Being a Broker in 2021: Outside-the-Box Marketing Tips
March 15, 2021
Being a broker in 2021 is not necessarily going to be harder than it was in 2020, but it is going to be different. The coronavirus crisis has changed the way the world does business. As such, brokers must be ready and willing to adapt. Marketing effectively is key. But not the same marketing as the pre-pandemic world. No, marketing in 2021 requires thinking outside the box.
Thinking outside the box has become a cliché in recent years. This is unfortunate because it only makes it more difficult to encourage people to do it. But as a benefits broker, you either think outside the box or you stick with a crowd that doesn't know how to adapt and innovate. Do you want to grow your book of business in 2021 despite the fallout coronavirus has left in its wake? If so, it is time to leave the crowd behind and move forward with new ways of thinking.
Health insurance is still your go-to revenue producer. As long as it's the number one benefit employees want, health insurance will dictate most of what you do. But there is no viable reason to limit yourself to this one product line. Move beyond insurance. Start looking at non-insurance products you can offer your clients. Examples include HR function and compliance, tech support, and staff training.
A number of industries have discovered that cross-selling is a good way to reach more customers. It is something the benefits industry needs to seriously consider. Plenty of cross-selling opportunities abound. As an example, consider combining employee benefits administration with HR function. The combination opens the door to cross-selling HR software platforms that address both sides of the equation.
As a broker, you are essentially a sales professional. It is a safe bet that you spend most of your working time on improving your sales. Focusing on sales is good, but not to the detriment of your business as a whole. So for 2021, work on your business instead of just in your business.
Step back and take a look at what your clients think of your business rather than your ability to sell. What is their impression of your brand? How do they feel about their opportunities to communicate with you? If they had to recommend a broker to colleagues, would you be the broker of choice?
We have given this particular tip a bit of extra attention because it's so important. One of the best ways to market your business is to make it attractive to your clients. They work with you because they either have to or want to. If they want to, your clients will market for you.
Working on your business is made easier when you understand your own strengths and weaknesses. And the best way to discover what those strengths and weaknesses are is to search for insight. Your search begins with asking your own clients what they think of your business. Ask detailed questions and give them the freedom to answer honestly.
You can request insight from other brokers you know. You can seek it out from your general agency. You could even begin working with a mentor or business coach. The point is to get outside the vacuum of your daily work routine for the express purpose of learning how others perceive your business.
Those brokers willing to think outside the box are likely to have a more productive 2021 than those who are content to stay in the box. Which type of broker are you?