Secrets for achieving high performance amid disruptions

While change has always been a constant in the financial services profession, the sudden pivot required in the early months of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic tested MDRT members around the world. In Round the Table, we spoke with financial advisors who quickly shifted the way they ran their businesses and connected with their clients. Rather than struggle during this tumultuous time, they found new success. These MDRT members managed to have their most productive year ever in 2020 or 2021. We found out what they did differently to set them apart from others who were trying to keep up. The changes they’ve implemented have promise for a future of continued success.

Aaron Kane, B Bus, AFA, a seven-year MDRT member, settled on seeking out a business coach in 2020. While his business, based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, had a large clientele, this was not being reflected in revenue.

“It’s OK to change and let your clients know about it,” he said. “You don’t have to continually do the things you’ve done for decades if they’re not working anymore.”

With the insight of his business coach, he discovered that he was charging far below industry standard for his services and needed to create fee tension. Kane made the decision to reset all of his client relationships in 2020. He explained to each client the changing landscape of the financial industry, the increased cost to serve and why this profession is his passion. From there, he let the client decide for themselves if they fit the new business model. If they didn’t, Kane politely let them know that his team might not be the best-suited practice to help them, but that plenty of other practices out there could.

“The clients that are ideal to us stayed on, and we have a much more rewarding business model and relationship with our clients,” he said.

His business went from serving 270 fee-paying clients to about 150. Having fewer clients allowed Kane and his team of nine to deliver much more value and personal attention. Thanks to these changes, 2021 was Kane’s best year yet.

“We stopped trying to be everything for everybody,” he explained. “What we’ve done now is made sure that we have the right clients in our business that are willing to pay for it.”

Strengthening client relationships

Round the Table magazine

Read more in the January/February 2022 Round the Table.

Gaining referrals and expanding clientele has been top of mind for Chun Ling Ho, who experienced her top-performing year in 2020, a year in which she also won many industry awards.

“Everyone needs love and care, especially during this pandemic,” said the 18-year MDRT member from Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Reflecting on the success she’s had during the past two years, she said that maintaining a regular relationship with her clients has been fundamental. During the pandemic, Ho has put more effort into connecting with her clients by doing small but meaningful things like sending greetings cards and WhatsApp messages to check on their well-being.

Many financial advisors have found that virtual meetings have allowed them to invest more time in their clients and the opportunity to forge more solid relationships.

Read more about MDRT members who had their best years in 2020 and 2121 in “Best year ever” in the January/February 2022 Round the Table.


  • rosanna says:

    Hi. Can you share tips on how to effectively book appointments? This has been my struggle. I cannot make appointments for people to listen. Often times the response will be ‘not ready yet and no available funds yet’

    Thank you and best regards.

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