Selling Employee Benefits in 2021

Robert Crowder, founder and President of The Benefits Trust, has over 30 years of experience serving pension and employee benefits clients. In 1994, he founded The Benefits Trust as a Third Party Administrator serving small and mid-sized business across Canada. Through Rob Crowder's dedication and leadership, The Benefits Trust has grown into the successful benefits provider that it is today.

Selling Employee Benefits in 2021

It’s no secret that the world is undergoing extraordinary events, which are changing the way that we live and function. These changes extend to the world of insurance and employee benefits plans – and when faced with changes, we must either fold or adapt.

How can we thrive in the current climate? What steps should be taken to excel in this newfound reality? We know that sales can be incredibly rewarding, yet incredibly frustrating. It’s not uncommon for those working in sales to experience an entire range of emotions before the clock shows noon! Let’s discuss some of the measures we can take to minimize those frustrations while maximizing the rewards.

Focus on the Future

Selling, in essence, is engaging someone in a future result that’s good for them. That means that you want to be future-focused in a way that adds value for your prospect. Simply asking future-based questions is an invaluable tool that you have at your disposal.

If we were meeting here three years from today, what has to have happened for you to say this has been the best three years of your life?

This is a fantastic question that can prompt phenomenal conversations. It puts your prospect or client into a future-based mindset, and their response provides you with a clear roadmap of where they’re headed and what their goals are, so that you can offer a future result that’s good for them. Whether they hope to expand their business, introduce new products, tackle new markets, or change their alliances, understanding where they’re headed is the key to adding value for your prospects.

What if they refuse to answer? Well, then they’re probably not a prospect. If they won’t engage with you or tell you where they’re headed in the future, it will likely be difficult to work with them. Ontario is flush with businesses, which means that the prospects are endless. Knowing when to move on and invest your time where it counts is a valuable skill to master!

Make It Quick

Rambling is never a good sales technique. An effective sales call, in our opinion, looks like this:

  • Tell your prospect what you can do for them
  • Ask them a future-based question
  • Be quiet and listen!

Begin by telling your prospect how you can be valuable to them. Be sure to present your value in a way that makes sense. A strong qualifying statement that creates value and showcases what you can do for your prospects is essential. Our go-to qualifying statement showcases that we create custom, personalized solutions for our clients, in a manner that highlights its exclusivity:

We help our clients to build a better benefits plan than they can get anywhere else.

You can then ask them about their future goals to determine how specifically you can help them to achieve those goals. Our Advisor Resource Centre includes a list of 101 great sales questions to help you out.

Delivering a qualifying statement and asking a question shouldn’t take more than ten seconds. Simply be quiet, listen to their answers, and you’re well on your way to converting a prospect into a client.

Work Your Sales Plan

Many advisors have responded to the pandemic by sitting back and waiting, with the intention to continue selling once things are back to normal. This is a mistake! Periods of change are historically the best times to sell benefits, and this pandemic is no exception. You grow or you die; it’s that simple. Use this time to work your plan and grow your business.

Determine your target market and focus 80% of your efforts within it. Decisions are made differently for different groups, so understanding your market and their values is key to making sales. Successful business owners achieve their successes because they’re only interested in buying from experts. So, become an expert in your target market.

Your target market can come from any sort of grouping whether it’s location, industry, employee count, age of the business, or any other factor. Once you determine your target market, Scott’s Directories is a leading Canadian business database with minimal investment that’s up-to-date and easy to use, which allows you to search by different parameters and create a prospect list almost instantly.

Prospecting Virtually

Many have looked at the shift to virtual work as a burden, but the truth is, it may just be a blessing! Prospects are far more likely to agree to a 10-minute Zoom meeting than inviting you into their office, and the time and expenses you save on travel speak for themselves. Zoom (or other online platforms) are easy and acceptable ways to meet in modern business, so becoming proficient in your platform of choice is crucial.

There are plenty of online resources available to help you to master virtual meeting technology and platforms. Many people have put together a home office in the past year, but of equal importance is setting up a functional Zoom studio: invest in good lighting, a good microphone, and a backdrop to ensure you remain professional and free of unforeseen hiccups.

Marketing Techniques in a New Reality

Usually, if an advisor is frustrated, it means that they simply don’t have enough meetings. To get more meetings, you have to ask. Build your brand, be professional, and make use of the many platforms and techniques at your disposal. Consider employing some of the following:

  • Harness social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
  • Use the telephone, send an email, send hand-written notes through first-class mail
  • Write a blog, record a webinar, create a podcast
  • Host online events, do online charity work, join community clubs
  • Write industry articles, write a book

Any step that works to increase your engagement with your target audience, and/or increase your expert status within your industry, is a step worth taking.

Once you’ve established a system that works, repeat it as many times as you need to in order to reach your goals. If for every 100 asks you get 10 meetings, and every 10 meetings results in 2 sales, you can work backwards to determine exactly what you need to do to reach your target sales numbers.

Stop worrying about what can go wrong and get excited about what can go right! Remember: if you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

Contact The Benefits Trust today to learn more about how you can thrive in the current reality, and utilize this time of change to your advantage!

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