Over the past 20 years working with and training financial professionals, I’ve noticed an increasingly alarming trend. Fewer and fewer agents really understand and implement a holistic approach to personal finance.
Company training is specifically designed to do one thing: sell company products. These companies really don’t care whether or not the agent lasts 30 days in the business or 30 years, as long as that company’s products are placed.
The real difference between truly successful financial professionals and the product pushers
can be found in one word: questions.
When was the last time you sat in front of a prospect and asked them questions about financially-related issues that you aren’t
licensed to sell? For example, if you’re life and health licensed, when was the last time you asked a prospect what their deductible is on their homeowners or auto policy? What is their monthly premium on those policies?
When was the last time you asked them how much they contribute to their 401(k) at work, and how much of that is matched by their employer? What about asking about the size of their tax return last year? If someone gets a large tax return, that typically means they’re paying too much in taxes every paycheck, and giving an interest free loan to the government.
Taking this information into consideration, why should you ask these questions? The answer is simple. When you help people realize that their money is working harder for someone else than it is for them, they get angry. When they get angry, they usually want to make a change.
When people are educated
about a better way that’s more advantageous to them, they will most likely do business with the one who brought them this newfound knowledge. You can be the hero for your clients when you are the only financial professional in your community who understands how all the pieces of someone’s financial life effectively connect.
Teach your prospects and clients how to be pro-active in their financial planning. Help them understand how every dollar they
send to someone else is a dollar that can never benefit them again. When they understand how increasing the deductible on an insurance policy can reduce the monthly premium, they begin to see how they can redirect those dollars to financial products that actually build cash value for them.
Give this approach a try the next time you’re tempted to start an appointment by talking about a company or telling a prospect how a specific product is so wonderful. Focus on the prospect, and learn their needs, goals
and desires. You’ll be amazed at how many people will turn to you for guidance when they know you are more focused on helping them than selling them.