delved a little deeper to find out what that really means, and responses revealed a difference between Benefits and P&C.
For P&C, the most important quality an employer is looking for is coverage and policy language expertise – only 84 percent of this group’s brokers provided this service. They valued the P&C broker who helped their organization become a more educated insurance buyer – again, only 71 percent of their brokers delivered. Finally, employers conveyed that competitive pricing was a top concern, yet only 72 percent felt they were getting it.
Employers are looking for other benefits from their P&C brokers, and yet feel they are not receiving them. Two-thirds of employers said that providing health and safety information was important. Remarkably, only 38 percent of employers felt they were receiving it. More than half also felt the P&C broker should be providing information to assist with OSHA compliance but only 27 percent followed through on this effort.
It is amazing to review what employers are stating as important and yet feel are not getting delivered. How are you promoting your ability to educate about coverages and risk, supporting a safety culture with safety programs and employee communications, and navigating complex compliance issues? I would challenge any P&C producer to make sure that these points are covered in detail at the beginning of a presentation, and what makes you the best at it. If you don’t have these answers, get them.
On the benefits side, the majority of the story is the same. The most important quality employers are looking for in a benefits firm is their ability to offer benefit plan design options and cost-saving strategies – only 74 percent felt their broker was providing this service. And expertise in finding competitive pricing? Only 81 percent felt their broker delivered. This is more than dissatisfaction with the high cost of health care; it speaks to the perception of a broker’s expertise. Focusing on your expertise to negotiate and assist with a benefits renewal is a key area that every benefits broker should be positioning in a prospect setting.
Another high-priority area for employers is regulatory and legislative updates, yet only 70 percent felt their broker delivered. Good news – virtually every broker reading this article has access to tools to set up a prospect drip-marketing campaign in just a few minutes to automatically touch all of your prospects with materials that really matter to them.
Another highly valued item for employers is communication to help employees make decisions, yet surprisingly felt only 51 percent of brokers provided this benefit.
Half of those surveyed felt sample handbooks and wellness plan assistance were important, but only a quarter of the brokers provided this effort. Almost 70 percent felt employee benefit statements are essential for a broker to provide, yet only a quarter were satisfied with their broker’s service! At the end of your presentation, are you including the solutions you have put together that speak to these issues?
Employers were also asked, “Has PPACA caused them to rely more or less on their broker for guidance and support?” Seventy percent responded MORE! Bottom line? There is a ton of growth potential for the brokerage firms focused on an insured’s rapidly changing needs and providing them with valuable services they need and want.
Finally, 27 percent of employers surveyed stated they changed brokers (P&C and/or benefits) in the last three years. Make sure you fall on the right side of that equation. Take advantage of this information and incorporate it into your presentations.