South East Asia

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Steps you can take to scale your practice with Aquillesa Chan – Transcript

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, work, policy, advisor, financial advisors, axa, philippines, reach, people, financial advice, goals, pandemic, career, liz, long, employee, podcast, referrals, hit, insurance policy

SPEAKERS

Gwen Lazarito, Aquillesa Chan

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Welcome to the financial planners Southeast Asia podcast, a show dedicated to driving the positive evolution of financial advice, specifically within South East Asia, to join a global community of financial advisors, sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. Head to x y advisor.com. Hey, guys, welcome to another episode of The X Y advisor, South East Asian podcast one here and today I am with Miss or Mrs. Mrs. Liza Chan. I call her Lisa. Welcome to the podcast. Well, Liz, thank you for having me here. No problem. So I’m actually I’m very interested and very excited to talk to you about your financial advice journey, because I know that you’ve had, you’ve had helped a lot of clients, in the span of the years that you’ve been working in the industry. So I want to start with that. So you have been in the financial advice industry here in the Philippines for more than six years now. And you mentioned that you have served more than 200 clients. So that’s 200 Filipinos, and more. Now, I really want to dive into that in this podcast. But first, I’d like to ask before you became a financial adviser, what was your career then?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

I was an admin assistant of a Spanish company, a prestigious company for 11 years as an admin assistant. Right?

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right. And how did you come across of financial advice, it seems like a very different, like career path

 

Aquillesa Chan 

since being an employee is financially challenge. So I’m looking for another income to support my two children, especially that that time my youngest son will be going to school. So I need to have backup finances. That’s why I’m into this.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Alright, so what started out as like a science Yes, as a second job became like, your full time job, and eventually your career. So what made you decide to jump from, from your career as like a regular office desk job to this to become a financial advisor, which is actually more challenging, because, you know, we’re, you’re self employed. And like it here in the Philippines, the the financial advisors are paid in the commission basis. So what made you make that leap, because being an advisor, there is that goal,

 

Aquillesa Chan 

like you hit the 45,000, you will be promoted to financial advisor. And aside from that goal, my heart leaps of doing this particular job. Because it is I find it important for every household, every employee, every every Filipino to have this financial need allocation. And when I hopped into this industry, yes, my heart is filled with joy. And I, I feel that I have the freedom I have the freedom to do, because in employment, you have to like, I my work is seven to 530. So I in modalities I travel from England, Ilia to mandawa. So that time is like one. Yeah, yes. So it’s a big leap, a big step for me. And I found the joy having this new self employment or this having having entered into the insurance industry.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right, right. And that’s really great that you’ve found your passion in the financial advice industry. And that’s how you became 200 plus clients long, and that’s really amazing. But I wanted what I actually wanted to know, surely before you got to help 200 plus people or Filipinos, I’m sure you’ve struggled a lot, especially because I think you didn’t really have any sales background, right? My

 

Aquillesa Chan 

only sales background in college network company, which did not progress then later on some like six clients for their real estate. All right, and I known that it’s not how How many people you know, but it’s how you provide that the services? or What did you offer to your clients? So that’s why I told myself that Hmm, it’s doable. So I need to do something. And that’s why I have done this.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right. Right. And oh, so you mentioned that you had a bit of experience in real estate. So was that thing that you did before finally, becoming a financial adviser? Yes. Like,

 

Aquillesa Chan 

I live in low cost housing, so I want to share it to my fellow friends also, until such time, they also got their own property. And it’s not like sustainable because it is expensive. But here in this industry, we can offer a affordable price with big benefits.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Yes, that’s right. That’s right. It’s all about how you can provide like the best product or the best service to the particular client. Now, how were you able to grow your client base from six years ago to now that you have like more than 200 clients?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

So most, because I, I’m an 11 year old employee with the existing company. So I have that connection. They have my and they also referred, and also, some are from Toastmasters. But more on the company itself, where I have employed for 11 years. Ah, all right, so

 

Gwen Lazarito 

you started out with your client base as your previous work? So you started with your co workers?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Yes, because I’ve known a lot of people there. And that’s how my customers, my clients, expanded.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Alright, that’s great. And now, are you still going through those employees? Or are you now tapping cold market?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

I’m not encircled employees, but more on persons I’ve known, like, if I have those 200 clients, or what if you also have your own policy for your husband, for your parents, for your children? So that’s how I tap those. So it expanded within the family. And with with with referrals

 

