Three high-quality international speakers delivered a series of diverse and relevant messages to advisers attending the MDRT 2016 Down Under Tour, which concluded this week.
Headlined by legendary US adviser and consultant, Don Connelly, this event, which tours the country every two years, delivered an affirmation of the value of financial advice in general and life insurance advice in particular, while also including references to the broader value that all advisers can and do play within their community.
Ryan Pinney – A changing industry
US agent and agency owner, Ryan Pinney, outlined to his peers how an adviser and/or an advice practice, can leverage advancements in technology and associated changes in consumer behaviour to create a new-age life insurance and financial advice proposition.
Within what he views as a changing industry, Pinney told the audience at the Melbourne Roadshow that producers and agencies are seen as commodities who have lost the personal touch. He said this means pricing, underwriting, products and service don’t matter any more to the new customer of today, who he refers to as Customer 2.0.
Pinney advocates education-based marketing, which links into what he refers to as the tools of a 21st Century producer, which include:
- CRM Systems
- Web communication
- Analysis and data tracking
Within his own multi-generational family business based on the US west coast, Pinney says the use of technology and automation can create hundreds of client touch points in a year, but can also allow time to provide great service for consumers and clients when needed (see also: How to Embrace a Changing World and Embrace New Opportunities).
Michelle Hoskin – Best practice standards for practice perfection
Michelle Hoskin is a UK-based best practice consultant who delivered both a business and personal message to her audience. Hoskin specialises in working with advisers to assist them achieve their professional and personal future potential.
While her business message resonated with her audience, it was her more personal thoughts and ideas that seemed to hit home. Questions, thoughts and ideas delivered by Hoskin to her audience included:
- Ask yourself – what makes me happy?
- The most important person in your life is you
- If you don’t like where you live, move. You’re not a tree!
- There is no way in this world you will ever understand your clients unless you’ve been one
- What’s stopping you from becoming the best possible you that you can be?
- You cannot change the world of your clients unless you can change your own
- People care why you do what you do
- Think differently about everything you’re doing in your business
- If you’re micro managing your staff then you’re not trusting the person or people you’re working with
- What skills are you missing?
Don Connelly – Distinctly different
Industry legend, Don Connelly, distinguished his message to his peers by way of a series of inter-related thoughts and ideas, through which he illuminated a future of possibilities for the both adviser and client.
Following his narrative, Connelly’s key messages,thoughts and ideas traversed areas such as:
Success is not a part time endeavour
- Only one percent of advisers earn a million dollars.
- The one percent combine competence and like-ability.
- People have to like you. People have to trust you. People think you’re smart.
- I’ve seen people fail so many times because of no follow up.
- You gotta stand out. You gotta be different. You’ve gotta master the basics.
- Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice so they never get it wrong.
- Success is not a part time endeavour.
- If you can do the common things uncommonly well, you with achieve excellence.
- Excellence takes a big chunk of time.
- Hard skills are what you know. Soft skills are who you are.
- The only thing that separates great advisers is service.
- Take your service to the next level.
- People don’t buy what they don’t understand.
- People love stories and story tellers.
- They were singing the words but I was telling the story.
- A great question for prospective clients – what do you like to do for fun?
- Think like a CEO. Have a CEO state of mind, because they understand their limitations.
- Running the business gets in the way of growing the business.
- Your job’s not to manage money. It’s about managing expectations.
The differentiating value of the MDRT organisation for advisers around the world lies in its ‘whole person’ approach to advisers and the world in which they exist. Its message emphasises that any successes achieved and enjoyed by advisers are only done so within the context of the rest of their lives.
For interested advisers, the 2016 MDRT Annual Meeting , which all advisers should attend at least once during their career, will take place in Vancouver Canada, from 12 – 15 June.