A shift in communication and interaction with prospects and clients is the subject of Jeremiah Desmarais’ new book ….SHIFT. If you want to compete in today’s market, it is a must read.

Jeremiah is an old friend who always seems to be able to see –and oftentimes define – the cutting edge in communications strategies. In this interview, we will discuss everything from the Theory of Reciprocity to a one-line email that will deliver amazing results – if you can keep from messing with the formula.

We also discuss methods to drive greater engagement – a subject we talk about a great deal these days. Jeremiah explains why webinars are a great tool – but are more suited for B2B sales. We delve into how advisors can get and take advantage of media and much, much more.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What are the digital shifts that are happening that you need to be aware of.
  •  What does the Theory of Reciprocity mean and giving value unconditionally.
  •  What is the problem with email and how we can approach it differently as a communication medium.
  •  How you can be more effective interacting with and getting on media platforms.
  •  Why webinars should be an integral part of your business.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

Is a PBM a gatekeeper and whose interests are they serving?

Renzo Luzzatti is an expert on how and why pharmacy costs are growing at an exponential rate and driving an ever-more significant portion of claims spend. He explains that there are multiple vantage points to consider if benefit advisors and fiduciaries are to gain a good overall understanding of the problem and its possible solutions.

We explore the rebates shell game and learn how advisors can arm themselves to make better recommendations to prospects and clients. The conversation also spotlights the starting line for this problem – the physician’s prescription pad and discusses who, if anyone, is educating the physician.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What is driving pharmacy spend to such high levels.
  • Whether PBMs have an inherent conflict of interest.
  • The current role of the PBM and what that role should be.
  • Who’s educating physicians about pharmacy costs, choices, and efficacy.
  • The meaning of “specialty pharmaceuticals” and why they are being approved at a faster rate.
  • Potential solutions for fully-insured plans.
  • What advisors need to know.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

The concept of patient advocacy isn’t new, but current trends are shining a spotlight on the growing need for this critical service.

Forty years ago, Anne Llewellyn was a hospital-based nurse. She has seen every aspect of care up close – including a stint as a patient herself. Over that time she has developed a deep understanding and a passion for patients to have the help of an advocate who can help them navigate the incredibly complex medical landscape.

In this episode, Anne discusses how the need has grown and why she and other colleagues are pushing for standards and certification for patient advocates. There is more to the patient experience than the treatment alone. Learn how having an advocate puts patients at the center of the healthcare universe.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The definition of patient advocacy and how it’s different from case management.
  • Tools and resources that both patients and advocates need.
  • What it means to put patients at the center of the healthcare universe.
  • Why it’s so important to have patient advocate standards and certifications.
  • What Anne predicts as the future growth track of the patient advocacy movement.
  • How patients can find advocates.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

Eric Silverman is one of the most disruptive forces in the area of “enhanced benefits”. You may have been calling them “voluntary” or “ancillary”, but Eric is passionate in his belief that neither of those words make the case for a benefit offering that is more important to clients and employees than ever before.

In this fast-paced interview, Eric explains how advisors interested in enhanced benefits fall into four distinct classes and delves into which group you want to be in for maximum productivity and client satisfaction. If you are currently active in this space or if you have been on the sidelines thinking about how to incorporate these solutions into your practice’s offerings, make sure to listen to this episode.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why language is important and the specific messages it sends when it comes to benefits.
  • What the four classes of advisors are as it pertains to enhanced benefits.
  • What two keys are for success.
  • If and when using professional enrollers is practical and advisable.
  • Why the current marketplace and today’s plan designs are driving enhanced benefits.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

ShiftShapersCoverArtBuying leads has become more of a science than an art and the process is infused with new technology that helps you treat each lead like a $1000 bill.

We asked Richard Bufkin, President of Target Leads to update us on lead purchasing, a traditional process that has been brought very much up to date. Richard is the second generation of a business that is 32 years old and that has been in his family for 25 years, so he has seen that evolution up close and personal.

During our conversation, Richard also dispels some commonly held beliefs. For some products, fancy mailing pieces generally do not perform better than plain old black and white mailings. We learn how reply options have changed greatly – including “PURLS” (personalized URLs).

We learn about the critical importance of an integrated CRM and how your response time may dictate your success. Richard also talks about clustering, and resting zip codes.

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How Target Leads – a family business – has changed over time.
  • What’s new in lead purchasing.
  • Why CRM systems are critically important.
  • What “clustering” is and how it affects lead generation.
  • Why Richard will lock out leads for 90 days.
  • Which is more effective – fancy color mailings or plain old black and white.
  • What PURLs are, and why they’re so crucial to getting exposure.

Featured On the Show:

Listen To the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

 

 

 

ShiftShapersCoverArt

Benefits advisors have a huge opportunity with individual disability. Recent estimates are that the market in the blue, gray and white collar segments is only 30% penetrated. If your clients and prospects can’t afford to retire today, you need to be discussing how they can insure their paychecks.

Patrick Irving, Managing Director of Covala Group, joins us to share his Disability Income (DI) expertise with The ShiftShapers audience. Many large corporations offer life insurance benefits, but fewer are offering DI benefits. Fewer still are offering high-quality, portable, individual DI contacts with those outstanding multi-life discounts.

There are many opportunities for augmenting your existing practice with DI sales. After covering some basic terminology, Patrick dives into the tax implications of DI benefits. Patrick also discusses the merits of group versus individual coverage for disabilities.

