Life Insurance has to be sold mate!
I have heard the above line often from financial planners and life agents claiming that without ‘sales tactics’ and ‘insurance commissions’ a lot of Australians would be in fair worse position than they are today if they hadn’t purchased life insurance from a commission-based agent.
What a load of rubbish!
As long as life insurance (and any financial services product) is sold as a separate product outside the broader and richer conversations focussed on clients achieving outcomes important to them, then sales tactics will prevail and most Australians will remain under-insured and at greater risk than they may need to be.
A few rare financial advisers today are ‘selling’ insurance like a surgeon is ‘selling’ anathesthic. That is, they don’t.
New-breed (I call them ‘certainty-based advisers’) advisers are successfully challenging their clients by believing in approaches “…if you want us to best help you achieve all the things you desire for yourself, your family, your business and everything important to you, but you aren’t willing to take our advice regarding how to best manage your risks, that’s like driving without a seatbelt. We don’t allow our clients to undertake life’s financial journey without a seatbelt”
Does an oncologist ‘sell’ the benefits of giving up smoking? Does a teacher ‘sell’ the benefits of preparing for an up-coming exam?
Is that a sell? Or is that good tough (and required) leadership?
Sales v Leadership
The future of financial advice is less about ‘sales-ability’ and more about ‘leadership.
It’s less about getting clients to ‘like me’ before they “buy from me”.
It’s less about ‘always be closing’ and more about ‘always be leading’.
It’s less about ‘features and benefits’ and more about ‘outcomes and behaviours’.
It’s about winning respect and trust as advisers provide their advice that will maximise the probability of their clients best achieving the outcomes they desire rather than the products the adviser may provide.
Is the financial advice industry today ready for this transformation?
But don’t let that stop you. We aren’t ready for the majority of new challenges in our lives.
If you want to cling onto commissions and product features, all the best to you. If that is your strategy I strongly suggest you focus on becoming a subject matter expert in your chosen technical speciality and build your alliances of referring advisers who continually tap into that expertise. Otherwise, I’d predict your best professional years might be behind you.
What do you think?
About Jim Stackpool
For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.