Category: Motivational Speaker

Big Changes Ahead for Healthcare: Be the Provider not the Patient

 

Speaking to audiences on managing change in the healthcare industry, I often compare hospitals and clinics that are content with clinging to an outmoded mindset to patients awaiting miracles rather than getting legitimate medical help.

No matter your place in the healthcare system, change is either at your doorstep, or it’s coming at you from all directions. The changes are not coming quietly, and will demand a new vision.

Dr. Stephen Klasco, interviewed for Modern Healthcare (May 2019), said:

“We’re going through a once-in-a-lifetime change in healthcare from a B-to-B [Business to Business] model to a B-to-C model [Business to Consumer]; the physician and administrator as the boss to the patient is the boss. If you believe that … you have to fundamentally change how you view things.”

The medical facility and its providers must have the determination to manage the changes sweeping over the industry.

Managing Healthcare Change from All Directions

About a year ago, healthcare writer A.J. Abrawal identified at least six factors that are bringing about change in the industry:  technological advancements, a shift to practices that are more for-profit than non-profit, the changing landscape of the Affordable Care Act, the widespread use of patient data, the modernization of payment options, and more readily available healthcare advice.

Taking any of the changes identified and combining them with Dr. Klasco’s comment, it is easy to envision a scenario where healthcare is soon to become increasingly closer to a supermarket concept of picking and choosing options from a shelf. In fact, it’s about to become literal. For example, the October 4, 2019 issue of Supermarket News states:

“Next month, Sam’s Club plans to begin testing a program that offers members bundles of health care services — including medical, pharmacy, dental and vision care — for a low annual fee. [It is] Called Sam’s Club Care Accelerator Together with Humana.”

It is a given if the Sam’s Club model becomes successful, other national supermarket and wholesale stores will follow. By bundling services, consumers are manifesting a desire to implement a set of changes that the healthcare industry should have seen evolving quite some time ago.

In a 2018 survey sponsored by Aetna, it was seen that patients clearly want greater choice in their care. They want a more holistic approach of diet and exercise rather than relying on a practice for all of their care. Patients are more educated about their desires and treatment than ever before. The study summarized, in part, the findings in this manner:

“It’s clear that in the changing health care environment, transforming care delivery means considering care of the whole person. New care models such as value-based care, in which doctors are rewarded for improving patient outcomes, are creating opportunities to do just that…”

In this shift patients are wanting more choice and asking more questions. They are literally shopping for the best combination of services for their needs, and overall, they are demanding much greater transparency in how they are treated and billed. The industry will have no choice but to change to meet these needs in the years to come.

Book Scott Burrows, Motivational Healthcare Industry Change Management Speaker for your next healthcare industry meeting through this website or by calling us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Staying Focused and Resilient: What is Your Blueprint for Success?

In my addresses as a graduation and commencement keynote speaker, I frequently ask my audiences if they have the determination to stay focused and resilient in mapping out their blueprints for success.

“Staying focused” has become more difficult than ever. In a recent psychological survey that came out of Canada, 89 percent of workers, mostly Millennials, claim they waste time at work. Eighty-five percent of Millennials and Gen-Y admitted to being on the internet (for personal reasons) at work. Yet, here is the odd-ball statistic: 84 percent say constant work interruptions make them unhappy.

The Lack of Focus

In a 2018 study by Baylor University, 60 percent of college students “admitted” to being addicted to their cell phones; about 10 hours per day for women and 8 hours per day for men.

While I am not bashing the internet, cell phones or college students, we have entered an age of serious distraction. As I relate in my keynotes on staying focused and resilient, if our blueprints for success include welcoming distraction, a lack of focus and an absence of priorities, we welcome a career path that reassures a lack of direction.

Writer Jason De Mers for Entrepreneur magazine studied this increasing lack of focus. One of his conclusions concerned prioritization:  “You could also have trouble focusing simply because you aren’t sure what you should be focusing on. The typical entrepreneur (worker or student) has dozens of tasks on his or her plate at all times. So, if you’re one and unsure what to do next, you might jump among tasks frequently, leaving them half-finished, and only dedicating half your attention to any of them…you’ll need to work to establish a firmer system of prioritization.”

Interestingly, the lack of focus leads to a lessening of resiliency. If we focus on prioritizing a series of important tasks, for example, applying for grad school, getting into shape, raising our GPA or looking for work after graduation, and we are constantly distracted, the results will be a lessening of concentration and that leads to failure of the task.

