I was recently in a workshop in which the participants were asked, ‘what is the most valuable thing you do that your clients don’t even see?’
The responses were incredible – it made me realize how much we all do that most people never see, let alone appreciate. I bet that in your life and business, there are more than a few things that you do that no one notices – and yet you do them anyway because it’s part of who you are and what you feel is important to provide truly superior service. It’s just the right thing to do.
And that got me thinking about four key questions you can use to evaluate anyone in an advisory role, not just financial services, to see if they’d be a good fit for you. Here they are:
- Do they have time for you? Time truly is our most precious commodity – and for good reason. If we don’t have time for our clients, we can’t truly get to know them. And if we don’t really know them, we can’t give them good advice. That’s why I prioritize time with existing clients over time spent on business development.
- Do they have the life experience to have the long view? Someone with experience of only the last upturn or downturn can’t possibly have accumulated the kind of wisdom that only comes with years (and years) of experience. Not only do I have several decades in the business, I also work with people at every stage of life and business – from just out of school to just into retirement. Yes, you can say that’s given me a unique perspective!!!
- Are they prepared to get into the details? In many fields, it’s often the details that make the difference between success and failure. In insurance, the details are in the contracts. That’s why I read them all, word by word, phrase by phrase. And that’s why the claims I make get paid, even if I have to challenge the company.
- Do they have expertise in related areas? The truth is that no area of expertise stands on its own – every decision you make in one area has an impact on another area. This is why my designation as a Chartered Life Underwriter is valuable to my clients. The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) is widely recognized as the highest level of accreditation in the life insurance profession. CLUs are professional financial advisors equipped to provide insurance and benefits solutions for businesses, employees, families, and individuals.
I hope these questions help you evaluate all the advisors you have in your life and business. Let me know what you think about them. And if you want to chat about any one of them, well, take another look at question 1. That’s what I’m here for!