They Glazed Over Like a Christmas Ham

They Glazed Over Like a Christmas Ham

As the benefits program consultants tried to explain stop loss coverage and utilization rates, I watched the audience of blue-collar decision makers glaze over like a proverbial Christmas ham. The executive sales team had no clue that the biggest sale in their firm’s history had just slipped away right before my eyes. It was such a lost opportunity, too, as this was a game-changing benefits option that would be a win/win/win for the employee group, its public agency employer and the taxpayers who funded it all.

My client was counting on the consulting firm to help bring everybody on board. Unfortunately, they failed to recognize the need for critical adjustments in their standard terminology and narrative. During the discussion of “stop loss”, for example, I wanted to jump in and say, “You know, like overdraft protection on your checking account.” There was no attempt to connect unfamiliar concepts with things the audience routinely grasped.  In the end, it was a triumph of the Cost of Confusion: no sale – with a nice slice of ham on the side.



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