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Top 5 ‘don’ts’ for financial advisors

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With so many rules and regulations, selling life insurance or annuities can be a minefield for advisors. But by following these five “don’ts,” you can walk the straight and narrow and help your clients achieve financial success.

1. Don’t misrepresent your products.

Inform prospects of the legitimate differences between your products and company and those of your competitors. Document your statements with objective, third-party articles, studies and websites. Never make false statements about government benefits (such as Social Security or FDIC insurance) just to make a sale. Near use fear mongering to sell a product. Highlighting the benefits of a product makes customers really want to buy. People who buy out of fear feel they have been forced to buy. When weak agents resort to this tactic, their sales lack depth and staying power, resulting in “buyers remorse.”

2. Don’t ignore your company’s new business/suitability procedures.

Appoint a Chief Truth Officer (CTO). This might be your assistant, a colleague, or even you. His or her role? To review all client-facing statements in documents or presentations to assure a 100 percent Truth Standard in every public statement or interaction. This function would take place before content is submitted to broker-dealers, carriers and regulatory bodies.

3. Don’t build your business on replacements.

After a sale is completed, unethical advisors abandon clients in pursuit of their next client — and next sale. They don’t realize the value of nurturing existing, long-term relationships with their current clientele.

4. Don’t ignore client complaints.

Unethical advisors frequently brush off a client’s legitimate concerns and complaints. They also blow off client requests and hardly ever return client phone calls promptly. Be aware: In the age of Yelp and Angie’s List, a dispute between an advisor and client will not remain private for long. Your client can air their complaints for all the Internet to see.

5. Don’t sell outside your license and/or expertise.

Unethical advisors claim to have earned credentials they don’t have or overplay the flimsy ones they do have. Or they claim to be able to sell a certain product or service without really having the required experience. Result: They leave themselves in the tenuous position of not being able to deliver on their promises. And when they fail to deliver, they lose sales to their competitors and lose the prospect’s trust.

See also: The top five “dos” for financial advisors