Broker Forum: How To Sell Prospects On Value, Not Price
November 27, 2018
Jill Garrison
Timer  Read Time: 4 minutes

Do you find your sales conversations with leads always immediately steering towards pricing? Do you use generic communications across the board for all prospects? Is price the number one factor that makes or breaks your deals with employers?

The common perception is that benefits and broker markets are saturated, with plenty of alternatives that provide relatively the same product or service just a few mouse clicks away. With so many options available, it can be easy for employers to navigate to the easiest negotiating point – price.

Relying solely on price-based negotiation is a slippery slope. There will almost always be another company that can compete on price (but are they providing the same level of service and value? – likely not). Additionally, a prospect that is purely price-driven might not be a good fit for your brokerage long-term and will likely leave as soon as a cheaper option presents itself.

It’s time to break the bad habit of letting price driving the sales wheel and embrace your role as a true consultant. Price does not define you. Rather, the value that you provide your clients should be the tool that steers all benefits consulting conversations.

So, how can you make the shift from being price-driven to a truly value-driven agent?

Define Your Key Audience(s)

The first step in selling benefits consulting on value is to carefully define and segment your targets. Ditch the generic, blanket communications and start crafting custom communications based on the unique attributes of each lead. For brokers, this might mean differentiating your approach based on employer size or industry/vertical.

For more efficient lead nurturing and communications, consider investing in a CRM solution specific to the insurance and benefits industry. This will allow you to more effectively segment and reach your audiences when it matters most.

Clearly Identify Your Audiences’ Problems

Once you have identified your key target audiences, it’s time to hone in on their specific pain points. Challenges faced by a large, corporate organization are likely much different than the challenges faced by a small startup. Similarly, pain points likely vary by industry. Understanding these subtle nuances and understanding the best solutions for individual situations will give your firm a leg up when it comes to earning trust and establishing yourself as the benefits expert of choice.

Make A List of All Your Product And Service Benefits

Now that you have identified your audiences and their pain points, it’s time to make sure that your product and service offerings align with the solutions required to best meet the needs of the prospect. Do you offer a custom (white-labeled) software solution? Why is that valuable? Do you offer multiple solutions via multiple vendors? Why is that valuable? Do you offer specialized expertise in a specific area of employee benefits or specialize in solutions for a certain industry? Why is that valuable?

After outlining each of your employee benefits solutions, quantify your value in real dollar amounts. This means more than just the base cost of your services. If you provide compliance services, be familiar with industry regulations and fines associated with non-compliance. If benefits advising is in your wheelhouse, have data and case studies ready to showcase how much you have saved other clients in similar industries via your personalized recommendations. If you partner with software providers or offer software solutions consulting, be able to confidently demonstrate the value (ROI) of investing in technology over manual processes.

Other Ways To Demonstrate Value

Once you have aligned your offerings with what your high-target prospects need, add the icing on the cake by demonstrating other valuable intangibles. Being a true expert in the field of employee benefits compliance and administration will go a long way to establish yourself as an authority in your space. Provide your prospects and clients with data-driven insights, tips and information that is new and beyond the obvious day-to-day industry chatter. Provide your prospects with new, unexplored perspectives or solutions on how to handle their unique challenges. Be familiar with your competition (other brokerages, employer-direct software solutions) and help prospects navigate to the best solution. Support your prospects in selling the value of your services to their internal stakeholders. And, ultimately, be able to justify their actual investment with a defined ROI.

Set yourself up for long-term success and ensure that your clients appreciate the value that you provide by following this simple sales methodology.

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