People die and their families suffer challenging financial consequences. People are ill and disabled, and lose their incomes. People suffer critical illnesses and lose their lifestyles. People need the protection that financial advisers can provide.
My 45 years in the financial services business, and recent experience delivering seminars and workshops, tells me there are seven key differentiators between the highly effective and average protection adviser.
Habit one – They build long term relationships
They do not engage in one night stands, they build mutually rewarding relationships. As Theodore Levitt wrote in The Marketing Imagination –“ The sale merely consummates the courtship. Then the marriage begins. How good the marriage is, depends on how well the relationship is managed by the seller”. Customer lifetime value is all important. Mighty oaks from acorns grow!
Habit two – They stand on their client’s hilltop
They don’t just view the world from their own hilltop. They make a conscious decision to see what the client sees also. The beach ball of life highlights that we can all look at the same item or situation and see different things. It’s not good enough just to be aware of your own sales process, highly effective advisers are also aware of their Clients Decision Journey. They are customer-centric.
Habit three – They fully diagnose the client’s problem
They don’t skimp on diagnosis. Not for them instant remedies thrust upon unsuspecting clients. They practice slow selling, using open and searching questions to fully diagnose the client’s problem where one exists. They use their one mouth and two ears, and listen twice as much as they speak.
Habit four – They welcome objections
They don’t stumble or stutter when their clients expresses a view. They realise that more often than not, it’s a request for more information, an opportunity to clarify or expand on things, an unanswered question. Highly effective advisers handle such questions and comments professionally, either in advance via their sales process, or as they are raised by their clients.
Habit five – They target their efforts
They don’t just see everyone as a potential client. They focus, first and foremost, on existing clients. They serve them well through their developing lives and are in constant contact ensuing their ever changing financial needs and wants are catered for. Only then do they prospect for new clients, carefully targeting the client segments they chose to serve. They realise that the more targeted they are, the better their messages resonate.
Habit six – They blow their trumpets
When they go about their business lives, people notice. The highly effective adviser realises that their brand is a result of their reputation multiplied by their visibility. A poor reputation and high visibility serves no-one well. An excellent reputation and low visibility is a wasted opportunity. The ideal is an excellent reputation and high visibility. A visibility audit helps advisers find more opportunities to see and be seen.
Habit seven – They look after themselves
They are not just human dynamos at work. They serve their families well, they look after their health, and they develop their technical knowledge and business skills constantly to maintain competitive advantage. They talk nicely to themselves, using PIG thinking, and above all, ensure their own financial affairs are in order.
So how do you fare when measured against the seven habits? Are there areas you could be working on to the advantage of yourself and your clients? Could you be more effective?
Go take action! Your clients and prospects need the protection that only you can provide.