Recently, we received the message below from an attendee of ASCEND, and we thought it was well worth sharing with you…
…I am excited to get involved with such innovative and revolutionary professionals. As I said on our call together I believe this is a great time to be in this business. The opportunity to effect permanent change is right here now. Your work – and the work of the people joining you – will bring about a tipping point that cannot be stopped. That’s a great reason to get up in the morning!
Charley mentions a ‘tipping point’ and that’s what we want to discuss briefly because it’s vital to your success and strategic direction.
What Is The “Tipping Point” For Employee Benefit Agencies?
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘tipping point’, it simply refers to the critical mass of an idea, movement, product, etc. Once a given ‘thing’ has reached its tipping point, the marketplace can no longer ignore it or dismiss it as the alternative. The tipping point is when the alternative becomes mainstream.
For independent benefit agencies across the country, there are two movements occurring simultaneously – both are moving away from the status quo.
Movement #1 – Exiting the Marketplace
Consolidations and acquisitions continue to occur at a rapid rate across the country. Just as we (and many others) predicted in 2010, there has been and is a mass exodus of independent firms selling and merging their books of business with other firms – large and small alike. There a number of reasons an agency leader should seriously consider exiting the marketplace that we could address in detail. However, at the end of the day, the key reason is that of an “unwillingness to change”. That’s not inherently bad in today’s environment. Many agency owners are better served selling their book to another firm that is more able and willing to manage it and grow it.
Yet, the majority of independent agency leaders understand that as the marketplace continues to change, there is an unprecedented opportunity for growth and therefore, they are unwilling to throw in the towel and cash out.
So, what do those agency leaders do? Well, there is another way…
Movement #2 – Embracing the Opportunity
For those benefit agency leaders who understand the new marketplace, they are embracing the massive opportunity before them.
These leaders are creating the “next generation” benefits practice.
They are finding new, creative, and very lucrative ways to provide meaningful value to their employer-clients and they are establishing new, revolutionary best practices to take on the status quo of even the largest of national competitors.
As other leaders exit, those who remain and have the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed are picking up new clients, offering new solutions, and repositioning themselves in their respective markets to completely differentiate their firms. They are no longer benefit brokers, but rather business advisors who have expertise in employee benefits, human resources, compliance, etc.
These “NextGen Advisors” are changing the status quo client relationship and setting a new standard in the evolving marketplace.
They will be the ones who will soon manifest the inevitable “tipping point” within our industry that will compel everyone else to follow their lead.
We (Nelson Griswold and Scott Cantrell) are excited to be at the forefront of this movement, bringing these NextGen Advisors together and helping them forge the future at the ASCEND Summit.
The question for you is: which movement are you part of?
If the answer is “embracing the opportunity”, then we hope you’ll apply to attend ASCEND and join like-minded peers to “bring about a tipping point that cannot be stopped.”
As Charley said, That’s a great reason to get up in the morning!