Sell the plan, not the product

It’s time to go beyond transactional advice to strategic advice. It’s not about the products. Those are only tools to ensure foundations are strong.

For instance, superannuation, similar to a 401(k) in the U.S., is a tax tool. It’s going to deliver an outcome — financial independence — in the long term. But ultimately what’s important to clients is their lifestyle choices. It’s educating their kids. It’s having their dream home. It’s having their dream experience of travel, sporting activities and so forth.

Focusing on relationships

It’s not about the products. So step away from the transaction, and focus on that strategic relationship you have with the client. Being a strategic advisor means being more holistic in the way you deliver your advice. A strategic advisor is a coach who thinks with the end in mind.

To be a strategic advisor, I’ve developed tools that make it easier to engage with clients. Because a lot of people find it hard to set goals and clear benchmarks for themselves, it’s important to understand your client’s dreams and ambitions first.

Creating the goals booklet

For my clients, we’ve developed a goals booklet. It starts off with asking them to define their top goals and dreams. Then we map it out and break it down to personal goals, lifestyle choices, experiences, professional goals and so forth.

That’s the client’s why. It’s not about the product, the life insurance, the investment, the superannuation. It’s about the lifestyle choices they want to have for themselves and their families. That’s where the true engagement is with your clients.

This was excerpted from January/February Round the Table.

Troy Collins is a 21-year MDRT member from Toowong, Queensland, Australia.

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