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WPA Healthcare Practice Case Study
WPA Healthcare Practice Case Study
"There’s far more to being a partner with Healthcare Practice than selling insurance policies", find out from Healthcare Practice partner Lorna Smith.
WPA Healthcare Practice Case Study
Franchise Information
  • BFA Membership Status
  • UK Years Established14 years
  • Current UK Coverage80%
  • Franchisee Support Staff15
  • Total Startup Cost£9,200
  • Home-based business locationYes
  • Business to business servicesYes
  • Franchisee operates individuallyYes
Next Steps

A Day in the life of Healthcare Practice Partner - Lorna Smith

"There’s far more to being a partner with Healthcare Practice than selling insurance policies. With a mantra of ‘treating others as you would hope to be treated, this ethical, not-for-profit company makes service to customers a way of life."

WPA FranchiseeFor partners this means getting to know their customers personally from the start, which means lots of networking. It’s hard work but great fun, according to Lorna Smith, the Healthcare Practice partner for Reading and Newbury. Here Lorna outlines her typical day.

5.30am: Up early to get ready for a breakfast networking meeting at 7.15. This happens three days a week – other days I start later.

I belong to several networking groups in Reading and Newbury. You meet a wide variety of people offering services such as business coaching, IT services or financial advice, usually working alone or running small companies.

After breakfast we each stand up and introduce ourselves and our business.

I usually focus on the fact that Healthcare Practice started locally – we trace our roots to a group of workers from Reading in 1901 who formed a savings club to provide themselves with sick pay, and Healthcare Practice maintains its customer-focused attitude to this day.

I like to mention that I’m a partner, explaining that though I enjoy the back-up of a nationally-known company, I’m still a business owner, just like them.

Often I mention something topical, such as the NHS or cancer treatment which are always in the news. My background in the NHS and in pharmaceutical sales means I keep up with developments. I explain to employers how the Healthcare Practice employee assistance programmes work, or how its individual policies can help small business owners when they need treatment at a time to suit them.

Sometimes it’s my turn to give a more in-depth presentation about my business. Many people dread this but I like it. I try to include lots of useful information, to inspire people to remember me and pass my name on to their own contacts.

Once the formal session is over I usually stay on to meet people and find out more about them, and if possible arrange a one-to-one meeting later to discuss how Healthcare Practice can help them.

If there’s a solicitor, independent financial advisor or accountant in the room I’ll usually try to forge an alliance with them. Few of them offer medical insurance and many are pleased to find a specialist they can refer customers to. In return, I’ll pass on their details to any of my customers looking for wider financial advice.

I know it sounds like a life of coffee and chat but it’s more structured than that – I have a message to get across, and for me, this is the natural way to do it.

10am: I’m out visiting customers and prospects, usually referred by existing customers, but some come from referral leads from Healthcare Practice head office. I meet all kinds, including couples looking for individual policies, and companies looking for a cost-effective way to get key employees back to work from an illness more quickly or to give staff an extra benefit, such as a cash plan that helps pay optical and dental bills.

Sometimes I might be giving a presentation about Healthcare Practice’s services to a company that has just bought a policy, so its employees know what new benefits they are entitled to. Other days I am presenting to a potential customer.

1pm: Lunchtime – usually a supermarket sandwich eaten in the car. I choose something healthy – it’s important to look after myself as well as my customers!

1.30pm: Some days the afternoon sees me at a Chamber of Commerce event or another, less formal, networking meeting. Other days I might be meeting an independent financial advisor (IFA), accountant or solicitor, to see if we can benefit by swapping referrals. One of the things that attracts them about Healthcare Practice is that it only sells medical insurance, so I am not in competition.

3.30pm: Back to my home office to do some admin and check my ‘phone messages and emails. I also check how my recently-employed account manager Christine is getting on. She helps with policy renewals, telesales and customer service, but I also make sure I talk to plenty of customers myself – Healthcare Practice is all about the personal touch.

Some days I meet my Healthcare Practice mentor. Healthcare Practice provides a mentor service to all new partners for their first two years. Mine is an experienced partner, who lives nearby, so we meet to talk about how the business is going. I can also call her anytime for advice, and it’s great to have someone to talk ‘shop’ with.

