Gama Newsletter
 
May 2014
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By Shawn Bellefeuille, CFP, CLU, CHS
Associate Branch Manager, DFSIN Ottawa Financial Centre
Vice President GAMA Canada

Why did our industry stop recruiting?

Have you ever asked yourself why our industry stopped recruiting? Are you able to answer it? I don't think anyone really meant to stop recruiting, it just happened. As the business matured, so did the advisors. Now, with the average advisor being in his or her mid-fifties, agencies are keen to bring in new blood. However, the business has changed. Today's consumer is educated, and we now need to have more designations and specialties in order to be successful.

It's not going to stop there, though. I challenge you to read Advisor 2020 and Firm 2020, written by the GAMA Foundation, for information on what trends will be in play and what our businesses will look like in 2020. These publications contain such a high level of detail that I would call it a must-read for anyone who is serious about growing or even maintaining an agency or practice after 2020. The gist of these books is that advisors need more clients, and agencies need more advisors.

Could it be this simple? Not really. We need the right people. So do advisors. We need people that believe in what we do. If your management team does not have an ideal advisor profile, or has not updated its ideal advisor profile, you need to start there. It should include, but not be limited to, terms like "integrity," "history of success," "hard worker," "good listener likes to help people" … the list goes on and on.

If you don't know who you are looking for, you will end up adding the wrong people. Like Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, "You need the right people on the bus." This is so true today. With everything we do and know now being on the internet, you need to be prepared and knowledgeable. Advisors today are well trained in the sales process; however we need to focus more on training in prospecting and referrals. The fact that many people have never even been approached to buy insurance means there is a huge opportunity. Our job now as managers is to find the right people, to teach them how to prospect and ask for referrals. If we start here, we will be ensuring our great industry stays strong.

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