Million Dollar Round Table Experience 2014 KL


Well, I’ve been back for a little while and am still trying to digest all the great information supplied by Keynote speakers and panelists at the MDRT Experience. @MDRtweet

The Million Dollar Round Table has two gatherings each year for professionals in life insurance and financial planning from around the globe.

Last year I was privileged to attend the annual conference in Philadelphia as a Qualifying member.  For the Experience, you don’t need to be a member and so it was a great opportunity to have my rookie team members hear from some international speakers with great ideas, sales tips and motivational stories.

I’d already stressed the importance of social media to the guys before heading off and we managed to connect with Colleen  Francis, a keynote speaker from Canada and her company Engage Selling prior to the meeting.

It was a treat to meet with her and Mike Hoffman, the ‘King of Whoo’ and self proclaimed Comic Ninja on one of the lunch breaks. 

Sanjay Tolani from the UAE kicked off the sessions by advocating that we find our Why.  Always great advice, especially in light of the re-branding journey we’re currently embarking on. From personal experience he showed that sometimes we just don’t have time on our side and we need to be the Doctors of Finances for many of our clients.  Show what we have in place and be advocates for our clients to get it right. @srtolani

Jack Uldrich was next, a futurist who proclaimed that the best way to predict the future, was to create it.  He also raised the idea of reverse mentoring where we hire someone younger and with less experience than ourselves so we can again see the world and our business or life through fresh eyes and learn from a new generation on how things are done. @jumpthecurve

The lovely Colleen Francis was next, urging us to make this our ‘best year yet!’  We have the power to affect families lives and are no longer in a sales process but partner with our clients in the buying process. Buyers engage because they have a need and we need to meet with them regularly. @EngageColleen

Bill Cates was next up on Referrals, telling us that Cold Calls are our punishment for not getting enough referrals.  He urged us to keep providing value and have a different mindset on referrals.  Ask ourselves: Do I give referrals?  Do I see asking for referrals is an extension of how I serve my clients? Have I made a decision to run my business by referrals? Am I fully committed to referrals?  Lots to consider here.  @Bill_Cates

Ryan Pinney assured us that ‘Insurance is bought by people of character who care more about someone else than their money.’ True that!  Our clients want value and we should be focused mainly on our existing clientele. @TheProAdviser

Day 2 kicked off with the huge energy supplied by Mike Hoffman, the King of Whoo and he had the whole room excited with his YouTube vid before he even walked out on stage for his own Igniting Performance.  He asked each of us if we were a one per center? Or wanted to be in that top category!   Apparently success is not genetic! We need Three things:  Learn, Adapt & Apply! Got it! @Hoffman_Mike

Sarah Kaelberra told us ‘It’s all in the questions,’ with the punchy “The more you ask, the more they tell, The more you listen, the more you sell” ringing in our ears at the end.

The band Roundabout played the breaks, all made up of MDRT members and it was great hearing how they’d all met, connected and what each had gotten out of their various years of attending MDRT conferences.

Duncan McPherson of Pareto Principals from Canada was up next and had lots to share on Practice Management, Relationship Management and how to Competitor proof your clients. @Duncan8020

Eric Feng from The Charisma Academy led another high energy talk highlighting that Life is a popularity game, where people buy people first, and quoting the popular phrase, ‘People may forget what you said or did, but never, how you made them feel’ by  Maya Angelou. @eric_feng

The entire executive committee ran through their own experiences over the years with MDRT and to wrap up Janine Shepherd, a fabulous Aussie inspired us with her story. From Olympic hopeful to waking up from a truck vs bike accident in the spinal ward, she moved us with how she found Rock Bottom was a great place to start moving on from. The clean slate headed her off in a new direction and she now flies and teaches acrobatic flights.  @janineshepherd

Aside from that, it was also great to realise I wasn’t the only Aussie girl in a room of over 5000!

So another conference wrapped, lots to reflect on and still a big year ahead…

Bali Retreat for Wealth Planning Partners

 

Well, the inaugural Wealth Planning Partners (WPP) retreat has been held, done and dusted in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.

