Golf and private medical insurance are seldom linked. But for WPA Healthcare Partner Matt Trapnell there are striking similarities between the two, which have led to a fulfilling second career.
Matt became the local face of WPA in Buckinghamshire in July 2012 and is now a senior Partner. But he started out on a very different path. A keen sportsman, Matt left school at 18 and, being one of the UK’s leading junior squash players, took a first job at Trent Bridge cricket ground, close to where he grew up.
He then moved into golf sales arranging membership and events before entering the blue-chip end of the hospitality industry. However the world of private jets started to pall and Matt wanted a new challenge: but one that used the personal and professional skills he already had. The answer was to invest in a WPA Healthcare Practice becoming a WPA Healthcare Partner.
Matt, who lives in Farnborough, Hampshire, explained:
"A lot of people have said to me that golf and private medical insurance have little in common.
I didn’t agree: in my experience they can be quite similar. Medical insurance is about helping customers fund their healthcare – sport and health are complementary. With both you have to make your customers feel valued: to make sure they have bought the right service or product and that they are happy. If they are, when it comes to renewal time, they will carry on their membership. This is true whether you are selling golf club memberships or advising on private medical insurance. Your business is knowing your customers and ensuring their needs are met: do so and you will retain their business and they will recommend you to others – a key driver of the growth of my business at WPA".
Many of Matt’s clients come from personal recommendations, others from leads garnered from business contacts and forums.
Matt emphasises that being a successful WPA Healthcare Partner involves hard work:
"The first three years were sometimes tough but after that, you can see just how the business model works. You get out all that you put in and more".
He works full time, often starting with breakfast meetings. Most of his time is spent meeting people – and it’s this face to face contact that he particularly enjoys. The work fits in well with his busy family life – Matt and his wife have five children.
And while private medical insurance can be complex, Matt adds:
"WPA offers fantastic products: there is a plan to suit everyone. I don’t see myself as a salesman but as a local healthcare expert: I am here to advise people on the best way to protect their family’s or their business’ health".
Matt adds that he finds WPA "massively supportive" and says the administration for partners is "not onerous at all". So what kind of person does he think would suit becoming a WPA Healthcare Partner?
"You have to be a self-starter. You have to generate your own customers and nurture them; and you need to keep in touch with leads. I’ve just picked up business from someone I first met when I started four years ago – showing that the long game can pay off".
Matt's advice to anyone thinking of becoming a WPA Healthcare Partner:
"It takes time to build your business, put the hard work in and it can give you great rewards and great satisfaction of helping people with their healthcare. Every client is so different. The flexibility for the family and being your own boss gives great satisfaction too."
Simon Marks came from the banking sector and took over a well-established portfolio of customers in Northern Ireland in November 2012.
Meet, David O'Toole, a member of the WPA Healthcare Partner Team.
Mark Tomlinson joined WPA in September 2010 as a franchisee in the South West.
Gavin Flaxman joined WPA as a Healthcare Partner in 2013 and is based in central Surrey.
Seven years ago Phil Arnold became his own boss as a WPA Healthcare Partner.
Lynda Buntin was recently named as WPA Healthcare Partner of the Year and talks about her business in Northampton and Peterborough.
"The WPA opportunity attracted me. I had no medical or sales background but I knew I was good with people and felt I could provide advice."
Uckfield man and WPA partner, Dan Wade says that looking after his customers has been the key to his success.
Discover what your life could be like as a WPA partner through Uel Campbell.
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.
"There’s far more to being a partner with WPA Health Insurance than selling insurance policies", find out from WPA partner Lorna Smith
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, Board Chairman
Attending an Open Day and seeing the slick and technologically advanced operation behind the scene convinced me I was making the right choice. By the time I left the Open Day, I had made up my mind that WPA was a company which lived the business values that matched my own.David Rollock – Healthcare Partner since September 2014
I took up my Healthcare Partnership 7 years ago. It has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding stages of my career. I have grown my customer base and income substantially year on year and my husband and I now run 2 franchises. We have found them to be an innovative, supportive and generous franchisor.Tina Kemp, Account Director, Mentor & Healthcare Franchisee
Build a solid and sustainable long-term business
Award winning customer service
A not for profit organisation that really cares about customers