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Financial Internship Reflection
I went for my internship at New England Financial, which is a MetLife company that mostly focuses on insurance and financial products sales. My expectations for this internship were to gain theoretical and practical knowledge of recruiting efforts in the financial services industry; learn from financial professionals the different methods of database management, tracking business, and marketing plans. It was such an incredible learning experience for me since I gained both theoretical and practical knowledge more than I expected. I fulfilled my main objective which was to improve my knowledge and skill, and, at the same time, put into practice the skills I had already learned from my course. For instance, theoretically, knowledge from guest speakers and seminars was exceptionally informative. Also, I followed the plan I had outlined to ensure that I keep all my objectives clear to me every time.
My first activity was to gather knowledge of recruiting efforts in the financial services industry. During this section, I learned about the cold calling technique to make appointments with potential clients. This is a technique where one comes up with his/her own way of capturing the attention of a prospect; one then identifies himself/herself with the company and gives a reason for a call, makes a questioning statement, and finally sets an appointment with the person. I also gained a lot of knowledge about scripts.
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Another main lesson I learned was what financial advisers do on a typical day, first to second clients' meetings and marketing strategies. My second activity was to learn from financial professionals the different methods of database management and client contact. I came across several different database management methods. The methods vary on the selection of distinguished copies. In the primary site technique, all distinguished copies are kept at the same site. A modification of this approach is the primary one with a backup site. Another approach is the primary copy method, where the distinguished copies of various data items can be stored in different sites. A site that includes a distinguished copy of a data item primarily acts as the coordinator site for concurrency control on that item.
I learned that despite the many customer contacts, you may have it necessary to identify your potential customers. You also identify the high-importance and the low-importance ones (Brigham, Eugene, and Michael, pg 297). I also learned how the management of clients' information is done in Excel and clients' financial profiles. On different aspects of marketing strategies, I practically got a clear picture of the importance of creating ideas to increase the company's revenue like mail campaign, social media marketing, and tracking business by analyzing clients data from what financial advertisers and marketing plans provide through market analysis plans.
Creativity in advertising makes an impression on the target audience and often must be unique, capturing, and entertaining. Therefore, creativity is an integral part of an advertisement. The strategies that a business comes up with should be designed to generate emotional responses. They can create positive feelings that are transferred to the product or service being advertised. Marketing creativity should be viewed as the ability to generate fresh, unique, and appropriate ideas that can be used as solutions to communication problems. This was one of the mechanisms that were recommended by most financial advisers.
The financial advisers explained why a market analysis is crucial. It is useful when coming up with market plans. From the experience I had in New England Financial, I realized that working in a financial services industry can be quite challenging. The key task in the financial services industry is looking for new clients to increase the revenue of the company; also, if you happen to be below the average revenue for what the company is expected for financial advisers for 3 consecutive months, the financial adviser is the one who gets fired.
Cold calling is the main method that is used to get potential clients. Keeping appointments with cold calling is terribly hard: sometimes individuals were busy to receive phone calls, some may ask to give them time, and later they will call you back, but they never call. Some people ignore the phone calls intentionally because they are sure that someone wants to sell something to them and they are not interested. There are a few who wish to buy the products, but they do not have enough money. When selling insurance, one finds out that some people have already bought insurance from other companies. Most people are not knowledgeable about financial products and no matter how you try to convince them, they do not make any sense to them. Hiring a financial adviser to them is useless too.
Originally, I had an idea how tough this industry can be. I thought of some technical skills and analyzed that the client's information is the only head cracking activity. Apparently, I now know the most difficult thing in work is clients and this remains to be the crucial activity in this industry. Maintaining a good relationship with existing clients is also challenging. While working in this industry, there will be no revenue for the company without clients.