Being focused on a priority allows alternative ideas, other paths or an expansion of knowledge to take place. Without focus, there is no vision, only scattered thoughts; without determination and the grit to push away distraction, there will be a lessening of results.

When I found myself in a hospital bed a quadriplegic, I was determined to get as well as my body would allow. I allowed myself the vision to see movement and daily improvement in my mind and body. I knew that through good times and bad I would need the intensity to be successful. I blocked out distraction and focused on the challenge at hand.

In speaking at graduations and commencements I issue the same kind of challenge to the graduates. In developing your blueprint for life, there will be hundreds, if not thousands of interruptions. There is a choice:  give in to the distractions or be passionate about your priorities.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Graduation and Commencement Keynote Speaker on staying focused and resilient, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Are You Determined to Be a Change Agent for Your Company?

As a motivational speaker for companies facing ongoing industry challenges in the marketplace, I am fascinated by change agents who have the determination to step up and make a meaningful impact in their organizations.

Who are the Change Agents in Your Company?

When I am delivering keynote addresses on change management, I often ask the following question of audience: “Picture the change agents in your organization. Whose face comes to mind?” The most common answers include the CEO, the human resources director or even the social media department.

In an insightful article that appeared in Forbes magazine, business writer stated “Change management is no longer a term that denotes only operational improvements, cost efficiencies and process reengineering…change management has become a much bigger, more interwoven part of the overall business fabric…that plays into everything that we do, every day, and how we go about getting things done, regardless of hierarchy or rank.”

The change agent includes the marketing manager, the accounts payable people and you. In fact, the most important change agent in your company is you, whatever your position on the hierarchy of the corporate ladder.

We are All Change Agents

Earlier this year, the management department of Michigan State University presented an article entitled The Qualities of Effective Change Agents. They did not rank change agents by position, high to low, but emphasized five important traits all change agents must possess, and in this order:  Flexibility, Diversified Knowledge, Priority and Results Focus, Ownership and Responsibility, and Effective Listening Skills.

Each trait requires three components that I address in my motivational change management keynote addresses:  the vision to understand why it is important, the mindset to make it happen, and the daily grit to overcome any obstacles that may prevent change from happening.

For example, as part of an acquisition an organization may need to implement a new company-wide software system. An employee committed to change will have the vision to see why it is important to diversify and expand knowledge, the determination to excel at understanding the system’s complexities, and the grit to learn and study every day.

Becoming Invaluable

Being a change agent requires making yourself invaluable. In times of transition, executive leaders will actively seek out employees who embrace change. Indeed, the Robert Half management consulting firm stresses the following point in their tips for change success:

“Involve employees as soon as goals are set. Ask their opinions and get their input on how the business runs today and what they believe should be changed.”

Executive leaders want those on their team who are determined to help rather than hinder, and who are willing to go the extra mile to make change successful and to be flexible in their thinking. Change is not always easy but change agents will always be recognized as those who made it happen. Be determined to make it happen.

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Speaker for Change Agents and Change in Organizations through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

You May Be Your Biggest Competitor

Speaking to sales teams or individual sales reps about overcoming objections, I like to casually ask this question: “Just out of curiosity, who is your biggest competitor?” Most will answer, “In my space, it is ‘X’.” They will name a specific company. Yet, every once in a while, one person will answer “It’s me, Scott, my greatest competitor is the person I have to look at in the mirror.” To that person, I give a knowing nod and smile.

Look Deep Within

It is Bill Gates who is famous for saying “I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.” He is right.

Sales, as we should know, is not a business skill, but a way of life. In effective selling I believe we must overcome objections to ourselves first, and then to our family, friends, prospects and ultimately, customers. I first learned this valuable lesson in the most unlikely of places, the hospital, after a life-changing diagnosis and in front of the toughest customer I would ever face — myself. After an accident I went from being an athlete to a quadriplegic. I learned to see myself in wellness and not as a disabled person; to not pity myself when I measured progress in quarter inches, not feet; and to overcome negativity and the hundreds of excuses I could have made for myself. I had a choice to overcome objections or give into them.

It was during my recovery that I took a sales position in the financial and insurance industry and within five years I became a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Don’t Invite Me to the Pity Party

In life, there are always people who will say, “I wouldn’t blame you if –” (you gave up, or quit this job, went into another field, or moved away). These are often the same types who will convince themselves that the competition is too much, or the product or service your team is selling is inadequate.

I first encountered this attitude in rehab.

