BE LIKE THEM...
I was a certified “PromDi” [from the province] with poor communication skills in both English and Filipino, no financial resources and no network to boot. But despite these obstacles, I was able to successfully brave the storm and become one of the top agents of our company for more than a decade now.
By the time that the insurance world changed its landscape from traditional to VULs, my training as an engineer became my greatest ally. I shifted from merely selling to consulting and created a three-step process that has proven to be effective time and again. First, I help my clients unearth and discover their financial concerns in the event that something happens to them. Second, I match the insurance products and give other options which best fit their needs and wants. And lastly, I motivate them to embrace the solutions and act on it. These same steps are what I share with our group of newbies in the life insurance selling profession, whether they belong to my agency or not. I initiate sales clinics for neophytes to speed up their understanding of the career. From the 12 individuals I mentored last year, 9 of them made it to the Million Dollar Round Table. Of the 9, 7 are millennials. In other instances, I coach other agents even outside of my agency and company to excel in this career. The times I am invited to address life insurance professionals in industry talks, I always accommodate it, as I view it as a way to pay back the blessings I have received during my whole career.
While most of my early years’ time and effort was dedicated to being the best agent I can be, my professional life today already incorporates mentoring a new generation of life insurance sellers. In my years as an insurance agent, I was able to mold myself into the person who I wanted to be. With the knowledge and experience I share with the new financial advisers today, I hope they also reach the best versions of themselves in time.” - Nunatuz Cortez of Corlife Agency
Unfortunately, his business would soon take a toll on him, and he was burnout in the process. “I would wake up as early as 2AM just to go to one of my branches in Antipolo which opens at 4AM,” he says. “The longest shift I had was 16 hours straight.”
Eventually he closed shop simply because aside from getting too tired, a bakery business wasn’t his cup of tea. “I don’t even eat a lot of bread,” he says.
When his high school classmate invited him to become a financial advisor, he was not hesitant but his parents were. After explaining to them that this industry is similar to having his own business because he holds his own time, they finally allowed him to make his decision. “To tell you honestly, when I was just starting, I wasn’t maximizing my productivity,” Matt says. “Thankfully, I was surrounded by the right mentors who taught me how to make it to the top. What I saw in them was the same passion and the same work ethics. So, I tried to do things just like they did.”
Being a financial advisor, Matt has learned the importance of financial planning and about growing and protecting one’s assets. “Being a financial advisor has helped me a lot because I understand the importance of financial planning now,” he says. “I learned the importance of not only growing your assets but also protecting your assets which is often neglected here in the Philippines. I became a believer of life insurance. I can’t quantify the help they gave me and I am thankful to the mentors who surrounded me. I’ve met a lot of amazing people in this job and they have taught me a lot. I feel much more comfortable in planning my future now,” he says.
For Matt, persevering to be successful is about holding on to his dream. “You have to be stubborn enough to achieve it,” he says. “You have to fight for it, and hang on to it as if your life depends on it.” - Francis Matthew Singson of Corlife Agency
As a young child, 28-year old Ysabel Victoria Benitez was already a witness to how insurance works. Her mom was a single parent who raised all three daughters alone, yet still managed to attend all her children’s school activities. “The idea of this career in my head is that it is very rewarding while at the same time, bringing you closer to your family,” she says.
Unfortunately, upon graduating from university, she didn’t go into the insurance industry right away. Instead, she first got employed in an advertising agency for four years and then went into marketing and sales. She remembers eating out with friends only when she has received her paycheck. Not because she didn’t want to do it more often but because she can only afford occasional splurges. “I wanted a car, I wanted to travel, I wanted a lot of money and I wanted it the quickest way possible, but then I realized that I couldn’t achieve my dreams if I stayed in a fixed-income job.”
When she got out in the corporate world, Ysa decided to try out the insurance profession. Being new in the business, at 23 years old, she could not possibly give financial advice to another person when the state of her finances was not in order. Plus, she was also not sure which market to tap because her mother has been in the business for a very long time. She started reframing her views of the life insurance career from a mere “source of income” into “the source of life”. She embraced the advocacy of financial education, and soon started to share what she knew with passion and commitment. Along the way, she learned to take rejections in stride, accepting that life insurance is not an easy topic for most people. “More people simply don’t want to talk about money because of their twisted views about money. And this is where we as Financial Advisers come in”. Ysabel sees herself as a formidable force in helping Filipino millennials create meaningful financial plans where the future of their families can rest on.
Ysabel adds that her career has definitely grown as a financial advisor: “Imagine they have a wealth of advisers here. You just need to sit down with them and they can tell you all about the best practices in the industry and how to plan for your future.” - Ysabel Benitez of EYJ Agency
Maricel says that it was the flexibility of the time that attracted her to this business. “I am my own boss and personally, I don’t work well in an 8 to 5 job,” she says. “Growing up, I saw that my mom wasn’t always in a hurry. She was always relaxed and calm.”
She describes her first few weeks in the industry this way: “Grabe ang training ni mother. There was role-playing and a lot of that stuff but it was all worth it. Of course, like any other business, life insurance selling takes time to learn.”
Perhaps her biggest challenge at work was getting compared to her mother. She remembers taking one of the insurance exams and not being confident of passing it. Her primary concern was not whether she will make it or not, but the shame she will put her mother through in case she doesn’t. Fortunately, nothing of that sort happened and Maricel never had to make her mother less proud. Today, Maricel had brought so much pride to her parents and her parents, who are both already involved in the financial planning business.
The generations of Financial advisers run deep in the Lantican bloodline because at the innocent age of eight (8), Maricel’s only son has been showing signs as a financially-savvy child. Maricel adds, “As a mom, I am very proud to say that I am raising a financially-aware child. He is now making smart decisions on money and has recently started saving.“
Her advice? “Since Millennials are prone to accidents due to the amount of traveling they do, this is the perfect time to be protected. Invest and protect yourself.” - Maricel Lantican of Citilife Agency
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