When this topic was first put to me my mind immediately went into overdrive with all the useful little hints and tips I’ve picked up over the years, not the mention the acronyms, oh the acronyms!
But. Then I thought about it. What do I wish I had been told as a fresh adviser, or rather what was I told that I still hold onto now?
I’ve come up with my Top 3 (there’s a LOT more) Tips for Advisers, these are my ride or dies, my mantras, the key to my success! Ok, I may be getting carried away.
Tip 1 – Don’t be afraid to actually give ADVICE!
Remember that YOU are the expert in the protection conversation, that’s why they’ve come to you after all. Be confident in your role and believe that the questions you’re asking will help you to give them the BEST advice. Sometimes advisers end up being directed by their clients, and whilst it’s their journey – you’re their guide.
Tip 2 – Get to KNOW your client.
Sometimes we as advisers can get caught up in our own processes, worrying about whether we have all our boxes ticked and everything we need for our reports. Now, I’m not saying it’s not important, but it’s NOT the priority in the beginning. The person in front of you is your number 1 at that moment. Put the pen (or laptop) down, take the time to listen, interact and share your own stories with them….be a human being! Taking this time makes preparing your advice SO much easier, you will fully understand how they live their life, what they don’t want to miss out on. I recently wrote on a fact-find – "won’t cancel Netflix" (other streaming services are available), this reminded me that they don’t want to sacrifice any part of their lifestyle should something go wrong, making it easier for me to present their solutions with context. Context is KEY.
Once the rapport is established, filling in the gaps on your fact-find becomes a doddle, they want to help you now.
Tip 3 – You won’t know EVERYTHING!
It’s impossible, you can know a lot but not everything. We work in an industry that is constantly moving, what’s right one day is wrong the next, indicative terms are just that and insurers will move the goalposts frequently. There’s nothing wrong in wanting to verify the information you’re providing, but I also understand not wanting to say ‘I don’t know’ to a client. Try this instead – "I’m fairly certain I know the answer, but I just want to double-check nothing has changed before I commit". Never has anybody then turned around and accused me of not knowing what I was doing, they’ve all been perfectly happy that I wanted to make sure I provided accurate information.
The theme that runs through all 3 of these tips is confidence. Know yourself, be yourself and get to know them. It’s a recipe for success every time.