How to find opportunities during difficult times

No one would say going through a pandemic is easy or recommend it as a best business practice. Yet, it happened. To everyone. Our world changed, and it didn’t always feel like “we’re all in this together” as we sheltered in place and clients wouldn’t step foot in your office or in your seminars.

Yet despite everyone’s collective and individual struggles, many MDRT members found spaces to rebuild and realign. They saw areas for improvement or revision that may have always been there but could now be seen better. To help you see some opportunities in your business, read what MDRT members from around the world had to say about how they changed their business during the pandemic. 

Increased life insurance discussions with younger clients

As Albert Einstein once said: “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” 

Though we’ve lost many lives to this virus, opportunities have also emerged. Before, people would think they were too young to get life insurance; nowadays, having life insurance at a young age has become part of their financial goals. 

In my presentations, I use the concept of “insurance in a portfolio” and emphasize the importance of life insurance as an asset class. Learning the many benefits of permanent life insurance protection has sparked curiosity, especially among young adults and young families.

Current pandemic times have also created an opportunity for asset repositioning. Some clients want to take advantage of market participation; others are moving into more conservative financial vehicles that can provide capital preservation. There has been a great opportunity in retirement assets being rolled over due to job loss or retirement.

In addition, reviewing beneficiaries resulted in the acquisition of new clients.
Vanessa Carolina Narvaez, of New York, New York, MDRT member since 2015 

Showing clients new opportunities

Many companies are revisiting their employee benefits offerings during this pandemic. We took this opportunity to share new ideas on how they can improve their program with little to no extra cost.

As more people are staying/working at home, we use this opportunity to explain what retirement might look like in their older years and help them project how their lifestyle and cash flow might look. This helped us initiate many conversations about retirement planning.

As the economy slows and interest rates are at a record low, we are reaching out to many mortgage owners to help them refinance. This helps them save on interest expenses and also presents an opportunity to discuss the rest of their financial portfolio.  
Chee Hong “Vincent” Gan, ChFC, CLU, of Singapore, MDRT member since 2008

Laser focus on better technology

The greatest opportunity I found for my business was a laser-focused approach. That is prospecting for a specific segment of the society who is ready to work in this “new way” of doing business. 

For example, I started to look for prospects who are able to conduct a virtual meeting and able to send to receive a PDF or Docusign. This is a new needed reality to which eventually more and more people will continue to adapt.

This “preparing-the-stage conversation” (with questions such as: Are you comfortable with technology? Would you send and receive documents via email? and so forth) has made people more honest in their seriousness of engaging with a financial advisor. It saves a lot of time.
Tomas Ohannessian, CFP, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, MDRT members since 2015

Enhancing process and relationships

We’re taking the opportunity to ensure we’re in the best possible position to help our clients. This includes cleaning our back-office system data and putting processes in place to improve workflow. We started using new systems to improve business structure and recruited a new administrator to provide additional support and allow for development within the team.

We have also worked to strengthen our relationships with introducers to provide them with updates on areas where we have been receiving questions from clients so they can help their clients.
Catherine Gough, FPFS, Shrewsbury, England, MDRT member since 2018 and Top of the Table qualifier

Emergency funding

Round the Table Cover

Find more from MDRT members about their experiences in 2020 in the November/December 2020 Round the Table.

My business has, in fact, grown during the pandemic as I approached my clients and prospects with a new perspective of contingency planning for unforeseen situations. Not only do I look at protecting their basic needs and wants, but I also insist that all my clients build a solid base of emergency funding.
Jennifer Claudette Khan, FSCP, MFA, from Carenage, Trinidad and Tobago, MDRT member since 1993 

Long-term dividends

Like most people, my typical workday is different now than it was before the pandemic. I’m using the time to focus on projects that will pay dividends in the long run. These are worthwhile projects that I can now give proper attention to rather than trying to squeeze them into an already full, pre-pandemic schedule. 

I was looking to create an app that would help clients focus on their financial objectives and encourage them to make decisions that are consistent with their objectives. That project has been on the wishlist for years. With our newfound “free time,” we’re finally able to give it focused attention and will launch it in early 2021. 

I also went back to school to earn a significant accreditation, which gives me new capabilities that will make a direct impact on what I can do for clients. I probably would have made time for it one way or the other, but this year I could do it with less work on evenings and weekends. 2020 may very well be a great year to add to your credentials.
Brad Brain, CFP, CLU, of Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada, MDRT member since 2010, Court of the Table qualifier

For inspiration about getting past difficulties, try these videos from MDRT’s YouTube playlist “Mindset Shifts for Success.”


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