They would wrap their pity in comments telling me they never thought I could have come “this far,” or to accept what couldn’t be changed. I chose not to listen. I knew there were still improvements I could make to my health challenge and to not accept that I had done all that I could. I was learning important lessons of overcoming sales objections.

Just as a lawyer never asks a court witness a question they can’t already answer, as a sales person there should be no opposition to a sale you can’t answer. In fact, before going into any presentation know exactly how you will respond to an objection.

If you don’t know information on the customer before you call on them, chances are the sale is lost before you make it. When I was in rehab, I could have defined myself as someone with a terrible back injury. Instead, I studied everything about my injury, I asked a thousand questions and I was determined to understand that no two injuries are identical. It gave me a well-spring of optimism and a commitment to always do my best. I didn’t know how far I could go; I only knew that in terms of my own life or in selling against competitors, I could do more than accept a situation; I could overcome the challenge in front of me. Of course, I learned a sense of acceptance, but the acceptance was never based on pity. If I had a bad day in rehab or lost a sale, I knew the next day would be better. It always was.

Truth is, I have had more good days than bad. I faced down the toughest competitor I ever had and sold him on the future.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker on Overcoming Objections for Sales Teams through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

“Does Our Industry Need Meetings Anymore?”

 

As a keynote speaker who works extensively with meeting planners and companies in the incentive industry, I know all too well about doom and gloom forecasts when it comes to industry meetings.

These are uncertain times for trade shows and the exhibition industry, and with it, meeting planners and incentive executives are often confused as to how to project into the future.

In March 2017, David McMillin in writing for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) fired a warning shot that too many took to heart without reading the entire article:

“All good things must come to an end. After 25 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth for the exhibition industry, the economists at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) received the first dose of negative news with a 0.4-percent decline…” However, McMillin continued that there was “plenty of upside depending on how international trade and modernization of the industry would unfold in 2018.” Turns out, he was right.

In March 2019, the CEIR “Total Index” showed a strong 2018 rebound:

“The growth of the [meetings] industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, accelerated from a year-over-year gain of 0.9 percent in the third quarter to 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.”

CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw, stated: “The performance during the fourth quarter shows the resilience of the exhibition industry despite uncertainties surrounding the trade negotiation with China, volatile stock markets and slowing world economic growth.”

Shaw pointed out that while there have been huge gains in the Food, Government, and Raw Materials and Science sectors, on the other hand Consumer Goods and Retail Trade, Financial, Legal, Real Estate, and Transportation have not fared as well.

As an experienced meeting planner, you understand that while the economy may change, to eliminate meetings is the wrong approach to solving an industry’s problems. In fact, the reverse may be true.

Don’t Give in to Negativity

Doomsayers are more than willing to tell meeting planners that the “trade show is dead.” They point to the power of the internet, the new media, meeting software platforms, remote workers and co-working strategies as signaling the end to meetings.

Are these critics handcuffed by a lack of vision and the determination to be successful? I think so and many meeting professionals agree with me.

Mark Goren, an expert on trade show trends, wrote (August 2018): “What will the future of trade shows look like? Think experience meets relationship-building, or essentially, engagement marketing…where consumers are invited and encouraged to participate and actively engage with a brand through an experience. When it’s cleverly employed at trade shows, engagement marketing creates powerful, one-on-one connections…”

Maura Keller, writing for Association Conventions & Facilities said, “Creating a connection with the audience is paramount, and incorporating interactive elements within trade show design is key. Not surprising, interactivity within an exhibit booth is important to create a face-to-face connection and memorable experience for show attendees.”

Despite the doubters, in this digitized era meeting attendees crave real connection and relationships. The technology may be shifting but the need to engage with your audience, whether one-on-one, or one-to-one-thousand, has never been greater.

Negativity is crippling, but the determination and vision to overcome adversity will yield unbelievable results.

Book Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker for the Meeting Planning and Incentive Industries, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

When Being “Only Human” Can Lead to Catastrophe

As a national keynote speaker on workplace safety and accidents caused by stress and other factors, I am familiar with the worn excuse of “they were only being human.” I remember the accident that led to my becoming a quadriplegic.

Family and friends told me that my failure to wear a seatbelt was because I was only human and under stress. In the months after the crash, I wondered what might have happened had I the vision to see where my choices could lead and the determination to overcome my carelessness in the first place.

Human Factors

The American Institute of Stress (March 28, 2019) stated that “80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress.” In the same report it was noted that of all of the factors in the workplace that cause stress, the largest reason at 46 percent was workload. When a heavy workload is combined with stress, accidents occur. Those under stress usually think they can do more than they can safely do. They are too rushed and too stressed to ask for help.

