This week’s episode gives profound insights into how insurance advisors can drive sales and win relationships using the psychology of persuasion. Brian Ahearn, author of Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents, talks through the different methods that need to be applied at every step of the sales cycle in order to create long-lasting client relationships and close sales without coming off as a “salesy” person.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 02:24 Brian on his then career in the insurance industry and how he eventually pursued sales training
  • 03:47 Definition of Persuasion
  • 07:27 Using the Pre-suasion Approach to turn insurance prospects into clients
  • 10:21 Introducing the ‘STARS’ model: How important is it to listen to your prospect?
  • 13:15 Authentic sales rapport building on the first day
  • 17:39 The D.E.A.L technique for prospect profiling
  • 19:49 The concept of ‘Close without Closing’

Quotes:

04:24  “Aristotle said ‘persuasion’ was the art of getting someone to do something that they wouldn’t ordinarily do if you didn’t ask. If you think about that, it’s a great definition; they’re not doing what you want or need them to do, how can you communicate with them to get them to do what you want or need them to do?”

12:42  “I was really into weightlifting, but I could never jump, I could never dunk a basketball— that’s a skill that I do not and will not ever possess. But listening starts with a choice. And the more you make the choice, the better you get at it.”

13:39 “When you’re looking at the sales cycle and prospecting, it’s just hoping to get that opportunity for the first meeting. In that first meeting, one of the biggest things you need to do is build rapport.”

17:29 “Get to know who you are. Leverage the things that you have that are strengths in a way that just feels so comfortable to you, that it makes the other people feel comfortable as well.”

20:29 “If you’re looking to utilize what’s called the ‘upfront close’ to clearly find out what’s gonna be required for them to make a change and potentially do business with you, then everything should be flowing into just a natural conversation so that you’re not having to put some kind of hard close on somebody…”

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This week’s episode discusses the best strategies that business owners must do to preserve their most important asset: focus. A Managing Director of Trinity Blue & Taylor Insurance, Trey Taylor defines the practice of growing your organization’s culture, the revolutionary steps in recruiting people, and the important components to include when tracking your KPIs.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 01:47 Introduction to Trey’s career and company
  • 05:51 A positive approach to corporate culture
  • 07:49 Establishing a culture through values articulation and ritualization
  • 12:25 The 4 categories of recruiting conversation
  • 17:00 Including the soft metrics in your KPIs
  • 18:55 Delegation: A key to a growing culture

Quotes:

06:10 “Culture is the ethical environment in which we live, work, and play. It is our opportunity to say to the world, these are ‘my values’ that I think should be true in the world, and I want to see these values appear in the world thru my agency and in the lives of the people that I employ.”

08:33 “Articulating those values that we all share— there’s an art to that; it’s not just called science. You have to really sort of weave with your heart in that.”

16:44 “If you hire somebody who’s incredibly skilled and who fits within your budget— but who doesn’t share your values— you’re dropping a cancer into the middle of your team, and you’re gonna regret it in a zillion different ways.”

18:25 “That is one of the KPIs that we track: What is our percentage achievement on personal growth initiatives in the course of the year? That’s just illustrating the point that the CEO has to be intuned with his company— and the vision of where he/she wants to take that company enough to fill out the KPIs to be everything that he wants it to be.”

Resources:

A CEO Only Does Three Things: Finding Your Focus in the C-Suite *Amazon Link

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This week’s episode suggests how business leaders can move their companies forward through a better partnership with the HR department. Karen Young, founder and president of HR Resolutions, cites the fundamental topics in her book, Stop Knocking on My Door, which aims to promote employee satisfaction and productivity in the workplace.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 01:25 Introduction to Karen and her book
  • 04:55 Being subject to multiple federal employment laws makes it important for business owners to understand their risks
  • 08:05 Job descriptions: How is it relevant to hiring, coaching & counseling, and setting policies & procedures?
  • 12:38 The impact of HIPAA compliance to HR professionals
  • 17:12 Tips to become better partners with the HR suite
  • 19:33 The vital piece of information that benefits advisors should associate with HR

Quotes:

06:55 “That’s how I view HR, our job — whether it be as HR resolutions or an HR person directly employed by a company — HR’s job is to provide that informed consent. We need to consult; we need to advise our leaders, ‘These are your risks.’”

17:45 “If I’m gonna encourage all of you to do one thing, push electronic portals to your people, your businesses, and your clients.”

19:22 “Make sure you’re feeding your HR people the required notices when they need to be distributed ‘coz we don’t remember.”

20:00 “Keep the HR person up to date. Even though the decision is the C-suite, make sure the HR person knows, ‘This is what I’m presenting to your C-suite’, ‘This is what I believe they’re going to take’. Start to think now, ‘How can I help you implement whatever their decision is?’”

