In this category, we will share stories and practical tips for financial advisors and consultants which have proven to be best practices throughout the years.

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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Why It’s Vital to Join the Community of Financial Advisors

Why It’s Vital to Join the Community of Financial Advisors

“No man is an Island, entire of itself.” That excerpt from a 17th-century sermon given by a man named John Donne has become a popular proverb that describes the inherent connectivity of humankind. In essence, it says that humans cannot get along with their lives and succeed on their own—that we are all dependent on other people for support.

If you can imagine a conversation between two people, one of whom has ambitions of becoming a financial advisor, it might sound something like this:

First person: When I leave school, I’m going to start a financial planning practice.
Second person: That’s great, but how are you going to do it by yourself?
First person: I don’t need anyone else; I can do it alone.
Second person: No man is an island; you’ll need someone’s support at one point or another.

While that actual conversation may have never taken place, it’s no secret that many people who set out to become financial advisors do so because they like the idea of being independent. But it doesn’t start out that way. Most of us started our careers as trainees thrown together with other trainees to learn the business, typically by reading manuals or attending formal classroom presentations.

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Why You Matter: Embracing the Difference Financial Advisors Make in People’s Lives

Why You Matter - Embracing the Difference Financial Advisors Make in People’s Lives

Allow me another movie reference because it’s crucial for the point I want to make. If you haven’t seen the movie, Oh God! or if you haven’t seen it in a while, I encourage you to track it down. The film is excellent – funny, full of life’s lessons and a joy to watch. But it’s the last ten minutes that is worth 100 times your time and effort in trying to find it.

You remember the story: Jerry Landers, an assistant manager of a supermarket played by John Denver, is convinced he has visits from God, played brilliantly by George Burns, who asks him to take on some worldly responsibilities.

Now, imagine telling your spouse, friends, and co-workers that you’ve spent a few hours talking with God, and you describe him as Jerry did, as a short, old man wearing sneakers, a fishing hat, and smoking a cigar. That his wife threw him out, his friends ostracized him, and his boss fired him shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Priceless Lessons for Financial Advisors from George Bailey

Priceless Lessons for Financial Advisors from George Bailey

“Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” Angel Second Class, Clarence

For many of us, it took these words, proffered by a fledgling angel to a despairing George Bailey, to realize one of life’s most enduring truths. The timeless movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, is full of valuable lessons. But its central theme – that each of us is a hero in waiting – should remind us that it’s through our challenges that our superpowers and unique gifts are eventually revealed.

For me, the essence of the story is conveyed in a scene not usually associated with the classic moments people remember about the movie.

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Only Elite Advisors Step Out of Their Comfort Zone—Do You?

Only Elite Advisors Step Out of Their Comfort Zone—Do You?

It’s human nature to seek comfort in familiar habits and patterns. When anything comes along to threaten the status quo, we naturally feel uncomfortable, even anxious. Most of us will take great pains to cling to our comfort zone just to avoid those feelings, rejecting change and its unpredictability. The inevitable result for many people is to languish in predictable mediocrity. While they may feel safe, they eventually slip into obsolescence.

In the financial advisory business, if you are not constantly working at getting better, you are getting worse. That’s because successful advisors always strive to improve, to find ways to perfect their craft, which often requires breaking from familiar habits and stepping outside their comfort zone. They know that if they continue to live inside their complacency zone and do what they’ve always done, they’ll continue to get the same results. As a financial advisor, that is ultimately a formula for failure.

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What Is Outstanding Work Ethic and How Financial Advisors Can Develop It?

What Is Outstanding Work Ethic and How Financial Advisors Can Develop It

Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to be a financial advisor for many reasons, but one of the top reasons is a “lack of work ethic.” Having a good work ethic is a bare minimum requirement for any serious consideration of a career as a financial advisor. For any chance at succeeding, financial advisors must have command of their time and their ability to multi-task, driven by a “can do” attitude.

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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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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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