Meet the team

Some WPA Healthcare Partner profiles

Meet Phil Arnold
Picture of Phil Arnold - WPA Healthcare Partner

Seven years ago, life changed dramatically for Phil Arnold. After a long career as an employee of a multinational company he became his own boss - as a WPA Healthcare Partner helping his customers fund their healthcare, be they individuals, families or small companies.

Today, Phil´s enjoying work more than ever. In 2008, he invested in a WPA Healthcare Practice when he was made redundant from his sales job in the oil industry. Phil, now 57, saw this as an opportunity for doing what he wanted: working for himself. Phil, who lives in Taunton, Somerset, explains: "My wife had happy memories of working for WPA years ago and said I should see if there were any opportunities. I was doing my research online and read about the opportunity to be a WPA Healthcare Partner. And it clicked: that was just what I wanted."

What was important to Phil - and remains so today - is that even though he´s running his own business, he´s not on his own. The training and guidance that he gets as a WPA Healthcare Partner means he always feels part of the company.

And there´s another reason, says Phil. "WPA is a not-for-profit organisation and its highly ethical stance is very important to me - and to my customers. As a WPA Healthcare Partner you have a vital advantage over other private medical insurers. They seldom sell policies face to face while as a WPA Partner you meet your customers.

"And our business is not about price, it’s about making sure the customer is getting the policy which suits them. We are not like other medical insurers. We are there to complement the work of the NHS, to offer genuine choices to customers about how they look after their health and that of their family or employees".

At the start, with little prior knowledge of medical insurance it was a steep learning curve, Phil adds. “You have a week’s intensive training at the WPA headquarters in Somerset. I remember feeling I was outside my comfort zone but I soon realised the sales skills I had amassed from years in the oil industry could be applied here too".

Phil adds: "To be successful in this business you have to build contacts, nurture leads and maintain relationships. You need to get people to recommend you. If I was advising potential new Partners, I would say that you need to be enthusiastic, and put customers at the centre of all that you do; the reward is very much a reflection of your efforts".

Meet Robert Westhorp
Picture of Robert Westhorp - WPA Healthcare Partner

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.

Originally from the North East but now based in the Manchester area, Robert was frustrated after 30 years in textile manufacturing and supply chain management by future prospects for his career.

So, after many years managing contracts supplying clothing to companies such as Marks & Spencer, Robert headed for the exhibition looking with an open mind for a new career challenge. Although he saw and considered opportunities in various industries including plumbing and car body repairs, healthcare insurance provider WPA particularly caught his eye because he had been a client of the company in a former role.

"Although I had not really expected to find work in financial services, once I started speaking with them I was impressed and wanted to know more."

After several further meetings building and testing a possible relationship, Robert eventually joined WPA, taking its territory in Great Manchester and North Cheshire.

It was the right decision from the start. Robert got off to a flying start, in fact, the best ever by a new WPA Healthcare Partner. Since then Robert has continued to build the momentum and has become an award-winning Healthcare Partner.

"The key is hard work and applying the proven business model successfully. I´d recommend franchising and WPA as a career, and a visit to the British Franchise Exhibition as a great way to find ideas, meet franchisors and discover which company or industry is the best fit for you."

First published in Business Franchise Magazine May 2011.

Meet Lynda Buntin
Picture of Lynda Buntin - WPA Healthcare Partner

Lynda Buntin, recently named as WPA Healthcare Partner of the Year, says: "My WPA mentor told me: ´Persistence is incompatible with failure´, and I apply that to my business 100 percent. Combined with WPA´s strong product offering, efficient back-up, and support for Healthcare Partners to grow their businesses, persistence has helped me increase my client numbers five-fold in four years."

Lynda, who covers the Northampton and Peterborough area, says: ´When I bought the business in 2009 it was providing insurance for 200 people. Now we insure over 1,000. Friends said I was mad to leave my job as a company secretary and apply for a Healthcare Partnership but I thought, ´If I can make this work in a recession, WPA must be a good business´. Now I know I was right."

Lynda had no insurance industry experience but her background helped. She says: "As a company secretary I purchased corporate health insurance so I understand customer´s concerns. I have run my own business so I know the pressures they face."

She also attributes much of her success to networking. "I attend business networking events twice weekly," she says. "I enjoy meeting local business people and have become known as someone to go to for the reliable health insurance advice. Initially much of my business came this way but now more comes from referrals, and I expect that to grow." Local accountants, financial advisors and human resources professionals also refer clients to her.

"It helps that WPA is different from most insurers," she says. WPA is a not-for-profit organisation that will tailor plans to suit customers, and premiums are based on the claims experience of its whole policyholder community, so customers making a claim do not suffer huge premium hikes. Lynda believes her extraordinary high levels of customer retention are not only down to her passion towards customer care but more so because WPA looks after their customers incredibly well!

The WPA Healthcare Practice

WPA - an award-winning, innovative, UK based private health insurance company with a history of over 110 years.

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Find out more about the WPA Healthcare Practice

Talk to the Healthcare Practice Support Team

01823 625120

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