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.

The 5 Essential Qualities Financial Advisors Need to Improve Cold Call Results

The 5 Essential Qualities Financial Advisors Need to Improve Cold Call Results

No one ever said cold calling was easy, but some people have an easier time of it than others. Skills have a lot to do with that. But sometimes, learning skills is not enough.

The most successful cold callers share certain qualities and traits that give them an edge over and above the skills they acquire. We’ve discussed some of these traits in past articles, including positivity, perseverance, tenacity, and resilience. These traits are critical because they can keep you in the game in the face of constant rejection. However, successful cold callers possess other essential qualities and attributes that help them up their game.

Let’s have a look at five such essential qualities and traits.

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Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors: It’s Time to Start a Blog

Digital Marketing for Financial Advisors - It’s Time to Start a Blog

For financial advisors competing in a digitally wired world, thought leadership is essential for those who want to stand far above others in a crowded field. Financial advisors who are thought leaders are viewed as authorities in their field and recognized experts– traits that have become table stakes for advisors hoping to attract the attention of high-net-worth clients. An increasing number of financial advisors are finding that blogging is an affordable way to establish themselves as a high-profile authority and a credible source of financial information in a highly competitive arena.

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5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

5 Red Flags That Will Cause Your Prospects to Dismiss You

You never see it coming, and you may never know the reason why. A prospective client you have carefully cultivated agrees to a meeting to learn more about how you can help them. It seems to go well. Their heads were nodding up and down, and they laughed at your joke. At the end of the 30-minute meeting, you suggest the next step with an offer to follow up with them. Turning toward the door, they reply, “We’ll let you know.”

You know that’s the end of it. So, you replay it in your head, asking, “What were the red flags that soured their perception of me?”

Whether the outcome of a prospect meeting is good or bad, you should always replay it in your mind. With a positive outcome, you need to know what worked and why. For a negative outcome, it’s vital to understand what didn’t work and why. Identifying the negatives is often more difficult because it’s hard to be self-critical. But that’s where the path to self-improvement begins. To help in your diagnosis, we list the five of the most common red flags that could cause your prospects to dismiss you.

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How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

How to Clearly Demonstrate Value so Your Clients Don’t Question Your Fees

As a financial advisor, you know you bring value to your advisory relationships, which, in your mind, justifies the fees you charge. Your challenge is that, from your clients’ perspective, value is difficult to define. It doesn’t make it any easier when you consider that a client’s assessment of value is subjective, which can vary from client to client. A study by Vanguard attempted to quantify an advisor’s value in terms of how the right advice—primarily keeping clients from abandoning their strategy—can potentially increase a client’s returns by as much as 3% annually. The problem is that difference in performance isn’t apparent in your clients’ statements.

So, how do you demonstrate value in a way that makes your clients not feel the need to question why they’re paying the fees you charge—that they are getting their money’s worth? It may be as easy as simply giving your clients what they want.

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7 Qualities Financial Advisors Must Have to Achieve Their Goals

7 Qualities Financial Advisors Must Have to Achieve Their Goals

What do successful financial advisors do that unsuccessful or even adequate advisors don’t, won’t, or can’t do? I could list several things here, but it all starts with setting clearly defined goals—and then achieving them. But, while the vast majority of advisors understand the importance of setting goals—actually writing them down—and having a plan to achieve them, fewer manage to achieve them. As a result, they never raise the bar for themselves, gradually slipping into mediocracy.

The failure to achieve goals can be attributed to a number of things—i.e., the goals are unrealistic or too vague; not having or strictly following a plan; not being accountable for your goals, to name just a few. While these are identifiable reasons for not achieving goals, they are more of an expected outcome for advisors who lack the vital qualities to carry them to success. You can have the most incredible work ethic, but if you’re not setting and achieving your goals, it’s like a rudderless motorboat spinning around in a lake.

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Three Challenges Advisors Face in the Post-Pandemic World

Three Challenges Advisors Face in the Post-Pandemic World

At the height of the COVID crisis, financial advisors were confronted with unthinkable challenges. All things considered, the industry has been resilient in the face of unprecedented headwinds. But, as the other side of this crisis begins to come into view, the industry faces a significant shift that will shape the way advisors operate long after the pandemic wanes. Advisors who get in front of that shift and adapt to the new paradigms quickly will not just survive; they will thrive.

If you could capture clients’ general mood today in one word, “anxiety” would probably say it best. In their hearts, minds, and souls, it’s a very different world from just a year ago and, as much as we all hope for a return to normal, there may be no going back for clients. Their perceptions and priorities have forever changed, much like they did during the 2008 financial meltdown. Only this time, it’s different because it involves both financial and health risks.

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3 Types of Prospects Financial Advisors Should Pursue and How to Connect with Them

3 Types of Prospects Every Financial Advisor Should Pursue and How to Connect with Them

All financial advisors know that prospecting is the lifeblood of their business. Filling the funnel with a constant flow of qualified leads has long been the biggest challenge facing advisors, regardless of how long they’ve been in the business. Scores of books and articles have been written on “the best” prospecting tips and techniques. Yet, many advisors continue to suffer from the “spinning your wheels” syndrome, feeling as if their efforts keep dredging up the same results—poor-quality prospects or prospects who have neither the incentive nor financial capacity to take action.

Sure, prospecting is and always has been driven by the “law of numbers,” but who says you can’t tilt the numbers in your favor. You’d be foolish not to try. Even if you’ve identified a target market based on an ideal client profile, it’s still a numbers game. However, if you truly understand the type of prospect you’re looking for, you may be able to drastically reduce the number of rocks you need to turnover.

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The Importance of Your Storytelling Skills in Building Trust

The Importance of Your Storytelling Skills in Building Trust

Now and then, financial advisors must be reminded that they are in a relationship business and that what they have as a clientele is a direct by-product of trust.

The cold hard reality is that people need to trust you before they will engage with you. Especially these days, people are almost instinctively cynical, overly careful to approach others they don’t know with a heavy dose of skepticism. So, when we want to connect with any group of people, our first task must be to break through their defensive shells so we can build trust. Without trust, there can be no connection, no relationship, and no channel through which vision and ideas can flow.

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Using Client Personas to Attract Your Ideal Client

Using Client Personas to Attract Your Ideal Client

Most financial advisors are familiar with the concept of creating an “ideal client profile” used to identify the type of prospects they want to target. However, that may not go far enough to attract and directly engage with digitally savvy high net-worth investors in the digital age. Emerging-affluent millennials, in particular, are cautious about who they engage with if they can’t see what’s in it for them.

In a digitally wired world, financial advisors need to be able to identify with their target market and communicate in a way they can identify with you. That requires taking the ideal client profile to the next level by digging deeper into who they are, what they do, how they think and communicate, and why they might want to engage with someone like you.

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Three Stories about Trust to Use with Prospects and Clients

Three Stories about Trust to Use with Prospects and Clients

The most fundamental principle of building a clientele is understanding that people do business with people they like and trust. While it’s easy for many advisors to be likable, trust has to be earned—quickly and often. As an advisor, you can never lose sight of that because trust not only binds a client to you but it also enables them to follow your guidance with confidence and conviction, which is critical to their long-term success.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know I believe in the power of storytelling to drive home concepts and change a client’s perspective. I offer these three stories about trust to you as an advisor to drive home the crucial role trust plays in your client relationships.

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