The “Institute” reflected the ideas of Dr. David Spiegel, medical director of the Stanford Center on Stress and Health in Stanford, California in Safety + Health magazine:

“Safety professionals can play an important role in helping workers cope with stress.

It’s very clear that a big proportion of safety problems are due to human error, and some of that is related to stress. You need to be concerned as a manager for the overall health of your employees.”

Safety Consultant Dr. Michael Topf has spent a career working to help reduce employee stress. His observation about workers and the effects of workplace pressure have shattered a lot of myths. No matter the educational level, from Ph.D.’s on down, when stress is in play problems arise. You can’t overcome poor safety habits with intellectual thought:

“What I found was that…stress has an impact on safety. People learn to stuff their feelings. They hide their stress. They think, ‘You need to be bigger than it.’ So, it all goes in, but it doesn’t go away – it’s all stored in your body somewhere. It’s stored mentally and it’s stored physically.”

Topf gave a hypothetical example of a worker who had a sick parent in the hospital.

“You get to work and you’re climbing a ladder or you’re on scaffolding. While you’re walking along on the scaffolding, part of your attention is on where you’re walking and what you’re doing, but also part of your attention is on your sick mother in the hospital. Loss of focus or inattention is a major cause of injury.”

Overcoming Poor Decisions

As a safety professional, you must have the insight and the determination to see the connection between stress, workload and workplace accidents. Safety is a company-wide challenge. Safety professionals need the resolve to help workers under stress.

Finally, of the 46 percent of workers in the AIS study who cited workload as a major problem for causing stress (and accidents), in turn most of them saw stress as affecting their co-workers as well. Safety is everyone’s business. “Being human” is an explanation and an excuse we must avoid.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, National Keynote Speaker on Safety and Stress Related Workplace Accidents, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

The Toll of the Takeover: Change Your Mindset

 

In delivering my motivational addresses on Change Management, I am often asked about the toll that mergers and takeovers have on the employees of the organization.

I view mergers and takeovers as paralleling the experiences I encountered after my two accidents. I went from being a competitive martial artist and Division I football player to a quadriplegic; from physically in-control of myself to fighting for my life in a hospital bed. During my extensive rehab, I had to find a new mindset. It led me to inspiring employees undergoing change in their organizations to overcoming the hardship they face in losing the familiar and the predictable.

The Fear is Real

In his 1987 book, The Employee Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions, Dr. Price Pritchett identified the fears of employees when they realize their companies are about to undergo takeovers. The fears include: uncertainty, ambiguity, mistrust, and self-preservation. During the takeover period employees are on-edge; they tend to not believe anything related to them by managements; and many keep low profiles, preferring to stay hidden and stay behind the scenes. I realized these behaviors were very similar to the patient who blames the world for their troubles, does not follow doctor’s orders for strength and conditioning, and essentially gives up.

There are much better ways to change the negative mindset when a merger or takeover is about to unfold. In January 2019, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine presented a paper entitled, “Dealing with the Emotional Impact of a Merger or Acquisition.” Not surprising, three emotions set in throughout the organization: shock and numbness, suffering (as the full impact sets in), and what is called “resolution,” or as I like to call it, the “what are you going to do about it?” stage. After my initial diagnosis, I was first in shock, then I realized what the outcome could be and finally, what could I do to change my mindset?

While the fear is real, the ultimate outcome is up to every employee of the organization to either see themselves as “sick” or to overcome the adversity of change and accept that the best change agent is you. In accepting the fact that the takeover or merger is happening, there is the choice to blame anyone and everything on the takeover or to accept the situation and handle it as you would any growth experience.

It Comes Down to Positive Mindset

The organization Total Wellness Health outlined mindset-changing attitudes whether your organization is undergoing a takeover or merger or other sweeping changes. Among the most important coping skills to help employees manage change are using positive messaging – be optimistic about the future; develop positive relationships, especially with your new co-workers; be upbeat, even if others wallow in negativity; and always communicate with others in a positive way.

In managing change we each have a choice. Many years ago, while lying in a hospital bed, I was determined to have an optimistic vision of wellness and I worked hard toward that goal. A positive mindset is contagious and affects everyone around you. The best way to manage change is to be a positive change agent.

Contact Scott Burrows, Change Management Mergers/Takeover Motivational Speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

How Will the Florida Panhandle Overcome Hurricane Michael?

