FrenkelySpeaking gives you a look behind the curtain, from the perspective of one of our benefits consultants, in the following guest blog post.
17 years ago, I began my employee benefits consulting career with nothing more than a strong belief in my team and a phone line. I’ve reached out to numerous groups since then, all with one simple goal in mind: find out how I can help the person on the other side of the phone. It’s important I share something I learned early in my career and led to my first big sale.
Well into my workday and looking to keep my motivation high, I decided to call on a very well-known brand. I was pleasantly surprised the HR director indulged me, but when I learned the current consultant was one of the behemoths, my heart sank. As a rookie I mistakenly thought there was no way I could win this one from the big boys. The valuable lesson I learned here was that size doesn’t matter – culture does… and this became an underlying theme in many of my conversations with potential or new clients going forward.
Many middle market employers (those with 100–2,500 employees) that choose industry behemoths as their employee benefits consultant have found themselves lost in the shuffle. Why? Because that market segment isn’t the behemoths’ focus – middle market groups are typically small fish to them.
In many of my conversations with employers I learned that our client-centric business model and people-first culture was a much better fit; we gave them leadership oversight versus more junior consultants taking the lead. We fought hard, leveraging our relationships for every group instead of reserving them for larger, more lucrative clients. We looked to solve problems, add value and create win-win scenarios for all.
While Frenkel Benefits once was small we now have behemoth capabilities as part of EPIC Insurance Brokers & Consultants. Now you get the best of both worlds. I recently sat in on a leadership meeting where a team member said, “we are relentless stewards of our clients’ money” – to me, this describes the culture that has defined our success to this point as well as the culture that will guide us into the future.
I urge you to consider, research and question the culture of your chosen consultant – large or small.