They say there are a few certainties in life, three to be exact: death and taxes are two of them for sure.
The third is the aggressive, unscrupulous, year-end sales pitch given by the large national HCM, payroll, financial services, HR consulting and insurance providers who are looking to make our clients make changes that might not be in their best interests. It’s those tactics that make me so mad, you could fry an egg on my head!
So what can you do?
Address the 800 pound gorilla
Yup, that’s what you’re dealing with. And it’s a highly motivated, well-trained, smart gorilla, with more (and probably better) tools than you. Don’t fear that gorilla, embrace him, because as intimidating as he is, he’s far from perfect. Talk to your clients and expose the vulnerable side of the gorilla, use his power against him.
Why is he motivated? Market share! How is he trained? To bring in business, period! How smart is he? OK, he’s not that smart, but smart enough to sell technology to your client! His tools are sexy, state-of-the-art, constantly reinvented, and he has an army of support behind him.
That said, don’t fear him; it’s far better to respect him and simply be aware he’s in the room.
The workforce is getting younger, and the time to adapt is now. The beauty is that these kids flooding the labor force can teach you better, quicker ways to do things. It’s a fact.
So why not look at the way you handle certain tasks and, if they seem antiquated, they probably are. Maybe you build your own gorilla, in your own image, one that understands how to defeat the 800 pounder.
Don’t come to a gun fight with a knife
Let’s assume the entrepreneurial spirit never stops flowing through your veins, your clients have your cell and can call you on the weekends, you have the best service people who are prompt, courteous, and know your clients by first name.
Not a bad picture if I do say so myself.
But when you don’t have the right tools to compete, the playing field becomes uneven, and that’s when you take it on the chin. It can really sting because you know what you put into supporting a client. Search for the tools that allow you to level the field so you can win deals.
There are partnerships out there to be formed, so find them and add them as part of your value proposition. Make sure that you find technology that you can truly utilize. It can be a major commitment from a time and money standpoint to globally implement new software and processes.
People will resist and that can’t happen; your organization has to move forward or that weight on your chest will be that 800 pound gorilla sitting on you.
What’s in it for me?
We’re all in it for something: pride, respect, victory, money… Whatever the reason you do what you do, without clients you don’t have much of anything.
Look at what the competition is doing. They sell insurance, health, life, comp, financial services and administration, HR systems, HR consulting, time and labor management, and have a mobile app for everything. They also have deep pockets, fully-staffed marketing departments, unlimited, fancy marketing collateral, and an army of 800 pound gorillas.
What’s in it for you? Your clients—as long as you give them great service and solid technology that shows them you get it and you’re on board with the way business is moving. Don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone. Your clients will see the value, and combined with stellar service boutique firms provide, you’ll take down King Kong, no… Mighty Joe Young.
Like all industries, change is inevitable and consistent. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Know your competition and how to compete against them. Educate your clients. Don’t let the competition do it, because they will. Think younger and look for new and innovative ways to add value to your offerings.
The most important piece to your puzzle is insurance clients, and it’s what you’ve built your business on. Let the other guy be the “jack of all trades and the master of none.” You be the insurance expert that they’ll never be.