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How to be productive and creative when business pauses

Howard E. Sharfman

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You can build relationships and your skills when you're not able to meet with clients.

“May you live in interesting times.” The source of this quote is actually unknown and unimportant. Like it or not, though, we live in interesting times. They’re times of uncertainty and potential danger, but they’re also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.

Since we might have some extra time on our hands in the coming weeks, let's use it productively and creatively. Following are the requests I have made to my producers and partners:

1. Don’t waste this opportunity to build better relationships and improve yourself as a person and a professional. Set a goal, make a plan and keep yourself busy with positive tasks and goals. This includes exercising daily.

2. Make a list of 10 people you would like to contact and reach out to. Just ask them how they are doing and let them talk. Use this time to build your relationship with them. Once you are done, repeat with another 10 people.

3. Think of a concept or idea you would like to talk to another financial advisor or peer about and create an interesting and engaging presentation we can use. Don’t forget to engage the resources you have. They may be at an insurance company, an agency, a producer group or a study group. Share your best ideas since we all know a rising tide lifts all boats. Once you finish your new presentation, repeat and create a second one.

4. Think of five advisors you want to build a relationship with, and build a plan that ends with you being their go-to referral source. In addition, use this time to call them to start to build the relationship. Start now and don’t waste this valuable time we have.

5. Learn something new and become an expert in a new concept or strategy. Ideas might be insurance in a qualified plan, split-dollar, business continuation, estate planning, insurance as an asset class, insurance as a supplemental retirement plan, executive disability, premium finance, insuring the next generation, family-office best practices or financial planning. Once you’re done, pick a second one and learn more. You might consider learning about another type of risk management and insurance, such as property and casualty, benefits, bonding or personal lines.

6. Connect with old friends, family members or a neighbor. Expand your circle so when you are ready to stop social distancing, you have built many more circles and developed many more opportunities.

Finally, I am here if you want to talk about an idea, concept or case.

Take care of your family, friends, clients and yourself.

Howard Sharfman, of Chicago, Illinois, is the senior managing director at NFP Insurance Solutions. He is a Top of the Table qualifier who specializes in high-net-worth clients. He has been an MDRT member since 1994. Read more from him in the blog post, “Seek the uncomfortable zone.” He can be reached at howard.sharfman@nfp.com.

This originally appeared in the MDRT Blog.

 

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