Bali has never been high on my list of Must See places, but I can certainly see why the Aussies have been heading there for decades! The Balinese are friendly (tho more than happy to take the tourist dollars) the beer is cold, and the weather is always warm and humid which most of us are used to.  Basing our stay in Echo Beach between the rice fields and beaches was really special and a lot was accomplished.

We kicked off our first day with a Mexican dinner which served the three of us, with drinks for under $50.  Expensive by local standards!  The following morning was a massage each and session on Social Media and why it’s so important to an adviser’s business going forward.  After lunch, one of our guest speakers, Ian, a lawyer from Brisbane dropped by and we learned about Trusts and structures used for the protection of wealth and to note when we need to recognise that our clients need to sit down and discuss further with a lawyer.

But it wasn’t all work and for Saturday we met up with some friends in Kuta, and headed to Tannah Lot in the afternoon for a sunset tour.  It’s really been commercialised, but certainly some great photo ops!  Then we hit Ubud on Sunday for the Paon Bali Cooking School.  By evening we’d had a spa treatment at Ayana Spa (formerly the Ritz Carlton) and finished off at the Rock Bar for drinks.   If you ever get a chance to go to Bali, all of these are a Must Do!

Monday, it was back to the grind and we were joined by another guest who filled us in on the Big 4 banks, where they sit in the Aussie economy and how we all fit into the grand scheme of things.  A great ‘who’s who in the zoo’ for the rookies.  Ian followed up with a second session, this time on the benefits of Key Man cover and Debt Reduction planning in Business Risk.  We found a great hotel for lunch at the suggestion of a local and loved the artifacts on display at the Hotel Tugu, apparently the life’s work and collection of a wealthy Javanese businessman, now on display for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, we all worked on our ‘WHY’ – why do we want to be planners? what can we give back to the customer? what’s so special about us? and why would you want to use WPP and it’s advisers?  Always a spot of soul searching goes on there, but great to revisit for me, and good for the guys to explore.

If the whole trip was to have us work more cohesively as a team and understand our individual roles, then the trip was a resounding success.

Learning what we can do when we play as a team has been good for us all.  I just know it’s going to be a great year for WPP!

The Travels Begin

 

So my year of tripping is about to commence.

Our Marketing Discovery sessions with clients and colleagues wrapped up last week.  The family then kicked back with friends over a BBQ, I took off to a movie (The Book Thief!) and rested up over the Australia Day long weekend and tomorrow marks the start of my travels for 2014.  A full month or more at home is a bit out of the ordinary for me!

I’m off to Newcastle to see a potential client, then drive to Sydney the following day for the branding review, have lunch with a colleague and meet with lots more clients over the course of the Friday evening and Saturday, before returning to the Gold Coast.

I’ve also been busy prepping for our big trip next Thursday to Bali for the first Wealth Planning Partners offshore retreat.  Our sessions on Marketing, Social Media and Business Planning are covered off.  I’ve a bit more work to do on our Client Value Proposition and Service Level Agreements and the Client Experience but am looking forward to everything that we’ll uncover whilst there.  I’ve booked in a cooking class and Spa Treatment while we’re there and the boys are hoping for new tailor made suits too!

After that, we’re off to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to join other delegates from around the world at one of the premier events for financial advisers, The Million Dollar Round Table Experience.  Should be good!  Might even try for another Food Tour when we’re there.  I’ve done them before and they’re great!

I’ve also had another first this week.  I’ve always wanted to be a published author, so have started small and contributed an article to a book called Financial Freedom Explained by Mithra Publishing.  I’ve ordered a few copies of that and am looking to turning over the pages to see how it all turned out!

Busy times!

More soon on my adventures!

A Rebranding Journey…

Many years ago when I formed my first company with my long term senior partner, Wealth Planning Partners (WPP) was born.  It was an easy birth.  A friend did a ‘love job’ logo which cost us nil and it was business as usual – with a new name…

Well, that no longer works for where WPP is today, and we’re taking an incredibly different journey this time. It’s almost time for my senior partner to exit the business (in his 70’s! – great effort!) and re-brand for the new talent (all in their 40’s and younger…)

I’ve engaged a marketing consultant,  the lovely Aranka Nolan of Einstein Marketing, who is interviewing my support team,  advisers, and potential talent who’d like to join; she’s chatting with a cross-selection of clients, referral partners and long term business associates.  She’s going to get to the bottom of who Wealth Planning Partners is, uncover the value our clients perceive that we give them, how others see us, and give lots of feedback to incorporate into our new brand – which is obviously a lot more than a logo this time around.  I’m expecting a longer labor and trickier delivery!

