Much has been said and written about the high-profile Million Dollar Round Table. Lee Travis reveals his experience…
In June, I attended the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Annual Meeting in Miami with more than 10,000 financial services professionals from across the world. I was familiar with MDRT, but I felt that I needed to experience it to completely understand what it was about.
I also felt that it was important for me to experience it with an open mind. Although I was conscious of its sales-driven spirit, I also knew that MDRT was internationally recognised for exceptional professional knowledge, productivity, networking, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service.
I was invited to join all UK advisers the night before and after many introductions, it was clear that I was in the company of some incredibly friendly and successful financial advisers. For some it was their first time, but most had been coming to MDRT for years as it had so greatly improved their businesses.
Having walked through the foyer and past MDRT’s huge code of ethics, day one kicked off with the flag-waving ceremony in which representatives from more than 50 countries took to the stage to open the most integrated, multicultural and diverse event I have ever attended. This was followed by an address from the president and inspirational speakers, with powerful messages about self-belief and motivation.
The second day consisted of a series of main stage talks from some remarkable people who had achieved incredible ambitions – feats that many would not think possible. Other talks were around leadership, high performance, bucket-lists and refusing to die until you have done something good for humanity. The afternoon gave delegates the opportunity to explore various breakout sessions delivered by other advisers and experts from around the globe.
Day three had possibly the most value, as tens of practitioners took to the main stage under the theme ‘MDRT Speaks’, to share ideas that had helped them become successful, mixing business ideas with practical takeaways. I had never seen so many people furiously scribbling ideas down. Even during the sit-down lunch there was a lecture on presentation skills – the education was constant. It was an eye-opener to see how passionate people were about selling life insurance and the heartwarming stories of the life-changing impact of claims for their clients.
On the final day, I found out about the charitable side of MDRT and the important work of its foundation. We were then all brought together to hear about proven principles, what clients really want, overcoming fear and how the enemy of success is comfort.
The whole experience was another important reminder of the incredible work financial advisers have the power to do. Was it sales-focused? Yes, but selling with integrity and being proud to do so is in the client’s best interests. Mostly, however, I was struck by how incredibly client-focused the organisation is. You simply cannot be successful today if you are not completely client-focused and compliant.
For anyone considering experiencing MDRT for themselves, then Anaheim awaits next year. Or you could consider attending the annual Keystone conference with the PFS.
Lee Travis is partnerships and member engagement director at the PFS