How to Become a Successful Financial Advisor
There are lots of average financial advisors out there, but very few great ones. And it may surprise you to learn that those that do get to the top rarely get there on talent alone.
Successful advisors do however share certain attributes and have a work ethic that marks them out. They have a clear vision, work hard and never stop developing their skills.
Here are five things you must do if you want to become a successful Financial Advisor.
#1 – Always have a plan
No advisor ever became successful by accident. He or she had a plan and they followed it. Having a plan in place means you have a path by which to follow your goals to realization. And your goals must be measurable and realistic so that you are motivated to work towards them.
Think of your goals as markers on the road to success. Write them down and refer to them constantly so you can see how far you’ve come. Reassess them often to ensure they are still reasonable.
Work out what your unique value proposition is. What it is that makes you unique? Create a mission statement around this. Define your target markets. Lots of people out there want financial advice – but only a certain number of potential investors will value advice from you specifically. You need to identify them and get in front of them. Define your ideal client in detail and create an ideal client sheet, then hand it out to break the ice with prospects.
#2 – Practice your skills
Elite athletes understand the need to practice continually if they are to stay at the top of their game. Merely owning golf clubs does not make you a good golfer. Practice your skills over and over until you can execute them flawlessly. Repetition will develop into a habit, an automatic reflex, which will allow you to succeed in all kinds of weather. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.
Successful advisors work hard to turn their talents into skills. Every single skill you need to possess is ‘on the job’ improvable. Every day is a new opportunity to make each presentation better, to become a better storyteller – so practice while you work.
#3 – Be different
Differentiate yourself from the competition by developing superlative soft skills. Hone your conversational skills, people skills and improve your sense of self-awareness. Otherwise you won’t stand out to potential clients.
Your product knowledge, no matter how good, will only ever put you on a par with other advisors – clients expect advisors to be financial experts. But if you want to attract new business you need to have a full package of both hard and soft skills.
The most important soft skill of all is likeability. This will enable you to build trust and connect emotionally with clients and prospects, and if you can develop this skill you are well on the way to achieving success.
#4 – Be tenacious
Tenacity is a soft skill that can be taught in the same way we teach children to overcome obstacles; to pick themselves up and persevere even when they’re knocked down.
To be successful you must be persistent. Get a good idea and don’t give up on it. Don’t change course due to a lack of patience. Do not however sacrifice your personal life in the drive to become successful. Do not become irrational or obsessive. Look forward to success but make sure you enjoy the journey.
#5 – Get a mentor
A mentor can help you re-focus and improve your soft skills no matter how long you’ve been in business. He or she can help you get back to the basics and ensure you’re practicing your skills to the very best of your ability. A mentor can take a step back and look and help you identify the negatives – the things that are holding you back. He can also get you out of a slump by helping you develop a positive ‘can do’ attitude.
When it comes to achieving success as a financial advisor there’s no mystery involved.
There’s no innate talent you need to possess. You simply have to do what successful advisors do. Get brilliant at the basics, work hard and understand there’s always room for improvement no matter how successful you become.
A successful financial adviser talks with clients. Making things simple and understandable isn’t easy, but it is essential.
You are right, Brian – this is key! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to add such a valuable insight.