By Sean Yap, Country Chair 2021 Malaysia Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), Membership Communications Committee (MCC)
Would you like to be a better version of yourself?
Achieving MDRT through volunteering
I am eager to share my MDRT journey and the personal tools that has helped deliver my goal, especially during this time of the coronavirus outbreak. An initial decision to take part in the Malaysia MDRT Day as a Program General Arrangements (PGA) volunteer has now led to success and fulfilment. I value strongly the experiences gained through various assignments and projects on an outstanding learning platform.This forward-looking community is selfless in empowering others to become leaders and worthy role models. I am inspired to keep evolving as a life insurance practitioner and honoured bearer of MDRT’s internationally recognised standards of excellence.
As 2021 Country Chair, I am delighted to announce that our purpose is to continue nurturing new MDRT members and retaining existing MDRT members. Here, in a positive and vibrant environment, we provide links, activities and programs to further enhance and develop current and future leaders and influencers.
I very much look forward to welcoming you to join us soon in unlocking your greatest potential and excelling in all aspects of life.
Change and the New Normal
“The only permanence is impermanence”. As life insurance and financial planning practitioners, we know very well that change is inevitable. Instead of focusing on things that we cannot control; we therefore take action on those things that we can. In these unprecedented and challenging times, it is even more important for us to extend our help and services. We are responsible for ourselves and the people around us. In darkness, we are the light.
We, who carry the MDRT spirit, are embracing the change and reaching out to our most valued clients.
In this New Normal where we practise social distancing, wear masks and maintain strict hygiene in carrying out our daily routine, what’s next?
Find Your Purpose
The key is in having a personal mission, as it is the driving force that guides all our actions and decisions in life.
I would like to ask you, “Why are you doing what you have been doing?”. What is motivating you daily? In his bestseller, “Start with Why”, Simon Sinek shares a concept of “Golden Circle” where the most successful businesses always ask three questions in the following sequence: “Why” (Purpose), “How (Process), and “What” (Outcome with Product and Services).
Why is central to finding your personal mission statement, as it relates to everything we do. It directs us to the most suitable and practical ways of success. It is our GPS; an internal navigator for living authentic and passionate lives.
I Am Driven by My Personal Mission and the Three Elements that took me to MDRT
To inspire and help people live their lives with love, value and peace of mind.
I wholeheartedly share my 3 elements: (1) Love; (2) Value; and (3) Peace of Mind.
To me, Love is positive energy.
The life insurance industry is a love-based business, where we help clients ensure their love and responsibility for their families is lasting regardless of any uncertainties that may lie ahead. For a family naturally filled with love and close bonding, my job is to help them ensure there is eternal love for their family. When I meet my clients or prospective clients, I share facts and not fears. I sell the value of love.
My positive energy attracts, as it radiates joy, empathy, trust vs “not so positive” energy such as fear, panic and hatred, which make others feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
Love, the positive energy, always puts us on the right track in the life insurance industry.
2. Creating Value for Valued Clients
My 4Ps to add value, as their preferred insurance agent:
• Pay undivided attention. Keep phones away from meetings and see the difference.
• Practise mindful listening without judging. Nod to acknowledge a client’s message and try to read between the lines too.
• Put ourselves in clients’ shoes. Be sincere in wanting to learn more about clients’ feelings and they will respond in kind too.
• Personalise the experience. I sing to them on their birthdays! One simple, special effort that raises the service level exponentially.These are my ways of increasing my own value:
• Practise self-care. Keep mind, body and spirit healthy.
• Continue learning and improving. Do something we really like, with an open mind and without limiting beliefs.
• Share your interests. I am a passionate ultra-marathoner and share my running experience with clients and whoever is interested in running. Many more doors may open, with only one door opened right in front of us.Value creation always ensures a long-lasting relationship.
3. Peace of Mind
Clients naturally achieve peace of mind when agents do a professional and ethical job of delivering the best insurance policy to them.
It is important to understand there is almost no perfect insurance plan, but only the insurance plan that serves its purpose. We should always remember that as soon as the client signs on a proposal document, we are already on the way, bringing the client to a better position having made a positive impact on their lives.
Also, by understanding Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, agents can start growing with clients. The higher a person is in the hierarchy, the higher the chance a person has is achieving his or her peace of mind. The needs that are lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before a person can attend to needs that are higher up.
From the bottom up are:
• Physiological needs (food, water,
• Safety needs
• Love and belonging needs
• Esteem needs
The Whole Person Concept
To achieve peace of mind, agents are encouraged to find work-life balance by embracing the Whole Person concept, which is to strike a balanceand excel in 7 aspects of life:
Understanding the Whole Person concept allows us to plan and work more efficiently in all aspects of our successful life journey. I hope you will achieve your peace of mind by living the Whole Person philosophy of life too.
I completed a 172 km trail run in less than 45 hours – Stay Focused and Be Authentic
A pivotal paradigm shift of my belief in how I perceived my marathon running, allowed me to make the impossible, possible.
Before this, the longest distance I had completed was 120 kilometres. What I did was to set up a game plan of splitting the long distance into two portions. The first portion covered the 120 kilometres that I had achieved before. As to the second portion, I told myself that this portion would only begin when I hit the 120- kilometre marker. Interestingly, during the run, I found myself wanting to reach the 120- kilometre marker faster, so that I could begin my real run immediately after that.
This type of situation in running also happens in life quite often, where most people may just give up too easily or too early before reaching the finishing line. Let’s recall something that most of us have experienced before: knocking our elbow accidentally on a hard surface. Our forearm will become numb with a tingling sensation. If we focus on the numbness, the sensation stays with us longer. But it will go away as soon as we think nothing has happened. This has convinced me to stay laser focused on my goal and all possible distractions will just have to make way.
During this time, I am also reminded that authenticity is one of the biggest secrets to success in life. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt, but it has also reduced air pollution and returned mother nature to a more authentic state, making it better for us to live in. By returning to Who We Are, we trust ourselves to listen to our hearts in fulfilling our life purpose and mission.
If a person is authentic and stays focused with some elements of creativity, the outcome is always the desired goal.
For all aspiring MDRTs, I encourage you to start your journey now, as it will be a life-changing experience that’s rewarding and fulfilling.
For all MDRTs, you have done it before and you can always do it again.
Becoming a MDRT is simple, but certainly not easy, and meaningful learning platforms such as the Malaysia MDRT Day is here for us to learn and progress together.
I trust my article brings value and makes positive impact, and I look forward to seeing you soon as part of the MDRT community that demonstrates exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service.
My best wishes to ALL for the best year ever in 2021!
Sean Yap, MBA, RFP, AEPP, www.facebook.com/mymdrt