T.J. Pool, president of Arlington Senior Alliance, is speaking today at Senior Market Advisor Expo on how producers can exceed their annual sales goals by doing the right thing.
Pool says it’s vital to “know your client and make sure your client knows exactly what he or she is getting.”
I spoke to Pool earlier this year to find out how he became an ethical advisor and what advice he would give to other producers on how they can incorporate high ethical standards into sales success:
SMA: What led you to your role as an advisor?
Pool: I started in the insurance business in the 1980s, but as a captive agent. I soon realized I couldn’t recommend the best solutions; I could only offer what the company offered. I needed to move out on my own and become an independent to be a true advisor. The term “advisor” is used very loosely in today’s world, and there are so many types of advisors, but what people are actually looking for is a trusted advisor. If everyone would do everything they can for their client and prospects by taking on a fiduciary responsibility, we would be a whole lot better off. So many advisors go into a meeting to push a specific product instead of what is really needed by that client or prospect.
SMA: What is it about seniors that led you to make them a focus of your practice?
Pool: I worked with IBM for 20 years, and with my specialization in state, federal and local governments, I kept running across all of these programs that were geared towards seniors, but so many of the services never got into the hands of the people they were designed for. I saw a niche I could fill, and I could be someone who could bring programs to seniors. I feel like my business is set up to answer any questions seniors have, or at least be a resource to get them the right information.
SMA: We hear a lot about suitability in this industry, but in your mind what is it that makes one an “ethical advisor?”