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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Surviving the negativity challenge

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I know some negative people in my life. It’s hard to ignore them since one of them stares at me in the mirror every day.

So it’s funny when even I’m turned off by the negativity.

At an industry conference this week — WarnerPacific’s annual ancillary/worksite symposium in Denver — I heard some interesting attendee sound bites (and even some speakers). They included: “We’re doomed,” “I can’t wait for the government to fail and for consumers’ premiums to skyrocket,” “There’s nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act,” and possibly my favorite, “What’s the point?”

As a consumer with health issues, I can tell you that I can wait for skyrocketing premiums, and as an invested American who has to buy insurance, I don’t want the government’s plan to fail. It’s too costly. Am I certain it won’t? I’m not, but I’m also certainly not rooting for failure. Call me selfish, but I’m personally invested as someone who needs and buys insurance.

So, brokers, won’t you help me?

I get the doomsday scenarios, I really do. I write about them all the time. But I also really see a need for your business. Unless you haven’t read one of the hundreds of articles about it, Americans don’t understand PPACA. And you do more than anyone. Your role is more important than ever to educate and inform your clients.

And voluntary benefits can be brokers’ new sweet spot. There’s an incredible lag of offerings by employers despite employees’ interest in the products.

But perhaps the most important thing to do is be proactive and be positive. In the midst of some of the negativity, there was a good glimpse of positivity at the conference. Here are some tidbits:

  • “When there’s major change, be an early adopter. Don’t get left behind.”
  • “Be the expert. Educate and inform your clients.”
  • “There’s tremendous opportunity in voluntary benefits.”
  • “Our industry is changing so quickly. We should be here to support each other.”
  • “Your job as a consultant or advisor to clients is more important than ever.”
  • “It’s a fun time to be in this business — differentiate yourself.”

Simple ideas? Yes. Simple to execute? Not always. But especially in sales, a positive attitude is imperative. James Lloyd, a motivational speaker, told a group of brokers at the symposium that an agent’s positive attitude is the No. 1 factor in productivity. And, if it’s any consolation, too, on average positive people live about 10 years longer.

That’s a reason for all of us to quit the doom and gloom attitude.

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