Hurricane Michael approached the Florida Panhandle on October 6, 2018, and did not fully scatter until October 16, 2018. It was the third most intense hurricane ever documented with the wind speeds the strongest ever recorded at up to 155 miles per hour.  In its wake, it left nearly 60 dead in the United States alone, along with countless injuries and more than $25 billion in damage. As part of the damage, agriculture was virtually wiped out including more than 3 million acres of valuable timber.

Adversity Isn’t a Statistic

Statistics tell only a small part of the story. Adversity is much more than numbers. Before my accident I was a Division I Florida State University football player and a martial artist. I read the newspaper every day. News of accidents and natural catastrophes were just passing statistics to me as they are to most of us. After the accident, when I was left with a diagnosis of quadriplegia, there was nothing statistical about it. Initially, I was overwhelmed.

Over time my medical caregivers and personal support team dwindled down to a precious few. For the most part, I was on my own. I realized that if I lacked the outlook to get better, I could remain physically confined and emotionally depressed for the rest of my life. I was determined to not let that happen.

Cities are made up of people. Psychologists reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 said that serious mental illness doubled and more than 40 percent of the New Orleans population showed signs of PTSD. Panama City and the Florida Panhandle have reported similar statistics.

In an article appearing in the Panama City News-Herald entitled “Trauma, stress, anxiety: Hurricane Michael taking a toll on residents’ mental health,” Panama City Psychologist Joel Prather noted “I see a lot of trauma, stress, anxiety, depression. People have lost everything (but) I also see a lot of resilience in the community.”

As with my experience after the accident, Panama City has mostly been left to itself. FEMA has pulled out, many people still live in tents, roads are treacherous, and in fact, automobile accidents have skyrocketed. Many of the businesses and landmarks disappeared, and beaches were swept away. The lack of basic human requirements forced many of the residents to flee and worst of all some have lost the will to rebuild, to hope, to overcome and to continue.

“Hope for The Florida Panhandle”

Recently, I was asked to be the Florida overcoming adversity keynote speaker at the “Hope for The Florida Panhandle” event on April 19, 2019 in the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center in Lynn Haven, FL.  I will be honored to bring a message of vision, mindset and grit for residents who are still facing overwhelming challenges and adverse conditions in their communities.  This event was initiated by a Panama City resident who heard my keynote at a pharmaceutical sales conference earlier this year and has been tirelessly seeking sponsors and backing the event with his own funds in order to offer it free to surrounding communities. His passion and commitment is the kind of true grit and perseverance I find both humbling and life-affirming. I am grateful for the opportunity to help encourage these communities to stand up to their challenges.

When I initially felt devastated by my condition after awakening from the accident as a quadriplegic, I had no choice but to change my mindset from despair to a vision of wellness while gathering the personal strength and inner resources to rebuild my life. I was in it for the long haul. I needed the sheer grit to see it through. My challenge to Panama City and the Florida Panhandle is to rise up as one to overcome adversity.

I am a Floridian by birth and I know we are a resilient state with the courage to face any hardship that comes our way. We are caring and strong. Just as I needed to reach down deep, so too will the entire Panhandle rise up in this time of challenge and promise.

For more information on “Hope for the Florida Panhandle” please contact Douglas Carpenter, 850-714-2515.

 

For other events: Scott Burrows, Florida Overcoming Adversity Motivational Speaker, Denise@scottburrows.com or call: (520) 548-1169.

 

 

To Change Careers at Midlife, Change Your Mindset

 

At the height of my career as a top producing sales agent in the insurance and financial sector, I suffered a second accident that forced me into recovery for nine months. During this time I had to reevaluate, reframe and expand my mindset and vision to include the challenges I was experiencing physically in relation to my career. This ‘setback’ allowed me time to reconnect with the passion I experienced educating my clients, the excitement I drew from viewing inspirational business speakers at the Million Dollar Round Table, and set the stage for a successful new career as an international motivational business speaker.

A Matter of Mindset

At the end of my keynote speeches on change, audience members frequently ask if it is possible for them to successfully change careers as they approach mid-life. I answer that change isn’t a matter of age, but of mindset, determination, persistence, and grit.

In September 2016, the University of Michigan studied occupational transitions of older Americans. They found that at what many of us consider retirement at age 62, about 57 percent are no longer in the labor force, but that 26 percent are still in their profession and 17 percent have decided to completely change their careers.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which conducts bootcamps for those who want to become entrepreneurs, found that people aged 55 to 64 now comprise about one-third of America’s entrepreneurs.

