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Financial Planning

The power of storytelling

By: Michele Rout – Content Manager at FMI (a Division of Bidvest Life Ltd)

We are living in an age where we are witnessing a major transformation in how individuals are employed. According to a WEF Future of Jobs report, the biggest current driver of change is changing work environments and flexible working arrangements. Advancing technology is enabling a rapidly growing gig economy. This supports the coinciding changing mindset of a previous generation, who wanted job security and a guaranteed income, to a new generation who want financial freedom, flexibility and autonomy. 

The gig economy encompasses a wide range of occupations and is defined by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. For many, gig work supplements their main income. For others, a range of gigs makes up their primary source of income. Whilst these individuals enjoy flexibility, they don’t have a safety net because they don’t typically enjoy company benefits such as sick leave, further highlighting the importance and advantages of income benefits for this market.

Traditional risk assessment models are outdated as they do not sufficiently cater for these individuals who are often not working consistently, have no formal contracts in place or are unable to define what their anticipated income will be at any given point. This changes the way the industry needs to assess risk because these risks don’t change the fact that a gig worker has as much of a need to protect their monthly income as everyone else. 

At FMI, from inception, our vision has been to protect everyone who earns an income. We’ve always been at the forefront of offering income protection to individuals with occupations that couldn’t previously qualify for cover. In 2015, we launched Event Based cover, which offers income protection to high risk occupations (such as oil rig workers) and those sensitive to claim (for example, musicians). 

We’re constantly looking at ways to improve and evolve our products. Now five years later, we’ve transformed yet again. We have widened the net by offering income protection to more diverse occupation statuses such as freelancers, independent contractors and those with multiple income streams. 

To support this launch and as part of our commitment to help you, the adviser, simplify and humanise insurance, we have produced a series of short documentaries that recognise South Africans who work in unconventional occupations and who bring the kind of positive impact that makes a difference through the income they earn – because, the best way to resonate with your clients and help them connect to the need for cover, is through the power of storytelling. 

Often, the most important ingredient in a financial adviser’s message is a story. Experiencing other people’s stories allows clients to apply the adviser’s message to their own lives. Stories enable the sales process by creating emotional journeys that link to the value of the product in a genuinely moving way. Stories manage to simplify a complex message, educate, and ultimately connect, build trust and prompt action.

The real-life stories that we have produced highlight the importance of protecting your ability to earn an income. The ImpACTer videos humanise and make life insurance real, allowing people to see their own lives mirrored in the stories told. 

Here are 4 simple steps* to use storytelling as a powerful hook that can change the way your clients interact, behave and perceive life insurance:

Step 1 – Give them a reason to care. Spark curiosity and get your client’s attention by showing a story that relates directly to them. Select a story that fits your client’s gender, age and occupation status – something that will resonate with them. You have now given them a reason to care.

Step 2 – Give them a reason to believe. Next, give them a reason to believe why you can solve their problem. How does this story apply to your client’s life or situation? Use the opportunity to demonstrate your experience as an adviser.

Step 3 – Tell them what they need to know. For each occupation status, FMI has created simple factsheets that bring the relevant technical product information to life.

Step 4 – Tell them what they need to do. Complete an FMI quote, which will indicate the cover a client qualifies for, to ensure their future income stream is protected against the risk of an injury, illness and death.

We believe these stories can make a meaningful impact on your business and help ignite a conversation that will change your clients’ lives and the way they think about life insurance.

To watch our ImpACTer stories and share with your clients, go to

*As presented by strategist, Richard Mulholland

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