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Meet Advisor of the Year finalist Eric Scott

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During his 30+ years in the industry, Eric Scott has learned the importance of holistic planning, client education and storytelling. Rather than fearing the many changes currently facing the industry, Scott views them as an opportunity. Here are some of his thoughts on practice management, working with seniors and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

On holistic planning I’ve learned that if you really want to help people, you’ve got to do a lot more than just sell life insurance. You’ve got to become more of an overall planner and advisor. Over the years, we’ve added annuities and LTC and managed money and built what I feel is a very strong platform to reach out and help people, no matter what category they need help with at that time.

On working with seniors My grandmother ended up in a care facility and lost everything. There are a lot of people out there who want to enjoy retirement. They want to have the ability to help their family, but they’re not being guided or not in the right direction.

I love people. And my parents taught me the importance of having respect for veterans and seniors. I love being around seniors, and I think that came from my background, my family and my parents. It just became a natural fit for me.

On educating clients If you educate, then people can make an intelligent decision. I’ve taught at the university level, I’ve taught in libraries. We have a program where we have a conference room that holds 14 people and we’re always educating and doing events that way. To me, that’s number one.

On the power of storytelling When I’m talking to people, whether it’s at events or in the office, I’m always using stories. People can relate to stories so I use them in my books, and I do the same on the radio. Through stories, they can see themselves, and that’s part of the education process. “You know, that’s happened to me” or “I’m worried that’s going to happen to me, and I really need to do something about it.” Stories are powerful and our presentations and books are designed around them.

On technology Technology is changing the industry. That is where we have to look at things differently. I go back six or seven years ago and I’d say, “I don’t think I need a website. My clients don’t even go online.”

But I realized, you know what? We need to do that. It’s a good way to stay in touch with them and it’s another way to educate them. It also helps us to keep better track of our clients. To be able to be in front of them more and to make sure we’re in front of them at the right time.

On compliance I think compliance is going to get harder and harder. And I think it’s something we should look forward to and say, “OK, if it gets hard, it just means we can be better at our jobs.” A lot of people are fearful. That tells me that in some cases, maybe you’re not doing what you should be. So we turn everything in to our RIA before we do anything. To me, that’s a good thing. Because then, you’re saying the right things and doing the right things.

I find that when we embrace change, whether in technology or compliance, we become stronger.

On work/life balance Families are important. You have to have a balance and prioritize family. I always say God first, family second and work third. If you do that, things will come together. I can tell you I’m not successful without my family and especially my wife. She supports me in everything I do and she looks at everything and helps me make decisions.

She’s currently taking care of her dad, who’s in a care center. It’s sad he’s there but the thing that really stands out to me was I wasn’t able to help my grandmother because I was so new in my career, but I made sure 20 years ago that her father had long-term care insurance. And he’s using it now. To me, that says I learned well.

See also:

2015 Advisor of the Year: Eric Scott

Eric Scott’s 10 principles for holistic advising