What I learnt from the GE.

GE is over but the post-GE talks are as firery as the pre-GE ones. Some happier & more togue-in-cheek ones like Mr. Yam does bring out a little chuckle or laughter in a boring situation. Well, its ironic that I need a boring character in a boring situation speaking with a boring tone to bring me laughter when I am bored. However, some not so happy facts that happen are about Ms. Tin, BG George Yeo & maybe the latest Ms. Soh who was acccused of wrongly sack (either you believe its for selling the wrong party merchandise or for printing the wrong document). Before I continue, I make my stand clear that I am not speaking for or against any party. Untill 2016, I am not interested in any party other than my son’s birthday party in July.

One of the few things that I had learnt in this GE is “Change“! The word “Change” had been made popular by Mr. Obama in his Presidential Election and is back again in BG Yeo’s speech. He had mentioned that “either you change or get changed”. I don’t know how many foreigners are they in this little dot now and I was told another 900,000 are expect to enter. We can stop all them from entering but how many foreigners are there outside of Singapore. That is the real competition if we want globalisation. IMHO, either we change ourselves and challenge that guy who ‘steals’ our job or we get changed. The world is getting smaller with the social media and as an financial advisers, I not only need to be updated with the latest info but also upgrade myself with the required skills. I had read that Insurance & Insurance Agents were mentioned in this GE several times and I encourage my fellow practictioners to learn from this GE. We need to change too.

A friend had posted on her FB wall that she got into an accident on the way to their rally and the parties’ candidate visited her . My question is will such touching scene be seen again if that party was elected? This is similar to agents who sweet talk clients to getting certain products. I had seen some appointments before the sales were done in expensive eateries but once the deal is close, there is a 180 degress change in attitude and the client may be lucky to get a just cup of plain water. Some agents also promised to be contactable  24/7 which in my personal opinion, that is possible only if you are 7-11. However, these agents go missing once you are a client because they need to give 24/7 to the prospect. The clients are entitled only 7/24 i.e. 7 hours out of the 24 hours.  May I suggest that for those belongs to this group of agents, review your pre-approach and the sales process. Do not promise the clients heaven and earth before the sales and only to give hellish services after the close. Remember this – if the client is the last person in your mind, you are also the last person in the client’s mind.

I also learnt that voters/consumers wants their voices to be listen. The consumers of today are mature and well-informed enough to make decisions. They do not need any agents to tell them “My policy or company is the best” but rather, they want to voice their opinion and someone to say “This policy is the best for you” after a proper process known as know-your-client is done. I had spend a few years in a tied agency prior to my move to an independent financial advisory firm. I must admit that it is a very difficult task to provide a holistic solution that is customised to an individual  if the agent is a tied agent as they can only represent the company and one single company. As an independent financial advisor, I am able to offer alternate choices and solutions that fits the individual than asking the individual to fit into the solution.  To understand the needs of your client well, you need to understand what your client really needs. There is no use providing freebies like ipad, iphones or mp3 players to win the deal. You may win the deal but not for long especially when the clients realised their needs are undermined. Similarly if you are in a 4 or 5 room flat, how many times can it be upgraded? The 1st time doing it is surprise, the 2nd time upgrading is expected and the 3rd time will be normal.

One common concern among the different political parties’ agenda is improving medical care and lowering the cost. This idea, in my humble opinion, is similar to wanting your room to be cool down by aircon and yet expect your electrical bills to be low! My dear reader… don’t forget that the doctors are voters too and I believe they also vote for a higher salary for themselves. If you want quality medical care or living standards, you pay for them in quantities. My point is the best a government can do is to improve the medical care system and if we want to enjoy that system, we need to make changes to our own system too. Do not expect the medical cost to be lowered by subsidisy but take charge and get yourself the right solution.