James Yang, edged out over 400 entries in the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards to emerge among the top five in the Insurance Agent of the Year category. He shares with us his success story.
By all accounts, James is a successful financial adviser after 15 years in the business. In 2018 alone, he was winner of Financial Planner of the Year awarded by Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS) in the tied agency open category, he’s an Executive Entre-Planner in Great Eastern Life, a recognition of the top 1% achievers in the company, and he qualified for his seventh consecutive MDRT qualification.
But beyond his business achievements, James stands out for his commitment and passion in contributing to raising the bar and image of the industry. He is an active speaker on MDRT platforms, including the 2019 Annual Meeting in Miami, he is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam Board Volunteer to set questions and vet CFP exam questions, he is an Associate In-house Trainer for Great Eastern Life Singapore and OCBC Bank Bancassurance on retirement planning and Investment Linked Policies, and he gives Pro-Bono public talks jointly organised by FPAS and various government agencies.
Paying it forward
“I have the opportunity to share my passion, knowledge, and know-how in my professional capacity to help my community, and to help fellow industry members see that prudent financial planning is the way forward for the industry. These, in my opinion, are legacy achievements which have the effects of being able to pass on to many more people and impacting more lives,” he said.
He regularly shares candidly on stage how he goes about designing a comprehensive financial blueprint for his clients. He says simply, just as how he benefitted from industry giants in the early years of his career, he is just paying it forward.
While others may guard their business processes or presentation ideas, James said the competition is not within the industry. It is about winning the hearts and minds of the people outside of the industry. And to do that, the industry as a whole has to raise the level of professionalism in providing advisory.
Advisory is the way to go
“To give advice rather than just product features and benefits.”
The impression that insurance agents and advisers are just doing sales is not a correct painting of the industry. But it will take time to change that perception.
This is why James believes that advisory is the right direction to go. It is important for advisers to go beyond just clocking sales figures. Advisers need to conduct a thorough assessment of their clients’ commitments, needs and wants, and be a life planner to ensure that the financial blueprint can be followed in both good times and bad in the years to come.
“It has got to do with how you hold a relationship. You need to give proper emotional support, and at the same time, you need to give logic to support the sale to happen. Human beings always buy by emotion, but they have to justify their purchase with logic. We cannot just sell by emotions and not provide logic - otherwise we’re just doing hard selling in that sense. “
Finalist of “Insurance Agent of the Year”
Emerging as a finalist over 400 entries and catching the eye of close to 30 esteemed judges, James is one of the top 5 Insurance Agent of the Year in the region. The Awards, with an independently-audited judging process, goes beyond production figures to recognise the top advisers and leaders in the industry for their professionalism, ethics, and contribution to industry and society.
James is proud to be recognised as among the best in the region as the Awards aligns very closely to James’ value and vision of the insurance industry.
He said, “This profession should not be viewed as just sales. We must bring out the true values the public can receive from us – which is good advisory. I believe this award will be able to bring awareness to my country that advisory is the future of our society’s financial wellness for my countrymen.”
Winners of the 4th Asia Trusted Life Agents & Advisers Awards will only be announced at the gala dinner on 18 July 2019 in Bangkok. For more information on attending the gala dinner and the Agency Innovation Conference, visit: https://www.asiainsurancereview.com/Events/Home/Asia/airaic2019