The best full-service organizations provide access to a comprehensive portfolio of carriers and product lines, including health, life, dental, vision, disability and long-term care. More important, they offer consultative assistance in the evaluation, pricing and selection process, and they support agents for the life of the business.
Partnering with a full-service organization that can provide this level of access and administrative support allows you to successfully branch out into new products without having to divert significant time or resources away from your core business. As a result, you are able to tap into a new source of revenue and expand the services they offer to existing and future clients.
The Full-Service Advantage
The primary benefit of partnering with a full-service organization comes from the consultative support it can provide. With a single call, you can access the expertise required to quickly and effectively evaluate your customer’s needs based on a number of factors, such as demographics, case size and prior history, then direct the customer to a specific carrier or combination of carriers that meet those requirements.
By generating a detailed proposal offering a portfolio of products, you are able to exceed the customer’s expectations, solidifying your position as an advisor and advocate.
Full-service organizations that handle underwriting and enrollment and provide back-office administration create a competitive advantage for agents by offering seamless support from the front to the back end of the process. Along the way, they also help agents by simplifying the appointment process with multiple carriers.
Put another way, truly consultative, top-tier service providers won’t vanish after the initial sale. They will work with you through the life of a policy. This includes identifying opportunities to retain customers at renewal by adjusting plan designs or tweaking offerings to meet the changing needs of the group.
How They Work
Typically, the first contact an agent has with a full-service organization comes when a customer requests a needs assessment to uncover what options may be available.
The process involves more than simply providing products and prices. In a consultative service organization, the consultant will carefully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each carrier and product offering against the customer’s unique needs to ensure that the final proposal is an ideal fit.
Once the sale is made, the full-service provider handles enrollment and underwriting, based on the individual carrier requirements, and manages billing, payment processing, customer service and support.
The ability to get into granular detail, walk you through the value propositions of multiple products and carriers, and provide ongoing service after the sale are just a few of the key characteristics that distinguish the consultative one-stop shop from other organizations whose focus is primarily front-end sales support.
To determine if a service provider is truly a consultative, full-service organization, you should ask the following:
- Can I access a “live” person to discuss specific client needs?
- Does the organization provide consultative representatives or simply “quoters”?
- Are proposals being turned around in 24 hours?
- Does the organization provide services beyond sales support?
- Is the organization as focused on helping me retain business as it is on writing new business?
- Does the organization offer “street level” compensation (or the same level of compensation I would get by going directly to the carrier)?
- Does the organization offer “best-of-breed” carrier offerings for multiple product lines versus a carrier offering multiple lines of coverage?
Agents who harness the power of a one-stop shop by partnering with a full-service organization that answers “yes” to all of those questions will quickly discover that the ability to grow their business through expanded product offerings, improved customer retention and enhanced customer service is more than just realistic – it’s just a phone call away.