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   Financial advisor on-call: Strategies for engaging doctors  [Mardeo Vellon]
   Financial advisor on-call: Strategies for engaging doctors  [Mardeo Vellon]

Mar 22 2024

Financial advisor on-call: Strategies for engaging doctors

Mardeo Vellon shares the best insights and strategies he’s learned from engaging doctors throughout his career.

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Mardeo Vellon, a three-year MDRT member from Quezon City, Philippines, was trained as a registered nurse in one of Metro Manila's largest hospitals when he found himself searching for greater fulfillment and purpose in his career. Transitioning to a medical representative role at a leading pharmaceutical company offered him new opportunities, yet he still longed for personal growth. He then got a job as a medical delegate within the marketing team of one of the country's largest food and beverage companies—his dream company. But Vellon still felt unsatisfied.  

The onset of the pandemic made him realize he could no longer afford to be in career limbo, as he needed to be better focused and motivated to earn more for his family. Fortunately, a friend introduced him to a preview of a career as a financial advisor, which sparked his interest. Venturing into this new field was the remedy to his lack of direction and gave him the sense of purpose and contentment he had been seeking. Helping individuals secure their financial future brought him profound joy while providing him with the means to support his loved ones.  

Now, as a financial advisor, he uses the invaluable insights he gained from his previous experiences in the healthcare sector and its adjacent fields. Vellon’s interactions with medical professionals gave him insights into their concerns, especially regarding protecting their children and legacies. “Many physicians are singularly focused on their work in the surgery room and only have a little time to learn new things outside the medical field. They tend to see financial planning as something they can handle later and manage independently. They believe their earnings were enough to secure their families' future. But the reality is, without insurance and estate planning, they leave their loved ones vulnerable.” 

Despite the initial resistance Vellon encountered, he kept going and employed a personalized approach by recognizing the demanding workloads of his doctor prospects and clients, often spent in operating rooms or attending to patients. "Doctors have hectic schedules, often working long hours and juggling multiple personal and professional responsibilities.” 

Based on government data, the Philippines only has 169,000 physicians for its population of over 110 million, and only 49% are active. There is estimated to be only one doctor for every 2500 patients, well below the ideal 1:1000 ratio recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Besides interfacing with patients, they must invest hours in continuing medical education (CME) and learning about the latest healthcare innovations and practices to keep their licenses.  

Just as doctors are on call to respond to emergencies outside their clinic schedules, financial advisors must be ready to provide the best service beyond conventional working hours. Even when inquiries arise in the middle of the night, Vellon promptly replies, knowing that time is of the essence. "I had a doctor orphan client who wanted to clarify details about his current plan. During our meeting, which had been difficult to arrange due to his busy schedule, I could allay his concerns over his plan as he became more comfortable sharing his gross estate when he asked for advice on managing his hard-earned money. This client taught me that building trust and rapport requires flexibility and dedication. Being available to my clients whenever required reinforces our partnership and demonstrates my commitment."    

For fellow MDRT members looking at doctors as prospects and clients, Vellon offers these pieces of advice: 

  • Educate, Don't Sell. Invest time in helping doctors understand why estate planning and insurance are crucial. When you provide them with knowledge, they'll begin to appreciate the value of these financial tools, seeing how they can protect their families and assets.  
  • Be Flexible. Recognize doctors’ demanding schedules and adapt to their needs. Their time is limited, and their priorities often focus on patient care and their families. Flexibility with meeting times and communication channels demonstrates your commitment to their well-being and securing their future. It strengthens their trust in you.  
  • Provide Great Personalized Service. Offer exceptional service tailored to the individual needs of each doctor-client. Take the time to understand their specific financial goals, concerns, and preferences. Some might focus on their assets, but some may need a comprehensive health plan, as doctors must also care for themselves. It is vital to offer personalized advice and solutions that align with their unique situation, whether answering questions promptly, providing detailed explanations, offering guidance during ungodly hours, or being reliable and responsive. 
  • Don’t be a Stranger. Keep your communications current so you don’t come in from the cold. Contact them periodically, even if only to ask how they’re doing, greet them on their birthdays or anniversaries, or give updates on their policies. When your clients do reach out, reply right away. Don’t wait. 


Contact: MDRTeditorial@teamlewis.com