Whether you’re in your first few years as a financial advisor or finishing your first decade, the rules of success are the same. As you build your business and start to achieve more and more milestones, you may feel that the original rules of engagement don’t apply any longer. This simply isn’t true.
As someone who has built a business from the ground up, achieved the Barron’s Top 100 designation in all categories, and sold the business for a healthy multiple, I can tell you with all sincerity there are some simple truths you need to follow if you want to be successful.
Here are three essential pieces of advice from a Barron’s Top 100 Advisor:
Prospecting is Forever.
First, realize prospecting is forever. You can never stop prospecting. I wish I had known that from the beginning. For some reason, I had it in my head that all I had to do was prospect for seven years or so and new clients would magically find their way to my doorstep from that point forward.
That’s just not how it works.
I didn’t realize my entire career would be dominated by business development activities. I think we all have the idea that if we build a solid foundation of clients, we’ll automatically receive referrals and new business. Prospects will come to us rather than the other way around. I spoke with an advisor who even referred to his first few years of prospecting as “time served” (like a prison sentence) and that he wasn’t interested in doing it anymore.
What can you do to get over the shock of eternal prospecting?
Change what you do to prospect! Too many advisors associate prospecting with cold calling or other activities that drain their energy. In that light, I can definitely understand the frustration! Prospecting also include taking people to lunch, local Chamber of Commerce gatherings, networking, after-hour socials, charity events, emailing clients for referrals, and yes, even calling prospects.
Every time you speak with anyone about what you do – regardless of the medium, you’re prospecting. Because prospecting is forever, choose the type you enjoy the most and do more of it. Stay consistent and try new ways to get more names in your database. The only time you lose is if you give up.
You’re an Owner – Not a Salesperson.
The second essential piece of advice is learn to think like a business owner instead of a product salesperson. I wish someone had made that clear at the start of my career. Yes, I had heard vague talk about “building my own business,” but it didn’t occur to me that a business was an entity that should be able to run on its own, without the day-to-day involvement of its owner. I learned later if the business relied upon me, it really wasn’t a business. Rather, I had just bought myself a job.
From this point forward, make sure you see yourself as the owner of a financial services business, rather than simply a financial advisor. You have to manage your pipeline, your team, your office overhead, expenses, clients, prospects, and branding. You’re the owner. Advisors work for YOU.
Even if you’re a solo advisor or only have a single assistant, simply shifting your mindset to the owner’s perspective will have a massive impact on your growth and trajectory. Once I made that shift, nothing could stop my business from growing like a weed year over year.
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. It was actually required reading in my business. My advisors needed to understand the hats they wore, and how the team worked together to achieve our goals.
The other key is to create systems that facilitate success. When you break it down, there are five keys to success in this business: Marketing, Branding, Leverage, Systems and Processes, and Personal Discipline. I cover each of these in depth –including the exact systems and steps I used– in the Elite Advisor Success System™. Learn more with this free training.
You Have to Care – No Matter What.
Finally, you have to care about your clients and their financial goals. No matter what, your job is to advise your clients on the right investment vehicles, insurance, and protection so their financial future is safe and sound.
Don’t touch other peoples’ money unless you genuinely care what happens to it.
Soon after Bob and I married, we entrusted the balance of our savings ($19,000 in 1979) to a stockbroker, who had convinced us we were being smart by investing our “wealth” for future growth. He put our money in four different investments.
In hindsight, none of them were appropriate for us. All four investments went belly-up in a very short period of time, and we lost every cent we had entrusted to him.
I was devastated. While it may not have been much money to our broker, it was everything to us! It represented years and years of hard work and sacrifice. I felt stupid, betrayed, and embarrassed. From that day forward, I made it my mission to learn everything I could about money and investing. I was determined never to let what happened to me happen to anyone I cared about.
That experience taught me some valuable lessons that helped me in my career as a financial advisor.
As a result, I really understand, from the clients’ perspective, how scary it must feel to turn your money over to an advisor, often a stranger, and “hope for the best.” I know what it feels like to wake up one day and be surprised that all your life savings are gone . . . poof.
I think the worst part of the experience was that our broker just shrugged it off. He never apologized, because he really didn’t care. You cannot let that be you. If you do not care about your clients or what happens to their financial security, you truly can’t help them – and shouldn’t.
Be the trusted advisor your clients need you to be. Build your business with consistent prospecting. Understand that to be truly successful, you have to be the owner of your own financial services company, complete with systems and processes that let it run –and grow– even when you’re not in the office.
If you’d like to take these three pieces of advice to the next level and get my exact blueprint for success, I invite you to check out the Elite Advisor Success System™ – a step-by-step business training program that gives you everything you need to build and successfully implement the five systems I mentioned earlier. I give you all my worksheets, scripts, plans, and models so you can serve more clients, make more money, and have more freedom.
And this program will allow you to copy exactly what I –an advisor just like you– did to achieve the highest levels of success. Rather than learning from a coach that’s never been a successful advisor, everything in the Elite Advisor program comes with my 30 years of experience in what works. Learn more today!