MANAGING ADVISOR TURNOVER USING MATCHING RELATIONSHIPS

Managing Advisor Turnover using Matching Relationships

Does your firm face the standard insurance industry problem that only 10 to 15% of the advisors and agents who start in the business are still with them after 5 years? Then, of those who stay after 5 years, how many are strongly committed to your firm? Or, are they producing at the desired rate?

Meeting this challenge starts with improving how the home office uniquely manages each advisor in the field. Then, it is about helping the field force be more successful in engaging their clients (policy holders).

In recent times, we have been helping some of the worlds leading insurance firms significantly boost the levels of field force engagement, thereby leading to more profitable business relationships. Our approach has been to help these insurance firms embrace behavioral marketing and talent segmentation strategies based on validated behavioral science insights. These strategies start by discovering the unique communication and learning style of each person in their field force enabling the firm can more deeply connect with them and provide greater sales assistance.

Being specific, by segmenting each person into one of 4 primary communication styles we have helped these leading insurance firms to:

1. ?Create customized marketing plans which re-frame the key messages for each advisor in the field force

2. ?Provide tailored sales programs and presentations for each advisor based on their style so that they can then adapt to the style of each prospect and customer

3. ?Match the talents and communication style of each advisor to their ideal clients to improve the chances of deeper levels of connection with less energy

4. ?Align advisors to the types of insurance product solutions that they would optimally sell based on their specific behavioral talents

5. ?Help advisors to form teams with other advisors who have different talents so that they can capitalize on more opportunities as a collective unit

6. ?Build online communities for advisors and clients to meet, and be continuously educated

7. ?Develop hiring and retention metrics to ensure that the best talent is retained and resourced for success

If you would like to schedule a conversation with one of our Relationship Management Integrators to explore how our suite of DNA Behavior Solutions generates significant ROI benefits, then please email us at inquiries@dnabehavior.com .

HOW TO ENGAGE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

How to Engage Different Personalities for Business Success

The winds of change are moving fast through the modern economy. Business performance improvement is no longer just about left brain rational processes, new products, technology and information. Rather, it is about integrating a more right brained engaging approach by navigating the human differences of diverse employees and clients (or customers). Further, in order to improve revenues and productivity, businesses need to customize employee and client experiences.

In the new behavioral economy, deeper relationships with employees and clients are being built based on higher levels of emotional engagement. By engaging employees, the organization can build confidence for open communication with others on the individuals terms. The key to maintaining engagement, however, is fostering a culture of two-way communication.

Independent research indicates an increase of up to 240% in bottom line performance achieved by emotionally engaging BOTH your employees and clients. Many businesses focus on the customer or client experience and engagement which ultimately affects the bottom line.? Whats more interesting to note is that engaging employees also affects the bottom line and cuts down on counterproductive behaviors like passive aggressiveness, lethargic pace, or gossip. An engaged person is more involved, produces ideas, and is willing to own their role as part of the bigger company vision and structure.

Here are some pressing reasons to start engaging your employees and encouraging them to engage each other:

  • Keeping on budget
  • Meeting project scope and quality
  • Efficiency of work completed
  • More and better ideas for a better end result
  • Avoiding burnout or dropout
  • Happy employees
  • Unified goal
  • And ultimately, bottom line growth

Here are powerful ways to achieve engagement for any reason:

  • Tailor workflows based on natural talents ? do you have a project team that envies each others role but not their own?
  • Keep an open pathway of multi-directional communication ? encourage relationships within team and across teams so that everyone feels part of the same unified company and will therefore champion the business goals and vision forward.
  • Encourage awareness ? it is fundamentally easier to practice the give and take of a great and engaging relationship when both the weaknesses and strengths of team members are known
  • Find business/team harmony ? regardless of number results, a long-term successful team and company will have a variety of personality types that will hold each other accountable while also respecting differences.
LET YOUR SALES TEAM GIVE YOU A 23per REVENUE LIFT

Let your Sales Team Give You a 23% Revenue Lift

Successful selling is about making and maintaining connections! Yes, but its also more than that.

Successful sellings greater success lies in building relationships that deliver repeat business, referrals, and bottom line lift.

