The Life Insurance and Financial Advice industry is one where trust and integrity are the base of solid service. The actual product, planning, and advice come next.
As Life Insurance and Financial Planners, we’re obliged to follow a particular code of service. We’re obliged to put our client’s best interests first, and ours next. Perhaps easier said than done. In business, after all, the default human mode is survival and self-preservation.
My goal here isn’t to question the quality or integrity of anyone’s work. It is instead to infuse more consciousness into the work that we do on a day-to-day basis. As the numbers grow and the client accounts increase, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s truly right.
Towards this, let’s ask ourselves a few fundamental questions, shall we?
Question 1: If the commission weren’t a concern, would you still offer the same products and advice that you offer today?
Let’s say commissions were leveled, and you made the same upfront commission from a Term Life Insurance policy as you did from a Universal Life.
Let’s say those big-ticket mutual funds that pay hefty checks upfront didn’t do that.
Would your advice or product recommendations to your clients change in any way? Would you instead recommend a different set of products and services or a different course of action?
Question 2: If circumstances aligned, would you use your own advice?
If your financial circumstances were the same as some of your clients, would you make the same financial decisions that you advise your clients to make?
Would you buy the same policies, invest in the same funds?
I think this is a significant reflection on how ethical and true to your best self you are really being with your financial advice.
Question 3: Are you providing an impeccable customer experience?
Are you showing up, following through, and going the distance with every client?
No matter how big or small a client account, when you commit to service them for a period of time, it’s your job to conduct timely follow-ups and review meetings, show up and be there to address their questions and concerns. Check in on them to make sure they’re doing alright and make sure they are comfortable with the financial course of action and decisions taken.
If your motivation to show up sees a significant drop after the commission you’ve earned has been spent, then you might not be servicing your clients with enough good intention.
It helps to work with people that you like and care about. A few years ago, I made the shift to work with only Right-Fit Clients, and it changed the game for me.
Question 4: Are you showing up with products or solutions?
I know a few Life Insurance Advisors and Financial Planners who swear by a particular product. That’s not necessarily the best approach.
A product can be great but not fit your client’s financial needs.
If you’re offering a blanket solution pack that applies to most or all of your clients, it’s likely that you’re not doing the best that you can, UNLESS your definition of a right-fit client is solely based around the specific solution you offer.
When you’re advising your clients, really dive into it. Conduct a thorough fact-find. Use an online tool if you need to and build a clear financial plan for them. Review the plan yourself first, and then with your client. Address their goals, both long-term and short-term, and then create a solution that fits them and will serve them in the long run. You’re in it for the long run, remember?
It’s imperative to cut your interests out of the equation here. This is about them and their long-term financial goals.
Those are a few core qualities that I think set the best apart from the rest.
Over the years, I have mentored and worked alongside a lot of Advisors, from the young, enthusiastic beginners to industry veterans. I believe these fundamentals apply across the board.
What do you say, fellow Advisors? Have I missed anything that is an essential part of your practice and quality standard? Comment below, and let’s raise the bar together.