It was a referral from another client, and we set up life cover only because they didn’t really believe in insurance. They were never going to die. They’re bulletproof, as a lot of clients think. And they didn’t want any further contact because they didn’t really believe in it. They were captains of their own destiny.
In a petrol station a couple of years later, I saw the wife. She was working out of necessity because her husband had had a stroke. It was actually quite emotional because she said, “Michael, I really wish that we’d listened to you.” It’s difficult even thinking about it now because it’s so easy to kind of put it on us. It’s our job to help people. We’ve got that caring gene, and when they don’t do it, it’s somehow that we failed.
But the real lesson for me is that she said, “I wish that we’d listened to you.” A part of me really can’t help wishing they had been able to listen to what I was saying, or that I perhaps could have done something differently in that meeting. But in the end, it was them actually convincing themselves that they didn’t need it. And now she’s working nights in a petrol station just to try to have the same life as before we met. It’s dealing with the consequences and the car crashes that happen.
We know what good looks like, but what’s really important is that the client knows what good looks like and that they have to protect their good. So we never need to meet a middle-aged woman working part time in a petrol station just to get by.
Now we let the clients talk for 80% of the time. They identify what that good looks like. They also look at what’s getting in the way of that, and obviously loss of health and loss of income are part of that. This gets them to see what that life looks like.
For example, would you want to be that middle-aged lady working in a petrol station? If people don’t like that, it’s time for us to take action. But it’s very much their vision. Just as it’s very much their obstacles, and we’re the facilitators for the life they want and equally the life they don’t.