How do you make the most of mid-year client reviews?
It’s a great opportunity to step back, re-evaluate, and talk about future “what-ifs” - without the frantic last-minute decisions or late-night convos about when those elusive cards will arrive.
I contend the Coronavirus makes this year’s reviews more valuable than ever. Many employers have had the inertia shaken out of them and will be more open-minded to new strategies.
Here are 4 ideas to help make the most of your mid-year efforts….
1. Address the issues head-on with power questions
Do you have a tough time getting clients to talk about their real issues? Try these five magic questions I learned from a business consultant friend. She says these plus a strong dose of curiosity will always lead to rich conversations.
- What’s right?
- What’s wrong?
- What’s missing?
- What’s confusing?
- What is there too much of or too little of?
Too often, as salespeople, we fear directly asking about the pain points because we believe it indicates we’re not doing a good job. Instead, view it as an opportunity to demonstrate your attention to their real concerns and needs – and your ability to deliver solutions.
2. Engage with all the benefits already in place
Due to COVID-19 and “sheltering in place,” it’s likely you’ll hear (or have already) about the jillions of employee questions concerning how to engage the healthcare system. From those who had to stop voluntary surgeries and reschedule tests to others who needed to find new (quality) doctors that were open and accepting patients, it’s been a challenge. As the healthcare system “opens back up again” we can expect a counter set of questions.
These complaints aren’t really new. The National Business Group on Health continues to report one of the biggest complaints from America’s largest companies is that although they provide many benefits, their people don’t know how to engage with them.
How do you respond to your clients? What strategy can drive the right behaviors the moment issues arise? It’s time for a premium-level advocacy program that’s personalized for every employer and every employee.
A dedicated Advocacy Health Pro can take care of your client better and faster than your team can…
- Billions of cost and quality data points (literally, 6 billion+ data points)
- Full profile of all the benefits each employee has
- Expert training for high-touch consulting through the healthcare journey
And by connecting members to smarter healthcare decisions, better choices and better care, the end result is better use of claims dollars. Click here for a simple infographic to use in your discussion.
Walk your client through the strategy of installing advocacy services at mid-year so the advocate can be tapped for all the questions that come up during open enrollment. That’s better than an Advil at reducing a future headache!
3. Introduce non-medical solutions
The calmness of a mid-year review affords you time to discuss options that often get buried during the chaos of enrollment time.
One broker I know starts the conversation with a chart of survey results highlighting the two dozen most common benefits, and says, “Here are programs that similar companies have – what stands out to you?”
I know the idea of installing too many voluntary options can make your head spin. Three of the top benefits on that broker’s list are Legal, ID Theft Protection, and Pet benefits. With simplicity as the goal, we’ve bundled these services as easy options to our base packages. Mid-year review is a perfect time to unhurriedly discuss The Security Pack (with Legal Savings and ID Theft Protection) or The Pet Pack (with $0 visit Pet Telehealth and Pet Savings) as an easy way to deliver your existing freshbenies clients a few valuable benefits from the list without needing another vendor, a different invoice, or another “minimum production” number.
4. Take this time to prospect
I just read a sales and marketing article titled, “Generating referrals is your highest payoff activity right now.” The author contends that while many companies will be out of business, it means many clients have lost their advisor (or lost trust in their advisor) and will be looking for a new and trustworthy expert.
Use the A.S.K. Principle: Ask and you will receive; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will open (my first sales mentor would be so happy that I quoted this).
Sometimes it’s helpful to give your client something of value to pass along with an introduction. You know, something better than a business card. In today’s remote-work environment, one of the best is a timely infographic or article. But make it easy for them. Feed your client some sample language, like...
“I was talking this week with Jane Smith, one of my advisors, about a couple things:
- how to better support our employees in a time of coronavirus by helping them navigate healthcare better, and
- the nuances of Rx price increases this year, and what we can do to address it.
I’ve attached a couple infographics that I thought you might like. It reminded me of our last conversation… would you like to talk with her?”
Wondering what to send as a resource? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Employee Benefits Consumerism Tools. Do a fast search on “infographic” (5 options) or “chart” (7 options). You’ll find something to support the bullets you’d write for your client.
Remember, the goal is to open a conversation so you can delve into that employer’s issues. Hey, you might even jump up to tip # 1 above and ask them the five magic questions.
And just like that, it’s circular – you sold your client, a mid-year strategy session re-sells her, which proves your value as a trusted advisor, and leads to a key introduction to your next new client.
Now it’s your turn! What makes for successful mid-year strategy conversations with your clients? How do you approach mid-year prospecting opportunities this year? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.