Don A. Connelly is a speaker, motivator and educator for financial advisors. During a career of more than 40 years on Wall Street, he worked for nearly 19 years as company spokesperson, senior vice president and senior marketing officer for Putnam Investments, in addition to holding positions as a stock broker, financial planner, branch manager, wholesaler and national sales manager. As founder and CEO of Don Connelly 24/7, he provides timely and provocative sales ideas to thousands of financial professionals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Are You Prepared to Guide Your Clients Through Life-Changing Events?

Are You Prepared to Guide Your Clients Through Life-Changing Events

It’s going to happen. You can count on it. I’ve written in the past why it’s critical for advisors always to be prepared for ‘what ifs,’ particularly as it relates to a stock market crisis. That’s when your clients need you most. Having a plan of action to help your clients through difficult times is essential if you expect to maintain their trust and confidence. But what about other crises—the unexpected, life-changing kind that can engulf your clients personally, like a divorce or the death of a spouse or child. Are you prepared with a plan of action to help your clients through the most challenging times of their lives?

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5 Cold Calling Mistakes Financial Advisors Must Avoid to Improve Results

5 Cold Calling Mistakes Financial Advisors Must Avoid to Improve Results

For many financial advisors, cold calling does not play a dominant part in their marketing plans. Many feel it can be replaced by other prospecting methods, such as email campaigns, social media networking, or trade shows. But would it surprise you to know that cold calling still generates better results than those other methods? When you ask advisors why they avoid cold calling, you often get responses like, “It’s not working for me,” or “It’s a waste of time,” or “no one wants to talk to me on the phone.”

No one ever said cold calling is easy. But if your efforts aren’t producing results, have you ever considered it’s not the method, but how you’re executing it that’s not working?

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3 Situations When Financial Advisors Should Use a Prospecting Script

3 Situations When Financial Advisors Should Use a Prospecting Script

If you’re like most financial advisors, you probably started out with a phone script, whether calling strangers, LinkedIn contacts or referrals. Prospecting scripts are critical for new advisors because they help them keep organized and stay on track for the brief time they have in that first interaction. No doubt, using phone scripts can serve inexperienced advisors well if they work at it. They can also make experienced advisors even more effective when used in certain circumstances.

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Overcome the Fee Discussion by Focusing on the Things that Matter to Your Clients

Overcome the Fee Discussion by Focusing on the Things that Matter to Your Clients

Among the many trends affecting the way financial advisors must operate these days, fee compression has been the most impactful. The discussion of fees charged by advisors has moved to the forefront due to the low costs and transparency of digital advice platforms and the highly competitive arena in which they find themselves. As a result, clients are more willing to confront their advisors on the subject of fees and the value they receive in exchange for them, catching many advisors off guard.

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Finding the Right Mentor

Finding the Right Mentor

Financial advisors must bring with them some essential traits. They need to be ambitious, courageous and thrive on hard work. That’s just the minimum required to survive the early years. From there, the learning curve is steep, with much to learn—technical and analytical skills, product knowledge, and critical soft skills—all while riding a wild rollercoaster of ups and downs. Those who choose to go it alone struggle mightily to get to the next level. But those who develop a successful relationship with the right mentor often flourish.

Mentors are vital to financial advisors’ growth and development, helping them achieve all their goals and prepare them to face even the harshest of markets with equanimity.

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Zoom Fatigue: 5 Steps Financial Advisors Can Take to Overcome It

Zoom Fatigue - 5 Steps Financial Advisors Can Take to Overcome It

Living in a virtual world as we have for the last year and a half has had its benefits as well as its drawbacks. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of technology that has helped financial advisors become more efficient and productive with greater outreach to clients and prospects. But it seems that advisors are reaching peak “Zoom fatigue,” an actual medical condition that can have a debilitating effect similar to depression. If you think you may be suffering from Zoom fatigue, you can make some simple adjustments to adapt to the conditions that cause it while enhancing your virtual presence.

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Why You Shouldn’t Be Apologetic when Asking for Business or Referrals

Why You Shouldn’t Be Apologetic when Asking for Business or Referrals

For many financial advisors, that moment right before asking a prospect to take action on a recommendation or, in sales parlance, asking for the order is filled with tension. It can be more stressful when asking for referrals. Less seasoned advisors are often overcome with the fear of rejection, which is natural until you’ve developed more confidence in your ability to close. That comes with practice and experience.

The bigger problem is with advisors who, for whatever reason, approach that critical moment feeling apologetic—as if asking a client for a referral or a prospect to act on their recommendation may seem offensive. It’s a bigger problem because it stems from a mindset that can be more difficult to overcome. It demonstrates a lack of conviction in what they are proposing or, worse, in what they do for a living. They’re not convinced they are providing genuine value. If you don’t believe in yourself at that moment, how can you expect your prospect to have conviction in your solution or your client to believe in you when you ask for a referral?

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Advisors Must be Able to Lead Clients Through Emotional Struggles

Advisors Must be Able to Lead Clients Through Emotional Struggles

Last year during the COVID market crash was a golden opportunity for financial advisors to demonstrate their true worth to anxious clients as a coach and a counselor. Your greatest value to your clients is being there for them during times of financial stress and anxiety. Good financial advisors are prepared to handle the fallout of a severe market decline, holding their clients’ hands, and coaching them through their anxieties.

However, few advisors are as prepared when it comes to facing their clients’ personal emotional issues that can cause even greater stress and anxiety, leading to poor financial decision-making. Life events, such as the death of a spouse or family member, divorce or family rifts, a medical crisis, a job loss, or other major life changes are common. Yet many advisors aren’t prepared to help their clients face the issue, or worse, are unable to recognize when a client is struggling emotionally.

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