There are key behaviors that, when identified, are found in the most successful sales environments and some of these behaviors may not be what you imagine. The hard sell does not sustain relationships with customers. Customers are now better informed and have a good idea about what they will and will not buy. Very often the last step in the buying process is when they connect with the salesperson, advisor, or agent.

So what makes some businesses more successful than others in customer engagement?

Its all about understanding and unlocking human capital performance which involves matching unique communication and behavioral styles to drive successful sales.

Organizations looking for a differentiation that will move their business ahead of the competition understand that the soft skills of building relationships and managing client behavior are more important than selling skills.? Identifying ways to know, engage, and grow a customer relationship is becoming an important conversation among business leaders.

In particular, the Insurance industry, as an example, is facing challenges which require looking at ways to overhaul the ways of operating in order to stay viable as a business. Those in the insurance industry are confronting industry regulatory issues, a customer base that rates insurance as a low priority, and they are also trying to understand how to leverage social media to create a personalized, relevant, and enjoyable experience for their audience.

Perhaps the answer lies in relationships and engagement, as some competitors are discovering as they step out into the world of customer centricity in terms of the way they conduct business.

CASE STUDY

Ernst & Young in their paper titled, The Journey Toward Greater Customer Centricity, make the following observations:

 

Many insurers are not keeping pace with changing market and consumer dynamics and are far behind other industries in meeting customer expectations. To succeed in this fast-changing environment and achieve sustainable top-line growth, insurers need to focus on redefining customer relationships, transforming business models to embrace data and digital and introducing an innovative culture in support of strategic decision-making.

Achieving customer centricity is less about implementing a grand vision than about building cadence today, next week, next month and next year. But the time has come when the journey is a strategic necessity, and all insurers need to be clear about where they stand and what steps lay ahead for them.

Customers are willing to build long-term relationships with their providers and purchase multiple products. However, insurers must improve the effectiveness of their communications, as well as recognize and reward the value of the relationships.

THE ISSUE

David, a highly skilled and qualified insurance provider, had a number of customers whose policies required review. He arranged meetings with them and on each occasion, failed to persuade the customer of the need to increase their insurance coverage. ?David had always seen himself as a relationship builder and had, in fact, sold the customers their initial policy some years before. However, they now seemed to be less approachable, no longer demonstrated trust in the relationship, and even seemed offended by Davids approach. Such reactions confused and concerned David as the offense taken was completely unintended, which was especially worrisome as the success of his business depended on customers such as these.

David and his business colleagues decided to review customer exit interviews of those customers who had cancelled their policies over the years. One clear, yet significant, thread began to emerge. While customers indicated satisfaction with the policy and coverage, they showed dissatisfaction towards the interactions they had had with sales staff and/or advisors.

Essentially, the communication and behavioral style of the advisors and frontline staff had changed since policies were first drafted/ put together.

David could see that changes in the overall economy had required a shift in approach with advisors becoming more pressured into delivering a bottom line result at all costs. The business had focused more on training advisers to Sell! Sell! Sell! and dropped any real commitment to a client-centered approach or virtually any reference to relationship building. This resulted in a team that lacked skills in behavioral insight, relationship building, and customer engagement on any level other than completing a successful deal.

THE SOLUTION

In a sales/advisor/customer relationship scenario, its unlikely that behavioral and communications styles will be similar. But its accurate to say that customers tend to feel comfortable with and buy from sales people that display behavioral styles similar to their own.

Simply training advisors on how to understand, adjust, or moderate their own behavior is not enough and might be seen as patronizing and condescending as customers are much savvier about the kinds of relationship they intend to have when purchasing any kind of service.

David decided to introduce communication and behavioral training and awareness to all the staff. In addition, he requested customers to complete their own communication and behavioral style profile. Initially advisors were hesitant to ask their customers to complete the discovery process but very quickly and confidently, they were able to demonstrate to customers the value in participating

Using the information for client experience management, David was able to match advisors to customers and ensure every customer touch point was appropriately covered by staff who understood their own and their customers communication styles.

The Power of Communication DNA

David contacted eight of his customers who had been reluctant to undertake a review of their insurance coverage and requested they complete a Communication DNA profile explaining that he would send them a URL link to enable them to complete the process on line in advance of their next meeting. He explained that it would only take a few minutes to complete but that the outcome would enable David to serve them in a much more engaging and professional manner.

