A recent study conducted by The Health Research Institute, found that overall, organizations in 2018 are projected to see a 6.5% growth in medical costs. Zooming in and looking at the specific premiums employers will be covering, the same study predicted they will see a 20% increase in family coverage premiums. To curb these rising medical and healthcare costs, employers are increasingly moving away from more traditional fully-funded options to self-fund their own insurance plans. During this transition, employers rely heavily on the expertise of their insurance broker to navigate these waters.
As a health insurance broker with clients that rely on your expertise, it’s of the utmost importance that you make the most out of every meeting. At Springbuk, we work with dozens of brokers, and we have noticed some common themes as to how they approach client meetings and communication. Here are some of our best tips and tricks from brokers across the country.
Despite your best efforts, you may only see most of your clients face-to-face once or twice a year. With such a small window of opportunity to build and maintain good relationships with clients, it is imperative that you show up prepared for these client meetings. We work with brokers nationwide, and we’ve observed that the most successful brokers attack these meetings with a couple things in mind.
Healthcare brokers are scheduling pre-meeting calls to confirm the meeting agenda, and ensure everyone is on the same page. By facilitating a call like this, you gain more insight into specific pain points of your clients, build solutions to your clients needs prior to the meeting, and craft an agenda that allows you to cover all your clients needs in a timely manner. A few different types of objectives you should define before the meeting include:
These are some examples of objectives we have seen many successful brokers use to prepare for client meetings. However, the specific objectives you chose to define will depend heavily on your client’s healthcare data and the information you gather from the pre-meeting call.
In some situations, having a boiler-plate solution prepared for a client makes sense. In our experience, however, the most successful brokers tailor their solutions to each individual client, based on that client’s specific needs and population health data.
Prior to the meeting, it is essential to do your homework and understand the objectives of your clients and have a few couple potential solutions prepared. To understand your client’s specific pain points, it could be beneficial to you to look at several different data sets. These data sets could include their healthcare spend, costs of their medical and Rx claims, and the health of their employees. By providing recommendations on this data, your clients can begin to take action, rather than be struck with analysis paralysis.
To use every minute of your client meeting effectively, it is critical that you establish a clear agenda for the meeting. This may sound trivial, but every detail of this meeting is important to your client. In this meeting, you will be discussing one of the biggest line items they have in their budget. That means that you need to ensure that you have an agenda established before you walk in the door that is tailored to their needs.
By building an itinerary, it will give you an idea of the direction of the conversation, allow you to cover all the pain points of your clients, and clearly set the goals and objectives of the meeting overall.
Additionally, this agenda can be used to refocus the conversation and get back to the core issues that need to be addressed if you and your client begin to stray away from the original plan.
Communicating this agenda early, will allow your clients to give their feedback, provide any additional areas they would like to be covered, and allows both you and your clients to prepare for the conversation.
After finalizing the agenda with your clients, be sure to iron out all logistical details a week in advance. To do this, confirm the date and time, check phone lines or phone reception, and send out the finalized agenda.
Congratulations! You just had the perfect client meeting. You were prepared and your client was happy. Now what?
Following your client meeting, it is essential that you have a rough idea of to wrap-up that conversation. One way to successfully wrap up the conversation is providing your clients with actionable takeaways. These tangible resources your clients take back with them, can provide an actionable base that they can use to achieve company objectives.
Successful healthcare brokers are using every minute of their meeting effectively by diligently preparing beforehand. Brokers in this space are taking this one step further, and establishing themselves as strategic consultants by sitting down at the table prepared to answer questions on:
To be the best healthcare broker it is essential that you replicate this process for all meetings and ensure that you are providing value and excellent customer service to everyone of your clients.
To set every meeting up for success, it is essential to have a base understanding of your client’s specific spend on healthcare costs, medical and Rx spend, and an understanding of the trends in the health of your client’s employee population.
By integrating a healthcare analytics solutions, such as Springbuk’s employer facing solution, you can set every meeting up for success by having:
You can leverage this data to successfully prepare for every client meeting, as well as use it to build impactful strategies that could curb your clients healthcare costs.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to best prepare for your client meetings, check out our study we did in collaboration with Katz & Pierz here.