I have learned so much about this role and industry over the past two years, but most importantly I have gained confidence in myself. Here are three tips that I would give any new adviser starting in this business.
The first thing I realised whilst training to be a protection advisor is that I cannot expect everyone to have the same enthusiasm towards insurance as I do. Unfortunately, clients do not always understand the need or the worth of the product. I would feel very frustrated by the lack of care sometimes given towards the cover offered and when a decision came down to the price I felt as if I had failed. Unfortunately, a hard lesson to learn in work ( and life ) is that not everyone feels the same way you do, not everyone understands it the way you do ( no matter how good you are at explaining it ) and it is your job to educate and advise but that does not mean you are going to change their minds. Some people simply do not grasp it; but if you have advised the products in detail, explained it in a relatable, understandable way and warned the clients of the risk that they are taking; Then your job is done, the responsibility has been passed from your hands to theirs.
We will never be able to cover every client with the protection we would like – no matter how good of an advisor we are; However what we can do is sleep soundly knowing that we have given them the best advice possible and what they do with it is now down to them.
Leading on from that, please never ever cut corners. Ever. Each client you speak to is a potential claim, and if you have not offered and made clear what is available to them then you risk having a difficult conversation further down the line. My theory is this; if I can look myself in the mirror and know I have advised everything to that client to the best of my ability then I have done my job properly. Is it awkward at times…yes! Does it get uncomfortable discussing added benefits, upgrades, additional costs etc…absolutely! Is not mentioning it worth telling a client they are not covered? Definitely not!!! If that client does not know all the details of what is available then the only person to blame is YOU. So no matter how uncomfortable you may find it you must understand the significant risk your taking by not discussing it with them. Knowledge is power and you hold that power, please make sure it's shared because these clients are trusting you to protect them – do the right thing.
Finally, the “unimportant stuff” matters more than you realise, these bits of information build the foundation of trust between you and the client. Your conversation and interest in that client, their family, their hobbies, favourite wine and so on, is what differentiates you from a robot. Treat your clients like they are friends, speak to them how you would normally speak if you met someone in a social situation – be yourself. There is nothing more important than your client feeling comfortable with you – especially before the medical. The more you know about them as a person, the more you will know about their needs and their concerns. This all stems from the “unimportant stuff”. Build that rapport and be interested in the things that wont affect the insurance, but will begin to build a lifelong relationship between advisor and client.
But the most important of all to remember is to do this job with a good heart, a clear conscience and a passion for protecting people.