Benefits Selling Success in 2022: 5 Things to Do by February

Recent research published by LIMRA and EY projects a 20 percent growth rate for non-medical benefits by 2026 as employers seek to improve their ability to attract and retain employees. Beyond enhancing disability, worksite, and mental health benefits, the same study also highlights the pivotal role technology will play in benefits delivery. Two-thirds of employers say access to seamless technology is an important factor when deciding which benefits to offer.

  1. Realize that we’re all working differently – and capitalize. 

A gigantic shift took place in the way we work – and live. Even as we return to “normal” in 2021, things will be different. Now that we have a little perspective, it’s the perfect time to look back at what we learned from working remotely and simultaneously navigating the schedules of our spouses, kids, and pets. Besides becoming adept with using the mute button, working from home made us rethink how we work, when we work, and when we don’t.

The good news is that we experienced the same thing that many of our clients and their employees did. Whether they shifted to working remotely, rethought how to stay open, or figured out how to continue working on the frontlines, “going to work” feels different for all of us. In 2021, we have the opportunity to build off our shared experiences to help our clients define what their workplace will look like, and the important role benefits can play.

  1. Take a close look at upcoming renewals that didn’t make changes in 202.

January is always the time to do a book of business inventory to identify high-priority renewals, opportunities to add products, and which clients need extra attention. This year, it’s even more critical.

Many clients stood still on benefits in 2020. They renewed “as-is,” made few changes, and didn’t take advantage of new technology. When they renewed without changes, many received rate passes. I don’t expect that to happen in 2021.

Do the upfront work to benchmark clients’ offerings, plan designs, and premiums against the market, their industry peers, and companies of similar size. Then, be proactive. Recommend plan changes, new products, carrier options, and technological solutions to help your clients assess their opportunities and make impactful changes.

  1. Virtual communications are here to stay. 

Think back to 2019. How many Zoom calls and webinar enrollment meetings did you have? While the technology existed, 2020 rapidly accelerated the rate of adoption. From now on, open enrollment options like live webinars, online enrollment platforms, employee call center support, and online tools and resources won’t be seen as “nice to have.” They’ll be enrollment staples.

Start the year by making sure you’re able to bring your clients and their employees the right mix of technology and communications so they’re able to optimize their benefits programs. Evaluate your current tech solutions to make sure the capabilities are keeping pace with what employers want and what technology can do.

At GIS Benefits, we offer a complete range of enrollment solutions – from online meetings and call support through 1:1 enrollment options and ongoing employee onboarding support. In 2020, we helped brokers and their clients pivot to incorporate new enrollment technology and achieve – or exceed – their participation goals.

Plus, we can help you confidently deliver an easy-to-use, customized administration platform for all benefits, including medical. With GIS CONNECT, your clients get one convenient access point that’s available 24/7, one combined bill for ancillary coverages across multiple carriers, and one customized, easy-to-use enrollment experience for both medical and non-medical coverages. Best of all, our custom client sites are built, live, and ready for enrollment within just 15 business days – and there’s no cost to you or your clients for groups with 25+ employees and four ancillary products.

  1. Revitalize benefits packages to meet evolving demands.

In 2020, employees took a fresh look at their benefits. The heightened awareness of the value and convenience of group benefits – combined with many employers electing not to add to their offerings in 2020 – has created an appetite for adding new products.

We’re seeing increased interest in traditional options like Life and Disability insurance, as well as Accident, Critical Illness, and Hospital Indemnity coverages. Plus, there’s renewed interest in no-cost ways to enhance benefits programs with practical solutions employees value. Working with our broker partners, we’re helping clients round out their benefits with products like GAP insurance, MetLife Legal Plans, and IDShield.

  1. Get ahead of the curve for Open Enrollment 2021.

If we didn’t know it before, we know it now. You can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared.

Take time this month to critically evaluate the 2020 Open Enrollment season and what can be improved upon in 2021. That means debriefing with clients about what worked well and where there’s room for improvement. Then, make a plan for the fourth quarter that puts you – and your clients – ahead of the enrollment curve.

Laying the groundwork in the first quarter can help put you on the path to benefits sales success, no matter what 2022 has in store.