This is a journey I’ve never been on before and it looks like it’ll be an interesting ride!  I’m sure there’ll be some lovely feedback, and possibly some serious challenges will be uncovered that we’ll really need to work on.  But, overall, I’m sure it’ll be a great experience, a good discovery lesson for ourselves and our clients and leave us in a really great place going forward!

Part of the team retreat in Bali (only 19 sleeps away!) will be all about discovering what we’ve learned in the process, digesting the feedback and incorporating those insights into what we do going forward.  Building a great culture around our brand.

If you’ve got a financial planner who you’d like more from, I’d love to hear what you’d like to get back?  What’s important to you?  How could they do things differently and leave a bigger smile on your dial?

2014! And we’re off and running!

Well I thought 2014 was going to be a big year, and it’s already started with a Bang!

A family catch up; the arrival of Baby Chad into my extended family; the funeral of a lovely young friend and client, who sadly lost her battle with leukemia aged 25; a new Brand yet to be launched for my business; feedback from clients indicating I seriously need to introduce an Induction program for new financial advisers joining my team; two overseas trips planned (Bali & Japan,) a third possible (Canada;) national trips already booked to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Newcastle, and a visit to a good friend arranged for to the Sunshine Coast next week… to start with anyway! It’s only Day 4… And I’m not even officially back at work yet… Phew!

Last year I made myself one New Year’s Resolution – something I needed to do, and was sure I could stick with.

EAT MORE SLOWLY!

I Really Love Food!  Especially good food with great company!  Unfortunately, with a busy life, I usually have something to do or somewhere to be and tend to inhale rather than enjoy my meals, so that was a top priority for me… and my health.  I wouldn’t say I’ve nailed it, but I’m certainly a lot more conscious of savoring and enjoying what’s before me.

Having said that for resolutions, I also managed to find and purchase two positively geared investment properties, take three overseas trips, improve my business and recruit new talent.  This year I’m still not entirely sure what to work on, but having had a dodgy back for a while (not helped by frequent flying) I think I’ll:

IMPROVE MY FITNESS

Baby steps for me.  Have started with a pre-exercise stretching routine to fix a nasty pelvic tilt and will go from there…

Would love to hear what you’ve decided to run with and are pretty determined to stick to?  Beyond the first two weeks of January that is!

Wrap up Lunch

 

Well it was another spectacular Gold Coast day and certainly great weather for the team to kick back on Burleigh Beach at Pointbreak Bar and Grill, down some cold bevvies and a great feed.

I unfortunately missed out on a Bon Jovi concert last night in Brisbane, that I’d booked six months ago as a surprise for my family. The kids were ill on the weekend, decided to share the bugs… and left me shivering and feverish at home whilst they went and par-tayed without me.

So, I wasn’t about to let this event pass me by.  Thankfully, I’d managed to stock up on some serious flu meds when in the States earlier this year, which came to my rescue and got me through the day, and a good time was had by all.

2013 Wrap Up

 

Well, 2013 has been a huge year for me!

I’ve had the privilege of heading off on three overseas adventures – twice to the United States and once to Thailand; diving the Great Barrier Reef; assisting clients with retirement savings needs, protecting their lifestyles, assisting with claims handling when things go pear-shaped; meeting some amazing people; cooking up some fantastic feasts and indulging in some great food and drink in beautiful places with wonderful company and getting to kick back with family and friends.

I figured I might just have to start a blog and share some of my adventures.

I’ve already got trips to Sydney and Melbourne for work lined up; an off-shore work retreat for the team to Bali; a conference in Kuala Lumpur with the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) amongst other challenges.

I’m really looking forward to three weeks R&R over the Xmas and New Year break, resting, refreshing, reading and writing and getting my head into a great place for a new year.

Catch you there!