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This week, we are talking to Eric Raymond, co-founder of BenefitVault. Reconciling and paying bills for benefit arrays with a multitude of carrier bills creates a huge hassle for employers and HR departments.  The post-ACA emphasis on voluntary and non-insurance benefits has exacerbated an already nettlesome problem.

BenefitVault shaped that shift into a simple and elegant solution that advisors can provide to alleviate this problem – and the objections that come from proposing a multi-carrier benefit array.

We invited Eric to talk about the trends that are changing the world of benefits and how BenefitVault was able to help advisors and their clients adjust to these changes.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How PPACA has exacerbated a problem employers have struggled with for years.
  • How brokers position this service as a value-added program.
  • Why HR departments find this new service helpful.
  • How a simple, one-time change in payroll shapes a simpler and more elegant solution for carrier reconciliation and payment.

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ShiftShapersCoverArtWe decided to change things up a bit this week and asked Meghan Dotter, founder of PorticoPR to share her expertise on how to “present better”, which is the tagline for her company, Portico PR.  A veteran of several high-profile communications and PR positions, she decided  to build her practice on the one thing most people find so difficult – the presentation.

With the increase in complexity in our industry, coupled with advisor’s need to provide more value in their client interactions, honing presentations skills is a must.  Tune in to learn how you can create presentations that resonate, build trust, inspire action and help you close sales.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The challenges of creating presentation that cut through an ever-more
    complex environment.
  • The value of storyboarding as preparation for creating a presentation.
  • How clients learn, decide and remember.
  • Why newer presentation tools may be more impactful than the venerable PowerPoint.
  • Should you have a second deck when you present?
  • The importance of a little stagecraft during presentation.

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ShiftShapersCoverArt This week, we are speaking with Bill Whitley. Bill is a nationally-recognized speaker, author and sales trainer. He is also a successful serial entrepreneur and researcher who specializes in helping insurance professional attract more clients, close more sales and deepen client relationships.

Tune is as Bill tells his story of how he ended up in the insurance sales and marketing field after building a number of successful businesses. Bill also dives into some of his popular techniques that will help you to shape the shift with your clients and prospects. Don’t miss this episode full of game-changing tactics and advice for building trust and becoming a broad-based advisor to your clients.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How to move the 80/20 ratio to something more favorable.
  • How to take your clients through the “Your World” process.
  • Let your client build their “Wall of Protection.”
  • What client attraction stories are and how to use them.
  • The 8 secrets of top producing agents.
  • How to take advantage of the most common question: “What do you do?”
  • The importance of telling stories in your sales process.

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ShiftShapersCoverArt This week on the Shiftshapers Podcast, we are talking to Dr. Jeff Rice, the CEO of Healthcare Bluebook. Dr. Rice is a physician and attorney who was Director of Managed Care for Duke University and CEO and president of a large health plan created by New York Life and Duke University before starting Healthcare Bluebook.

Listen in as Dr. Rice shares the story of how a very personal interaction with the system was the shift that him shape a company that provides a practical, simple-to-use tool designed to help patients know how much things should cost and help them find affordable healthcare as well as connect connect them with providers. Learn how Healthcare Bluebook helps patients navigate the system at the population level and aids them in obtaining quality cost-effective care.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How how Dr. Rice’s personal experience with the medical system helped him to envision the shift that was necessary, and how to shape it.
  • The new technologies Healthcare Bluebook uses to make the service accessible to a larger audience.
  • How Healthcare Bluebook’s website serves the public with a subset of information and tools available to their clients.
  • Why the company’s focus is always on the end user, the patient.
  • What steps Jeff sees necessary to change consumer purchasing behaviors.
  • Why he believes the future holds even more transparency around price and quality.

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In this episode we are pleased to welcome Von Burba of IAG to the program. Von is a seasoned insurance professional who saw companies in the large group market shifting to payroll services and discovered the opportunity to shape that shift into a new conduit point for delivering employee benefits.

Tune in as Von shares his story of how he shaped his business to adjust to the shift in the benefits market and his optimistic outlook on what ACA brings to the table. Learn how he is able to create lasting relationships with clients in the post-ACA world that he views as a great opportunity for brokers today.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How a shift to seeking larger groups facilitated the shaping of Von’s marketing.
  • The critical role of technology in facilitating this shift.
  • How brokers can build their book in this non-traditional market.
  • How ACA complexity created an opportunity to open doors in this vertical.
  • Why multi-year employer strategies are a key part of developing relationships in a post-ACA world.
  • How ACA will begin the critical shift from employer to employee responsibility and allow employers to redefine their roles.

