I'm still digesting all of the learnings from the Q4Live Conference in Tampa (writing this article helps a LOT).
What a great group of consultants, speakers - and no one expected a pirate attack. Actually, it was the Gasparilla Pirate festival outside our hotel. OR maybe it was a group of panicky brokers who didn't want to lose any more clients to the expert advisors collected at the La Meridian Hotel.
The conference was packed with insight that I've boiled down to a list of my 4 big takeaways….
1. "What got us here, will not get us where we want to go!"
That's a direct quote from Tony Moore who reminded us the best brokers are leaders willing to embrace and implement new strategies. The days of the "superhero" leaders are gone. Creating a culture of collaborative, interdependent leadership teams within your organization positions you to not only survive, but grow as our industry continues to change.
2. Many solutions are already in place.
Just in case anyone was actually expecting "something terrific" might still come from Washington, Dave Chase drove home this point: it's on us to fix it. Dave challenged us to see many of the necessary solutions are already in place such as direct primary care, price transparency on tests, procedures and prescriptions and other consumerism tools. The real work for benefit consultants is scaling these solutions across the country and helping clients understand and use them.
3. Don't be the "me too" broker.
Any broker can quote products to groups. Be the consultant that listens and strategizes to overcome the pain points you hear from your clients. Your groups aren't always going to ask you for what they want or need - sometimes they don't even know. But, ask them questions and they will tell you what the problems are. In The Sales Bible, Jeff Gitomer says, "Questions are to sales as breath is to life. If you fail to ask them, you will die. If you ask them incorrectly, your death won't be immediate, but it's inevitable."
As a consultant. it's your job to ask, listen for clues on what's needed and bring new ideas to the table. Don't come at the issues with a new product, but show them a strategy and how it will impact their bottom line.
At freshbenies, our least successful brokers are product-oriented. They pitch ideas like telehealth and advocacy services as a product. Our most successful brokers are solutions-oriented. They ask lots of questions to develop a "Needs Assessment" which they use to pitch ideas like telehealth and advocacy services as a set of solutions. Click here to read Reid's tips to overcome a common mistake brokers make.
4. Implement new ideas in phases.
Great conferences can send you home anxious to share all the thoughts swirling around in your brain. Get an ROI from the expense of the conference and travel by taking learnings back to your team - but don't drown them in all of your new ideas. Take time to reflect on your biggest takeaways and prioritize the ones that make the most sense to tackle first.
Which ideas align best with your team's current goals, processes, and workload? Rather than trying to do it all at once, plan a phased approach. Own the ideas you're looking to implement by sharing the vision with your team. Give them space to voice their thoughts and you'll gain greater buy-in and momentum.
I was so impressed by the collaborative environment at the Q4Live Conference. It was evidenced by the sharing of ideas during the networking time and workshop tables on the final day. This industry needs more of its greatest minds coming together and openly sharing ideas to improve healthcare in this country.
Now it's your turn! What was your top takeaway from Q4Live? How do you approach prioritizing new ideas and implementing them effectively? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.