Gwen Lazarito 

are that’s great. So so the first thing that you are the first person that you target that is would be like the employee of your previous employer. And then once they have a policy, or was they become your client, you also ask them to be for you to be referred to their siblings or relatives. Is that right? Yeah. So family goals? All right, that’s really interesting. Yes, very, very interesting. Because I know for the, for some of the advisors that I’ve already talked to, here in the podcast, some of them are already tapping into cold markets. And then, of course, there, there’s always the referrals, but they’re actually using social media to tap into the cold market. But you you’ve, you’ve had these 200 plus clients, just by reaching out to the relatives of your current clients, that is a very interesting business model. And now, because of that, like what are your strategies on like? So since you’ve had this client, who was? Who is an employee of your previous employer? Like, how do you position yourself? Or what’s your strategy so that you can successfully gain the trust of their relatives or friends or for the people they know?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

So it matters on our services? So it boils down with on how we serve them? And because they are satisfied with the services? They like? A simple a simple question with how much is my account value? Can I withdraw? So I like reach out to them. And even on the jus payment, even on the even some of my clients, they let me do the payment. So I assist them because that’s their, they want that. I will do that to them. So whatever they wish, I will do that for them. So that’s how I like very down to earth with my clients.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right, so that means epic customer service and oil. Yes, down to Epic customer services. Awesome. So I think that’s a really great trend that we’re having nowadays to provide really good service to our clients in order for them to give give back to us by giving us referrals by, you know, giving us really great reviews, because I know for a fact that when I was younger, my parents initially had insurance. And they stopped getting in because their financial advisor wasn’t really giving them the kind of customer service that they really wanted. And so they discontinued their plan. And, you know, lo and behold, 50 years later, we they don’t have or they didn’t have any insurance policy. So that’s something that’s really good. I feel like that’s going to push the financial advice industry here in the Philippines, to become a better one now. Yes.

 

Aquillesa Chan 

So I will add, from those we have a recording, we have a Microsoft Word, we’re in a record, they’re like health need, and their existing provision and their GAAP and so on with their retirement and college education and investment goals. So why I am recording that because times have they will back out, or I will go back to their goals or why they started a policy. So go back to their goals. And that’s how we will hold their valued policy.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right. So that’s how you keep them accountable for Yes, because I know, like, when the going gets tough, the first thing that they crush out of their budget is their insurance. Yes.

 

Aquillesa Chan 

It’s not our culture here to really put that as part of the bill.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right, right. I agree. I agree. So, um, because I have noticed that my my partner, Christian also had that similar problem. Like, if, if one of their his clients had money problems around that time, they wouldn’t pay their their policy, and which was very sad, because you know, that, for that particular family, it’s very important because like the the breadwinner is high risk, he’s working abroad, all that stuff. And so that I think that’s a really great idea as well is to provide like a document of them and to have them check that out again. So that they can realize why they did it in the first place. And continue. So what’s your success rate with that model is like does that work?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Every time, it’s more on an edition of for building trust, because aside from like, the usual advisors, they just give you the policy, the policy, ours we have, we give them our financial dream map it we call it, financial green map, because the reason why we started with a policy because of the financial needs, so that’s the map, we follow, follow. And sometimes we are financial, financially challenged, or the budget is not in favor. So I told my clients, if you’re What if your premium is 3000, you can deposit as 500 next month is 1000. So as long as there’s movement in your policy, so that’s how I encourage them that do not lose hope or does not lose hold of their policy, even if they will just pay us 501,000 if their do is 3000 until such time it will reach to 3000 it will be posted. So that’s a big help already in their policy.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right, right. Right. That’s, that’s also another great idea as well. And, um, but I so you’ve mentioned that most of the people that you’re currently servicing are the the people who are like relatives of your friends, or the people that you used to work with. Now, I know that you’re very active person, like you’re usually around the city. So my question is, like, did you ever had any struggles when the outbreak like the pandemic hit the Philippines and no one was allowed to go out?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

I’m thankful that AXA has this virtual assist. So I didn’t have the difficulty of reaching clients with in time of pandemic, but the challenge is, is on how I managed to still reach out to clients because you are working at home. It’s not an office setting. So the like your activities will be a home setting like looking to the plans folding clothes instead of getting other clients So it’s a challenge and until such time that, hey, I need to do something, because I am in the financial insurance industry, I need to to not be behind those performing advisors. So from before pandemic performance and the pandemic scenario, I must still be productive.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right, all right. I agree. I agree on that when the pandemic started, like, it was very hard to separate like housework, to like being on work mode, because you, when you try to go to your desk to work, you see like, the house is messy, or like you haven’t cooked lunch. And so you tried to do that first. And then a few hours later, the day has ended and you still haven’t progressed with work. But how did you like finally transition to having like this normal work day setting? Did you plan your day?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

