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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The Inevitable Frustration of Success

The Inevitable Frustration of Success - Don Connelly

Let’s talk about the inevitable frustration of success, about building a business slowly. I have one piece of advice if you’re still building your business: Don’t be in a hurry to become a success. If you become impatient, the impatience will wear you down. I’m not suggesting we sit back and wait for success to […]

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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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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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Two Stories to Help You Explain What You Do

Two Stories to Help You Explain What You Do

I have a thought I want you to pass on to your clients. Tell them this from me. The only people who lose weight are the people who hire trainers. People that buy equipment and put it in a house don’t use the equipment. How many times have you seen a treadmill with a neck tie or a blouse hanging on it? You’re the trainer. You make them do sit ups and you get them on the treadmill. It’s a great analogy.

Listen to this audio episode or read the transcript below to learn two more quick simple stories about advisors who were great at getting people on the treadmill.

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3 Soft Skills Advisors Need to Refine for an Immediate Connection with Prospects

3 Soft Skills Advisors Need to Refine for an Immediate Connection with Prospects

Not to diminish the hard work, effort, and time that goes into becoming a financial advisor—few professions are as demanding—but the essential skill advisors must acquire is the ability to sell. Perhaps a more acceptable term would be “the art of persuasion.” Whichever way you want to frame it, if you have difficulty persuading or convincing people to take action, you stand little chance of success.

Of course, that’s true of just about any profession that requires changing or influencing people’s behavior. It just happens to be more challenging when selling financial advice and expecting to get paid for it. Advisors must understand that buying an intangible service requiring people to trust that the advisor can deliver that intangible value is scary for most people. It’s far less threatening to stay with the status quo and do nothing.

The trouble is, if you can’t convince people to follow you or your advice, you aren’t accomplishing anything. To overcome the inherent trust deficit and open prospects’ minds, financial advisors must constantly refine three critical soft skills, or they will have fewer chances to demonstrate their highly trained competencies.

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Put Success in Perspective, Be Humble and Believe in Yourself

Don Connelly audio blog post

One of the challenges we all face is staying humble in the face of success. We work very hard to attain success. Stay humble when you do, and you’re going to be successful. I have a story I love about being humble, about putting success into perspective. It’s a story about the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Watch this video or read the transcript below to learn the story about two Alpine skiers who achieved their two, very different goals at the Olympics.

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Overcoming the Age Bias Prospects Have About Young Advisors

Overcoming the Age Bias Prospects Have About Young Advisors

For young financial advisors, nothing is more challenging than overcoming the age bias that older clients have against them. I hear it often from advisors who come through our training programs—that feeling as though they are viewed more like a child or grandchild than a financial advisor. It creates a perceived impression that young advisors don’t have the experience, skills, or knowledge to appreciate the circumstances of older clients, let alone guide them in making critical financial decisions.

That may be understandable and, in some cases, deserved. Older prospects are right to question a young advisor’s experience and depth of knowledge. But the problem may not be with the perceptions of older clients as much as it is with the mindset of younger advisors. Most advisors have gone through that painful period of not knowing what they need to know and feeling embarrassed to meet prospects who may sense that.

The primary difference between where they are now compared to where they were back when they knew less and lacked experience is confidence.

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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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