As 2009 gets underway, every financial prognosticator seems to be dominating headlines and airways with dark and dreary analyses. It is suffocating.
Do they see no hope? Is there no reason to walk with even a slight bounce in the step?
Well, some of these wags do admit, better days “could” be ahead, but most also soberly advise that “this won’t happen for quite a while.”
It’s the old bulls-and-bears conflict, refashioned for today’s recessionary economy, U.S. and global. The problem is the bears are winning–for now anyhow.
Insurance professionals who pick up on this might end up repeating the dire pronouncements to clients and each other. If so, it is doubtful they will draw (or keep) many customers, because they won’t convey the confidence customers need to see and believe better days are possible. Instead, they’ll be sucking the oxygen right out of the air, leaving little reason for customers to go on planning, saving, insuring, investing and building for the future.
Therefore, it’s smart business for insurance and financial professionals to work on confidence-building. Naturally, this should be grounded in careful examination of financial realities and possibilities, not in Pollyannaish all-will-be-wellisms with no truth or teeth.
This could include finding examples of where hope is alive or incipient, despite all the very bad news, and communicating that to others. It may include looking for kernels of opportunity amidst the rubble of daunting losses and then pursuing them.
True enough, finding such diamonds in the rough won’t eviscerate the naysayers. And, not all diamonds are gem-quality anyhow. Still, the process of redirecting attention to possibilities can be a valuable source of support and guidance to people who are starting to sink into despair.