However, older employees aren’t just becoming entrepreneurial but are in demand as full-time employees.

As of February 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the unemployment rate for those 50 and above was lower at 3.2 percent, than the overall unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. These aren’t fast food jobs either, but careers as diverse as banking, healthcare and insurance.

The Determination to See It Through

Nevertheless, having the mindset to change jobs or create new jobs isn’t enough. Older workers need the determination and persistence to see it through. The website Next Avenue (December 21, 2017) stated:

Among the biggest obstacles to people’s ability to create a career they love (after 50) is a preconceived notion of ‘where they should be’ and what they ‘should do.’ But success doesn’t have to follow a scripted narrative.

To take the leap, you need to fundamentally believe that it’s never too late to transition into a career that aligns with who you are.”

Forbes magazine (June 21, 2017) debunked five myths normally associated with older employees determined to change careers. These myths included that it’s never too late to change careers; that it’s embarrassing to admit that you are not happy with a career you’ve been working at for many years; that the over 50 workers can’t get hired; that the only kind of work out there is part-time; and the biggest fear of all is that the older worker can’t compete against Millennials or younger.

Every one of these myths regarding change has been disproven providing you have the vision that lets you see that obstacles can be overcome.

How Determined Are You?

Nicole Maestas, Ph.D., is an economist, professor, and expert in the study of aging at Harvard University. In a recent interview for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Maestas stated that when older workers are determined to work, they get work, when older workers want to succeed, they will succeed. She summarized:

“The labor-demand study simply shows that when there is a shortage of skilled workers, older workers will get jobs.”

To compete in the job market, workers over 50 will need to re-train themselves to be current on technology. Age will not be the factor to hold them back, rather an unwillingness to learn. In short, be a student.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote and Breakout Speaker on Change through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169.

 

Year of Change Ahead for Financial Advisors: How Will You Respond?

Every one of us involved in the financial and insurance industry knows that 2019 will be a year of change.

Bob Veres, writing for Advisor Perspectives (December 10, 2018), pointed out at least five major challenges that will impact financial advisors this year. They include new “BI” or best interest standards and fiduciary oaths; planning for the coming Bear market and making clients your partners in the financial planning process; the pressure to shift away from AUM (percentage-based) portfolio revenue models to flat fees; the trend away from traditional insurance agencies to self-directed purchases; and the opportunities in utilizing customized “Robo” software within your practice. Veres concluded that change is never easy and financial advisors and insurance brokers must prepare for whatever is next.

Will You Evolve or Be Left Behind?

How will you adapt your business this year? Have you identified your strategies to meet the comprehensive financial planning needs of clients about to retire as well as younger generations embarking on their careers?

As a financial advisor, in order to stay ahead you will need to wear many hats in managing client expectations. Will you be able to show clients at all stages of their careers the value that you are bringing to the investing equation, and are you determined to make the necessary emotional investment and to be an educator as well as advisor?

In 2019, and beyond, financial advisors will need to focus on new niche markets to differentiate themselves. They will need to embrace the latest tools to set themselves apart in a highly competitive financial advisory market. It will not be a matter of offering customer service, but tapping into technology to access changing regulations and ultimately to use that information to recommend the right insurance and investment products.

The questions asked above, and many more, can only be answered by one person:  you. The expanding workload, the deluge of information, evolving fiduciary rules, the need to offer clients greater transparency, and the maze of ever-expanding investment options will require each financial advisor to have the grit to maintain their success and to rise above average. “Average” advisors will suffer from average on-line ratings especially as more millennials enter the work world. Average will mean being left behind.

Be a Student, Be Coachable

The most successful financial advisors will be those who understand that they are students and not “professors.” Being a student, even if you have been in the business for many years, means updating your practice management, understanding and employing new technologies and the educational components necessary to help your clients reach their goals. It means attending conferences that offer niche market products and opportunities, evaluating the latest practice management solutions and being facile enough to use the social media to set yourself up as an authority.

While new investors may not be sophisticated in terms of investing, they understand technology and how to access information. Financial advisors must match that intensity and sophistication and have the knowledge to answer tough questions their clients find online. It is a tall order but a tremendous opportunity.

The year ahead is where the financial advisor will be a student who is determined to learn what is needed to make the practice successful.

 

For more information on how financial advisors can develop a winning vision, contact Scott Burrows, Financial and Insurance Industry Motivational speaker, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169