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How do we change what ‘most people know’?

A lot of what most people know is incomplete, or rubbish.

Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 12:11PM

by Russell Hutchinson

A good friend of mine is a painter. Every time we talk, I learn something about paint, or home maintenance, or building (he used to be a builder) that I never knew before. Sometimes what I thought I knew was completely wrong, but usually I just didn’t know. I never walked around feeling uncomfortable about that lack of knowledge or how it might be wrong.

If a client has at least decided to have a meeting with you, then they have already made the first admission that there might be more to this than meets the eye. Don’t be shy about helping them further down the road. Allowing them to understand that insurance advice is, genuinely, more complicated, and therefore they may need a hand to get it right, is a good thing. I don’t much like ‘selling on fear’ but you can get insurance wrong. Clients can easily get disclosure wrong. Clients can choose a poor product. Clients can misunderstand what ‘disability’ means. Clients can be baffled by what they are covered for when presented with documents that are dozens of pages long.

But in the same way clients can approach the subject of insurance with all sorts of expectations, we can too - unless we have a regular process for organising our thinking. A common question clients ask is, "What do other people buy?" It depends.

Other people like you, the insurance adviser?

Other people like them, the client? How specific should we be?

Other people who took your advice? You can see how this could get a bit circular after a while. Getting new data into the loop might help a great deal. Here’s an interesting exercise; look back at the records of the existing cover the last two dozen clients had before your advice recommendation – that’s column one. Then put in the next column the cover you recommended. Lastly, create a column of the cover that they actually took.

If you had more data in a form you could interrogate more easily you could do more with it – split it by income levels, family types, and even locations. But even this would give you a start. Also, handily, it would give you a record of the basis for the answer you give. That’s vital to avoid the accusation that you may have made an unsubstantiated claim.

Lastly, and most reliably, I like this test; if the client asks what you do with your own cover, then a good answer should be readily to hand. If the answer isn’t very good, you might want to have a look at that.

Tags: Russell Hutchinson

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