We’ve all sat through them—the consumer panels that pop up at every industry trade show and conference. It’s important to listen to the clients we serve, but a panel of three strangers seems of little value to those who listen (actually listen) to their clients each and every day. It always struck me as more show than substance.
That is, until “Jessica” discussed her situation at a top producer event for a major financial services company. To say you could hear a pin drop doesn’t do the level of rapt attention justice.
Jessica’s husband was a Navy pilot killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. She received the news as a mother of a two-year-old while nine months pregnant with their second child.
“Here comes the lady with the downer of a story,” she self-deprecatingly joked, lest you think she felt sorry for herself.
“I was handed a pretty sizable check within two and a half days of hearing the news,” she said. “I was a deer in the headlights. I was numb and had no idea what to do. It was all a blur. I had to make these decisions that could affect the rest of our lives.”
Her brother recommended a professional he was using, a former Army soldier that Jessica felt she could trust because “he would understand the situation and the benefits I would receive.”