Part 1 – Health Insurance Broker Referral Programs – What Do Brokers Want in a Provider?

By Josh DavisReferral Network

As we wrapped up exhibiting at the Benefits Selling Expo earlier in the month, and announced our referral program, I asked myself “Why are brokers not creating more relationships with regional payroll service bureaus or workforce management solution providers?”

There is a clear synergy between the two groups that allows each party to better service their clients. However, both sides take a very reactionary approach to partnering. If a broker is about to lose business to a national player offering not just benefits, but payroll and other workforce management-related services, they find a regional payroll provider to partner with in order to compete and win or keep the business. Alternatively, the payroll providers see a few brokers reach out to them, and in turn, reach out to a few other brokers to offer services to their clients. Neither party is taking a strategic approach to make referral programs a key part of how they regularly operate.

As provider of payroll and other workforce management services, you need to make sure these brokers understand why it makes sense to consistently work with a company like yours. Additionally, you’ll want to cover why your technology is the ideal platform for brokers to have their clients on, but we’ll cover that specifically in part two. And as a result of ensuring they have this understanding, they’ll be more likely to partner with you and refer your group a higher percentage of their client bases.

Here’s what we find brokers are looking for in a company like yours that you should already know:

A non-competitive provider – Based on your business model, you exist solely to provide payroll and workforce management solutions or services. You’re not in the business of providing benefit brokerage services, and nor will you be in the future. You won’t plan on cutting out the brokers like many of the national players have begun to do over the past few years. And if you are providing benefit brokerage services… you may not want to target this industry as part of your referral program.

Provision of a wide-array of payroll and HR services – By working together, you can collectively offer a wider array of workforce management-type services. Workforce management may not resonate with them though, so it may need to be positioned as payroll and HR services, which we’ll get more in to during part two. If they provide the benefits, you should be able to basically cover the rest of the workforce management gamut, and ensure that together, you’re offering the depth of services that the national providers are already offering and stealing their business with.

Help in increasing client retention rates and overall sales – Through offering this wider-array of services, brokers have access to more than just benefits in their tool belt. When prospective or existing customers demonstrate needs for more than just benefits, the brokers don’t have to react. They should already have a relationship with you set up to take advantage of the ability to provide solutions for these additional needs, while securing the benefits business they have or were after.

A service-oriented company located nearby – Being a regional provider, you should already be working the territory of the broker(s) you’re talking to, and have a majority of your client base located in that area. In their eyes, you should be a specialist with providing your services in that municipality, state, region, etc. There’s a level of comfort achieved on their end knowing that you’re not a company that’s located on the other side of the country, and if need be, they can drive to come see you or vice versa. At the same time, it’s important to share that although you’re a regional provider, you still have clients across the US. Many of these brokers can have clients with hundreds of employees that are in locations throughout the country, and they need to know you can handle that.

At the end of the day, they’re moving to more of a service-oriented approach as a result of the changes to the healthcare industry, and they need a provider that can deliver an exceptional level of service to their clients. They need to trust you and feel confident that their clients will be in good hands, and satisfied with the level of service and relationship this broker introduced them to.

Covering the rest and allowing them to focus on the business of their business – By working with you, brokers should be able to stop worrying about if they can continue to compete with national payroll providers, and focus solely on the business of their business – group benefits. While you’re covering their clients’ workforce-related needs, they can concentrate on providing their clients with the benefit plans.

Once you provide them with this information, they’ll still be asking themselves, “What makes them different than any other payroll provider?” The answer to this question lies in part two of this series, your technology, and how, with it, you’re going to improve the way they run their business. You can make it even easier for them to provide greater service through your technology while capitalizing on more benefit opportunities.

Are there any other aspects of your company or business model that you deem important to educate brokers on? Feel free to insert your thoughts in the comments section below this post.

About Josh Davis:

Josh is the Marketing Manager at SaaShr responsible for increasing the growth of existing channel partners and the recruitment of new channel partners while positioning the SaaShr brand in the market through the development of both traditional and digital marketing endeavors.


One thought on “Part 1 – Health Insurance Broker Referral Programs – What Do Brokers Want in a Provider?

  1. Pingback: Change is in the Air for Benefits Brokers, And It’s a Great Opportunity for Service Bureaus | Workforce Management Channel

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