I am always proud of the contributions made by Canadian Group Insurance Brokers members to better: their fellow members, clients and the industry overall, but Krista Barzso has another side, on top of being a customer focused benefits advisor, she's also an actress, screenwriter and producer.
As a note, it was fun to see my book "Selling Benefits" appear in the movie. Obviously, from the book in front of them :-), the actors and crew (thanks Tatiana Orlova and Mona Hillis), must also be feeling Krista's passion for benefits, while living her passion for filmmaking.
Thank you for sending us copies of your book. I really enjoyed it. Having heard you speak a few times, it was great to hear your personality come through the pages. It takes a special talent to make employee benefits engaging and with your personal stories and photos it was a fantastic read with a lot of great information. I really felt your book not only provided good advice on being a benefits broker but a successful entrepreneur and leader!
Danielle Willoughby - Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan
Top 10 Health Insurance Books in Canada
A quick note to let you know I really appreciate your effort and advice in the book. I’ve downloaded the TED book already as my next read, agree with your approach to public profile and think from what I’ve read so far, you can certainly see the skipper in your approach to using the way the wind blows to navigate where you want to go.
Ross Hendin - Allevio Healthcare Inc.
Read your book, didn't speed read it or skip any section!!
Did I enjoy reading about my former profession, absolutely.
Lots of fun, brings back lots of memories of good and terrible clients, and believe it or not, good and terrible brokers, so thanks for that.
No one can read this and not come away with a dozen ideas to improve their strategy and thus tactics and processes. But maybe most important of all, is knowing that applying the blueprint(s) you've provided will give anyone the confidence that they are doing it right, they can and will be successful.
To me that's the important takeaway for your readers.
Bruce "12% trend" Matheson
Dave's book is an engaging, inspiring, and entertaining read. You can visualize his experiences along the way as he integrates his travels in business and in sailing which makes him so unique. He is a servant leader who truly wants to inspire everyone to make a difference in the industry while protecting his clients and yours. He shares his secrets to success; including how he balances work and fun, ways to learn what you don't do well, why we all need to specialize, and be the best we can be at what we do. We need to be prepared, to practice, to know contracts, question things and to get out of your comfort zone. One of my favourite quotes that speaks about Dave is "The more you lift up another, the more you are raised. Never underestimate how sharing can benefit both parties." Glad you decided to "speak up" Dave and not stay quiet. Your voice and support are a gift. Can't wait for book #2!
I finally found time to finish your excellent book Selling Benefits. I agree with all your comments. I particular aligned myself to chapter 20. I tell clients I am an advisor not a pharmacist - taking orders to fill out scripts.
I agree with your criteria for an order taker. I too have turned down prospects as there wasn’t going to be a good fit for long term relationship
Last year I tried to end a relationship with a client but he refused as I was “the only person that had the patience for him to work with him”
Not always successful
Great book. I have been in group benefits business 42 yrs and thoroughly enjoyed the book.
You all also made me rethink old strategies that I have not used in a while
Good luck in 2021
"I read your book and thought it was great! It underscores what I have come to learn about needing a strategic business partner who you can trust and who will fully analyse your needs. Beyond that, it underscores how companies/ organizations need to think beyond simply costs and engage a specialist who can provide the information and education needed to be effective in managing a benefits program, especially the risk management long-term planning aspects.
I can't tell you how relieved I am to be in the position we are now and it's funny, reading your book and then reflecting back at our conversations makes me grin, as now I understand how you were thinking. I can't remember if you initially turned me down as a client but I distinctly remember you not wanting to charge professional fees for advice which I found both refreshing a perplexing at the time. Now it makes sense!"
