Singapore: History made with first MDRT Day

| 29 Aug 2018

History was made yesterday with the first-ever Singapore MDRT Day "History in the Making", with Asia Advisers Network and Asia Insurance Review as official media partners.

Laura Hoi, Country Chair, MDRT MCC Singapore, said in her opening address that MDRT membership in Singapore has grown significantly over the years. From 902 in 2016, the number of members rose by 20% to 1,086 in 2017. It experienced a commendable growth again when the number rose by 35% to 1,463 in 2018.

And MDRT members have every reason to be proud. With some 19,000 financial practitioners in the country, MDRT members represent the top 7-8% in the city-state, she said.

She added, “Whether this is your first exposure to MDRT or you have been to many Annual Meetings, we trust that you will pick up a few innovative and inspiring ideas from our line-up of speakers and catch the MDRT spirit!” There were close to 1,600 attendees with some 400 MDRT members among them.

And attendees had plenty of ideas to walk away with. Other than learning from the sharing and experience of panellists with different levels of experience and backgrounds, attendees also heard from opening speaker Eric Feng on the future of selling.

Selling environment has changed

It is harder to sell because the selling environment has changed, said Eric. In this era where people are running out of attention and easily distracted with a cell phone in hand, you can no longer buy attention or depend on closing techniques to sell.

In the new economy, he said, “We need new ways to earn their attention, then earn their time.” And he said that one way to capture attention is to teach by creating content so as to be seen as an authority and not a commodity.

Once you are seen as an authority and provide enough value, a prospect no longer meets you to consider a sale, but to confirm the sale, he said.   

Timeless truths

While there is no doubt that the environment has changed and that advisers need to adapt to thrive, attendees were also reminded of the timeless truths of the industry.

Among the ideas that MDRT President James D Pittman shared in “Ideas to Take You to the Top”, he said, “As simple as it is, simply setting a goal and tracking your progress can make all the difference.”

He added, “Set a goal, go public. Even if you don’t make it, you will do much more business than you had done before.”

Platform speaker Robert Young reminded that independence for insurance agents and advisers is a double-edged sword. If you join wanting to be your own boss, you have to first earn the right to be your own boss. And don’t think of work-life balance until your chequebook is balanced, he said. “There’s a season for everything.”

A memorable life

And for those facing challenges in their career or life now, they can draw inspiration from Dr Mary Chen Ming Li, the first person in Southeast Asia to qualify for Top of the Table, and Annie Leung, MDRT MCC Regional Chair.

Mary shared the struggles she went through in the 1980s financial crisis when her family got heavily in debt. It was so bad that she didn’t dare pick up the phone for fear of debt collectors. And even when she won the top agent of the year award, she couldn’t afford to buy a dress for the awards dinner and had to borrow one. “We wanted to remember the day that we were so broke, we couldn’t even afford a dress.”

She said, “Life will not be memorable without unforgettable experiences.”

And Annie, who underwent trials and tribulations earlier in her life too, believes that everything happens for a reason. Being able to see things from a different perspective helped overturn her unfavourable situation, and it was only after stumbling through her early life that she started to see the silver lining in all her misfortunes. “Life is full of surprises,” she said. 

Stay tuned for more in-depth updates and coverage of Singapore MDRT Day. 

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