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Today, Kevin Trokey joins us on the program.  Kevin is a founding partner of Q4Intelligence, a consulting firm dedicated to removing the barriers that keep independent benefits and insurance agencies from reaching their full potential and becoming feared competitors.

Kevin reveals how his extensive experience as a broker and a principal helped him develop the firm’s unique approach.  Tune is as Kevin outlines his company’s solution-based selling system that changes the agency model.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Kevin’s prior experience as an agency principal helped him to develop his transformational methodology.
  • What Charles Dickens has to do with agency transformation.
  • The unintended consequences of traditional agency management.
  • The barriers that keep agencies from taking control of their business.
  • How Q4Intelligence separating the product and the consultative stages of the process.

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It is my pleasure to welcome Ben Geyerhahn to the program. Ben is the CEO and founder of Benestream, a company that helps identify employer’s Medicaid-eligible employees and makes it easy for them to enroll in Medicaid. This provides a more appropriate plan design for that population while taking them off their employer’s core plan.

I’ve invited Ben to talk about how Benestream has shaped the shift with their distinctive methodologies and tools. We also cover how brokers can use Medicaid to help their clients save money and comply with PPACA.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How Ben’s experience in the public sector helped him to envision the shift and shape it into Benestream.
  • The path the company took to develop its unique methodology and software.
  • How Benestream works with brokers to help them bring the concept to their clients.
  • Why Medicaid-eligible employees have different needs than other employees.
  • Why Ben thinks the number of Medicaid expansion states will continue to increase.

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ShiftShapersCoverArt This week, we welcome Reid Rasmussen, co-owner and president of Texas-based Freshbenies.  Reid is a former Canadian whose background informed his insight into the future of American healthcare reform and helped him to shape the shift by creating a unique product offering that provides help to those dealing with today’s health care designs.

Tune in to learn how Freshbenies helps brokers make “big company benefits” available to a much broader market and where Reid sees that marketplace going in the future.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • What Reid saw in Canada that transferred into an understanding of
    coming needs in the USA.
  • How looking outside the health care industry informed Reid’s process.
  • Why there was a need to make “big company” benefits available to individuals.
  • How Reid helps insurance brokers to see non-insured products in a different light.
  • Reid’s vision of the future of today’s benefits brokers.

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On today’s episode, we are pleased to be speaking with John Spann of Spann Insurance in Nashville. I invited John the program to discuss innovative conversations he is using to position more traditional benefits in a post-reform market.

A 63-year old third-generation property & casualty insurance agency with an internal benefits practice, Spann Insurance was created by John’s grandparents in 1951. Learn how John’s family-run agency has been able to re-evaluate its benefits practice and help clients create employee appreciation in the light of health care reform.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How the employee benefits practice fits within a P&C agency and what some of the challenges are.
  • How PPACA has shifted the focus of John’s approach to his book of (mostly) small group clients.
  • How John creates a new opportunity for employers to provide appreciated benefits when their employees purchase their core coverage from the exchanges.
  • How John leverages individual products within a group motif.
  • How disability income can be used as a “new” benefit.

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On this episode of The ShiftShapers Podcast, I am talking to Jimmy Parrish. Jimmy has had a 15-year career in employee benefits focusing exclusively on non-insured plans.  He markets legal and identity theft protection plans to groups and has been among the top 20 producers since he began his practice.

I invited Jimmy to the show to share how he was able to build a successful employee benefits business stay on top of his game for 15 years without ever selling an insured product. In a post-PPACA world, where brokers are diversifying their practices, some are considering adding these plans to their portfolio. Learn how Jimmy approaches the market and how his experience and strategy can help you as well.

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • How the landscape has changed and created an awareness for the need for legal and identity theft protection plans.
  • What Jimmy does to work with brokers.
  • Where Jimmy’s efforts to educate the public have taken him.
  • Why coverage has been developed to protect employers as well as their employees.
  • How the legal services business has evolved beyond the traditional multi-level marketing arrangement that once characterized the industry.

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