Doctor 1: “What would you like to do?”
Doctor 2: “Here’s what I’d recommend for you.”
I’ve recently made some changes to a medical specialist that I see on a regular basis, and as I’ve been going through this transition, I’ve noticed some similarities to the financial services business. Let me break down the approaches.
The first time I saw Doctor 1, before I had the opportunity to discuss my situation with her, she proceeded to push me towards a specific device to help me control my condition. My wife and I spent a half hour listening to her describe this device; not once asking about my lifestyle, my current process, my concerns…anything.
I had already done research on the device she was discussing, and I had some concerns to use it. After I offered this information, she threw her hands up in the air and said, “Then what would you like to do?” as if she was insulted by my concerns.
She then asked me how I wanted to change what I was currently doing to combat my condition, as if I was the specialist. I promptly responded, “I don’t know, you’re the doctor.” Nothing positive happened from this interaction, and I immediately started looking for someone else.
My experience with Doctor 2 started with a simple question, “Can you tell me your story with this condition?” I went on to tell Doctor 2 about my initial diagnosis, my daily grind with it, and my concerns with my current treatment plan. She wanted to know what my typical day looked like; waking up, working out, eating, working, coaching, and sleeping.
As she was copiously taking notes, I could tell she really cared about what I was saying. She asked me several clarifying questions, and we spent a good part of a half hour talking about ME, not her sales pitch.
Then, she followed up this conversation with this statement: “Based on what you’ve shared with me, your current treatment is not what’s in your best interest. I believe I have a better solution for you. Here’s what I’d recommend for you…”
So, how is this like the financial services business? I’ll provide 2 perspectives:
1. Advisor to Client
Our top advisors understand their clients’ situations, and before they make any recommendation they make sure they’ve done their due diligence.
That means clarifying information about the client’s situation, becoming familiar with potential solutions for that client, and understanding how these solutions integrate with one another.
Most importantly, our top advisors truly care about their clients, and will create tailored solutions based on their specific needs. Our advisors are not order-takers – they’re integrated financial professionals.
2. Insurance Marketing Organization (IMO) to Advisor
Top IMOs seek to understand the advisor’s business, and before any product, program, or business recommendation is made, we make sure we’ve done our due diligence.
That means clarifying information about the advisor’s situation, becoming familiar with potential solutions for that advisor, and of course, understanding how these solutions integrate with one another.
Most importantly, top IMOs truly care about their advisors, and will create tailored solutions based on their specific needs. Top IMOs are not order-takers, they’re integrated financial professionals.
Unfortunately, we still see some advisors act like Doctor 1, either by being an order-taker or by recommending a solution before really getting to know the client.
In this new world of integrated planning, it’s more important than ever for clients to align with the right professional, and it’s equally important for these professionals to align with the right IMO partner.
Take the Doctor 2 approach, and call me in the morning.