Once a fortnight I attend a business coaching group which helps me keep on top of the business tasks I might be tempted to neglect if I was not chased up. Once every three months we spend a whole day planning our business goals. It’s vital to stand back and take a strategic view regularly.

Fortunately Healthcare Practice is a flexible business so I can arrange my appointments around my family when necessary. Last week I was able to take time out to see my 13 year old son Matt run in an inter-county schools championship. I always try to keep the weekends free for family too.

5.30pm: Time to wind down. Usually I go out for a run with our border collie Jack, which clears my mind after a busy day. Then it’s dinner with Matt and my husband Mark, and time for relaxing – unless I’m going to an evening networking meeting or visiting a customer.

Often I do a 12-hour day, but although when I was an employee I used to resent early starts, now I have my own business I don’t mind at all.

Being a Healthcare Practice partner is not always easy. You don’t win every sale, but with motivation and enthusiasm you can see yourself and your business growing at the same time.

To find out more about the Healthcare Practice click below

What made WPA Healthcare Franchisee, Alex Budd become a Healthcare Partner?What made WPA Healthcare Franchisee, Alex Budd become a Healthcare Partner?

Alex Budd, a WPA Healthcare Partner, talks about the transition he made just under three years ago

Mark Tomlinson Joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010Mark Tomlinson Joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010

Mark Tomlinson joined WPA Healthcare Practice in September 2010 as a franchisee in the South West.

Healthcare Practice Partner Profile - Simon MarksHealthcare Practice Partner Profile - Simon Marks

Simon Marks came from the banking sector and took over a well-established portfolio of customers in Northern Ireland in November 2012.

Matt Trapnell Has Found a Second Career with Healthcare PracticeMatt Trapnell Has Found a Second Career with Healthcare Practice

For Matt Trapnell Healthcare Practice has led to a fulfilling second career.

David O'Toole is a Member of the Healthcare Practice Partner TeamDavid O'Toole is a Member of the Healthcare Practice Partner Team

Meet, David O'Toole, a member of the Healthcare Practice Partner Team.

A day in the life of Gavin Flaxman, Healthcare Practice PartnerA day in the life of Gavin Flaxman, Healthcare Practice Partner

Gavin Flaxman joined Healthcare Practice as a Partner in 2013 and is based in central Surrey.

Phil Arnold second career, ethical companyPhil Arnold second career, ethical company

Seven years ago Phil Arnold became his own boss as a Healthcare Practice Partner.

Introducing Lynda Buntin from Healthcare PracticeIntroducing Lynda Buntin from Healthcare Practice

Lynda Buntin was recently named as Healthcare Practice Partner of the Year and talks about her business in Northampton and Peterborough.

Wendy Pake has built a successful career as a partner with Healthcare Practice.Wendy Pake has built a successful career as a partner with Healthcare Practice.

"TheHealthcare Practice opportunity attracted me. I had no medical or sales background but I knew I was good with people and felt I could provide advice."

'Customer care makes Dan the best in the business'"Customer care makes Dan the best in the business"

Uckfield man and Healthcare Practice partner, Dan Wade says that looking after his customers has been the key to his success.

Social NetworkerSocial Networker

Discover what your life could be like as a Healthcare Practice partner through Uel Campbell.

Healthcare Practice Partner Profile - Robert WesthorpHealthcare Practice Partner Profile - Robert Westhorp

When Robert Westhorp set off for The British Franchise Exhibition in Manchester five years ago, he had no idea that he would meet a former supplier and eventually join the company.

What Our Franchisees Say

Attending the open day at Head Office was extremely useful and helped reassure me that I was perusing a good opportunity. It allowed me to learn more about WPA, meet a number of staff and experience the culture and transparency of the organisation. It certainly played a crucial role in my decision making process about becoming a Healthcare Partner.Catherine Bennett – Healthcare Partner since December 2014

My advice for anyone looking to become a Healthcare Partner is just do it! If there is a practice available near you then absolutely go for it. The training, the support, the help, the advice - it’s been the best decision that I’ve made.Ross Le Jeune - Healthcare Partner since 2016

The Healthcare Practice is unique… I’ve never worked with a company that look after you so well. Joining them was the best decision I have made in my life, hand on heart.Bob Grace - Healthcare Partner since 1999

Why Choose Us

A not for profit organisation that really cares about customers

Build a solid and sustainable long-term business

Award winning customer service

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