No, that’s not the setup to some off-color joke. Many years ago, I moved to Australia. Within two days of arriving, I wasn’t feeling myself. My symptoms were so severe that it drove me to the local clinic. With some trepidation, I shared my symptoms with Dr. Gil. Everything I said seemed to lead to another laundry list of questions about my health and my habits.

When her 15-minute fact-finding mission was finally over, rather than pulling out her prescription pad, Dr. Gil simply sat back and, with a totally straight face, told me to go home and eat some stewed apples. I took her advice and within 12 hours my symptoms had disappeared.

So what does Dr. Gil have in common with a good advisor? With her incisive interview style and her willingness to opt for a common-sense solution over just a common one, Dr. Gil displayed one of the best traits of a good advisor: to first and foremost ask questions. Too many advisors give in to the temptation to take the easy route, to simply prescribe the pill that everyone expects you to prescribe.

Just as I had had false perceptions about Dr. Gil’s advice and the health-care system, your prospects may have false or out-dated beliefs about the products you offer or the insurance industry as a whole. I have found that a playbook is a great way to combat this.

A playbook is a collection of financial statements from other clients and showing the solution they chose and the results. (Obviously, you will need to redact any private information on the individuals you use in your playbook).

Let’s face it: If you work on commissions, you’re ultimately there to sell a product. However, sometimes all we can do are minor tweaks to improve a client’s situation and sometimes it’s best just to leave things be. Don’t just give someone what they expect because that’s what they expect. Make sure it’s the best solution, too.

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Wendy Swanson has been working with and coaching insurance agents and advisors for nearly 15 years. As a marketing coordinator for Senior Market Sales, Inc., she coaches advisors on practical marketing tips and sales approaches for annuities and life insurance. She can be reached at wendy@seniormarketsales.com.