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Class Up Your Plans How do you think of yourself? I am a life insurance agent I sell securities or real estate I am a banker or trust officer I am a top tier wealth manager I am a financial consultant How is your income derived? From insurance commissions From investment placements From management overrides From fees for plans or services What would you like to change? Increase investment revenue Increase management overrides Increase insurance (Life, LTD, CI) Increase fees for plans or services Every member of the IARFC, regardless of their position and their income distribution, has a justifiable right to feel proud of their accomplishments. You have paid a substantial price, partly in cash but more significantly in your coursework and study. The most celebrated professionals in any field (medicine, law, education, ministry, etc.) are more concerned about the quality of the services they render — as opposed to the income they earn. I am certain this applies to you…. Naturally you would like to increase your income in total. However, the questions above focus on which categories of compensation you wish to increase - as a percentage of your total revenue. When I ask this question of financial services professionals — all over the globe — the great majority indicate they want to: 1. Think of themselves as a financial consultant — who helps develop a plan and provides the products available to help sincere clients as they strive for financial success. 2. Increase the fees they charge — because they recognize the value of their Page 24 contribution and are convinced that their clients will falter if left on their own – exposed to a lot of bad advice and human temptations. 3. Have the higher status as a Registered Financial Consultant — not just as someone who peddles insurance or investments. What is Your Plan for Success? We have now passed the middle of the year. This is a good point to evaluate your progress. It will help if you perform this test — quickly and painlessly. Perhaps you have recently instituted some new marketing practices, but the chances are pretty strong that you are doing things just about as you did them last year. How important is it to you that you accomplish the following? Increase the revenue generated from each new client? I mprove your closing ratio on new client engagements? Secure new clients on the most favorable of terms? Increase the ongoing revenue from established clients? Receive an increasing number of high-caliber referrals? How many items did you check? Be honest with yourself! I would wager that you checked off at least three items. Maybe even all five…! As you have gravitated from primarily selling products becoming a provider of sophisticated financial advice and service, it is easy to forget that from the very beginning, you are still a salesman! The only difference is what you sell. One of my good friends once said to me, “I used to be a salesman. I sold life insurance policies, then a bit of long term disability The Register | August 2013