Similar to the safety instructions you receive on an airplane, advisors must help themselves before they help others. Our own personal financial planning can strengthen our extensive knowledge of product solutions and lead to more informed recommendations for our clients. Practicing what you advise leads to authenticity, and guides you and your clients toward the individual legacies you want to leave for your families.
Life insurance is the oxygen of financial planning, and an advisor who recommends life insurance products to clients should be well-insured. Insuring yourself puts you in a better ethical position because you are able to speak to the products, the facts and the consequences from a personal point of view as well as improve your professional knowledge, skills and competence.
Clients often hesitate to purchase the full amount of suggested life insurance coverage, despite your initial analysis and recommendations. If you were to conduct an audit, you would also find most advisors do not have enough coverage on their own lives. We are experts on life insurance! If we don’t adhere to our own guidelines, imagine how clients can incorrectly perceive the proper amount of coverage despite our efforts. Hold yourself accountable, so you can be a good example for your clients as to why additional changes beyond an initial policy should be addressed each year through annual reviews.
You need to conduct these annual checkups to review the plan and make sure you stay on course. Perhaps you need to evaluate how you or your client leveraged any living benefits the past year or how they can adjust premiums if their family is expanding. Tell your clients that even if they deviate slightly, they’ll end up at a completely different destination than planned. These meetings are also important so you can determine whether their needs have changed since they purchased their initial policy.
If some of your clients do not understand the importance of the annual reviews, reframe the reviews as an opportunity to tailor their plans even further. Communicate your authentic motivations for these touchpoints and serve as an example for best planning practices as you continue to evaluate your own coverage options each year. Our recommendations are based on the information clients give us, and we can’t tailor their plans if we are unaware of life or financial changes, no matter how small they may seem. Communicating this perspective often resonates with clients, resulting in scheduled appointments each year.
If you practice what you advise, you will have several personal examples to share when trying to communicate the importance of life insurance. Often, it’s easier for clients to relate to a narrative rather than to a dollar amount or product specifications.
In my case, a family member, who was an athlete in great shape, died unexpectedly. Because of his age and good health, he said he would get around to purchasing life insurance after his previous policy lapsed. He kept putting it off, and I was deeply affected when he left his family without any insurance. Sometimes you do everything possible and the results don’t come through. Personal experiences about my own family’s life insurance needs often propel clients to understand the importance of a life insurance plan, and motivates me as an advisor to ensure I’m doing everything I can to protect my clients and their families.
Combine Your Passions And Career
My family’s core value of never giving up on your passions has stuck with me throughout the years and translates into my career as an advisor. My zeal for insuring the uninsured motivates my actions and helps me authentically present recommendations that I follow in my own life. Making one more phone call or scheduling one more appointment can create a ripple effect, impacting your client’s life and the lives of those around them, something that is far more rewarding than your earnings.