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This week’s episode explores the major areas of concern with healthcare illiteracy and the huge need for innovative tools in bridging the gap between industries and providers. Ben Hale, co-founder and CEO of Bright HR, presents the do’s and don’ts in providing healthcare education so that industries will be better informed, satisfied consumers.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 02:42 Ben shares his story on the serious consequences of healthcare illiteracy
  • 04:40 Open enrollment meetings: Inefficient in delivering benefits education
  • 06:16 The necessity of continuous education and digitized solution
  • 07:59 Decision support tools enhance personalized healthcare planning and employer-employee engagement
  • 09:55 Spouse involvement in healthcare education is made easier with a shareable platform and instant messaging
  • 14:51 What’s in it for advisors?
  • 17:53 Remote healthcare education is made possible with digital solution

Quotes:

04:51 “Sitting down in an open enrollment meeting and having an HR team, the broker team, or the account managers come in and present on a PowerPoint presentation; guess how many of us are paying attention? Zero.”

07:23 “How do we easily distribute, make information consumable, where we’re not sending out a paper benefit guide? Coz let’s be honest, no one’s reading those. As soon as open enrollment is over, or even that day 1, they’re getting thrown in the trash.”

11:32 “One of the things about continuous education is involving the spouse; actually understanding the benefits too because now you kinda have two stakeholders and kind of understanding the benefits so we can reduce medical errors. We can reduce the expense of going out of network or going to the wrong provider, and really understanding what the benefits are to again maximize the value of them for an employee.”

13:30 “We have to digitize the open enrollment experience. We have to eliminate the need for an hour and a half long in-person meeting that’s done by PowerPoint.”

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This week’s episode helps advisors learn more about advising clients about Federal benefits, from Social Security to Medicare and beyond. Frank Cardenas, Co-founder at FEDlogic, discusses how employees and employers can both benefit from more guidance around these often-confusing benefits.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 0202:20 Frank’s motivations for helping clients in the social benefits space
  • 04:51 Guiding families and employers who need practical help with social benefits
  • 09:00 The top 5 areas of focus with social benefits
  • 13:19 Why two-thirds of initial disability claims are denied
  • 15:45 Teaching advisors and consultants let them offer this service
  • 18:11 Staying on top of federal updates that impact healthcare

Quotes:

04:21 “Let’s bring some logic to the federal government. Let’s bridge that information gap and let’s strike off on our own and see if we can help families the way you’ve always really wanted to help them.”

11:31 “Obviously, those top 5 are, yes, the ones that drive the most in healthcare cost but from our perspective, our experts are just there because those top 5 are the ones that need the most help.”

14:38 “It baffles people’s mind how you can get denied with that kind of diagnosis. But it’s all about providing all of your medical conditions. You’re not just going through stage 3 breast cancer, you’re probably also going through the aftereffects of radiation.”

17:11 “Even part-time employees, we want them to have this service. Do we charge for the part-time employees? No, because typically part-timers don’t have access to the health insurance to their employer.”

19:10 “When it comes to federal benefits, it’s confusing and complex. And just strictly out of fear that families don’t do anything until they have to. But if you put that education in front of them, then you’ll find that they have better outcomes.”

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This week’s episode features a conversation with Scott Beck, CEO at BeckTek. Businesses worldwide now rely heavily on email to communicate. While convenient and relatively safe, it does have a fatal flaw that hackers exploit for maximum effect. Phishing is a billion-dollar scam that attacks big and small companies alike. With the SLAM Method, a simple yet effective guide, you too can spot phishing emails and prevent the bad guys from gaining access to your personal information.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 02:48 Email is a top target for hackers
  • 06:14 CEO Fraud: A scam that hits even small businesses
  • 11:47 Check for SLAM: Sender, Links, Attachment, Message
  • 17:26 Spear-phishing: A lucrative business based on targeted hacking

Quotes:

04:27 “Number one way in, email. Because it bypasses everything. It hits your desk and now they’re trying to hack the human and they are really good at it now.”

09:00 “We’ve seen them now spread off just not from the CEO but from anyone in the company of authority. Or they could say they’re coming from the IT department and we need your password.”

13:10 “Whatever that link is, never click it until you hover over it and see where it’s going.”

13:39 “We’ve gotten pretty good at blocking those direct viruses but what we’ve seen now with the bad guys are doing are using PDF documents or Excel documents, Word documents.”

18:35 “If I’m more targeted, I have a higher rate of return and probably more money. So that’s why we’re starting to see this spear-phishing take off.”

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This week’s episode features a conversation with Brian Butler, Vice President of Client Development at Flipt. PBMs use several tactics which drive up the overall costs of medical benefits. This expense is shouldered by members and employers, increasing pharmacy spend and pushing up plan costs. Innovating this model requires consumer empowerment to make intelligent health care decisions and advisors armed with specialty knowledge and data to impart to their clients.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 03:33 The scope of the financial impact of PBMs
  • 06:52 PBM tactics that drive up cost unnecessarily
  • 11:24 Empowering consumers with intelligent decisions
  • 14:27 Advisors can deliver value with specialty knowledge and data
  • 19:34 Future forecast and ushering disruptive solutions to the PBM problem

Quotes:

03:45 “You have roughly, you know, 500 billion dollars in drug spend with approximately a hundred to a hundred and twenty-five billion of that retained by middlemen. And there’s a variety of middlemen, it’s not just PBMs.”

