One of the most persistent challenges for the C-suite is that the business’s entire strategy rests on their shoulders, but they do not always have enough insight to make informed decisions. Great C-suite teams rely on their employees for perspective and feedback, but when the topic is beyond the expertise of anyone they have internally, working with an outside consultant can feel like a dangerous gamble. Yes, this person looks like an expert in their field, but will they take the same level of care and thoughtfulness with your business as they do their own?

We see this dynamic on a daily basis as we step inside businesses to overhaul their approach to benefits. Working with an advisor requires a high level of trust and a partnership mentality to have a big picture impact on the business.

Not all advisors are the same. When vetting an advisor, the responsibility falls on you to find a professional who can partner with your C-suite and guide strategic decisions. 

Here are four qualities you should look for in the ideal advisor: 

1. Transparency and Honesty in Pricing

The ideal advisor is transparent in their pricing. When advisors refuse to disclose their rates, you could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what is necessary for the service you receive. 

We recently met with a prospect who was unsure about their advisor’s rates. Based on the size of the advisor’s company and the data we found within their plan, we estimated they were spending an extra $200,000 a year on advising alone. If they decided to work with us, we could provide the same level of attention for closer to $50,000 a year. 

2. Putting the Customer First

Advisors are in business to generate profits. Although many focus on helping clients save money, some push their clients toward unnecessary products and services that boost the advisor’s earnings. 

An honest advisor places their client’s wants and needs ahead of their own financial gain. These advisors work to understand the company’s unique business challenges so they can recommend the best services at the lowest rates possible. 

3. Personal Touches

As advisors increase their workload, some take steps to reduce the number of meetings with their current clientele. Instead of nurturing their customers, they devote more time to sales calls where they can generate extra revenue for their own company. Although this is good for them in the short-term, it quickly leads to negative outcomes for their clients. 

A caring advisor meets with your team on a regular basis so that your plan continues to evolve with your company’s needs. 

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4. Unique Technologies and Benefits

The ideal advisor recommends technologies and services that assist employees in using the plan effectively. Your advisor should provide strategies for educating your employees on ways to maximize plan value. 

As an example, one of our services provides one-on-one plan training with each employee. A representative explains the company health care plan in plain language, and then they offer the employee time to ask questions. 

These services deliver value even when they come with initial upfront costs. As long as they improve the user experience, they can lead to happier and healthier employees. Over time, an effective plan can increase your employee retention rate and hiring process, and the initial costs may be erased by the savings they generate in other areas of your business.

Forging a Partnership

The ideal advisor partners with you to get the best results possible. You may not meet the right advisor in your first few consultations, but the wait is worth it. Once you have the best professional in your corner, you may uncover significant savings and improved health outcomes for your employees.