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What can you tell your client or prospect when a payroll company tries to win their group benefits business?

It happens a lot this time of year. Payroll companies, that sell benefits on the side, know that the beginning of the year is the best time to win clients looking to make a change. They sell the ease and convenience of having one entity responsible for both payroll and benefits. So, what do you tell your client or prospect who gets the hard sell from a payroll company wanting to be the broker of record?

Here are the talking points you can use if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Payroll companies approach the client relationship as transaction-based. Brokers take a holistic approach and strive to be a trusted advisor for the employer.
  • Benefits brokers are experts in benefits services, plans and what works best for their clients. Payroll providers are in the business of selling and servicing payroll and benefits are a sidekick.
  • It is not in a payroll company’s DNA to provide personalized, customized support. They support their clients through call centers and websites. Benefits brokers recognize the personal and customized nature of selecting and using benefits and provide a higher level of service.
  • Payroll companies may require the employer to bundle other lines of coverage or services (401K, Workers Compensation, extra payroll-related services) that the employer may not want to purchase from the payroll company:
    • The employer should pay for only what they will use. Brokers can craft a tailored solution that fits the employer’s need exactly.
    • The payroll vendor is often not an expert in these lines.
    • Employers can find themselves stuck if they’ve subscribed to a suite of services from the payroll vendor and then want to unbundle them.
  • Payroll companies often have high turnover and can’t provide consistency for clients.
  • Benefits brokers understand compliance, which is a big issue for clients. Payroll vendors don’t understand benefits compliance as well. Do they understand WRAP, Section 125, ACA and other compliance matters?

In our view, independent brokers provide a superior experience. It is clear that your client or prospect should let you, the expert, help them structure the best benefits solution possible and then provide the best service possible throughout the year.