For an employee benefits broker, prospecting often means convincing the employer to fire the incumbent broker. This isn’t an easy task, especially since most brokers are quoting the same plans from the same carriers. However, there are ways to differentiate and show prospects that you can provide better service and support than their current broker.
One of the most effective ways to defeat an incumbent broker is by asking the right questions. Prospects may not respond to a hard sell about what makes your agency superior, but asking targeted questions can accomplish the same goal. This strategy can pique the prospect’s interest, keep them engaged throughout the sales process and help you close the deal.
This blog offers 16 questions to ask your prospect throughout the sales cycle, to help unseat the incumbent broker and secure the BOR.
During the cold call / first meeting
- What is your opinion of your current benefits renewal process?
- What do you like and dislike about your annual benefits renewal?
- How long have you been with your current broker, and what made you choose him/her?
- How does your broker help manage rising health costs?
- How does your broker help support and keep you up-to-date on important compliance concerns, including health care reform?
- Has your broker ever suggested you consider self-funding as a mechanism to better control costs?
- Has your broker suggested creative ways to manage costs, such as different contribution strategies, high-deductible plans, etc.?
- When you go through your benefits renewal process, are you confident you made the best decision for your bottom line?
- Do you feel you are currently offering a competitive benefits plan that helps you attract and retain top talent?
- What are your big-picture goals when it comes to your benefits package?
- Has your broker talked to you about a strategic 3-5 year plan for your benefits, to maximize your budget while providing the best plan possible for your employees?
- What are your concerns or challenges related to your employee benefits package?
During a final presentation
- You mentioned before that _____ is a challenge you face in terms of benefits planning. How does your current broker support you in that area?
- Are there any areas that you’d like more support than you’re currently receiving from your broker, such as HR, employee communications, compliance, wellness, etc.?
- Now that you’ve seen our approach to benefits planning, how does it compare to your current broker?
- Do you know how much you pay your existing broker? If so, do you feel you’re getting enough value for your investment?
Asking targeted questions is an effective sales tool, but there are many other techniques and strategies you may want to try. Check out this list of 38 unique sales strategies to unseat the incumbent broker and win more BORs.