Financial Planning Approach to Selling Executive Benefits
By Bernard Audet
Many producers who work in executive benefits focus exclusively on the market. But a comprehensive approach that includes estate planning, financial planning and executive benefits can bolster an advisor’s bottom-line and help them to better serve their clients.
My success is closely tied to my approach. When I meet with employers I offer to conduct an extensive study of their benefits program and provide them feedback on how their key employees view and value their benefits. I also offer to provide financial planning for their executives. The employers are more receptive to a benefits review, analysis and financial planning program than they are to a simple suggestion that they consider providing their executives a benefits upgrade.
Many business owners don’t know enough about executive benefits to make an informed decision. They are too busy running their company. If they do not know the terminology or have a clear understanding of what you are offering, they will immediately say no. Many, due to experiences with other producers, also mistake executive benefits as simply an insurance program and miss the big picture. I’ve found that it is best to appeal to the business owner or benefits manager from their comfort level.
While they may not understand all of the nuances of qualified plans versus nonqualified plans, or know that there is great flexibility in how these plans can be designed, in this competitive environment, businesses do understand the importance of recruiting, rewarding and retaining top talent. And they know salary is not always enough to build the right team. Executives value their benefits offerings especially when they are tailored to their concerns and needs. Employers want to make sure that they are offering competitive benefits and know how their employees, especially their key talent, view their packages.
Essentially I provide four services:
? Comprehensive review of executive benefits package
? Analysis of qualified plans
? Nonqualified executive benefits sales
? Financial planning for executives