What do professional athletes and producers have in common?
Gilder Financial Management
People and companies kiss up to them. I have been in the financial industry for over 18 years and work with professional athletes and financial advisors. When it comes to athletes and producers in our industry, it seems most people/companies are afraid to speak the truth, and challenge us to be better.
Professional athletes have been kissed up to since junior high school, and everyone is afraid to tell them no. You wonder why 60 percent to 70 percent of professional athletes go broke three to five years after they leave the game? The simple answer is no one had the guts to stand up to them when they were making financial mistakes because they were afraid of getting fired. The players I work with know that I am not a kiss up. I always tell them thousands of people would love to work with you; however, I am not going to kiss up to you when I help you manage your finances.
Our industry is the same. A marketing wholesaler invites you to a free conference that serves some drinks and food to butter you up to write insurance business under them. Next, they explain how their products are better than the competition, and if you’re lucky, you might get a marketing idea or some sales script to follow. Great — another thousand producers reading from the same script. What was better, the food or the knowledge?
When you are finished with a company webinar or conference, do you feel 100 percent confident you can talk objectively to consumers about life, annuities, long-term care, estate planning or pension planning? Do you feel 100 percent confident talking with a client’s CPA and estate planning attorney? Do you feel 100 percent confident about a consumer asking you a question?
Most producers cannot, because our industry has failed to teach the basic fundamentals and have made us “financial sales people” instead of true advisors. So, how do you become a true advisor and capture more business?
Know how to read and understand the client’s tax return
While some advisors prepare reports, charts and have the client fill out fact finders, I read the tax return instead. The tax return tells you approximately 90 percent to 95 percent of the information you need to know about your client. Using this approach, you will also be able to:
1. Increase your sales. (The right way)
2. Know most of the client’s investments. (How much would you pay for that?)
3. Make yourself different. (Who else is reading tax returns?)
4. Sales/marketing opportunities. (The count is 106 and rising — I use them and teach them in my class.)
5. Establish professional relationships. (You can be the quarterback.)
6. Better understand your client. (Questions you need to ask — and the answers you need — are in the tax return.)
7. Protect you from financial and regulatory standpoint. (It can save your behind, because you’re dealing with facts and real information.)