Seize the day
Despite the dire economic repercussions and loss of life the current COVID-19 environment has caused around the world, it could very well be a window of opportunity for more people to achieve MDRT, according to 21-year MDRT qualifying member and MDRT Honor Roll and Life member Wave Chow.
“Achieving MDRT, COT and TOT is easier than ever before,” he said. “Everyone knows that due to COVID-19, the MDRT board reduced its membership requirements on sales performance last year and this year. As the pandemic is better under control in the US, it will be reasonable for the board not to consider continuing the discount next year.
“If there is only one chance to achieve MDRT, COT or TOT in life, I believe this year is the best chance to succeed.”
He also pointed to how there has been an increasing trend of viral outbreak since the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s. And while it might seem a little pessimistic, he does not expect this trend to stop anytime soon. Consequently, with increasing risks in the future, this will eventually lead to a higher demand for insurance as a risk management tool.
“Risk is no longer a risk if you know how to handle it well. How exactly can this be done? Easy, look for insurance. Insurance is the most economic yet effective tool for managing risks. Its existence is essential to keep options open,” he said.
Mr Chow also shared some tips to achieve success during the pandemic, including his three As:
- Awesome dream – You are what you dream. The first step to success is to find an awesome dream. This will also give you motivation when you are going through a difficult period.
- Activity – Unlike certain other factors, we are always in control of what we do every day. While the pandemic has disrupted our daily flow of activity, it is important to stay in control of our daily activities and make sure we stay productive.
- Attitude – Having a positive attitude is critical to achieving success.
At the end, he also advised everyone to take action immediately and not wait for the difficult time we find ourselves in to pass. “Don’t wait for the storm of life to pass, and learn to dance in the rain,” he said.
Adapting, and maintaining the human touch
With COVID-19 case numbers still climbing in many parts of the world as the virus evolves, it is becoming increasingly likely that the current situation will go on for quite a while longer. With that in mind, Financial Perspectives managing director Ronald Wong said it is imperative for agents and advisers to adapt to the current climate rather than waiting for things to get better.
“We have to accept the fact that the new normal is here to stay. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t seem to be going away so we cannot wait until it is over,” he said. “If you are thinking of meeting your MDRT qualification [criteria] in 2021, we need to adapt to the fact that this is here to stay.”
And with the increased reliance on digital tools as we adapt in the new normal, he said it is important to maintain the human touch. His advice for doing this is to C.A.R.E for clients:
- Curate relevant content in an age where clients are constantly bombarded with information from multiple sources. While a lot of information is useful, you need to identify what is relevant to them.
- Assure clients of your availability. Whenever some things happen, you need to be one of the first to inform them of those things. This is much easier to do with digital tools.
- Respond to their needs and be resourceful.
- Educate your client with the right financial information. Many people these days are looking for information from online resources. Remember that you are professional and the subject matter expert who can help them in this area.
Uploading value, downloading connections
Touching on topics such as digital prospecting and social selling in their journey way before COVID-19 even started were social media giants Candice Ong (@Candabanana), Wilfred Wong (@Wheelfret), Willis Lau (@Willislaubx), and Tay Kah Lok (@Hello.jiale). And moderating the event was Joyce Chan (@Joycechansg).
Sharing their best practices on how they upload value onto social media and how they download connections to scale their business, here are some bite-sized lessons from their discussion.
Mixing work and personal lives on social media: By heavily documenting work and personal life on social media, it allows them to become relatable to their followers. Besides having their followers with them through their social media postings, Ms Chan added that it also serves as a gateway to checking up on their customers, friends, and families to see if they’re coping well or facing any issues so that she can come in to assist in any way.
Doing more with social media: Before becoming a financial adviser, Mr Wong had already amassed 3,000 followers on social media during his university days. Deciding to make a bigger impact than just OOTD shots, he converts his newfound knowledge from trainings into simplified infographics and uploads it to social media to value add to his followers.
Through social media, Mr Wong aims to become a thought leader for young adults and work with them on their personal finances. He also shared that “social media prospecting only serves as a complement to the business and not as a replacement. After extracting them on social media, what’s more important is the genuine heart to serve and service them throughout their different milestones in life.”
Recognising your strengths: “When it comes to taking action, you have to get out of your comfort zone but stay in your strength zone.” Mr Lau said it is important to realise what you are good at naturally. Once you have sorted out your strengths, focus on personalising it with your own flavour so that it resonates with your audience. For Mr Lau, it was making videos and Tik Tok content where his followers could relate and reach out easily to him.
Social proving: Mr Tay shared the first three steps that brought him into the social media space:
Step 1. Take selfies with your clients.
Step 2. Post the selfies on social media.
Step 3. Tag your clients.
Not only friends and family on social media get to see that you are a good and popular adviser, but other customers get to see it as well. He said it is a very good way to prove yourself as reliable and trustworthy and it attracts others to you.
If you are wondering if clients even want to be tagged, Mr Tay shared that once you have gained their trust, “asking for permission becomes a formality as they’re more than happy to be tagged and give you a testimonial where you can display like a proud badge.”
Fastest way to make a connection: “Adding them on Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn is the fastest way to make a connection,” said Ms Ong. By adding your prospects online, they get to see what you are doing and know you better. “It’s like an online resume and that made the introduction a lot easier,” she said as she shared how she converted her dentist into a client.
More from MDRT:
Accelerating in the new normal - Delia Wong, country chair of MDRT MCC Singapore
Supporting the career trajectory of agents - MDRT president Ian Green
MDRT Annual Meeting 2021 virtual event Day 3: The times they are a-changing
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