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Cakes and regular calls to find and keep clients

Published on Thursday, 22 Mar 2012
Johnny Cheng Kong-pang
Photo: Gary Mak

Johnny Cheng Kong-pang, an AIA associate financial planner, had a successful career as a pastry chef before he entered the financial services industry. One day some time ago, Cheng accompanied his girlfriend to seek financial advice from Matthew Lui Yue-chun at AIA. After discussions with Lui, Cheng decided to join the finance industry because he believed his patience, persistence and willingness to listen to others are perfect for the job. Lui is now Cheng’s team leader. Wong Yat-hei talks to Cheng about his new career

What’s your academic background?
I left school after Form Five.

How do you start your day?  
From Monday to Friday, every morning, I get some training on insurance products and sales skills. I learn to handle the paperwork involved in helping clients get compensation. In the afternoons, I meet with or call clients for meetings.

What does your job entail?
I advice clients to help them reach their financial goals. I help them understand different insurance products, such as medical and life insurance. I am also an MPF adviser.

What are the major challenges you have encountered so far?
I am new to finance, so I have to spend extra effort on learning how an insurance company operates and its different products. Finding clients is also tough for a newbie like me. I treat clients with all my heart to win their trust. I even bake them birthday cakes and call them during the holidays to wish them well.

Some people warned me that I would lose many friends if I entered the finance industry, but I believe that if you give people all your heart, they will understand that you are trying to do them good.
   
What are your career plans?
For my short-term goal, I hope to raise my annual income to HK$200,000. My long-term goal is to have my own team. Lui is my role model. Like him, I want to be a valuable contributor to the insurance industry and society.

Any advice for those who plan to enter your industry?
Think carefully if finance is the right career for you. Don’t think that insurance is a very relaxing job where you can come and go as you like. Your reward is proportionate to the amount of work you put in, so you have to work hard to get to where you want. If you like helping and listening to others, then this is the right career for you.

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