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It’s Always Something

In PEO sales, it’s always something. Sales are going along great, then suddenly you hit a certain size and hit the wall. You start hearing prospects say they don’t need a PEO because they can look everything up on the Internet. Or, you realize you need to reevaluate your value drivers to differentiate your PEO and recalibrate to your market.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another, so what’s a PEO to do? The good news is, as this feature illustrates, there’s always something:

  • When you hit one of those natural growth plateaus and want to get past it, do your research and invest in organic sales;
  • If you want to improve sales results, use the right metrics to develop better prospecting, appointments, and proposals;
  • When prospects suddenly “know it all” because they have the Internet, double down on your value sale and remind them that they get what they pay for;
  • If the sales process has become too complicated for younger business owners, meet them halfway by engaging them on your website and consider the online sale;
  • Has your sale become stale and your PEO just another PEO? Examine your value drivers and make sure they differentiate you and match your market;
  • Are sales disruptors hitting you from all directions? Track them down and apply imagination and persistence; and finally,
  • Is your marketing operation becoming so “robust” that it fails to engage its audience and has substituted quantity for quality marketing content? Step back, pause to listen, raise the bar on your content, and improve your connection.
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Health by Association

On June 19, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule regarding association health plans, or what are commonly referred to as AHPs (AHP Final Rule). The new guidance could have significant implications for stakeholders, including PEOs, as well as their client employers and worksite employees. Specifically, the rule expands the universe of arrangements that can qualify as association health plans and also applies large group treatment to qualifying AHP coverage. It achieves this by broadening the criteria under federal law for determining when employers may join together in an association that is treated as the “employer” sponsoring a single-group health plan (and by allowing certain self-employed persons to be treated as employers for this purpose). According to the preamble, the AHP Final Rule “facilitates the adoption and administration of AHPs and expands access to affordable health coverage, especially for employees of small employers and certain self-employed individuals.” Here are some questions you might be asking about the rule, and some answers...

Executive Office

The Thrill of Victory, the Agony of Defeat

The author Robert Vaughan called it “The Thrill of the Sale” in his essay on selling his first article to Aviation Digest at age 19. As an entrepreneur, I still never tire of this sensation: the edge-of-your seat anticipation and excitement at the close of a deal. This is magnified greatly when you are part of a team of professionals who work together to achieve goals. It takes passion, determination, drive, and the right team in place to execute each component of the sales strategy; otherwise this success would never have been possible. To me, there is no greater high in business than making a sale, or the thrill of victory. At the same time, the lowest of possible lows is to lose a sale or an existing valuable client, and the despair that follows is the agony of defeat.

Finance & Accounting

When it Comes to Payments, the Future is Now

Fasten your seatbelts! The payment evolution in the United States is taking off. Consumers often want instant gratification, whether it’s having the latest gadget, information readily at their fingertips, or money in their wallets. The Electronic Payments Association (NACHA) and The Clearing House (TCH) are two payment leaders that are paving the way for faster payments for consumers and financial institutions. Now, it’s up to you to get onboard and hang on tight.


Service Innovation

I recently attended a presentation by Dr. Lance Bettencourt, Ph.D., author of “Service Innovation.” Bettencourt is one of the leading authorities on service innovation. Surprisingly, this is not a new idea, but it has been gaining visibility as the term innovation is attaching itself to everything from Microsoft’s tag line to all manner of magazine covers in grocery stores. While a company’s focus on continuous improvement and refinement of its service offering is certainly understandable and necessary, there can be a downside as well. The secret to true service innovation is ...


Inside Word

Go Big or Go Home

According to, the American idiom “Go big or go home” is an exhortation to go all-out, to put all of one’s effort into an enterprise, to experience something to its fullest, to be extravagant. Moving forward, when it comes to marketing the PEO industry, this should be every member’s mantra! In the last 40 years, NAPEO internal staff and volunteer leadership have spent the majority of their efforts creating legislative certainty at both the state and federal levels. Clearly, that was worth the time and capital invested. At the same time, however, little effort was spent on marketing...

NAPEO Notebook

NAPEO’s Summer Tour Patrick J. Cleary

It’s been another busy travel month for me, but it’s always gratifying—and sometimes fun—to be out there visiting with you, the members. I started out with a visit to LandrumHR in Pensacola, Florida. Britt Landrum III and his team—Johnathan Taylor, Kara Bloomberg, et al.—were great hosts. Britt was kind enough to conscript all of his employees and invite me to talk to them about NAPEO and especially about our industry promotion efforts, beginning with our market research, the most ambitious and far-reaching industry research ever done by NAPEO. (It can be found on line at

Legal Q&A

Developments in the CPEO Program Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. In the last issue I read about the controlled group license for certified PEOs. What else new should I know about the CPEO program? A. From a service perspective, the Certified PEO (CPEO) program has moved to a new section within the IRS. This transfer seems to have caused...


ACM 18 Sneak Peek Chris Chaney

Dr. Kaihan Krippendorff is the founder of the New York-based business strategy consulting firm Outthinker, an author of four books on innovation and growth (a fifth is in the works), and a guest lecturer at business schools throughout the country. He is also one of two keynote speakers who will address attendees of NAPEO’s 2018 Annual Conference & Marketplace to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, from September 5 to 7. Krippendorff recently told PEO Insider that the opportunity to speak to NAPEO members has been his first exposure to the PEO industry. After some initial research, he quickly became impressed with the PEO model.

The Big Picture

Connecting Ensures the Success of our Workers’ Compensation System  Bill Donnell, CPCU

For many, the future and the changes that will come with it can be intimidating. Perhaps the greatest fear associated with the constant advancement of technology is the elimination of jobs, whether because of automation or obsolescence. However, rather than elimination, a better word to use is transformation.  With new technology comes new jobs, new industries, and new solutions that we can’t conceive today. We’ve seen this pattern repeatedly across history. It will take time, but connecting with the work of the future means understanding its evolution and identifying the risks that will inevitably emerge. 


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