And not? before I’m not really planning my day, like if I want to open my emails, or I want to do marketing prospecting. So it’s on my mood based on my mood, mood. But now with that, there’s AXA has a an 830? Let’s get digital. So it is a nice mood for me early in the morning to to reignite the career in me. But before I cannot do that I wake up late. And Avengers I only watched it in the the video not really on watching them at 8:30am in the morning. So there’s a progress in me on like, managing time. So I feel like I’m having an office are or I have to log in at 830.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right. So I guess the the initiative that AXA has provided for their financial advisors really helped in mobilizing you to get back on your feet in terms of doing work. But I think you mentioned first that they created this virtual meetup

 

Aquillesa Chan 

  1. No, yes. Activities are virtual events for the advisors to be on track of their, their goals and their career.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right, and that that really goes to show how it’s very effective if a company pivots very quickly, in times of like changes, like yeah, in the pandemic, right. And it’s very beneficial not only to clients, but you as financial advisors under acts as well. So that’s really nice. Now, so that’s those are. So those are your initial struggles, right, like having to get in early to work early in the morning to work. But now like, how is the new normal working for you? Is it better now that you don’t need to go out of the house? Or would you still prefer, like, when when, you know, we get the vaccines and everything is good? Would you still go back to like going door to door to to check up on clients.

 

Aquillesa Chan 

And now I have managed already the work from home. So every week, I only go to the office once a week for a field that I am still a an advisor. And the rest are more on the like lately, there’s an active referral. And she will just tell me, Liz, this is her name, the birthday that email to this. So that’s how it keeps me busy. And it keeps me more active of my career.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

That’s very interesting man, Liz that you mentioned that you have an active referral because I know that a lot of financial advisors who are still new, really dream of having that one person or like that one company who gives them a steady amount of referrals to them so that they don’t have to like work as much and in looking for new clients. So how are you able to acquire those people who are very interested in giving you referrals,

 

Aquillesa Chan 

so it’s a continuous activity. So you start that really with that trust their relationship to give them to support you. And like last Thursday, I met some of the employees like five of them. So good thing there’s a lead of that company. So they met there. So every when the leader works in Inside the company, that leader when account law, you will be told, or you get your policy or repair for critical illness, because she’s very influential because of what happened. So we will not be awakened. If nobody, nothing happens because of her sister who just got diagnosed of cancer last year. So that’s why she kept on sharing it to her office mates. And that’s the thing that keeps me busy lately.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

All right, that’s very big. So people are campaigning for you. And yeah, for for

 

Aquillesa Chan 

the need. Yes. For their own policies, too.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Right. That’s very interesting. So it’s, and I think there’s also more about really going out there and looking for people because, like, you will come across a person who believes in, in the, in the power of a good insurance policy, right, and they will care for you eventually. Right?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

But si Rs, you must be visible in social media. That line that I posted in social media last week, like, across all ages, zero to 70, you have your 1k policy per month, so that posting alone, they are sold out to that because it’s it’s affordable, and it’s it entails with it for in one Access Solutions already.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Alright, so I also noticed that here in the Philippines, or at least maybe in just the circle of people that I know that they are really looking for the cheapest insurance policy? Yes. Do you? Do you agree with that? Like, just provide them the cheapest one? Or do you really like insist that they get the insurance that is really write for a really covers them fully?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Me as advice or who, who had a policy after college, and was put two ways because it is expensive, I got it, it’s expensive. And when I got married, I did not pay already. So for me, it’s a it’s a lost business. But now as advisor, I go for, like I am computing, computing you this need with this financial calculator. But at the end of the day, it’s a new or new, how much are you happy with the budget. So based on how much they budget, so the 1k is, it’s okay for them. And I will also do that, I will also add that to increase investment, you need to do tap for additional investment. So until it will reach like one five or 2000 or in terms of income protection for your 30,000 monthly expense, you need a five year income protection of 1.6 million. So how how important it is for you. So it is based on the conversation still, but sometimes it will not. It will not produce them that bigger premium because based on budget, as long as they have started, then that would be I will be happy and I will be happy for them. All right. I

 

Gwen Lazarito 

see. So you at the end of the day, it’s still like a client’s there they like reference, yes, yes, the but they prefer if they prefer the full coverage, or if they prefer to go with whatever they can shell out on a quarterly basis,

 

Aquillesa Chan 

you can still upgrade some minor policy change request or major policy change.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

I see. Yes. Yes. I guess that makes sense. Because you just as long as you have that foot on the door, that they’ve actually started or planted the seed for their insurance policy. And later on, they can just add up to it or get a new one so that they be fully covered.

