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Feb 23 2022 / Round the Table Magazine

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From physical therapist to financial advisor

Kim explains parallel skills and innovation to maximize professional connections.

By Myungsuk Jung

Topics Covered

Photo: Lee Jae-Won

Working as a physical therapist to treat paralyzed patients and paraplegics in a hospital, Yoon Seok Kim did everything he could to help. But the demanding role in fact helped him realize that he wanted to do even more.

“Seeing patients suffering from major ailments made me realize their need for insurance,” said the six-year MDRT member from Seoul, Republic of Korea. “I became an advisor because of the benefit of these people having someone who can help them with their overall situation, not just a therapist who treats only their bodies.”

That doesn’t mean it was an easy transition. At first, Kim felt stressed about going from treating a small number of patients to needing to meet 15 people each week as an advisor. (He remains so grateful for his first client’s business that he contacts that client at least once a month to check in.) With time, though, he recognized skills that are beneficial in both roles:

  • Using questions to learn about a patient/client’s history as context for the current situation
  • Setting short- and long-term goals, then working with the patient/client to achieve them
  • Developing a rapport with the patient/client, which leads to better results
  • Leveraging the trust you’ve built as means for collaboration and progress toward goals

To expand beyond his existing knowledge, though, Kim knew he would have to branch out. He created a study group he called a “miracle meeting,” in which he and other new advisors could share ideas and learn from more experienced advisors who were invited to speak each month. When numerous participants dropped out despite the group’s effectiveness, Kim adapted and started a new group in which he was more of a mentor than a mentee. (He still maintains the miracle meeting regularly with veteran advisors from his company, who sometimes introduce him to professionals such as lawyers, accountants, physicians and real estate agents.)

The new group, which meets twice weekly, requires five years of experience in the financial services profession, as well as a commitment to consistency and positivity. In this setting, Kim provides guidance by listening to other advisors’ challenges and helping develop their confidence to respond accordingly. While Kim does not see himself as being skilled in sales, he knows the value of listening and consistency. Every day he wakes at 5:30 a.m., spends an hour at the gym, and arrives at work by 7:30 a.m., with the plan to meet three people each day and sign three policies each week.

That diligence and leadership has helped the mentees in his group not only achieve MDRT but become mentors as well.

“I think now is a time when we can do more together than alone,” he said.

Myungsuk Jung writes for Team Lewis, a communications agency assisting MDRT with content development for Asia-Pacific markets. Contact mdrteditorial@teamlewis.com.

Contact: Yoon Seok Kim baboys1201@naver.com