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How to make “Do Not Contact” irrelevant

By Jim Ruta | December 19 2011 07:10PM

It appears we will soon have “Do Not Contact” regulations and lists for all communication. First it was the telephone, now email. What will we do then?

At one time we told advisors that communication technology would revolutionize the business. What was once hard work would be easy because we could be anywhere with the benefit of technology.

Surprise! We sure have revolutionized the business. We didn’t factor in the impact of privacy and confidentiality on our communication practices.

Today, it’s exactly because we are so connected that there are rules to limit it. The ease of communication that was once a blessing has now become a curse.

Not to fret. There are ways to make this reality work for you too. It will likely mean a new work ethic for some and a return to some traditional work values, but we will prevail.

While we used to be able to just make calls and send emails to make contacts with new people, it does look like those days are quickly coming to an end. If we can’t contact a new referral, there will have to be other ways to connect with new business.

There are. Much has been made over the years of staying in your office and have prospects and clients and their new business come to you. You know, you don’t have to go see clients, they should come to you. (Just like doctors) Sadly, this philosophy has contributed to the challenges advisors are now facing. Regrettably, people have to see doctors, but they are not obliged to see advisors.

We’ve become office bound. Too many advisors stopped getting involved in their communities and making the connections that make “Do Not Contact” rules irrelevant. Advisors used to be the heart of any community. They were members of service clubs like Rotary, Optimists, Kiwanis, Kin and others. They joined their church and other religious groups. They joined the Chamber of Commerce and worked for the United Way. They were involved in minor sports.

They were out there. Now it seems that many are too busy sitting in the office to be involved.

It’s time to “get in the way of new business” again. Making personal contact with potential clients is back. No regulations I know prevent an advisor from making contact with the people they know and talk to regularly. How many people outside the business do you know and talk to every day? These are all potential clients.

Of course, you have to finesse this and can’t just join and sell. But you can join, contribute and connect so you can earn business later. You can prove that you are worthy of their confidence and trust when the matter of the business you do comes up for them. People can search you out if they know what you do and how you can help.

This is where advertising and marketing comes in. Be well known for what you do with the people you associate with all the time by advertising. Stay top of mind with personal contact and marketing and no communication regulations will matter.

Is there a future in the life insurance business?

It sure looks like it’s on life support. Selling life insurance is like an afterthought for many advisors. The product and those who sell it have been marginalized in the industry.

But there is no good reason for it. There is definitely a future selling life insurance products. It is more than the poor cousin of the financial planning business.

People still need life insurance and they still need people to sell it too. Complicated products, family relationships, lives, tax laws, legal issues and the world economy make figuring your own insurance portfolio akin to solving medical problems by taking a home surgery course.

Here are 9 reasons that the life Insurance business isn’t dead or a dead end:

People need insurance more than ever. The certainty of life insurance provides real peace of mind. And, peace of mind equals quality of life. Our highly leveraged lifestyles today make insuring it critical.

People need agents more than ever. Increased financial market complexity and decreased consumer financial concentration makes for serious confusion. A good agent brings people the wisdom they need to make the decisions they have to make to have the life and security they want – while they can still be made. You don’t have to be dead not to be able to buy life insurance.

We can count less on government than ever. An aging society, suspect world governments and general financial disarray could come together to disable a lot of government programs regardless of the best intentions. Self-reliance through life insurance must survive.

Life insurance still isn’t a demand product. Few people wake up one day with a mission to get their insurance portfolio in shape, unless they just had a major health scare. They need agents to help them protect themselves in advance of an obvious need – it’s the only time you can buy it.

Life insurance is a noble profession. The protection of families and hard-earned business equity in the event of death or disability is an honourable purpose. The protection agents provide consumers is dramatically greater than any commissions they earn for selling it.

Amazing success can still be attained in the life insurance business. Not everyone is cut out for this business but if you are, you can be very well compensated for it.

If you love helping people, this is for you. Agents often end up being a clients’ most trusted advisor and family confidant. No one else is so connected or valuable.

Selling life insurance develops your personality like no other business. Even agents who don’t make it will tell you that they grew substantially in it.

It’s the best-paying part time job there is. Take command of yourself and your business and you can build a life like no other on your terms.

Think about the business in the old way and you can see that a product that “assures” that “life” can continue as dreamed is a wonderful idea. The “Life Assurance” business will live as long as responsible people still want to protect their lifestyles and livelihoods.

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