A superb Insurance Agent or Financial Planner is a valuable asset to have in your corner. Face it, having one on your side ensures that you will never get cheated, or purchase the incorrect product in incorrect amounts, and great service will always be provided.
On the flip side, working with a less than stellar agent exposes you to various financial risks, which is pure irony given that insurance is meant to minimize that. Not to mention they might do a Harry Houdini on you and disappear faster than you can say “Happy Holidays!”.
Lets get down to business. How do most people meet their agents?
Might be someone recommended to them by friends or family.
Probably a chance meeting on the streets, or cold call, or a seminar or even roadshow.
Among the multiple agents that people will meet, how would they choose who to work with?
Based on a feeling of trust. Period.
You know this, and so does every industry practitioner. Trust is what makes clients reveal sensitive personal and financial information over to a total stranger, and making him or her responsible for our financial future.
How then can you suss out who is trustworthy, instead of someone who is talking the big talk and putting on a good show? (We take knowledge as a given factor here)
Our answer: Look beyond the smoke and mirrors – a catchall for every single misdirection attempt. (the polished exterior, the numerous letters behind their namecard, and the well rehearsed script)
Here are 3 of the most insanely creative ways we suggest for making sure that you find for yourself an extraordinary agent – and it only matters to you if you value your financial future.
1. Scan their Facebook posts
What’s in a Facebook post? Plenty, actually. This stems from the idea that sometimes a professional front is totally manufactured, and what goes on behind closed doors can be a different thing altogether.
Theses days the Millennial and Gen X planners are hardly shy about putting their personal life on display for the world to see.This makes it laughably easy for potential clients to have an insightful glimpse on their prospective agent’s actual character.
What are majority of their posts about?
Fancy restaurants and fine dinning? Luxurious purchases like handbags and watches? How they changed their 4th Audi in as many years?
Or are their posts about their clients? Articles about financial planning? Industry related updates?
Remember, you are looking for a good insurance agent, not a good salesman. They may not always be mutually exclusive, but when it comes to your financial future, why not take the extra step to ensure that you have the best person in your corner?
Key idea: Character is what someone is like in the dark. Shine some light on that to uncover a person’s true character.
2. Ask them to show you their own insurance portfolios – do they practice what they preach?
Yes critical illness insurance is crucial. A whole life plan has a place in everyone’s portfolio. Endowments are a great way to amass and grow wealth. Those are all sound ideas coming from many a planner. Except that to some of them, they are merely ideas.
You want to work with someone that is sincere and not just trying to pull a fast one, or recite some plausible concept in the hopes that you will just accept it. A particularly illuminating way to ensure that an agent does what he says is to request him to show you his own policies.
Does he have early critical insurance cover himself? What kind of coverage does he have? Are the policies consistent with his own recommendations, as pertains to income and life stage?
Since you are likely going to share highly personal information with him or her, it is most reasonable that they reciprocate.
And if they decline ever so vigorously, you know what conclusion to draw.
Key idea: Talk is cheap. Action is what counts.
3. End off the discussion with an uncommon question
To a certain degree, meeting with an insurance agent is almost like a job interview. You are trying to suss out if he or she is the best person for the job, that is to look after your finances. And every interviewee is well versed in the general drill: Prepare, prepare, prepare, and put your best foot forward.
What do you, as the hiring manager, have to do to distinguish the real deals from the duds?
You throw them off their game by asking an uncommon question. This gauges their true responses since it is not on the “question list”
Some toughies below:
What are your thoughts about self insurance?
(Self Insurance is the act of saving your own money to insure yourself)
Are there any viable alternatives to this particular policy?
(There is no one BEST policy out there in the market – you are checking for honesty and open-mindedness in the response)
And my personal favorite:
Thank you for your help. Do you mind very much if I purchased it from someone else instead?
(If they claim to be on your side, then they shouldn’t mind very much since you are still benefiting. This question really brings out their own vested interest into the discussion – see how comfortable they are in discussing it!)
You get the gist. Place them in outside their comfort zone and watch their reactions closely. But do keep it polite, of course. You are supposed to be a class act.
Key idea: Sweep away the canned presentations and ask the tough questions. In the absence of preparation, the answers you receive stem from their innermost thoughts.
Ready to choose
When its all said and done, a superb agent is one that possesses a unique balance of professionalism, good character, and a touch of selflessness.
These 3 methods that we have mentioned are definitely off the beaten track, but they effective ways to have a piercing view of who a insurance agent really is.
And as always, follow your heart. (Cheese alert, but we are still kinda hung over for the holidays)
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
We are also no strangers to tough questions and weird propositions. If you have some of your own to suggest or throw our way, we would be happy to hear from you in the comments below!