Closing out 2020 with an attitude of gratitude

Closing the books on this remarkable year is bound to bring a mix of emotions. While 2020 brought more than its fair share of uncertainty and chaos to our lives, it also forced us to slow down, spend more time with our loved ones and find new ways to refresh and renew ourselves.

Professionally, we’ve faced new obstacles – including working virtually and helping clients navigate a tumultuous economy – yet, we’ve also adopted new digital tools faster and more effectively and strengthened our client relationships.

Challenging times present opportunities to reflect, refine and refocus for the year ahead. As you gather with friends and family during this season of giving and gratitude, take some time to reflect on the silver linings this year has given to you, your practice and your clients, and how you can embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

Here are three ways to set yourself up for long-term success in 2021 and beyond.

1. Reflect

Despite its challenges, 2020 presented a wealth of opportunities to reinvent your practice in a virtual world. The need to socially distance drove the widespread adoption of digital solutions and tools that enable entire processes to be completed remotely – making it possible to continue doing business in any environment. Even after the pandemic is over, clients say they would prefer a hybrid of in-person and virtual service models.* Digital is here to stay and the pandemic helped us evolve faster and more effectively. How has your practice changed for the better? What have you learned that you’ll carry forward to the year ahead? Reflecting on what this year has brought to your practice is a great way to solidify a grateful, positive mindset as you approach a new year.

2. Serve

In today’s uncertain environment, the solutions you provide your clients are needed now more than ever. The pandemic has challenged many people to look for protection, driving the demand for solutions that provide downside protection and growth. New research from the Alliance for Lifetime Income found an estimated 3.1 million households added a source of protected income, like an annuity, in the past year. Every day, our industry serves Americans who are looking for peace of mind and ways to protect what they’ve worked so hard for. This is an important role that we take very seriously. As we move into 2021, adopt a mindset of servant leadership and shift your approach from “selling” to “giving.” It will fundamentally change your relationship with clients – for the better.

3. Focus forward

The sense of uncertainty during this past year has caused Americans to feel more anxious about their retirement savings than ever before. Nearly half (49 percent) of pre-retirees are concerned their retirement savings and sources of retirement income won’t last through their golden years, according to the Alliance for Lifetime Income's 2020 Protected Lifetime Income Study and Segmentation Report . As a result, people are looking for protected lifetime income from annuities to ensure they have a reliable stream of income they can count on in retirement and well into the future. Throughout Lincoln’s more than 115-year history, we have witnessed volatility and crises come and go, but a long-term focus is what wins in the end and protection is paramount.

As you reflect on the past year, be grateful for what 2020 has taught you and resolve to bring those learnings to bear in the coming year. Looking ahead, strive to focus on the things you can control: the solutions you offer and the service you provide to your clients – no matter what the environment.

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To learn more about helping your clients plan for a more stable income retirement, contact your Lincoln representative today at 877-533-0265. And follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular insights and tips on retirement income planning conversations.

Timothy Seifert

Tim Seifert has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and serves as Senior Vice President and Head of Annuity Sales for Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc. (LFD), the wholesaling distribution organization for Lincoln Financial Group. In his role as Head of Annuity Sales, Tim leads the Center of Sales Development. He is focused on fostering consultative partnerships between wholesalers and financial professionals as they work with clients to solidify their financial futures and build portfolios based on their specific needs.