Some advisers just seem to have it all. Success, productivity, quality business, work-life balance and even time to contribute to raising the standards in their company and the industry. Ever wonder how they do it?
Amy Wat, winner of Insurance Agent of the Year at the 3rd Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards, is one such adviser. Among her impressive achievements and active contributions are being a MDRT Qualifying and Life Member, 100% policy persistency rate over the last five years, a mum to two young daughters, a Certified Financial Planner ambassador at the Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong to promote professional financial planning, one of the creators of the “Premier Lady” group which consists of mums in her district to promote work-family balance, and a senior premier builder in her company’s Premier Academy to coach new joiners.
She shared with us one of the secrets to her success – the importance of positioning for top advisers.
Do your clients treat you just as an insurance seller? Do you seldom get repeat business from your clients? Do you find yourself lacking time to prospect or serve quality clients who trust you? Amy said that by positioning the role you play as an adviser right, it will help you to solve the above problems and reach the TOP!
Generally, there are two types of clients in the market, she said.
Shopping-oriented clients: Clients who tend to just buy something, see themselves as the boss, and demand unreasonable levels of service.
Planning-oriented clients: Clients who tend to seek help and expertise to find solutions for their situations. They have more respect for advisers and tend to have a higher value and volume of business with advisers.
But by nature, most clients are not strictly either type. How they behave and the kind of clients you attract are also a result of your positioning as an adviser.
You attract what you project
Some advisers attract shopping-oriented clients because that’s what they do, just selling insurance products. They ask prospects for a budget, propose a product, negotiate the coverage vis-à-vis the budget, followed by sales techniques to close the deal.
These advisers usually end up with clients who sign up for low-premium policies because of the absence of proper fact find and financial planning. These clients are unlikely to refer their loved ones, and they may not even wish to meet up again as they do not view the advisers as trusted experts, said Amy.
Other the other hand, if an adviser is professional, and viewed as such by prospects and clients, the reverse is true.
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Hence even though product sales was still a common practice at the time when she joined the insurance industry, “I made it my mission to do real financial planning for people”, she said.
The advisory approach may take a longer time with extra meetings required to conduct a full fact find with prospects and also to explain the comprehensive plans painstakingly put together. However, this process reinforces the role of a professional financial adviser and also help you to get the complete financial picture of your prospects. When you help your prospects uncover their financial risks and gaps, and offer useful advice and solutions to their problems, these prospects will no longer be shopping-oriented clients.
When a prospect experiences the benefit of proper financial planning with you as an expert in helping him secure a better financial future for his family, he will be much more willing to meet you for annual reviews in future as he sees the value in doing so. Besides, he would also introduce his friends and family members to you to ensure that their financial portfolio is well-taken care of too.
So by taking the professional approach, you attract planning-oriented clients and indirectly more business and referrals!
Quality clients, quality life
Over the years, Amy’s planning with her clients has gone deeper. The areas of discussion have widened to include property/mortgage finance and other investment tools in the market, where Amy will bring in the necessary experts and partners outside of the insurance industry when needed.
“In Hong Kong, we do not run fee-based consultations in financial planning, but middle-class consumers appreciate these value-added and comprehensive advice. Through this advisory approach, planning-oriented prospects tend to place their trust and business with me. On the other hand, the shopping-oriented prospects who are not into financial planning will be automatically filtered out,” she said.
These quality clients respect you as a professional and appreciate your help. And because of your professionalism, they will make you their family adviser to help plan for loved ones too, which leads to referrals and repeat business by default.
“Ultimately, what this translates to is the joy of being in the career as a professional touching lives, and really living the MDRT whole person concept. I get to enjoy quality time with my family, especially my two kids, and also share my knowledge and experience with the industry and society at large,” said Amy.
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More resources to help you reach the TOP:
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