How Will Your Own Business Look Different?

The national discussion right now is focused on when and how to reopen our economy. There is an ongoing and energetic push and pull between individuals who believe we need to get back to work as soon as possible, and those who believe we need a slow approach, and all those spanning the spectrum that lies somewhere in the middle of those extremes.

This moment is a time to ponder what will be different about your own business as we come out of this strange period of lockdown and social isolation. I am not just talking about the changes you’ll make to your workspace or even where your workspace physically exists. More importantly, now is a great time to rethink what you focus on when you talk to your prospects and clients.

I would suggest that the following issues have bubbled to the surface of your prospects’ and clients’ concerns, and they may well be worth incorporating (or for some of you, re-incorporating) into your regular discussions:

  • Financial literacy is crucial, and unfortunately, not enough people realize it until they’re in a crisis. As an example, consider the economic challenges this pandemic has caused, and then think about those who have little savings to manage. Many less fortunate people don’t earn enough to save, and that’s a different issue altogether. But many others choose not to prioritize savings because they don’t understand the point. Economic challenges do occur. That’s the point! Find ways you can educate your clients, their families, and their employees about some basic economic principles, and you will be providing a tremendous service and setting yourself apart.
  • Risk is a very real part of our world. Although it is certainly not the most glamorous component of a solid financial plan, protecting your clients from the risks of dying too soon and living too long is arguably the most critical part. This crisis, which brings both health and economic threats to the forefront of absolutely everyone’s consciousness, shows how important it is to minimize risks. You have the products that do precisely that, and your clients and prospects need to know what you can do for them.
  • Use data to point out needs. With all of the public discussions about how to prepare for the increasing numbers of patients, how to have enough personal protective equipment for frontline workers, and now how to reopen businesses, our country is getting a real-life lesson in data analytics. I am not advocating using data to sell in every circumstance. However, we are seeing and hearing experts every day talk about following the “science and the data” in their decision making. You can help clients and prospects who are inclined in that direction to make their financial decisions based on rational thinking and data.
  • No matter how compelling the data, how great your products, or how sound your advice, your relationship with your clients is the key to your success. At a time like this, it’s rare to find a person who isn’t at least somewhat confused. Worse, many people are questioning the decisions they’ve already made about their money. Is my plan still going to work? Is the market coming back? Is my job stable? Do my retirement plans need adjusting? Will my business survive? And on and on and on. I would propose that no one has the answers to these questions. Yet I would also suggest that those clients who have a trusted advisor with whom they can openly share their concerns will gain real value from that relationship. Are you providing that kind of value now? As we move into the next phase and business moves closer to normal, what will you do to ensure that you continue to provide that kind of personal value to your clients, so they continue to turn to you in the tough times?

This works for brokerage general agencies, marketing organizations, and other insurance wholesalers. Your brokers are also wondering how they’re going to navigate this crisis. How will the products they sell change? Why are the carriers making the changes they’re making? How can they really help their clients and prospects while continuing to grow as a business? You can help your brokers answer those questions. Brokers who have that relationship with a BGA who is there for them in these times will stick around and produce when times improve. Again, the connection itself is where the value lies, and the smart wholesaler will be thinking of ways to improve that relationship.

There are various things we’re learning as a nation as this pandemic and its economic ramifications unfold. We’re becoming a lot smarter — we hope. I encourage you to take a similarly thoughtful approach to your own business. Work now on making it what you want it to be.

Chuck HirschChuck K. Hirsch, CLU, is the former editor and publisher of Life Insurance Selling magazine. He continues to contribute to insurance industry publications, in addition to providing consulting and marketing services through his firm, Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC. He can be reached HERE.