Are You Perceived As A Professional Advisor. . . Or A Life Insurance Agent?

Are You Perceived As A Professional Advisor. . . Or A Life Insurance Agent?

More than ever, life insurance professionals are operating in the financial services sector that encompasses multiple disciplines versus a separate and distinct “life insurance” industry.

Unfortunately, in many instances, the perception of life insurance agents lags behind that of other professionals in the financial services industry. There is often a perception that the level of expertise they possess and the value of the advice they can provide a client is not on par with their CFP colleagues.

In order to compete in today’s environment and attract clients, life insurance professionals must position themselves with the same credibility level as other financial advisors in the eyes of both the client and other advisors the client works with.

understanding the perception gap

It’s not that difficult to make generalities about why life insurance agents are perceived the way they are. What’s more challenging is understanding the origins of these perceptions well enough to develop strategies to begin to change them.

One study, sponsored by Aviva UK and conducted by faculty at INSEAD, provides insights on how and why these perceptions persist. While sponsored by a European insurer and completed by a French university, the issues discussed cross borders and touch multiple types of insurance products. It’s a compelling read for any advisor who wants to understand exactly how the public perceives their profession and the products they sell.

how to change perception

The INSEAD study, however, does not provide any guidance that is readily applicable at the individual agent or agency level. What may be more informative is to look at the best practices of other, more positively perceived advisors that we compete against.

One advisor who could represent a standard against which others could be measured is Steven Lockshin. He has consistently been rated one of the nation’s top financial advisors by Barron’s, and in his book released last year, he identifies what he calls a myriad of “built in conflicts of interest” in the financial services industry as he attempts to guide readers through the process of selecting an advisor.

Some of the advice that Lockshin has for readers is just as applicable to the life insurance professional. His approach involves the creative use of provoking questions during the client interview and discovery process that gets his prospect thinking about other advisors framed in the context of the strengths of his agency. This kind of approach can be used as a  roadmap for a life insurance professional to follow when communicating their service offering and developing rapport with potential clients.

With that in mind, Cavalier Associates has assembled a Guide to Choosing a Life Insurance Professional that specifically aids life insurance professionals in defining their deliverables and service platform and engaging the client in a way that showcases the strengths of their practice.

Download our Guide to Choosing a Life Insurance Professional today.

how to use the guide

The first and most important step is to know the answers to these questions as they pertain to your practice. Being able to speak to these issues with confidence and authority in a client interview is critical.

The second is to encourage prospective clients who are in the process of choosing a life insurance professional to consider the interview questions in their evaluation of other insurance professionals competing for their business. If the competing agent can’t articulate their position on the questions in the guide with the same level of clarity, you’re one step closer to winning the business.

One of the by-products of this is what it communicates to other professionals vying for a client’s business. If you present a client with a completed guide of everything there is to know about your practice and the services you offer, you can differentiate yourself from your competition before there is even a word about any recommendations you have.

Our team of consultants is standing by to assist you in developing your unique value story. Using our downloadable guide is a step towards developing a set of deliverables that can help you win business through a demonstrable service platform and client deliverables that bolster the credibility you need to compete today.

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