Immediately, when David saw the results of the Communication DNA, he realized why he had been unable to engage with each of the eight customers. He had been numbers and details-focused, clearly putting numbers before people only to recognize that:

  • Four of the customers required a sociable and conversational approach;
  • Two needed help to make a decision and would have found Davids communication style to be confronting;
  • One was still mulling over the information and paperwork, and
  • The last one was overwhelmed with the details and wasnt comfortable on any level with the need to change or review their insurance coverage.

The contrast of this insight against Davids need for results, his logical and unemotional approach, and determination to get a sale across the line, illuminated why he had failed to engage with his customers.

THE OUTCOME

David openly shared his insight into his own and the customers communication preferences. The engagement between each began immediately as trust was built through this initial sharing of communication styles.

With the knowledge David now had about his customers, he could have chosen the option to match them with a more suitable advisor in order to build a relationship which was a path he was implementing within the business. But in this case, David understood the importance of fully integrating the whole principal of customer centricity and to openly work with his customers to build quality relationships. Such quality relationships would only happen by becoming familiarized with how to adapt ones own communication style to build engagement with customers whose communication styles were different.

This people before numbers approach significantly moved the business forward in terms of repeat business. Over time, David saw evidence of how understanding communication was successfully impacting the bottom line of business.

THE TAKE AWAY

Understanding communication and behavior to build engagement cant be seen as tokenism or the latest trend. It is a serious solution to growing businesses where selling, promoting, or advising in any form is at the core and center of the business. The solutions implementation needs to be rooted at the C suite and used to frame the business focus. Then, it must be implemented across the organization to all those who have any point of contact with customers.

WHOS-IN-CHARGE-OF-MINDING-T

Who’s in Charge of Minding the Client?

Mind the Client Relationships

Advisors are expanding their practice and planning for their own eventual retirement.? The consensus is generally that younger team members can bring new skills to any practice. Theyre good with social media and they can, it is assumed, relate to younger clients and prospects.

In a recent webinar, the main presenter made an intriguing observation that millennials have spent so much time on social media that many have not developed the finer skills that advisors need to succeed?the ability to communicate face-to-face with a client or prospect.

In other words, the essential people skills.

Based on this observation, it would seem that the youngest advisors excel at social media, while the older ones are good at the more technical aspects of the job, thereby leaving few who are truly at their best with client management. ?However, the topic is not that black and white.

What really needs to happen is that advisors, young or old, must know themselves at a deeper level to uncover their natural strengths.? If an advisor is a people person with less affinity for details and research, then this advisor will be at their best with client management.

Perhaps it would be best for the relationship advisor to partner with a more research and detailed advisor who can prepare the financial plan and the retirement cash flow scenarios.? The relationship advisor can focus on the big picture, the clients emotions, and reactions while the more technical advisor can review the details of the plan.

Its best to remember that a successful advisor is not all relationship and no technical skills; just that everyone has more of one or two strengths than another. It makes sense to share your greatest talents with your clients. In order to do this, a productive practice is to combine the skills of your team and learn from one another to strengthen struggles and fine-tune natural talents.

So, who is to take ownership of minding the client relationship?? If you have structured your office to capitalize on each individual team members strength, you all are as a strong unit!

5 Keys to Behaviorally Smart Hiring: Dont rely solely on resume, concentrate on who the person is

Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors cant be.

The only way to effectively hire and retain candidates is to ensure you not only fit the right skills to the right job but that you also find the right cultural and behavioral style fit for the role and team.

Validating behavioral intelligence will deepen engagement in each human interaction the candidate will have in the business as part of their performance. A person’s skills will be a moot point if he or she can’t effectively interact with the team and/or customers or if the person is a social butterfly when a task-oriented person is needed.? The process of exploring and validating behavioral intelligence should also uncover life and business decision-making patterns as this could determine whether or not a candidate will be a long-term, loyal, and successful hire.

