By Janet Fishman
When a financial advisor or insurance agent meets for the first time with a new or potential client, they are often on a fact-finding mission. Insurance agents need specific information to analyze what types of insurance the client has and doesn’t have, and what their current and future insurance needs might be. The financial advisor wants to understand the investments, assets and liabilities of the client in order to construct a healthy financial plan that will grow with the client and prepare them well for retirement. Most clients don’t have this information at their fingertips. To complete the evaluation, agents and advisors will give the potential client a list of required documents and details to gather for the second visit.
What happens when the client can’t find the documents? Or if the client doesn’t know what current policies they hold? It’s not uncommon for a client to cancel the second meeting with the insurance agent or financial advisor. And, even if the agent/advisor keeps calling and following up, overwhelmed by the task list, the potential client will continually delay the meeting, and eventually the agent/advisor loses the client.
Solution: Sleuthing for the Client
Professional organizers provide the solution to this scenario. When hired to ferret out the details for a client, professional organizers can go into the home or office and dig through the many tote bags under the bed, the bins up on shelves in the closets, the storage boxes in the garage, the piles of papers on the dining table, floor and couch and the old, forgotten papers in the filing cabinets. Professional organizers spend endless hours going through these materials, tossing old papers that are no longer needed and creating organized filing systems for the papers that do need to be retained.
Some organizers are financial organizers known as Daily Money Managers or DMMs. On the client’s behalf, they can also call banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses to determine which policies and accounts are still active.
Building client relationships, one detail at a time
Once a professional organizer or DMM completes the time-consuming, tedious work of going through hundreds and sometimes thousands of pieces of paper, the client now has the necessary paperwork and knowledge to share with the insurance agent and financial advisor. This effort can save a client for the advisor/agent. Therefore, it behooves you to get to know and use professional organizers and DMMs in your neighborhood. Conversely, this connection can enable the professional organizer and DMMs to pass on to their clients names of insurance agents and financial advisors. This could lead to a symbiotic relationship that would be mutually beneficial to all.
Sleuthing Your Sleuth
When you are considering a qualified professional organizer/DMM, look for longevity in business, advanced degrees, licenses or certifications, if they carry insurance and are bonded, if they have been background checked, and if they belong to professional associations which require they follow a code of ethics.
Janet Fishman, J.D., is a professional organizer and Daily Money Manager. She is president of HOPE Organizers, Inc. in the Los Angeles area and is a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO), the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM), Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), and Association of Personal Photo Organizers (APPO). Janet serves as executive director and organizer for NAIFA-Los Angeles and WIFS-Los Angeles. She can be reached at: www.hopeorganizers.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.