Frank Luntz Delivers Politically Charged Wit and Wisdom at NAIFA’s P+P

September 22nd, 2016, Comments Off on Frank Luntz Delivers Politically Charged Wit and Wisdom at NAIFA’s P+P.

web_0008_luntzFrank Luntz, the noted political consultant and pollster, entertained and enlightened attendees at NAIFA’s Performance + Purpose conference Monday with his humorous commentary on contemporary U.S. politics. He also provided insights into the use of language and how the specific words we use determine how our audience receives our message.

The biggest mistake the voting public makes when assessing political candidates is when we give them a pass on their dishonesty. We should not simply accept that “they all lie,” Luntz said.

“When you start to accept a decline in integrity it brings the whole country down,” he explained.

Luntz, who has worked as a Republican Party strategist, said that he really liked the campaign of former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, because, “Bernie was consistent. He was consistently wrong, and he would have been a disaster for the country, but he is genuine.”

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both made blunders during the campaign to make us question their honesty and sincerity, Luntz said. “If the election is a referendum on her, she loses. If it is a referendum on him, he loses.”

Luntz then transitioned to how the current state of politics affects insurance and financial advisors and how it also presents opportunity for advisors.

“You are small business owners,” he said. “You live or die based on what you do, and Washington does not get you.”

We have tremendous divisions in our country and people are upset, but if people think the country is in trouble, they are more likely to buy security.

The main thing that Americans want more of that they don’t have enough of is peace of mind, Luntz said. Peace of mind ranks above love, success, hope, opportunity or anything else.

This creates a great opportunity for insurance and financial advisors, because their products and services are designed specifically to provide peace of mind to their clients. Luntz suggested asking three questions to understand what people really want: Imagine a life of perfection, where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? The answers tell you what a person finds most important. If you come up with a plan to help people achieve these hopes, you will be successful.

Words Matter

Luntz is also a communications expert who has written and spoken extensively on the subject. He encouraged advisors to pay close attention to the words they choose when speaking with clients and prospects.

He provided some specific examples of how word choice can make significant differences in how a message is received. It is important for people in sales, marketing and services to tailor their language to their audiences to ensure that they are giving people what they want, he said.

In marketing pieces, for example, “count on us” is weaker than “you deserve,” because a sales pitch should be about the client, not the service provider. People are looking for “options and guidance,” not “choices and advice.” The latter can make people feel like they are under pressure or being told what to do.

The word “strategy” is more open-ended and inviting than “plan,” which people take as a preparation for a one-time event. “Financial independence” conveys wealth, whereas “financial security” feels less wealthy.

“It doesn’t matter what you say,” Luntz told NAIFA attendees. “It matters what people hear.”

NAIFA Elects Officers and Trustees

September 19th, 2016, Comments Off on NAIFA Elects Officers and Trustees.

web_boardThe National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ representative governing body, the National Council, has elected new officers and trustees at the 2016 NAIFA Performance+Purpose conference in Las Vegas.

NAIFA’s new president is Paul R. Dougherty, LUTCF, FSS, HIA, of State Farm Insurance Companies in Hyattsville, Md. Dougherty becomes president after serving one-year terms as president-elect and secretary.

“NAIFA and our members face tremendous opportunities and challenges, which promise to make the coming year an exciting one,” Dougherty said. “From legislative and regulatory matters to advances in technology and evolution of the marketplace, NAIFA is helping members navigate a new landscape in our industry. We have begun implementing our NAIFA 20/20 strategic plan to ensure that NAIFA best serves our members and to position our federation to be as strong as it can be. I look forward to working with an excellent group of leaders on the NAIFA Executive Committee and Board of Trustees as well as our professional staff and state and local associations as we serve NAIFA members and promote their future success.”

Joining Dougherty on NAIFA’s Executive Committee are: President-Elect Keith M. Gillies, CFP, CLU, ChFC, of Ameritas in La Place, La.; Treasurer Matthew S. Tassey, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, of Principal Financial Group in Portland, Maine; and Secretary Jill M. Judd, LUTCF, FSS, of State Farm Insurance Companies in Capitola, Calif.

After serving his one-year term as president, Jules O. Gaudreau, Jr., ChFC, CIC, of the Gaudreau Group in Wilbraham, Mass., becomes immediate past president, and will remain a member of NAIFA’s Executive Committee.

Gregory T. Toscano, LUTCF, of Johnson Insurance Consultants in Duluth, Minn., was elected to the board to serve a two-year term. Toscano was previously a member of the board, 2013-2015. Delvin L. Joyce, CLU, ChFC, of Prudential Financial in West Palm Beach, Fla., was appointed to the board for a one-year term.

Re-elected for two-year terms were board members David A. Beaty, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, of Heartland Financial Services in Cedar Falls, Iowa; Thomas O. Michel of Michel Financial Group in Los Angeles; Charles M. Olson, CLU, ChFC, of OCI Financial in Omaha, Neb.; and Brock T. Jolly, CFP, CLU, ChFC, of Capitol Financial Partners in Vienna, Va.

Remaining on the board as trustees are: Aprilyn Geissler, of the Chavez Geissler Agency in  Albuquerque, N.M.; Todd G. Grantham, CFP, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Durham, N.C.; Bryon A. Holz, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF, CASL, of Bryon Holz & Associates in Brandon, Fla.; Booker Joseph, CLU, ChFC, FLMI, of United Healthcare in Birmingham, Ala.; and Cammie K. Scott, LUTCF, REBC, RHU, of CK Harp & Associates in Springdale, Ark.

The National Council also voted in support of two bylaws amendments initiated by the NAIFA Board of Trustees. The first amendment adjusts each NAIFA member’s national dues investment by $6.00 a month, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, to fund the NAIFA 20/20 strategic plan and to maintain NAIFA’s operations as the plan is implemented. The second bylaws amendment will revise the existing NAIFA bylaws provision that authorizes the NAIFA Board to set a corporate dues rate for specific companies. The amendment authorizes the NAIFA Board to set dues rates for companies who wish to pay a group dues rate for their advisors, whether those companies are insurance carriers, independent advisor groups, or broker-dealers.