The other day my 14-year-old daughter came home from school and told me one of her friends was moving. Another victim of the economy? No. Much worse, the father died–suddenly.
Here is a business owner who was holding his own in 2009. He always ran the company efficiently and was careful to manage his enterprise. But like many business owners, taking time to plan with his advisor was never a priority. Now, everyone in his family will suffer with a new set of circumstances. And what about the business? The employees? Their families? Sound familiar?
As professionals with plenty of clients just like this guy, advisors need to impress on business owners the urgency of planning for such eventualities as death or disability. To that end, they can’t just depend on product to carry the sale.
Getting back to basics
Today, the noise level a business owner deals with is deafening, and information overload is a constant impediment. Not to mention the hoards of advisers who continue to add to the confusion. No wonder business owners are numb. They have been beaten into submission. Their response? Do nothing.
I believe, however, there is a silver lining. Given the current state of the economy, business owners are likely to examine their own situation and be receptive to doing proactive planning. If so, now is the perfect time to re-introduce what we really do and help our clients focus on one thing: identifying risk.
Set aside the latest product discussion and put away that asset allocation model. You won’t need it (yet).
It’s not that business owners don’t want or need the right products to protect their business and personal assets; they do. But they just don’t want to spend time learning about them. It is simply too complicated. And once you start down that road, you will have lost that individual. As far as they are concerned, we all want to “sell” them something.