I’ve been singing since the age of 4. During my younger days I made it pretty far in the Chinese version of “American Idol.” So in the Chicago Chinese community, I’m kind of like a celebrity — without the big paychecks obviously.
When I first started in this business, everybody I came across knew me as a singer. I’ve talked to my mentor and colleagues, and some of them said, “Keep singing.” I used to sing at different kinds of events. Then there are some others who say, “You’ve got to change your brand. If all people are going to see is the singer, they’re not going to view you as the financial services guy.”
Then I found out it’s about making people begin to know you. It doesn’t really matter what company you’re with or what products you have. What they buy is you. So I started hosting different gatherings and parties. At these parties, I don’t really talk about anything regarding financial services. Of course, I sing at these parties. I think maybe some of those people will always view me as a singer, which is fine. I still get to keep their friendship.
Actually, in recent years, about my fifth or sixth year into the industry, some of the people started calling me. They said, “Hey, Xiao, are you still doing financial services? I need to sit down with you.” They became some of my biggest clients.
Xiao Chen is a one-year MDRT member from Clarendon Hills, Illinois. Hear more in the MDRT Podcast: