Saturday, April 30, 2022

Being aware of the latest FA tricks of the trade.


Ever since I completed my last batch of students, I've been trying to expand my social circle through outings meeting with collaborators and students so that I can remain updated with whatever young folks do. Along the way, I've picked up new tricks that FAs are pulling to get more sales prospects so that can warn folks what these latest techniques are :

a) Selling insurance by matching folks in dating apps

So one trick in the book is to get into a dating app like Tinder, or Coffee Meets Bagels and choose to date any guy with the aim to sell insurance and financial products to them. This is actually quite frustrating for single guys who struggle to get a date and who may be anticipating the outing for a while, only to be sold ILPs in that meetup.

I think these apps actively discourage such behaviour from FAs but I'm also seeing a variant strategy where the date proceeds as per normal the first time around but selling only starts on the second date. Maybe this way, it's not a violation of the T&Cs of the dating apps because the second outing is arranged through a different medium.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to really have a clear idea of your self-worth. If you are a 5 and some girl who is an 8 or 9 accepts your date, maybe you want to find out what industry they are in before you get too excited.

( Not pertinent to this discussion is that I heard that there are a bunch of muscular guys selling gym memberships on dating apps, so women are not spared. )

b) Holding a second part-time job as a sneaky disguise to pounce on leads

It gets worse. I learnt from a student that more sophisticated techniques exist, and FAs are popping up in places you'd least expect. 

I heard that a FA actually picked up some Sommelier certificate and actually found part-time work in some wine place that organises singles events. She will ask single men out to sell them insurance. 

This is a very high-level play because the last thing you'd expect is someone with a formal job is actually an FA as well. 

When executed well, I can't think of any defence to prevent the date from becoming a waste of time. 

Fortunately, I've only seen single men fall prey to this, but if FAs can take on any part-time role, any business meeting can be weaponised for sales. I can imagine an influencer wanting to collaborate with me on a video may try to sell me stuff in that meeting - but I will ensure their reputation will not survive if they waste my time this way.

c) Hiding in "finance mastermind" groups. 

This comes from my personal experience.

A couple of ERM students and a collaborator of mine are mutual friends and we arranged to meet each other last night at Keong Saik Road. When we are arranging for the meetup, a student asked me whether I can allow an FA to show up. I was puzzled how the meeting details got leaked, apparently, my students tried to organise the meetup in a telegram group that focuses on finance discussions. It's a small group but has at least two FAs.

Once this FA heard about this, he tried to shift the meeting venue to his office!

When I heard about this incident, I got so mad, I said I would not show up if the FA comes. I can take a drug addict, a pimp, or someone that's been to jail, but no way I will allow a commissioned FA to gatecrash a drinking session with my ERM students.

It's not to protect me and my friends, it's to protect the FA! 

I explained that I probably would not be able to remain civil and I will openly rub the fact that I am a multimillionaire without ever accepting financial advice from an FA. I will brag about my cheap SAF Group insurance. I will make him question his very own existence in this universe.

I know that in the age of Telegram and Whatsapp, it's very common for folks to build discussion groups. I'm in several myself, but I also am aware that salespeople tend to hijack the discussion for their own purposes. One group I am in has real estate agents and every day it's just airy-fairy talk about condominium launches.

Sometimes I blame Napolean Hill for coming up with the idea of a mastermind group. Set a standard for your friends, if they see you as a source of revenue, you may wish to think twice before committing time and effort to a network. 



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