Employee Benefits Consultant - Monetize Your License Pt.1

July 14, 2023


You’re a producer who had trouble transitioning to a virtual sales environment. Your new coworker is a shiny new AI or chatbot. You recently hit 20 years, and only got an automated email and a company pen you already have.

You’ve never sold insurance before, but the prospect of turning your car into a taxi sounds like a dystopian nightmare. You want to pivot into a white collar industry but can’t afford to return to school. You’re three years into food delivery and realize there’s no more room to grow.‍

You missed another soccer game, wedding, or vacation for a meeting you could have taken from your phone. You’re homebound but want to elevate your career. Or maybe you’re adventure bound but want to keep your career.‍

You’re waiting for a white collar answer to the gig economy question. This is Part One of a two-part series on How to Monetize Your License.


I’ve spent over 20 years building and leading some of the most prolific teams in the employee benefits marketplace. As a result, I have millions of impressions on my Elevate series where I tackle topics like sales, leadership, and entrepreneurship and went on to write Sink or Shine, a book on attracting clients and talent.‍

I don’t say all this to flex or impress; I say this to prove I’ve always put my money where my mouth is: top-notch education creates better decision makers, and better decision makers make more money.‍

We have an education crisis on our hands. Though the average consumer will spend 66 days researching a $500 purchase of electronics, they spend a total of 32 minutes reviewingemployee benefits[1] costing $22,470[2].

We have over-indexed on our wants while under-indexing on our needs, and we’re paying the price: 50% of employees are dissatisfied with their employee benefits package[3].‍

We know employees aren’t happy, and we know why. As an employee benefits consultant (or aspiring consultant), it’s your time to shine. By prioritizing engagement and education, you can make real impacts on employees, hit staggering sales goals, and sustain long-term career growth.


What we’ll be talking about today is being an insurance advisor, or more specifically, an employee benefits consultant. For those lost, here’s the quick and dirty:‍

Insurance agents knock down doors, meet with employers, and sell them on insurance product offerings. The employer then turns around and offers these products to employees, forming an employee benefits program.‍

But who educates employees? In many cases, no one. A passive enrollment - and even some active enrollments - usually consist of a hard to find post on the company intranet or a vague email from human resources reminding you to sign up for insurance before it's too late.‍

Employee benefits consultants - benefit counselors, and benefit gurus - meet with employees and discuss their options. For each product the employee enrolls in, the employee benefits consultant earns a commission or set rate.‍

According to a 2015 Trustmark Independent study, 93% of employees say they “need someone to talk to” in order to make good decisions[4].‍

Here’s how you can dive into the benefits education gold mine as an employee benefits consultant.


Insurance agents are loyal to a specific carrier or line of products as their bread and butter. The issue with this model is that producers are selling what they have instead of selling what clients need. What clients need right now is a package, not a product.‍

For each product, the employer talks to a different agent. The conversation focuses on the best product the agent can offer: “Bread & butter? Everyone loves bread & butter.” Every agent gets their bread & butter on the table, but no one stays around to watch the employees eat the meal. What they’d see is a group of very hungry, very frustrated employees staring at a giant pile of bread and butter.‍

According to a recent study at Penn Law, employees don’t get the benefits they actually need 80% of the time[5].

The sales model optimizes ingredients, but they don’t go well together.‍

Employee benefits consultants focus on the meal. A well-rounded product knowledge allows you to respond to acute employee needs, strengthen the relationship, and generate more revenue.‍

Sit down and think about how all the products relate to each other. Does someone with amazing coverage on their PPO really need an accident plan? How would a Long Term Care rider interact with a Critical Illness Plan? What makes sense in the employee’s budget? When you have all the answers, you move from salesperson to consultant.‍

Congratulations; you’ve established yourself as a subject matter expert. When brokers and enrollment firms invite you to new cases, they’ll have the confidence that you can adapt to their product offerings without tedious hand holding.‍

How does selling core and voluntary within the same conversation affect the performance of each product? In our most recent case studies, benefits consultants educating on all enrollment options increased participation across the board:

Core: 64%

Voluntary: 200%


Insurance agents are either making calls from the office or selling door-to-door. They need to build long term relationships, get to know the marketplace, and find new prospects.‍

As an employee benefits consultant, the opposite is true; the sales cycle for an employee appointment can be as short as one phone call. When you know products like the back of your hand - and you can build rapport and assess an employee’s needs over the phone - you can (and should) work from anywhere.‍

Remote-first practices - being able to work remotely at least some of the time - have incredible benefits. Consultants stand to save $4,000 annually when compared to their office-bound counterparts[6]. Additionally, a study featured in Oxford’s The Quarterly Journal for Economics titled Does Work From Home Work? shows that working from home increases productivity by 13%[7]. These are reassuring numbers for those worried they can’t afford to migrate to remote work.‍

If you’re planning on conducting appointments from a hammock in the Bahamas, you’d better have a great internet connection, a quality camera, and a decent headset. Nothing ruins a vacation like getting fired over email. The goal is to have a remote-first equivalent to every in-person task. Do an audit of your daily responsibilities, and ensure you have the tools to complete them from anywhere.‍

Remote-first practices allow you to impact new populations, but you still need permission. Out-of-state licenses can get expensive, so be strategic about which opportunities are available to you before taking the dive. Additionally, always confirm carrier appointments for new states.‍

In AfterCollege's 2015 Career Insight Survey, 68% of millennial job seekers said a work-from-home option would greatly influence their interest in working for a company[8]. The trend has only grown over time, and 2020 was a virtual reality check.

It’s imperative that employee benefits consultants be technologically advanced enough to work from home, as well as support employees who work from home environments.

Navigating the Transition

In the first part of this series, we have introduced the concept of becoming an employee benefits consultant. We've discussed the evolution of the role, the shift to a more consultative approach, the importance of being knowledgeable and flexible, and the benefits of embracing a remote-first culture. We have outlined the transition from selling individual insurance products to delivering comprehensive benefits packages that genuinely meet the needs of employees.

In the second part of our series, we continued exploring the employee benefits consultant role, emphasizing the necessity of a solid online presence, prioritizing accessibility and inclusion, and the evolution of this critical role in the modern workplace.

As we close this chapter, it's clear that the traditional insurance sales model is transforming. The focus has shifted from simply selling a product to providing a valuable, tailored service that meets each employee's unique needs. Insurance advisors can positively impact employee satisfaction and business success through a consultative, empathetic, and tech-savvy approach.

However, the journey to becoming an effective insurance advisor is challenging. Part 2 of this series will go into these potential hurdles and offer you the tools to overcome them. Whether it's understanding how to navigate the complex insurance marketplace, deciding between striking out independently or joining a platform like Enrollify, or maintaining the delicate balance of being carrier-agnostic while staying informed about the best solutions, we'll help you navigate these complexities.

Join us as we continue to demystify the insurance advisory industry, shedding light on becoming an indispensable resource for businesses and their employees. Stay tuned for an in-depth look into how you can harness your knowledge, skills, and passion to impact employee benefits consultancy significantly.

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