"For someone that is new to the sales industry and the sales of employee benefits more specifically, I found it very interesting and helpful. I think it provided some great advice and also some great stories, and with these combined, it really helped to get the point across. This makes a lot of sense since one of his chapters is dedicated to being a good storyteller so you get your point across!! So the proof is in the pudding already! Along with that, there were some basic things that I thought I knew already like "putting the client first". Which I did know and still do, but the way that it was talked about in the book, the situations you may run into and what that could actually mean opened my eyes a bit. This doesn't always mean agreeing with the client which Dave explained well in the book, again, with great stories! It would probably take too long to list but it also gave me some goals moving forward, not in terms of groups or dollar amounts I hit but in terms of what type of person I want to be in this industry and what comes along with that.
Overall, I think this book is great for someone that is new to the industry due to all of the experience that was shared along with the little tips and advice that was written throughout the chapters. It provided a great idea of what to expect moving forward and also provided some possible solutions to those future problems. I know that in this industry it is a never ending cycle of learning but I believe that this book will definitely bring more value to an inexperienced individual in employee benefits over someone that is experienced."
Jordan - Johnston Group
"It's a very good book with value to anyone in the benefits field. It was interesting to read it from my current experience and past experience as an advisor. There were several things in there that should be common sense such as putting your clients first and walking away clients who don't hold the same values as you or are "fourth quarter shoppers."
Some of the things he highlighted that I thought were important for benefits advisors to adhere to were:
- actually understanding the administration/potential liability of the plan
- importance of protecting your clients
- Fair and sustainable pricing
- take time to educate your clients
- share your knowledge
- continue to learn yourself
With regard to specialization, I agree with him although this is tough for a new advisor. But as he says, aligning yourself with other advisors who specialize in other areas helps greatly, as long as you at least have the knowledge to recognize those opportunities.
Taking the time to do things right, dealing with clients with like minded values and walking away from those that don't are important things to follow. It's great advice for all advisors, and something we certainly follow at Johnston Group."
Darren Scott- Johnston Group
Selling Benefits shines a light on some of the things they probably already do. Identifying those successful, and unconscious, behaviours allows them to consistently, and consciously, apply them to their daily business.
- Education builds confidence.
- Confidence brings self assurance.
- Self assurance creates the power to do what is right for the client, at all times. A win-win for all!
In my 34 years working in the group insurance industry, never has the advisor future been brighter. This book needs to be put in a can and fed to all new advisors thinking of selling group benefits.
Over twenty years ago, I remember us both lamenting about the lack of advisor education but you did something about it!
Interested in buying one or two copies?
Amazon.ca orders may take 2 months vs FriesenPress 2 weeks
Amazon.ca hard or soft covers may take 2 months vs Friesen Press's 2 weeks
Amazon.ca orders may take 2 months vs Friesen Press 2 wks.
Front-step book signing
Helping clients navigate the seas of group insurance
by Leo Almazora - Life Health Pro - Dec. 2020
For any professional charting their career in the insurance industry, becoming an ultra-niche expert might feel like an aggressive and risky bet. But for the founder of Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB), Canada’s only broker-focused group benefits association, taking the plunge and becoming a specialist made perfect sense.
“Specialization has so many benefits,” David Patriarche told Life and Health Professional. “You only have to learn one thing, but the learning doesn’t stop because there's just so much to take in. It also means that you don't have to constantly reinvent who you are and reintroduce yourself to people … If you’re known as the person with all your eggs in one basket, then people will also know who to get eggs from.” READ ARTICLE
How to prosper in the group benefits business
by Susan Yellin - Insurance Journal - Dec. 2020
"For five years, Dave Patriarche phoned a prospect with an alternative group benefits package and costs for the entrepreneur's employee. They always chatted, but the businessman stayed firm with the plan and advisor he already had.
Then out of the blue one year, Dave Patriarche received a call from the business owner saying the renewal for his current plan showed up late and the advisor failed half of his service guarantee. So be immediately called Patriarche to tell him he was now on the account..." READ ARTICLE
Read the book to hear the stories behind these photos
Sailor, Benefits Advisor, Speaker, Expert Witness, Author
Dave founded Mainstay Insurance Brokerage in 1996 as a one-person shop specializing in providing employee benefits to small and mid-sized businesses . Mainstay has grown substantially and now Dave only accepts one or two new clients each year and upon referral only. This ensures that he has aligned and educated client partnerships that get the level of attention they deserve.
