Nov 03 2023
Becoming “flawsome” as financial advisors
By Therese Panganiban
Even financial advisors at the top of their game still consider themselves as works-in-progress. They acknowledge that they grapple with personal weaknesses and challenges despite their strengths. However, they know these flaws don’t have to get in the way of awesome performance.
Three MDRT members from the Philippines have found that three essential "S's" — self-evaluation, strategic systems and support groups — have enabled them to render “flawsome” productivity.
Self-evaluation for continuous improvement
Hilda Manalo-Linaac, a three-year MDRT member from Parañaque, Philippines, has spent more than two decades refining her abilities as a financial advisor. Her strength lies in her innate ability to connect and empathize with people, whether in one-on-one meetings with clients or addressing a large audience. Yet, Linaac acknowledges she still has room for improvement, particularly in picking up on subtle cues, facial expressions, and non-verbal signals that often reveal more about a client's actual state of mind than their words.
Linaac recounts an enlightening experience when she tried to engage a friend as a potential client who was then working as an airline cabin crew but was about to retire. “While we were talking, she kept deflecting and referencing the pilot. Much later, when I shared what happened with my mentor, I realized my friend was subtly suggesting the pilot as a potential client. This incident taught me people's objections are often not their real objections but rather a camouflage for their deeper intentions,” she shared.
To enhance her skills, Linaac diligently conducts self-evaluation after client meetings. If the outcome falls short of her expectations, she critically examines her performance to pinpoint areas of improvement. She has made it her goal to be more intentional in her approach, tailoring her efforts according to each client's profile and interests because she aims to expand her clientele to include more high-net-worth individuals.
Strategic systems to manage one’s time and energy
Ruben Ranin, a one-year MDRT member from Quezon City, Philippines, serves as a financial advisor and leads a team at a meat processing company during the day. Juggling these responsibilities, he needs help to allocate enough time to clients referred to him. The lack of a direct relationship with these referrals meant he needed extra time to understand their financial situations and goals, resulting in delays in closing deals and leaving prospects waiting.
To overcome this challenge, Ranin implemented strategic systems in his daily routine. He became a stickler for his calendar, setting alarms and reminders to ensure he never missed an appointment. Additionally, he hired a secretary to assist with managing his appointments efficiently. Beyond time management, Ranin recognized the importance of preserving his energy to provide his clients with the best possible service. He emphasized the need to be fully present when interacting with clients. “I make it a point to protect my sleep, targeting at least six hours a night. I address my emails in the morning to fulfill pending commitments. Whenever I get invitations for engagements, and I know it would mean I won’t be able to give my best at my day job or when attending to a financial advising client, I would say no.”
Support groups that can encourage and inspire
Jamie Kong, a one-year MDRT member from Parañaque, Philippines, similarly grappled with time management as she embarked on her career as a financial advisor with her current insurance company, which coincided with the onset of the pandemic and two pregnancies. During that time, the restrictions of the pandemic meant that her family couldn't access outside help. However, her career took off, and she established herself as a high performer, resulting in promotions within her agency unit.
What helped Kong navigate was the support of her bosses and teammates. Despite only having virtual meetings via Zoom at the start, she felt their warmth and sensed that she was part of a large family. Continuous encouragement from the top and her peers fueled her determination to persevere and push past her comfort zone. Kong’s motivation extended beyond personal success. “I wanted to inspire fellow women in my profession, demonstrating that they don't have to choose between motherhood and a career if these are two things they want for themselves.” She has seen people giving up on something they want after facing roadblocks. “You should not adjust your dreams and make them smaller to fit your current limitations. Rather, you should adjust your approaches and make them bigger to achieve your dreams.”