Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered
By Rodney Ballance
The Financial Leadership Academy
My dear friend, Jeff Armstrong, who came up in our industry through some of the same channels as I did, has said this statement thousands of times: "Pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered."
When Jeff says this rather graphic statement, he means that when a financial advisor meets the needs of his clients, he will eat well because he has served the needs of another. On the other hand, when a financial salesman focuses on simply selling a particular product and wedges it in to fit everyone’s “needs,” they are going to eventually end up dead in this business.
I agree with Jeff in that far too many licensed agents are more focused on selling a particular product than on truly learning the needs of the prospect and then filling those needs with a variety of products.
It's no wonder our industry ranks near the bottom when it comes to trust. Typical families don’t understand how various financial tools work, and therefore can easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous sales people with a slick gimmick.
One such gimmick is the push for annuity sales today. Even though I agree with and wholeheartedly support the use of fixed rate annuities in an interest-friendly environment, I would stop short of blindly prescribing one for everyone.
Like mine, I know your inbox is littered every day with promotions from IMOs promising that selling annuities will double or triple your income. What if someone could benefit more from a combination of permanent and term life insurance but you’re only there to sell an annuity?
If you’re only a one trick pony, will people ever seek you out as a true financial professional, or will you be labeled as the annuity salesman until you decide to sell something else?
I want all of us to “get fat” from doing the right thing for clients. That right thing, in my opinion, is taking a holistic approach to personal finance. Being able to recognize the basic needs of a prospect and then filling those needs with a combination of the appropriate financial tools will earn you respect and referrals.
Unfortunately, when one agent “gets slaughtered” because he/she sold someone something due to limited knowledge or concern for the client, we all get slaughtered along with them. Remember this thought: “Do something good for someone and the silence is deafening, but do one thing wrong and you can’t stop the talk about it.”
If you want to become a well-rounded financial professional and ensure you’re not confused with the salespeople headed for the hog pen, there are a number of fine training programs available in our industry.
Let’s all get “fat” together as we listen to the clients, consider all objectives and place the right combination of appropriate financial tools to meet those needs and objectives. Just give it a try and separate yourself from the hogs on their way to an unpleasant demise in this business.