Dave is a strong believer in continuing education and recognized the need for the group insurance industry to broaden its efforts in this area. In 2003 he started a small networking group, which evolved into breakfast meetings and then into regular educational seminars beginning in 2009. In 2011 he founded CGIB, the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers, an organization dedicated to supporting networking and continuing education for the group insurance industry.
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He is an accomplished speaker at industry events across the country. Dave has worked “behind the scenes” acting as an expert witness in cases involving employee benefits and is often chosen as the “go-to” expert for others in the business.
Dave is recognized as a leader in the group benefits industry and is a contributor to various industry publications. He mentors and acts as an informal resource to other benefit brokers, especially those new to the benefits field.
Dave spends his spare time with his wife Joanne and their sons Matthew (now teaching in Vienna, Austria) and Mitchell (at Laurier University for business). He enjoys taking his clients, friends, associates and just about anyone that wants to come along, sailing on Lake Ontario, or on occasion on the Caribbean and Mediterranean seas. He’s working on a second book that might make it out in 2021, or... 22.
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The benefits book you've been waiting for
Lessons Learned - Voyages Travelled - Stories Shared
This is not just a book about selling employee benefits, another sales manual or a book about sailing trips and travelling the world. SELLING BENEFITS is all that and more, in an easy and entertaining read. You will enjoy and make use of the lessons shared to improve both yourself and your practice. Your business relationships will thrive and be more successful.
Looking for wider distribution? PDF versions are available with larger discounts for distribution to groups such as all
employees or clients.
Interested in having the author for a speaker / book signing? Dave's BIO is HERE and is available, just call 905-886-9203.
If you want to buy in bulk and save? Discounts are available for orders over 10, 25, 50 and 100 softcover copies.
Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave shares his learnings from his long term business partnerships and through those you will better understand:
- How to establish lifelong relationships no one will be able to break
- Lessons to help strengthen client partnerships
- How to build client loyalty that won't be compromised
- Ways of using storytelling to make business lessons stick.
Practical take-aways you can use immediately to improve your business and be more successful.
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Retail price: Amazon.com is $24.99 US & .ca is $38.00 Cdn
"It quickly becomes apparent while reading Selling Benefits, how passionate and dedicated Dave is to bringing his expertise to his role as an Employee Benefit Specialist.
Its pages highlight everything you need to know about having a successful benefit practice, how to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships and how to educate and protect your clients from potential legal/liability issues. He is an advocate for continuous education which was his motivation for starting the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers Association. Throughout the book he uses his love for sailing and his experiences on the water to relate the good and the bad you can encounter in group benefits.
This book reads as if I was sitting next to Dave, having a casual conversation, discussing the industry's top issues. It’s clear that he has spent his entire career helping people, whether it’s clients, fellow advisors, carrier partners or friends. He really wants to make people better.
If you are currently or plan on becoming an Employee Benefit Specialist you should definitely read this book! "
Lindsay Gibson, GBA
"This is the perfect book for all insurance advisors. If you have one benefits client or 10,000 this book is for you. Dave is a professional, a leader and an expert in the employee benefits business. Dave is sharing his knowledge and wisdom on how to be a true advisor with your clients and not just an order taker.
The lessons learned from this book and if practiced by you, your current and future client relationships will strengthen and your competition will be left scratching their heads. Every chapter has a valuable lesson that can be used daily in your insurance and employee benefits practice. Dave shares his successes through real life adventures, stories and experience. Buy this book, read it, then read it again and again. I wish I had it 32 years ago when I started in this business. "
Robert J. Crowder, CLU, GBA- President, The Benefits Trust