The Four Success Habits of Highly Successful Advisors

The Four Success Habits of Highly Successful Advisors

It has been said that habits determine 95% of a person’s behavior and are the most important determinant of the type of person you will become. That can be frighteningly ominous for financial advisors who spend little time focused on developing successful habits.

As financial advisors, we’re all searching for the secret to success—finding that edge that can move us effortlessly toward our ambitions. The challenge for many is that it is human nature to look for shortcuts in the pursuit of success.

However, in reality, it’s those who are able to find the motivation to develop successful habits that separate the ordinary from the exceptional—finding the will to take deliberate daily action consistently in pursuit of their goals. Successful advisors will tell you that it’s the practices we develop and master in their daily lives that empower them and propel them to their fullest potential for producing at an elite level.

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Financial Advisors Sabotage Their Success Through Getting Ready to Get Ready

Financial Advisors Sabotage Their Success Through Getting Ready to Get Ready

I’ve seen it dozens of times. Financial advisors sitting at their desks, looking busy, immersed in their work, shuffling papers, searching the internet, and reading reports. Sometimes it seems to go on for hours, even days, leaving me to wonder what they’re working towards. But one look at their production records tells the tale. There is a strong likelihood they’re working on getting ready to get ready to do what they know must be done but can’t seem to pull the trigger to get it done.

I’ve come across many advisors who consider themselves “perfectionists,” the type of people who feel the need to ensure everything is in order before attempting the task at hand, be it making calls to prospects, dealing with an irate client, or making a critical presentation to a wavering prospect. As we all know, “perfect is the enemy of the good,” which is good enough for most people.

If we wait until everything is ready before starting a task, we’ll probably never get started. Consider the analogy of a person starting their car and waiting in their driveway for all the lights on their route to turn green. They’ll probably never leave their driveway. Maybe that’s the point.

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To Win More Prospects, Show Them You Are the Goals-centric Advisor Clients Want

To Win More Prospects, Show Them You Are the Goals-centric Advisor Clients Want

As a financial advisor, you have one job and one job only—to help your clients achieve their financial goals. At least, that’s how your clients see it. That’s according to a research study by Morningstar, which revealed what clients value most in an advisor. Advisors would be well-served to keep that in mind in their efforts to win over more prospects.

Next on the list of what clients value most from an advisor is “skills and knowledge,” followed by “maximizing returns.” Unquestionably those are essential attributes. However, the study indicates that prospects may put less weight on them if you fail to check off the one they deem most important—helping them to achieve their goals.

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Advisors Who Don’t Want to Sound “Salesy” Need to Master Soft Skills

Advisors Who Don't Want to Sound Salesy Need to Master Soft Skills

Many financial advisors don’t like to be thought of as salespeople. In fact, they despise it. In part because they work hard at earning the distinction of being an “advisor.” Also, the public has been conditioned to avoid salespeople masquerading as financial advisors. But in reality, anyone in the business of building a clientele and offering services has to be able to sell.

To convert prospects into clients, advisors must sell themselves and then their solution. To make money, they must get their prospects and clients to act on their solution, which requires sales skills. Most advisors understand that, but their greatest fear is coming across as a salesperson or sounding too “salesy.”

If that is your fear, let me put your mind at ease. First, it’s important to understand what it means to be “salesy.” That term is generally applied to a high-pressure approach that makes prospects uncomfortable. People don’t want to deal with salespeople who are pushy and don’t listen to them.

That’s not you.

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How to Raise Conversations Your Clients Don’t Know They Should Have

How to Raise Conversations Your Clients Don’t Know They Should Have

Most clients hire a financial advisor because they expect him or her to know more than they do about planning their future. They willingly pay you to leverage your expertise to educate them and guide their financial decisions based on your understanding of their circumstances, goals, and concerns. They expect you to help them navigate obstacles that pop up unexpectedly.

Most clients don’t know what they don’t know, which is their greatest vulnerability. That means they don’t know enough to ask their financial advisor about things that could potentially impact them. If they’re left in the dark about such things, the financial advisor takes the blame when bad things happen. What is their defense when a client asks, “Why didn’t you tell me about that?”

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Prospect Engagement Strategy for Creating Reasons to Call

I often hear from financial advisors who, for various reasons, are reluctant to contact prospects who remain in their pipeline. Many are hesitant to pick up the phone because they don’t feel they have anything new to offer, which, in their minds, would amount to an untimely interruption or even an annoyance. Best to avoid calling them, right?

That’s a quandary because if you want to increase prospect engagement with the hopes of moving them out of the pipeline, you actually have to engage them. It is also problematic because, as successful advisors know, prospects’ needs change over time, and the only way to win their business is to be in the right place at the right time, with the right message. That can’t happen if you avoid the calls.

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What No One Tells You About Being a Financial Advisor

What No One Tells You About Being a Financial Advisor

In my opinion, there has not been any better time to be a financial advisor. At a time when the world is inundated with chaos and hyperbolic media noise, financial advisors are proving their worth. An increasing number of people are seeking guidance and clarity beyond the cookie-cutter world of robo-advisors and financial pundits.

Those who seek a career in helping people achieve their life ambitions with personalized advice have the chance to be very successful and personally fulfilled. However, with less than 300,000 practicing financial advisors in a country of 330 million people, relatively few people are choosing that path, and even fewer are succeeding.

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Transitioning Conversations: How to Change the Subject without Offending Your Client

Transitioning Conversations - How to Change the Subject without Offending Your Client

In a recent post, we highlighted the importance of maintaining control over conversations with prospects and clients—that your value as a financial advisor diminishes without it. Part and parcel of maintaining control of a conversation is being able to switch gears when a client takes it in a direction you don’t want to go. Getting trapped in a tangent is a time waster, but how do you change the subject without making it awkward or alienating your client?

People go off topic for many reasons. Whatever the reason, they feel that what they have to say is important, so if you’re going to try to change the conversation, it needs to be done delicately and gracefully to not make them feel as if what they have to say is not important.

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5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

5 Things Prospects Need to Know About You from the First Meeting

Every initial meeting with a prospect is crucial. It took a lot to get them to finally agree to meet with you, and, in most cases, you only have one shot at making the right impression. If a prospect leaves the meeting still wanting critical information, you will not likely see them again. So, you carefully craft your initial meeting to ensure you check all the boxes, including:

– Your background and experience
– Understand your prospect’s needs and concerns
– Your process
– Your firm’s strengths and why you’re different
– Customer service expectations
– How you get paid
– Next Steps

As far as key information your prospect needs, that covers all the bases. It should also give you plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your competence and capacity to address your prospect’s needs and concerns.

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What Advisors Need to Do to Help Set Client Goals

What Advisors Need to Do to Help Set Client Goals

According to a Morningstar study, what clients want most from their financial advisors is to help them reach their financial goals. That should be good news for financial advisors because, generally, people with clearly defined goals and ambitions for the future have the conviction to adhere to a long-term plan to achieve them.

However, it could also spell disaster for advisors who fall short in helping their clients articulate their most important goals and fail to gain their commitment to achieving them. To inspire action, client goals must be well-defined and quantifiable with genuine intrinsic value. Anything less is a hopeful aspiration, and hope is not a strategy.

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