Change, Change And More Change

    The second biggest theme in this year’s LAMP (right after “All In”) was change. Read on for seven takeaways from LAMP ‘16 that you can do to position yourself and your team for success in this period of rapid change.

     Develop your social capital.

    In his Master Session on Monday afternoon, Robert Krumroy,  CEO of Identity Branding, Inc., said he spent seven hours interviewing random people about their insurance agents. Not one had a positive comment. Then, looking for some good news, he interviewed top producing agents and found the one trait they all had was social capital, an understanding of how successfully relating to customers is all about gratitude and reciprocation.

    Be brief and interesting.

    In Tuesday’s general session, Dr. Debra Jasper and Betsy Hubbard, the founders of Mindset Digital, explained that people are inundated with information. The typical person sees 5,000 brand impressions a day and the average professional has an attention span of eight seconds. Jasper and Hubbard suggest practicing severe email discipline by limiting your emails to a few short sentences at most and keeping your language basic, out of respect for your consumer’s time. 

    Be aware. 

    In Tuesday’s general session, Maria Ferrante-Schepis, managing principal of insurance and financial services innovation for Maddock-Douglas, Inc., quoted a survey that found 80 % of people believe our industry should offer customer service similar to Zappos and Amazon. We may not think we’re competing with Amazon, Zappos or Apple, but those are the companies setting customer expectations so we need to be aware of them.

    Go beyond the buzzwords.

    There is more to millennials than texts and tweets. Jim Meehan, managing partner at Penn Mutual, discussed in his Master Session how affluent millennials, a smaller subset of the larger group, are poised to inherit some $59 trillion from their families in the course of a lifetime. That’s more than a buzzword, it’s a real market.

    Understand your customers’ lives.

    In his Monday afternoon session on retirement, author and economist Tom Hegna quoted a recent Wall Street Journal poll that found happiness in retirement is 100 percent tied to having a guaranteed income. To reach them, you have to understand the reality of people’s lives, whether it’s retirees or millennials.

    Help improve the image of the industry.

    It is commonplace for consumers to harbor apprehension related to financial choices. Advisors handle financial futures, and frequently those who serve as “sales” people are perceived as having only one priority. That priority is making the sale, regardless of cost or inconvenience to the client. Our role must be to show our customers through our words and actions that our intention lies beyond that one singular sale. Customers matter.

    Set the bar high.

    As you achieve one goal, make sure you establish a second one. With persistence and positivity, you can be an Uber in a yellow cab company world.

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