Take Back Control of Your Financial Advisor Career
If you feel your career is at a crossroads, or that things are not going your way you need to adapt your attitude and learn to make better decisions. In the words of the late Earl Shoaff ‘Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills”.
The only thing holding you back in life is you. You alone determine your future, not the outside world. So, if you don’t like where you are – get in the driver’s seat and take control.
Create a business plan
Without a firm business plan your business will be left in limbo. It’s not enough to be good at your job. You need to have the core competencies to run a business too. Most small businesses fail because their owners are simply not good business-people. Writing a plan is tough but worth all the effort.
Start with a vision of where you want to go, and map your way there, acknowledging your goals as you go.
Like Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, imagine what you want then work backwards. Write down your goals and be specific. How much money do you want to make next year? How many clients will you need to have on your books to generate this amount of money? How many appointments will you need to set to win these clients? Then, further back still – how many people do you need in your prospecting funnel to get this number of appointments? Then book the time in and start prospecting.
If you have a map you’ll always know which road to take. This will enable you to be accountable for your business success or failure.
Change your prospecting approach
Create a marketing plan to fit inside your business plan. Identify your target market – don’t just approach people randomly. Who is your ideal client, what are their needs and why does that market make sense for you? Work out how and where you are going to reach out to these prospects – will you run seminars, or contact them by email or telephone?
Set a time for when you are going to prospect, bearing in mind what’s different about you. Then prospect every day. Overcome your fear of rejection and present a positive image by remembering that you are in this business to help others enjoy a positive financial future. You are important.
And, take note that clients don’t want to hear about investment vehicles. They want to retire, pay their taxes or send their kids to college without feeling the pinch. You are not selling them a financial plan, you are selling ‘you’ and your services so you need to learn the relevant soft skills that will enable you to market yourself effectively.
Learn how to overcome objections
If you get frustrated when people keep telling you they’ll ‘think it over’, learn how to overcome their objections.
There are only three objections you’re likely to get. These are ‘I already have an advisor’, ‘I don’t have any money’ or ‘I’m not interested’. It’s impossible to answer an objection directly since these are definitive statements. So, turn these statements into questions that you can answer.
For example, when someone tells you they already have an advisor, ask them if they are happy with that advisor. Agree with them that you’ve heard they are a great company, but that no-one – even them – can lay claim to all the best ideas. Ask them if they will allow you to give one good idea on how you could improve their financial prospects. If they say yes, then you have created an opening.
Nobody gets successful by accident and no one gets derailed by accident either. If you are going to get out of a rut, improve your practice and stand out from the crowd, you need to take control by improving your business ‘nous’ and perfecting your soft skills.