05:05 “There’s definitely solutions to lower drug cost that can really be in almost a sponsored community effort to drive that revenue back into local communities.”

08:22 “While that zero dollar out of pocket cost you share as the member, your employer still picks up that remaining balance. And that remaining balance changes drastically.”

09:13 “It’s really important for me, as the consumer, to think about where am I going to fill this? It’s one of the highest cost, perhaps, medications or portions of spend in the health care benefit. And number two, are there any alternatives?”

12:30 “First and foremost is really leveraging technology to build a scalable solution and drive it directly to the member. Give them some incentives to participate in this consumerism model.”

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This week’s episode features a conversation with Steve Overton, Co-founder, and CEO at Plansight. RFPs are difficult on advisors and extra hard of carriers who may or may not know how they are being represented to clients. Additionally, RFPs are time-consuming, difficult to decipher, and sometimes written with a particular carrier or plan in mind. Technology is being used to smooth out that process and make the RFP experience simpler and more equitable for all constituencies.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 03:31 Introducing consistency into the Really Frustrating Process
  • 06:05 The RFP process fosters biases and can leave carriers misrepresented
  • 09:14 Innovating RFPs with real-time technology
  • 16:24 Advisor benefits with using Plansight

Quotes:

03:54 “The acronym obviously means request for proposal. A lot of people call it really frustrating process or really frantic process and you’re kind of putting everything together at the last minute.”

05:05 “We’re working to bring in some consistency into the process as well. Because you imagine, it’s tough for the broker but it’s also tough on the carrier.”

08:22 “Obviously there are some consistencies but the most consistent thing we found was none of these are all that great. You’re taking a lot of information and you’re distilling it down to a decision-making tool.”

10:34 “You can’t see who is who but you can see, you know, benefit features and you can see cost. And then you can make a judgment. Hey, can I get more competitive on this?”

17:18 “You might have 10 quotes or 2,000 quotes. You kind of narrow it down to what you want to present and you hit a little button and it builds all of the spreadsheet presentations for you.”

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This week’s episode features a conversation with Mary Talley Bowden, M.D., an ENT from Houston, Texas and mother of 4 boys. After experiencing first-hand how traditional, insurance-driven practice models work against patients, Mary decided that she would innovate the patient experience in her own practice. By blending wellness and ENT, she has created a service that has vastly improved her patient satisfaction and catapulted her business to greater heights.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 02:20 Mary’s frustrations with the traditional practice model
  • 05:03 Starting a practice and improving patient experience
  • 08:41 Mary’s wellness innovations to create patient-centric service
  • 16:18 Surgery is not the first option, it is the last resort
  • 18:26 Experiencing pushback with going cash-only basis

Quotes:

03:36 “I loved my physician but I hated the process. So I decided, if I go back, I’m not going to be beholden to insurance companies. I’m going to approach patient care with a more customer-friendly approach.”

10:04 “I don’t have a EMR, an electronic medical records. I hate those things because all it is people checking a bunch of boxes so they can get reimbursed by insurance at a higher rate.I take my own history and then I write a little note in the computer afterwards.”

12:53 “One of the key things I do that no other ENTs do is something called sinus therapy and it’s based off of what they do for patients with cystic fibrosis for their lungs called chest percussion therapy.”

17:08 “For me, I want to make sure that patient, before they get an operation, everything has been explored because surgery will not cure inflammation. So I really make a point of surgery being the last resort.”

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This week’s episode features a conversation with Carl Schuessler, Jr., Managing Principal at Mitigate Partners. Acting as a fiduciary means acting as stewards that improve financial outcomes. There is an emphasis on trust that has become even more apparent with the creation of the Affordable Care Act. Fiduciaries also deliver active management as opposed to passive management, a beneficial role that provides massive savings.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • 02:08 Agent, advisor, and broker: A fiduciary role involves trust and stewardship role
  • 06:07 There are opportunities to act as fiduciaries in non-Erisa plans
  • 08:58 The Affordable Care Act made fiduciary roles even more relevant
  • 13:54 The differences between active and passive risk management
  • 17:54 Getting employers to partner with a fiduciary

Quotes:

03:48 “I think while there is an opportunity of the interpretation whether or not a consultant is a fiduciary of a health plan, I think there is no question that a properly aligned consultant is a steward of the employer’s plan.”

10:04 “When it (Affordable Care Act) came to existence in 2010, there has been an explosion of innovation. And you and I talked about this prior for an industry that was stagnant of 50 years. And so now, I think our role acting as a fiduciary and steward has never been more important.”

13:59 “Active management is an employer taking control of their healthplan spending with the right solutions built in and cost containment and risk mitigation to control their costs. And it’s also about improving member outcomes. And lastly, financial outcomes for both the members and the employers.”

18:38 “We go through what we call the 6 opportunities of health care: the cartel, lack of pricing transparency, medical billing errors, the traditional PPO discount game, the pharmaceutical shell game, and David you saw it because I gave that talk in Tampa, and the lack of information and data.”

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