Being a financial advisor can be an extremely rewarding career, but it’s not a simple one. It’s best if you go in with eyes wide open, prepared for the challenges that may come.
Building a business is time consuming, and it takes a strong, persistent personality. As a financial advisor, you will encounter rejection and failure along the path to a successful career. Often, advisors find it difficult to last beyond the first few years. This is due to a variety of reasons, but often, lack of training, direction, mentorship, and knowledge play a part.
We want you lasting far longer than a few years in this space, and we believe that if you follow some basic rules, you can succeed. Here are seven tips to help you stay in the game as a successful financial advisor.
1. Create and Maintain Business Goals
You need to have a clear vision of where you are headed in your career. You need to have goals and a concrete plan to make sure that you meet them. Without these, you will lose focus and flounder. As with any business, it is of the utmost importance to create a business plan, along with realistic goals, and revisit these often to keep your focus on the important goalposts along the way.
2. Keep Language Simple
Don’t show off and use unnecessarily complex financial terminology. You may find yourself overcompensating for your lack of experience as an advisor by using complex terms and ideas when talking to prospects.
Know your audience, and don’t speak over prospective clients. If you use confusing terminology that prospective clients have a hard time grasping, they may feel annoyed or confused. They may close themselves off to your message or business offers.
Most prospects will feel more connected and comfortable if you can communicate at a layman’s level of financial understanding. It will also show that you are comfortable with the concepts that you are describing as opposed to showing off.
3. Optimize Time Management
Create a process for everything. This will keep your schedule proactive and productive. Make a list of your typical daily tasks. What activities make you drag your feet and take up more time than they ought to? Do you have to do all of these tasks yourself? Or could they be delegated to others?
Consider making a process for prospecting, answering calls and emails, onboarding clients, and attending to current clients. You should also look for ways to empower others to take care of things when you can’t make it into the office. That way, not everything rests on you. These steps will help you do your work efficiently and free up time to grow your business in other ways.
4. Follow Up
Prospecting is one of the fundamental parts of building your business. And a fundamental part of turning a prospect into a client is the act of following up. If you don’t prospect and follow up on your contacts, you will put your business in jeopardy.
Prospecting can be difficult, especially when you experience a lot of rejection, and some people will tell you that digital marketing will bring in enough prospects. But digital marketing is only one part of the equation. Make no mistake: you still need to put in the effort to contact potential clients. Habit, repetition, and creating a process will help you become efficient and successful at prospecting.
When you establish a new client, you need to work to keep them. Make sure that you consistently follow up and return calls or emails in a timely manner. If you fail to send emails and calls within an appropriate or expected time frame, this may quickly communicate to the prospective client that you are not that interested in working with them, that they are not important enough, or that you are not dependable. If someone is going to pay for financial advising services, they will choose someone that communicates consistently.
5. Show Your Humanity
When you make human connections, you cultivate loyalty. It’s important to show that you are a person beyond just being a financial advisor. Open up enough to share your authentic personality.
You should also cultivate the skills of listening and remembering. Listen to your clients. Validate their concerns. Remember those concerns when you meet with your client next time. Imagine if you led out with, “How’s the new puppy doing?” or “How’s your daughter surviving her freshman year?” This tells your client that they’re more than a paycheck to you. If your memory isn’t great, make notes to keep yourself on track.
6. Pursue a Specific Market
Pursuing a specific market will help you narrow down what kind of potential clients you prospect for. It will also help you market the right skills to appeal to your target audience. For example, if you’re looking to appeal to real estate investors, you’ll want to showcase your experience and financial success in that field.
Ask yourself if you feel especially connected to a specific market, how your experience lines up with this market, if there’s money in it, whether it is growing, and whether you have the resources to pursue it.
7. Consider Finding a Mentor
Finding a good mentor can accelerate your success. They can give you advice on scaling your business, share insider information, and tell you about their mistakes so you can avoid making the same ones.
Perhaps someone you already know will be a great fit, or maybe you want to pursue someone you’ve heard of but don’t necessarily have a relationship with yet. Chances are, they’ll be flattered that you sought them out and happy to share their advice.
Ups and downs are part of financial advising, but if you can learn to fail quickly, learn from your experiences, and grow beyond your mistakes, you can become a successful financial advisor.
Contact me if you need independent financial advisor coaching or if you want to learn how to market yourself as a financial advisor.
To succeed as a financial advisor, create goals, use simple language, optimize time, consistently follow up, connect personally, focus your expertise, and find a mentor. Embrace strategies like defining your career vision, avoiding complex jargon, delegating tasks, prospecting consistently, showing your humanity, targeting niche markets, and accelerating growth through mentorships. View failures as learning opportunities.