#1. Lean on your colleagues
Even if you’re really, really good at your job, you can get even better by turning to your colleagues for support and guidance. Because let’s face it: you won’t always have the answer to a tricky client question, and someone on your team might have a super-efficient process for a daily task that you dread.
So, if you’re a broker who’s most comfortable being a “lone wolf”, challenge yourself to rejoin the pack by:
• Re-introducing yourself to your practice leader, your account manager, and the point people on your communications and tech teams…and make sure to ask for their input when you need it
• Buying lunch before the Q4 whirlwind begins for a few peers who really crushed it last year and pick their brains about how they did it
• Starting an email chain for you and your producer pals to exchange Q4 war stories and insights in real time
Sure, putting yourself out there might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but that’s how you’ll know you’re making progress.
#2. Reduce your communications workload with benefits communication software
Ever had a sneaking suspicion that the benefits booklets you create and the onsite benefits presentations you give aren’t the best use of your time (or the best way to help employees understand their benefits)? If so, you’re absolutely right.
Over the past ten years, the benefits space has been de-mystified thanks to new digital communication technologies that help both brokers and their clients. These technologies afford busy brokers a simpler, more engaging, and effective way to communicate tricky benefits topics and company-specific information to employees. Brokers using these tools have been able to both reduce the length of their meetings and booklets, and some have even done away with them altogether. That frees up some time for brokers to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives that provide more real value to their clients.
#3. Ask more of your vendors
You partner with vendors for a reason, so don’t be shy about asking them to do more than they’re used to so that they can help you be more helpful to your clients.
• Before OE heats up, call your vendors to check if they’re offering any new services, or if you’re in line to benefit from any new partnerships
• Share specific client problems with your vendors and let them lead the charge in brainstorming creative solutions with you
• As the countdown to open enrollment nears, don’t hesitate to ask if there are any end-of-year incentives
#4. Review your goals every Monday morning—and stay nimble
I know….this sounds like one of those “sounds nice, but who’s got the time” kind of things.
But I can tell you from experience that forcing yourself to take stock of your progress and re-think your priorities every single week can be the difference between making your year or not.
It’s no shock that Q4 will inevitably throw you some curve balls. The game plan you started in October won’t necessarily be the game plan you end with. That’s just the way it is.
If during Q4, you carve out time every week to honestly assess where you’re at, you’re giving yourself 12 unique opportunities to adjust your plan, step on the brakes if you need to and nimbly fix things on the fly. Skip this step and you risk sticking with a faulty plan too long, and scrambling at the last minute…y’know, when it might already be too late.