Happy Candidate in the Right Role

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent

Ask questions to discover if the vision and direction the candidate has for his or her life aligns with the vision and direction of the organization. Another important question to investigate is whether the organization can deliver its part to bring a successful outworking of the candidates vision and life direction? If the answer is yes ? then not only will it be a great hire, but likely a long-term relationship. An individual is less likely to consider leaving when he or she is a part of working towards a shared key goal or milestone.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns

Understanding how to communicate effectively is the most valuable route to uncovering behaviors, decision making patterns and strengthening engagement. Knowing the communication style of each candidate prior to the hiring interview will enable the interviewing panel to customize their questions to the individuals communication style.

To be able to effectively uncover life and decision making patterns, its important to understand how to communicate and the right questions to ask.Gaining insight into the communication and behavioral style of a candidate will reveal how well the individual/ he or she will fit with colleagues and respond to managers and supervisors.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role–having the skills to do the job isnt enough

It is best to keep in mind, however, that having the skills to do the job isnt enough. People want to work with meaning. Jobseekers will apply for positions they feel match their skills but often the hiring process fails to match both talents and behaviors to the job. Whilst organizations need to secure the talent necessary for the success of the business, matching behaviors as well as talents to roles builds foundational blocks for long-term success.

Key 4: Dont hire yourself

The trap many hiring panels fall into is assuming that a great exchange between candidate and hiring panel translates to best role fit. To avoid this pitfall, the interview panel needs to understand their own individual and collective behavior, communication and decision-making style in advance. This awareness will enable the panel to adapt their communication and interviewing style to the candidates. It is natural to feel more comfortable with communication that mirrors ones own style. Conversely, its also the case that there could be an adverse response to communication styles that do not align.

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to work for a winner. ?

Be Known as a Champion Organization

Understand and implement each of these 5 keys and you are more likely to hire effectively and retain top talent. People want to work for an organization that values talent, communicates effectively, and is known not only for its success in business but its inherent ability to know, understand and engage with employees to get the very best out of them/unlock their potential. Having a reputation as an organization that delivers their employees vision, in addition to delivering the vision of the business, will attract top talent.

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role; having the skills to do the job isnt enough.

Key 4: Dont hire yourself

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to for a winner.

Theres no such thing as the perfect candidate. Look for candidates who canperform at the job with a bit of training and practice but have a communication and behavioral style thats best fit with your current team dynamics.

Remember: Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors cant be.

The Three Hidden Fears of Clients

USA Today recently reported that many people suffer from financial advisor anxiety?nervousness that makes them reluctant to share the intimate and important details of their finances with an advisor.

Whats behind this anxiety?? Fears that are so deep-rooted that it can take years before you get to fully know and understand your client. Since fears can keep your client from providing the right information to build a trusting relationship, another important question must be explored.

What makes a prospect or new client divulge the necessary information in a relatively short period of time? Trust.

So while you are building trust by asking all the right open-ended questions with the prospect, they are assessing you to see if your answers address their fears.

The Three Hidden Fears of Clients are:

  1. Does the advisor really care about me?
    Interestingly enough, this has a lot to do with both trust and instincts.? As an advisor, if you are not innately a trusting person, that will come across unless you are behaviorally aware and can modify your style. Overlay that with the clients innate level of trust and depending on the conversation, you could have an uphill battle to win over the trust of the prospect.
  2. Am I good enough? Will the advisor think I am a failure or not making the right decisions?
    Prospects that are very goal and task driven will be acutely sensitive to this. But on the surface, they can come across as very decisive and successful individuals. Vulnerability and giving away control will come very slowly with this type of person.
  3. Does the advisor have enough experience both technically and with people like me?
    They can ask you about degrees and designations but they might be looking to speak with current clients. Prospects that are much more outgoing and relationship driven can seem to be only interested in the people side of the business, but dont be fooled. They can have an even blend and quickly turn to your technical competency.

Dont forget that while you are choosing the prospect to be a client, they are choosing you as well. You need a quick, well-crafted system to capture a clients personality from the first time they meet with you.

Its only when a client can get past their fears and share all their financial details, goals and dreams that you can create a financial plan and relationship that your clients will be committed to for life. As an advisor, awareness of these client fears will lead to better, trusting, and long-term relationships with your clients.

Three Hidden Fears to Address