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Warming up to cold markets
Warming up to cold markets

May 09 2024

Warming up to cold markets

Kiven Colong shares his cold market journey to engage small businesses in his community.  


A financial advisor builds a clientele based on warm networks and connections. However, Kiven Roie Lino Colong, a one-year MDRT member from Davao City, Philippines, didn’t have a warm market to tap into as most of his friends and family members weren’t ready for insurance.   

Colong was a working student hopping from one job to another to survive. Before becoming a financial advisor, he worked as a retail sales assistant and a crew member in fast-food chains. “It was tough to juggle work and academics. But I had to support myself and help my family. When I entered the industry, I had zero knowledge about insurance and was worried about how to build my client base. Luckily, the company provided training and learning sessions to get me started. At the same time, I humbled myself and consulted my unit manager and other financial advisors to learn more about the business from them.”

How personalization melts cold market barriers  

Colong learned an unconventional yet effective approach. Instead of relying on traditional networks, he sought out a cold market — the small businesses in his community, ranging from local eateries to laundry services and internet cafes. Despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, he remained steadfast in his commitment to supporting them, recognizing their pivotal role in the fabric of the community.  

Since his clients often have little spare time, Colong personalized his approach by emphasizing the relevance of financial planning and insurance solutions to their situations. “I show them how insurance solutions can protect their businesses and how I can facilitate it for them,” he says. 

It helped break barriers and pave the way for deeper conversations. “While some ignored me initially, some were interested in learning more. I initially discussed how my solutions would benefit them, their family, and their businesses and the following steps to take. Trust is slowly but surely built when they see we have their welfare at heart.”  

Taking time to learn and develop unique frameworks 

Colong realized he could transform small businesses from being a cold market into a warm market. “Every interaction is an opportunity to expand your network.” He takes notes from every meeting with prospects as he’s optimistic that they might get to work together someday. It might take time for some financial advisors to establish a market. The important thing is to start on day one, not one day.  

Colong’s "5 Ps'' framework  which gives importance to provisions for “Pang-ospital” (hospitalization), “Pang-edukasyon” (education), “Pang-invest” (investment), Pang-retiro (retirement), and “Pampamana'' (inheritance) – resonated with his prospects, simplifying the intricacies of financial planning. After he broke down the essential items, his prospects realized they didn’t have enough funds for their future and inquired how Colong could help them. For example, if the business owner still has kids who go to school, he will first share an educational plan with them. Eventually, he will present other plans to address their  needs in different areas of life.   

Colong recounted an encounter while cold marketing, shedding light on the impact of personalized financial advising. "I introduced myself to a woman in one of the areas I visited.  After talking to her about the various hats she wears as a mother, as a local politician, and as a business owner, she welcomed me with open arms,” he shares. 

Together, they delved into how she could safeguard her business and family against unforeseen challenges. “We discussed her goal to live comfortably in retirement despite the various risks she might face, such as loss of income, emergencies, and health concerns. We devised a plan that secured her future and her family’s.”  

Her appreciation underscores the significance of genuine empathy and dedication. "Her willingness to entrust me with her financial well-being and give subsequent referrals in the community reaffirmed the value of a personalized, client-centric approach, which stresses our work’s profound impact," Colong concludes. 

Contact: MDRTEditorial@teamlewis.com