How is a “life insurance practice” different from a “life insurance business”?

When I started in 1977, most everyone thought of this as a “career”. We talked about “business” and then “practice” became popular. It’s too bad too.

There is a lot of self-important talk about “practitioners in practice” today, but it hasn’t helped most advisors be more effective or productive. It has even made life worse for many. They are waiting for calls rather than making them.

Talk of “practice” comes from two mistaken beliefs. The first is that this is a profession like medicine or the law. It isn’t. It doesn’t have to be either. We are “dictionary professionals” who “make a trade of a specific endeavour, vocation or calling” to be sure. But, we aren’t doctors or lawyers, and that’s a good thing. Financial planning is much more an “art” than a science of higher learning anyway.

The second reason is that their work embarrasses many financial...

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What do you think about the long-standing practice in our business of offering clients A, B and C options as part of a presentation?

It is just dead wrong as it is generally practiced today. With due respect to Burt Miezel (a major proponent), this is an approach that no longer has validity in today’s world. You have to stop being an “optioneer” if you want to be a most trusted advisor to your clients.

The problem is three-fold.

First, by offering optional solutions to a client problem, you demonstrate that you have not likely done sufficient diagnosis of the problem to direct them specifically.

Secondly, if you won’t tell your clients what to do, why do they need you anyway? Clients need leadership, guidance and advice more today then ever. They want to know what to do specifically. They need your professional opinion. They don’t want to go with their gut and just guess. Doctors do not routinely give options for treatment. They do their homework and then set your course of treatment.

After all, how can a “non-expert” be expected to make the appropriate decision without...

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