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Yes. The purpose of Financial Review. All right, right.

 

Gwen Lazarito  

That’s also Hey, I’m learning a lot from you, Mom, listen, I think this is really a very helpful to financial advisors, especially those here in the Philippines and the ones that are starting out. I’m sure they’re still trying to figure out like how to go about their business so that they can provide excellent customer service to their clients. But another question that I really wanted to ask you as well because you have 200 plus clients already. Right now. Like are you hit constantly hitting your monthly goals because I know that in AXA as well as other like insurance companies, they have monthly goals for their financial advisors. Are you hitting that? Well? Are there months? That it’s still a struggle?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

starting October, I maintain the consistency. So the app that but which apps are initiated, so as long as you have a partner that you can have trips, you have the probability of quarterly volume bonus. And so far, I’ve hit that those. Oh, so

 

Gwen Lazarito 

that’s four clients in a month in Amman, yes. All right. I know for a fact that a lot of financial advisors are not able to hit that then what’s your secret?

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Because I go for cheaper amounts. So with the 1000, you already have four clients. So like, imagine with four clients for only 1000 premium, it’s your acknowledged already with AXA, but we don’t wait there will reach to our too many clients. So if if it’s not about that apart, then make it there and make it 15? Why

 

Gwen Lazarito 

not? Yes, exactly. Exactly. So that is the mindset of the of the financial advisor who has hit 200 plus marks. Excellent. Now, what are what what is your goal for for this year, 2021. month, Liz, any particular number of clients that you want to hit or any milestones in your career.

 

Aquillesa Chan 

Because we get bored of our current state, we also dream to hop into another level. So if you believe on in, be with the people who are who are successful, so I’m good thing my advisor is in is an mdrt is a performance advisor to that’s why her capabilities was I also copied and maybe soon, I hope for mdrt. I am a slow performing advisor but in my heart I want to reach and feel that to be performing in advisor.

 

Gwen Lazarito 

Alright, no worries, I’m sure Mum, Liz, you’ll be able to hit that you are already consistent with your app on top but with four clients in a month, and I’m sure that it’s that’s actually for me a very good achievement in itself that you’re able to help for Filipinos start in their, you know, in a better financial state with having an insurance policy. So that will definitely come through. And what is your advice now? So I don’t want to keep you too long. Yes, for for those who didn’t know, backstory is we had a few technical difficulties. So I don’t want to keep mum, Liz for too long. So my final question is, what is your advice for those financial advisors who are just starting out and are unsure if this is the the type of industry that they want to build their career

 

Aquillesa Chan 

So you start that to help Filipino clients. So when your career is shaky, go back to your goal, why you started and don’t forget that you have existing clients already. They are longing for you to journey with them long term because insurance is a long term investment and like the bank, it’s short term. So just if you need assistance, go back to your team, talk to a fellow advice or attend trainings because AXA gave a lot of trainings, which sometimes we can attend because there are a lot too many. Yes, then with virtual sales, you can reach out to clients from India now the zone. So the one you know from Amazon from Indiana reached out to them be visible in Facebook, give them the value of having an insurance policy, why they need to save because it’s common here, we let our money earn interest or we let we pay interest through credit so better, we let our money earn interest. So change that mindset among the working people. Alright, that’s

 

Gwen Lazarito 

that’s really good advice. And I think I like that like to change the mindset of instead of paying for your interest when you collect that. It’s to change that and make sure that your money is working for you. So thank you so much for this. I learned a lot from her short conversation and I hope that our listeners will be able to get a lot of those goals. The nuggets from our conversation as well. And yes, so that’s it. Thank you so much from Liz for my pleasure. All the best for us. Oh, yes, definitely for this year 2021 it’s, it’s going to be big. It’s actually huge. So far it is still the first quarter so more and more. Hey, have a good vibe. I’m Liz. Okay.

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