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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Capitalizing on being honest

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We all know ethics are a major issue in the financial services and insurance industry. Beyond understanding the direct impact on a business, it’s important to recognize ways to implement ethical practices that will not only benefit your clients, but that will aid your growth in the long run.

So how does one make responsible practices, not just a staple of, but an asset to their company?

To David L. Harrell of Harrell Financial Services, a personal connection is often the fastest way to solidify both his dedication to truthful dealings and the best interests of the client. Especially regarding the increasingly difficult topic of long term care, Harrell encourages the use of a real personal example:

“When discussing LTC, I show a copy of my most recent bill from the nursing home for my mother. It shows the monthly rent, $5,100, a date, and check number. That totals to $61,200 this year and probably will go up 5 percent next year. I explain that my mother had purchased LTCI 3 years before being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease… I then ask the question, “How long could you afford to pay the nursing home from your personal assets and savings? It becomes real using a real example.”

Another option is using straight-talk. Though the concept has been misused in the past and criticized in the media as being another tool of the salesperson, when used correctly, it has the power to move mountains. Chris Gassman, an agent with New York Life Insurance Company in Kansas, has proven himself to be one of the kings of honest straight-talk–a distinction which has propelled his business beyond the immediate client onto the next:

“When I work with an estate and/or a business owner, I explain up front how I get paid. I tell the prospect that I get paid in two ways: 1) If after the process is over we find that a product I offer will solve the problem I expect them to give me the opportunity to fill the need; and 2) If you think you are better off after we are done than you are now, I expect you to ‘introduce’ me to someone like yourself. If they don’t agree to both I leave. I never have to leave because they like the idea that I have to prove myself before I expect anything.”