A Casual Sunday Opinion. (While having my Financial Articles edited.)
It's Sunday. Money Maverick never publishes on Sunday.
But the good thing about Corona Virus (if we try to view it positively) is that even though it reduces client face time a lot (and by extension, revenue), I can focus on content. I haven’t been this focused in years. Content is in abundance - multiple articles upcoming, and more thoughts about improving the business without stressing too much about whether many people will buy insurance or not.
[I really hope it doesn't go on for too much longer though.]
One of the articles that I’m coming up with is a follow up to my MDRT article.
This was written in a time early in 2019, where I was striving very hard for MDRT. The Million Dollar Round Table – which you can read about in my article: is an international sales award for the top 6% of Financial Consultants in the world. SEE ALSO: Why Having MDRT Matters - And Why I'm Going For It (2019)
I emphasize – it’s a sales award. As some of you know, I recently achieved it– and with significant excess, too. That is partly why I am writing a follow up about it: as a love letter to my clients and a reminder of accountability to the people who have diligently supported and followed my career, client or otherwise. I am not ungrateful, and I recognize how important this award and recognition is to my career, regardless of reason for achievement. But before it comes out in a month’s time or so, I thought I would signal a heads up for those of you following me closely - to see that some of my attitude from back then has changed very much in the last year.
Director of Sales vs MDRT
I really believed that MDRT was critical for a selection process.
When people debate between what kind of Financial Consultant they should choose, I genuinely believed that having an MDRT award was an inevitable necessity in order to distinguish myself from the lot.
Much like in the article that I wrote over a year ago, MDRT is discussed occasionally by Financial Bloggers such as Dollars and Sense, or Seedly - who debate as to whether an award winner makes a potential better consultant.
So a lot more people know what MDRT (The Million Dollar Round Table) is, even people who are not associated with this line of work at all.
It's weird, isn't it?
But very few people know 'Director of Sales'.
Myself personally - I'm in my fourth year of my career and I didn't even know this existed. Recently, a colleague that I admire very much attained a promotion and achieved this title. Unlike MDRT, ‘Director of Sales’ is an award for consistency rather than a yearly sales quota.
There are some variations to this title, but in a nutshell - you cannot be promoted to this position without a consistent track record of high-volume sales for continuous years in a row.
This does not mean that you hit as drastically high as MDRT every year, but it does recognize that you can maintain consistent volume at a higher level for over 3 years. That is the criteria for the promotion. I was really envious. If I had known such a title existed, I would have striven towards it actively as well.
You see, there are many ways to achieve MDRT. But very few MDRT qualifiers become lifetime MDRT members. There is very little statistical consistency. As I wrote in that article over a year ago, MDRT to me meant the potential embodiment of many good things for future prospects and clients.
Most of those things still hold true – but to me today, in 2020 – a Director of Sales ACTUALLY EMBODIES those things much more than my own achievement.
It is a promotion that gives SIGNIFICANT RECOGNITION to being consistent and trustworthy, compared to a high-end sales award like MDRT.
Compared to someone who could be very well listed as a one-off MDRT qualifier, A Director of Sales: 1) Has a greater probability and track record of actual longevity in this career, and by that extension – their service to you
2) Has a greater probability of having paid their dues on the ground, and thus would likely be better in adapting towards various circumstances than someone less experienced: especially when it comes to things like claims
3) Has a greater history of business to protect, and thus likely more accountable/less likely to missell.
So that's Director of Sales, in a nutshell - and why I value it more than my MDRT award as a selection criteria when competing for clients in the future.
The reality is that Financial Consultants are not all the same. We really are not.
Some are better than others in various ways – and some are just better in every way. Nothing changes that fact – not people with a better education, or blood relations – nothing. It would be foolish to make our decision for our financial futures through something so superficial. We never select medicine – we select the doctors we visit and trust their solutions. And we filter and discriminate – reasonably so – through people who earn our trust. Sometimes, we choose through accomplishments that highlight that they can be trusted more than others.
For prospects and clients looking for a good consultant in a long term relationship, I hope you look for consistency, competence and virtues rather than a strong sales award alone. For consultants like myself, I hope that we aim not just for high sales achievements but also to always demonstrate to our clients through recognition or otherwise - that we have their best interests at heart in the long term.