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Good mentors make profound impact

Antoinette Tuscano

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Janet Ng learns to track production, find a niche market and focus on work/life balance.
If you had two Top of the Table qualifiers as your mentors, what would you learn? If you think it would be all about how to increase your income, you’d only be partially right. For eight-year MDRT member Janet N. Ng, FChFP, CEPP, her mentors gave her invaluable industry advice as well as indispensable life advice.

Her first mentor, 28-year MDRT member Joseph John Capaldi, B Com, Cert PFS, approached Ng two years ago through social media.

He saw her family-focused posts and thought she had a lot of potential. When he asked if she’d like to be mentored by him, “I was surprised,” said Ng, who’s from Makati, Philippines. Capaldi, from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a long way from Ng, and she didn’t know much about him. After researching and talking to him, however, she understood how he ran his business.

She also learned he’s a multiple Top of the Table qualifier who’s spoken on Main Platform and mentored several other young advisors. Ng was honored by his mentoring offer and realized it was an opportunity she didn’t want to pass up. The two talk weekly through Skype and email often.

Capaldi taught Ng to:
  • Track production
  • Find a niche market and concentrate on it

Tracking production
“Everything I do should lead to my goal,” Ng said. “Everything I put into my workday should lead to what I want to happen at the end of the day and then at the end of the month. I put everything down on paper so I can remember it as well as review it. I go over my notes to see what I can improve and if there’s anything to remove from my activities and replace with something that would lead to my goals.”

Finding a niche
“It didn’t take long for me to decide on a niche market since I came from a family of business people,” Ng said. For her, it was a natural fit to create employee benefit programs for businesses.

Specifically, she concentrates on family business succession plans. “That’s neglected in the Philippines, but because of my involvement with MDRT, I’ve realized there are ideas I can bring back home and share with my fellow Filipinos,” Ng said. This not only helps other advisors, but it improves families’ futures, which in turn improves the country.

Ng’s second mentor is 29-year member and 2016 MDRT President Brian D. Heckert, CLU, ChFC, of Nashville, Illinois. They were in a short-term online global study group together about a year ago, and Ng emailed him to ask if he would be interested in mentoring her.

“I knew how busy he was, and I was ready to be turned down. Imagine my surprise when 15 minutes after sending out the mail he replied back with a yes.”

From Heckert, Ng learned to:
  • Know who matters most in life and do what’s best for them.
  • Be efficient in business.

Focusing on loved ones
For Ng, the easiest part was knowing who matters most in her life — her four children to whom she’s a single parent. “I do everything that benefits my kids, and I immediately will say no to whatever harms them,” she said.

Heckert counseled her to carefully select how she volunteers. “He immediately saw that I was doing a lot for other people, but that I needed to remember the most important people in my life. He told me, ‘You’ve got four wonderful kids. They don’t need a supermom. They need their mom.’”

Ng scaled back on volunteering to give her more time with her family. She also involves her children in some of her volunteer activities, which teaches them the value of helping others.

Efficiency: Create a client menu
Heckert advised her that with her specialty in employee benefits, clients may find it overwhelming to weed through all the options available for employee benefit packages — and it creates a lot of work for Ng as their advisor.

Working with Heckert, Ng found a solution. “I came up with three packages that have three components in each package. That way whenever people see these packages, all they have to do is pick one,” Ng said. “Insurance, retirement planning and health care are in all three employee benefits packages — they’re just placed differently.”

Selling insurance is a small part of what Ng does, and she finds when talking with potential clients it builds trust if she emphasizes she’s there to help with what they need and not focus on insurance.

“I ask them, ‘What keeps you up at night, what worries do you have for the future — both for your family and business?’” Ng said. “This approach helps you see the bigger picture. It’s something I learned from my friends in MDRT.”

Janet Ng

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