Client testimonials emphasize value and trustworthiness
Four-year MDRT member Val Domingo’s 39-year old client and friend Santi met his sudden death at the height of the lockdown in Davao City, Philippines, in April 2020, only a day after celebrating his wife Fe’s birthday. He was suffering from arrhythmia, an inherited condition which he was not aware of due to orphanhood at an early age.
Fortunately, Santi and Fe were an insurance-savvy couple. They had the foresight to invest in policies from different companies to insure their two boys aged 11 and eight. Today, Fe has become an advocate for insurance, referring friends and acquaintances to Domingo as her trusted financial advisor.
Work hard, and word gets around. “As financial advisors, it is our mission to help people understand their financial needs and provide insurance solutions for themselves and their families,” Domingo said. He and his wife, Catherine, run a 50-person agency with people based in Bulacan, Manila, Bicol, Cebu, and Davao City. “However, there are common perceptions among Filipinos that insurance is just an additional expense or that financial advisors are only here to make commissions.” They aim to grow their company to 100 advisors by the end of the year.
“The bigger problem is the poor financial literacy in the market. People will not buy something they do not understand. However, what we‘ve realized is that people trust their friends or friends of their friends. Rather than offering by-the-book financial advice, testimonials are more powerful in helping clients understand insurance better.”
In the past year, the pandemic has claimed one life after another. Unemployment rates spiked to all-time-high records. These events told through stories of one’s family, friends, and acquaintances primarily contributed to the rising number of people availing of financial products, particularly health and variable-unit linked (VUL) insurances. Learning from testimonials or experiences of people around them, Filipinos have become more familiar with the protection that insurance brings to their lives.
In Domingo’s case, Fe’s testimonials have emphasized the value of insurance on the people around her by sharing her experiences while establishing his trustworthiness as a financial planner.
The best insurance is the one you can count on when you need it the most. When Santi passed away, Domingo was one of several advisors who helped Fe fulfill her financial obligations after her husband’s death. Despite the lockdown, Domingo was able to process the papers alleviating the burden on a grieving family to receive their benefits. A year later, Fe has yet to collect all her late husband’s claims from other companies.
“Filipinos’ top concern over financial advisors is their sincerity and dedication to the job. They need someone who’ll be there for them over the long haul,” Domingo added. “Someone to guide them at life’s different stages. If an advisor is genuinely committed to the mission of saving and protecting lives, he or she will give the best counsel to clients first before any critical financial decision.”
Lastly, Domingo emphasized how financial education must be complemented by accessibility to insurance products. “As financial advisors, we need to continuously find ways to make financial products available to Filipinos from different walks of life. If an individual cannot afford insurance, consider talking with business owners to avail of a plan for their employees, which is generally more affordable. Like in any other industry, the best ability is availability.”