The journey to a more cost-effective benefits plan can be a long one, and if you’re working with a broker who’s a poor fit for your business, that journey can become even longer (and more expensive). Finding an adviser who suits your company’s individual needs, however, can be a whole challenge of its own. You don’t want to waste thousands of dollars working with a broker who ultimately fails to create savings within your benefits plan, but determining whether or not an adviser is a good fit for your business during your first few conversations isn’t always easy.
Before you sign that contract and welcome a new benefits adviser onto your team, ask yourself if they seem willing and able to provide these crucial components to a great relationship between a benefits adviser and a business owner:
The Right Solution, Not a Quick Fix
Your benefits plan is one of your business’ largest expenses, and finding an effective solution to improve it isn’t likely to happen the first time you meet with your adviser. Still, many brokers try this approach – they have a product or strategy that they feel is perfect for your business, and they may try to push you into accepting it before they’ve even gotten to know your company’s unique situation. No matter how they try to convince you, though, a one-size-fits-all method will rarely take you on the best path to optimal savings for your plan.
Your adviser should demonstrate patience and attentiveness, getting to know the individual needs of your business before proposing any grand solutions. Ideally, they’ll have a variety of tools and strategies at their disposal and be able to adjust them as your company’s needs change with time. If they can’t customize their approach, you’re likely to lose out on your benefits plan’s true potential.
A Continued Conversation
Your relationship with your adviser should be just that: a relationship. They may understand the benefits side of business, but you understand your business. You should be asking each other questions throughout the process to ensure that they’re the right person to handle your benefits plan. Your discussions with your adviser should never feel like a one-sided sales pitch, and you should search elsewhere if they’re displaying red flags like:
- Pitching solutions before listening to your challenges
- Being unable or unwilling to answer your questions about their process
- Not offering a performance-based guarantee for their services
Just like the dating process that comes before marriage, asking questions and getting to know your adviser before you commit to them is crucial for an outcome that positively impacts both of you.
Investing in You
The money you spend on your benefits plan is an investment in your business and employees, and your adviser should treat their relationship with you as an investment as well. Before you even sign a contract, a good adviser will demonstrate their willingness to invest in their relationship with you. If an adviser you’re considering working with is happy to take time out of their day to answer your questions and get to know your business’ unique needs, this is a good sign that they want to build the right relationship with you to help achieve the best outcome for your plan.
Another easy way to find out if your adviser is willing to invest in you is by asking if they offer a performance-based guarantee. While no broker or adviser works for free, a performance guarantee guarantees that your adviser is willing to bet their own paycheck on their ability to provide you with the best service available. This offer ensures that you and your adviser are on this journey together, and they’ll only succeed if you do, too.
The Fit Your Business Deserves
The first few conversations you have with a prospective benefits adviser can reveal a lot about what they’ll be able to do for your business. If your potential adviser can take the time to develop a personalized solution for your plan, provide an ongoing two-sided conversation about their ideas and your needs, and demonstrate an investment in their work for you, they may just be the perfect fit for your company’s benefits plan.
Contact us today to learn more about how an adviser that fits your business can help your company grow.