Long-time NAIFA leaders Scotty Brennan and Peter Browne provided insights from their years of experience to attendees at NAIFA’s Performance + Purpose educational session, “It’s All About Relationships.”
Brennan said that attaining success as an insurance and financial advisor is not easy, so it is crucial for those in the profession to build strong relationships with their colleagues. NAIFA, he said, provides great resources for building those relationships.
Fellowship at NAIFA is great because of the sharing of ideas. “If Peter has a dollar and I have a dollar and we trade dollars, then we both have a dollar,” Brennan said. “But if I have an idea and Peter has an idea and we trade ideas, then I have two ideas and Peter has two ideas.”
Of course, being able to relate to clients is also important. “I’m really proud that in my career I’ve written insurance on a garbage man and on the CEO of a Fortune 100 company,” Brennan said.
Brennan emphasized three particular relationships necessary for success:
- Your relationship with yourself: Developing leadership qualities, being honest, and following through to meet your obligations are important. “I don’t want to be the king of good intentions. I want actions,” he said. “There is no space between what I say and what I do.”
- Your relationship with your spouse: “Who you marry is the biggest factor in your career success,” Brennan said.
- Your relationship with your career: “I look for good clients, people I can have good relationships with,” he said. “I don’t try to be all things to all people.”
Peter Browne told attendees that we are all “given the gift of people,” but we must work to grow relationships with those people. “The greatness of our industry begins and ends with relationships,” he said.
Family is the first kind of relationship you need to succeed. Our families provide not only the support we need to succeed, but the motivation as well.
“Client relationships are the very heart and soul of what we do,” Browne said. Browne’s first client relationships were with his college fraternity brothers. “Their victories became mine and their challenges too,” he said. Advisors who build strong relationships with their clients early in their careers have the power to touch thousands of people’s lives.
Browne also credits his many peer relationships for contributing to his success. Others within the profession, he said, “challenge me and make me improve myself.” He and his business partners support each other and “bringing out the best in each of us. We became better with the sum of our parts.”
Browne encouraged NAIFA members to build and nurture great industry relationships by becoming mentors. Being a mentor allows experienced advisors to “give back to the industry that has given you so much, build bridges for shared success, and grow success for the industry, our practices, and our clients.
He issued a challenge to NAIFA members to “uphold the tradition of building relationships,” and not approach their career as one of simply completing transactions.