There’s no need to demystify success. You already know that to become successful as a broker or advisor, you need to do the work. And to do the work, you need the right habits. In a BenefitsPRO Broker Expo panel discussion, industry leaders Josh Butler, Cameron Cummins and Kim Eckelbarger offered their perspective on the value of building good habits, as well as what that looks like to them.
1. Develop emotional intelligence.
“EQ is as equally important as IQ. You have to be able to carry on conversations, answer hard questions. Your ability to control your impulses, stay cool, adapt to changing circumstances – that’s extremely important in our industry.” Josh Butler, president, Butler Benefits & Consulting.
2. Know where your client is coming from.
“Do you understand what your clients’ 60 minutes is worth? Do you quantify for them what $5,000 out of pocket means? You need to identify this for the decision maker, because sometimes they are far removed from the level of their employees’ financial situation.” Cameron Cummins, managing partner, Transparent by Design.
3. Talk their language.
“The people we’re calling on have heard, ‘Hey I can save you some money on your benefits.’ We talk to clients in their ‘alphabet soup,’ not ours. If I’m in front of HR, I’m going to talk FMLA. If I’m in front of the C suite, I’m going to talk about EBITDA. Let them see that you understand their world.” Kim Eckelbarger, founder and business consultant, Tropical Benefits.
4. Don’t be afraid to specialize.
“There are niches everywhere. People’s businesses are very specific, their lives are very specific. I have learned that being an inch wide and a mile deep can be a huge benefit.” Cameron Cummins.
5. Be perpetually prospecting. “I’m always looking for opportunities. I’m always looking for my ideal client. You need to identify who your ideal client is. We do a lot research, studying 5500s, websites, contacts, we’re always looking for our ideal client.” Josh Butler.
6. Help your client understand.
“How are you breaking this down and making this industry more understandable? For you to have value, you need to be more of a consultant, an advocate – you should be drawing out their curiosity, teaching them.” Cameron Cummins.
7. Maintain a sense of urgency. “If you wait in this business, someone’s going to catch you. There’s an art to being persistent without being pushy – you have to be careful with your sense of urgency. But it helps you to stay on top of things, signals I care about my clients.” Josh Butler.