If you have ever watched a horror show about attacking Zombies, you can relate to the approach of some of the payroll companies. You know what I am talking about. The group of normal people in the movie barricade themselves in a building and tries to board up all the doors and windows but no matter what, the zombies start breaking through and all the group can do is hold off and hope for a miracle. In the movie, there are always some casualties but somehow the heroes always survive after finding an antidote or by attacking the source. So you ask exactly how this tie into the benefits broker and payroll companies does. Over the years, most employee benefits brokers have had a tendency to look at their clients as needing protection against other brokers. They tend to be protective and defensive by providing good service and trying to keep rates as low as possible. The broker doesn’t necessarily try to expand the block of business as much as making sure they don’t lose any business. The unfortunate part of this tactic is the fact that the payroll zombies have started an all out attack against these strongholds. The mindless sales force is entering the client’s business through the use of payroll (many times introduced by a broker) and convincing the business owner to sign an agent of record letter over to the payroll company. Not that the salesperson understands health insurance or other employee benefits but simply to increase the bottom line for the payroll company. It isn’t just the health side of the benefits either. Lately, we are hearing from our brokers that they are asking for retirement plans as well as other ancillary products. The independent broker and even the established agencies need to be aware of the extent of the attacks. To give you an idea of the sales force that these entities are using, we at OCI asked for the payroll companies to come and discuss payroll with us. Now mind you, we were only requesting quotes for payroll. The companies sent in their salespeople and in both cases, the amount of time discussing payroll was about 5 minutes and the other 45 minutes was spent telling us how they could do a much better job on employee benefits than our current broker. Now, if that doesn’t indicate that these individuals were sort of mindless (zombies), I am not sure what can. Did they not understand what we do for a living? By the way, they really wanted our retirement plan.
So, based on the attacks, how do you survive the onslaught? I have always been told that the best defense is a strong offense. Instead of waiting for the attack, go out and hit the opponents on their home turf. OCI has joined with Ideal Payroll to provide a true payroll and HR solution for your clients without the danger of poaching. Our payroll solution is not only more cost effective, but it is far and away easier and quicker than the other ones. So brokers can go out and talk with a client or potential client and know that Ideal will handle the client and protect the broker’s business. This broker friendly solution delivers world class services as well as cutting edge technology. But it is only useful if actually introduced to your clients. I suggest taking it to the streets before your client comes to you and tells you they are thinking of turning everything over to a payroll company.
Back to my movie analogy, my suggestion is that you get out from behind your fortresses, and waiting for a miracle. In that scenario, there are always casualties. But if you start attacking, and look for the cure, you are sure to find it with Ideal Payroll and your friends at OCI. We are waiting to help. If the mindless are unable to “feed”, they will ultimately go away.