It has long been true that successful representatives in the life insurance business serve clients throughout all of life’s stages. For some time, many reps have found that the key to remaining relevant is to take a broader view of clients’ financial needs. Often, this means working with clients in both insurance and investments. It also means thinking a little like a sphinx.
In ancient Greek lore, the sphinx guarded the gates of the city of Thebes, and posed the following riddle to all who sought to enter: What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs at night?
The answer, of course, is your client, who crawls as a baby, walks upright as an adult, and uses a cane in old age.
Taking the long view of clients’ needs throughout their lives has always been important. It’s even more critical in today’s quickly changing environment. At a time when people increasingly seek more robust financial planning and integrated product solutions, how can you achieve success? In our view, it requires 3 things:
–The willingness to work under a new paradigm;
–The ability to take a holistic approach; and
–The discipline to deliver long-term value and steady, consistent growth.
The oft-used phrase, financial services, can refer to a variety of transactions that involve money. But it’s unclear how a client benefits in this world beyond a given transaction. Instead, we suggest that reps see themselves as providing something very different: financial security.
This means, at least in part, instilling in clients a feeling of confidence that they will reach their long-term financial aspirations and goals through the actions they take today. It means helping them do so in a way that protects them from the risks of life while pursuing its rewards in a disciplined way.
How do you get there? The first step, as always, is to fully understand clients’ needs. Today, however, those needs are more varied, complicated and interrelated than in years past. Our research shows that just as many consumers feel uneasiness about their financial security due to gaps in their investment programs as those who feel uneasiness about insurance protection.
But it isn’t simply a matter of adding one to the other–investments to insurance, or insurance to investments. The key is to fully integrate needs, understand the big picture and convey how multiple solutions–life insurance, long term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investments and wealth preservation strategies–all work together.
A holistic approach