In the column I wrote two weeks ago I mentioned that this month marked my 50th year in this business that I have been privileged to serve in a variety of ways. Along the way I have observed a few things that may be helpful to people who are in personal production, and my hope is to lift a few of them up in future articles.
When I see the kind of preparation new people have to endure to enter our business and the kind of licensing that is required today, I am so thankful I came in when life was much simpler. Oh, things were tough then also and the numbers not in the same league with today’s mega-numbers, albeit that aspect is somewhat relative. But the focus was narrower and one did not have to be expert in so many dimensions of what we today call the financial services business.
But then that begs the question–can one really be expert in all facets of a business as broad and diversified as financial services? No doubt there are some who can claim that distinction, but I suspect many more cannot. This, I believe, is particularly true of new people, for it takes years of experience to attain full competency in all areas of financial services.
For this reason it seems to me that there will be a growing tendency for field people to do joint work. To best serve the needs of a prospect or client it might be best to bring someone in on a case who can fill in the gaps in your own expertise. Doing joint work has been around forever–but one of the things I have observed is that most people do not do it well. It is to that issue that I would like to offer a few suggestions born out of my own experience.
There are two primary impediments that get in the way of effective joint work. The first is the unwillingness of an agent to forego any part of the control over a client for fear of diminishing his or her own role. The second, and closely related, is our own ego. It is difficult to admit that someone else may be better able or qualified to solve a problem. If you are going to call someone in for joint work (or help), those two issues must be confronted. You may ask yourself which is more important: stroking your own ego or making a sale. If ego tops making the sale–forget joint work.