Whether you want to build a practice around disability income or are looking to augment other revenue streams, you will learn something from this conversation. Advisors will better serve their clients by studying up on DI coverage.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • The market opportunity available with disability income.
  • Differences between multi-life, group, GSI, and individual plans.
  • When to purchase individual or group DI plans and in what order.
  • How disability income is taxed and why this is important to understand.
  • What is generally not covered by group DI.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-smalliHeartRadio-small

ShiftShapersCoverArtOn this episode of ShiftShapers, Jeff Hogan shares the innovative approach his company has used to deliver an engaging, modern, and consultative approach to employee benefits. At the core of this approach lies a focus on building strong partnerships with brokers to provide better options for employers and employees alike.  

Jeff and his team encourage employers to view their benefits offerings like any other corporate asset. Once they’ve established this mindset, Jeff works closely with his brokers to bring them quarterly data and analytics about everything from core benefits to wellness and other benefit initiatives.

Jeff shares a practical example of this process in action and illustrates its financial and medical benefits. He also talks about the effects of the ACA on brokers and clients. Tune in to hear how you can adapt this model to your practice and bring greater value to clients while differentiating your agency.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How Jeff and his team established themselves as top competitors in a challenging environment.
  • What led to their “benefits as corporate asset” strategy.
  • How they create unique partnerships with their brokers.
  • Why simplicity and logic are sought-after qualities in an increasingly fragmented market.
  • What steps they take to create long-term relationships with employers.
  • The innovative steps they have taken to bring other relevant stakeholders into the equation.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-small

ShiftShapersCoverArt

On this episode of ShiftShapers, Jessica Waltman joins us for her quarterly visit. She’s an expert on all things legislative and a Principal at Forward Health Consulting. If the twists and turns on Capitol Hill have you scratching your head, Jessica will help you make sense of recent events.

The Republican led Congress and President Trump decided to pull legislation designed to reform the Affordable Care Act. Contrary to common media messages, this bill would not have repealed the ACA. As a reconciliation bill, it was inherently limited. No one really liked the bill and attempts at compromise continued to anger opposing factions in the House. Ultimately the bill was pulled. Elected leaders on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue are now making efforts to revisit health care reform. The American public will have to stay tuned.

In this first of a two-part series, Jessica explains just why the reform attempt failed. She’ll shed light on what we can expect as lawmakers return to the drawing board. Should President Trump proceed as cautioned and just let the ACA implode? Jessica walks us through that approach and explains the regulatory steps that can be implemented now to make the ACA more responsive to market realities.

 

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • What exactly happened with the Republican’s health care bill.
  • Whether or not the effort was doomed to fail from the beginning.
  • Regulatory reforms that can be made without legislative involvement.
  • Whether the PPACA is actually imploding.

Featured on the Show:

 

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-small

ShiftShapersCoverArt

On this episode of ShiftShapers, Tobe Gerard shares valuable insight into how she built a successful agency specializing in long-term care insurance. She had 20 years of experience in the insurance industry before starting her firm, and for the past 15 years, she’s built a highly efficient, effective and successful agency using a unique strategy.

Rather than finding prospects directly – as is the case with most practices – Tobe took a different route. Instead, she cultivates relationships with other professionals, including financial planners, life insurance brokers, accountants, and others. Her network continually refers clients to Tobe as a subject matter expert in long-term care insurance. Once the prospects began flowing, she developed a multi-part strategy to convert prospects into clients.

Join us to find out how Tobe was able to shape her successful referral-based, long-term care specialty practice and how it is doing in today’s environment. Learn which tools and techniques are most effective for working with long-term care clients and prospects, and why the current trend of using riders on life plans may not always be the best solution for your clients.

 

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • How Tobe was initially introduced to the insurance industry.
  • How she was able to build a referral-only practice.
  • How Tobe creates new sources of referrals for her agency.
  • Tools and techniques for working with long term clients.
  • What “Invisible Coverages” are.

Featured on the Show:

 

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-small

ShiftShapersCoverArt

Today’s advisors are being asked to do more . . . and often – with less. Can a CRM help increase your effectiveness along with your practice’s efficiency?
Commission compression, client expectations of broader and deeper service levels and an ever more complex industry have all put pressure on benefit advisors. In many practices, this has had a significant effect on profitability. On this episode of ShiftShapers we explore the wide world of CRM systems. With a little bit of work, the right system can help your practice stay focused while delivering better service.
Ryan Pinney, President of Insureio, joins us on this episode to talk about how new CRMs targeted specifically at insurance agents, advisors, and other professionals are changing the practice management landscape. A great CRM can save you from spending the bulk of your time managing client data rather than engaging with clients themselves.

Ryan talks about how some of the most successful agents have been adopting new technologies for the past decade, giving them a leg up. We discuss how the average age of agents in the insurance industry affects our willingness to integrate new technologies into our practices, and what to look for in a CRM if you’re new to the tech.

CRMs can help you maximize your sales time, keep up with clients, and prospect more effectively. Ryan describes several different CRMs and the rules-based software you can use to streamline your entire selling process. We also touch on why you must get a CRM that is explicitly secure enough for HIPAA guidelines.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • Why many salespeople only spend 40% of their time selling (when they should be spending 70-90%).
  • How operational change has been slower to effect the sales cycle than other aspects of the business.
  • How agents or advisors can begin putting their existing business onto a CRM.
  • The pros and cons of cloud-based CRMs and hardware-based CRMs.
  • The essential security questions you must ask before choosing a CRM to ensure that clients’ data is as secure as possible.

Featured on the Show:

Listen to the Full Interview:

This Episode is Sponsored by:

Enjoy The Show?

Subscribe-with-iTunes-smallSubscribe-with-Stitcher-small