Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor

Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor

If you're a financial advisor, make sure you get The Ultimate Financial Advisor's Guide to Getting More Clients. It comes with a money-back guarantee, because if you can't get more clients with the information, I don't deserve to keep your money. 

Is being a financial advisor worth it? 

I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals.

Here are the seven reasons that explain the low financial advisor success rate.

1. You won’t prospect.

You won’t make it in business if you don’t get clients. You won’t get clients if you don’t get prospects. Shocker! Luckily, my Ultimate Financial Advisor’s Guide to Getting More Clients goes into detail oncold calling, social media, referrals, direct mail, etc.

I understand that hearing the word “no” is painful. I don’t remember the exact statistic but I’ve heard that by the time we enter adulthood, we’ve heard the word “no” 250,000 times vs. “yes” a mere 10,000. Because of this, we’ve learned to associate “no” with not getting what you want, and it hurts.

I hear a lot of financial advisors say that they aren’t in sales and that they just want to help people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to increase your business and help LOTS of people,you have to prospect.  

2. You won’t follow up.

Follow-up is everything. People are busy, and your best clients are going to be the ones who are difficult to reach. How many times have you talked to someone for the first time and they said, “Oh, by the way – I want to let you handle all of my investable assets immediately! Where do I sign up?”

Some advisors talk a big game about following up and may even have the best of intentions, but they don’t automate the process or block it in their schedule. If you are truly committed to building your practice, you will make sure that nothing is left to chance or falls through the cracks.

3. You’ll let one bad experience throw you off your game.

Are you having a bad day or did you have a bad five minutes that you think is your whole day? I hope you memorize that sentence, because it changed my life. Whenever I feel bad, I ask myself if I’m really having a bad day. Most of the time, I’m just wallowing over a few bad minutes.

Bad stuff happens. Your clients leave you. Prospects who you thought were sure to convert end up with another advisor. People yell at you. Is your stomach churning yet?

Just keep moving. Deal with the stuff that comes up and do the best you can with what you have. Once you’ve done everything you can to remedy a situation, move on and do something else productive. Don’t get sucked into the bottomless pit of anxiety and worry. Napoleon Hill said it best: “NOTHING which life has to offer is worth the price of worry.” True that, Nap. True that.

4. You won’t make the decision to be great.

Oh yeah, you have to DECIDE that you’re going to be great. Getting clients and building a book of business isn’t terribly complicated. It’s simple, but not easy. There are so many excuses that people make up to avoid building their business. The industry’s changing, people don’t answer the phones anymore, it’s too competitive (we’ll get to that), and so on.

Whatever excuse you make up in your own mind will be true… for you. Not for me. Not for your competition. So you might as well give yourself an empowering mindset to help you persevere and succeed.  

5. You’ll think it’s too competitive.

I didn’t say “because it’s competitive.” I said because you’ll THINK it’s too competitive. Here are a couple reasons why you’ll buy into this false belief…

  • Because you don’t have a niche. If you are a generalist, your pool of competitors is HUGE. If you focus on a certain demographic, you give yourself a tremendous advantage.
  • You refuse to position yourself as a strong number two in the prospect’s mind. This is a problem with the advisors who get discouraged and think that “everyone already has an advisor”. This isn’t bad news – it’s great! These are people who have already demonstrated that having a financial advisor is important. Besides, if your competition won’t be a strong number two and you will, who do you think the person is going to call when the current advisor inevitably screws up?

6. You will keep making the same mistakes over and over.

When you fail to convert a prospect, do you ask why you didn’t get that person’s business? Most people don’t. It’s painful and uncomfortable and it forces you to acknowledge that you’re less than perfect. When you ask “why” you are humbling yourself to see what you could do differently next time to change the result. If it’s something you are unaware of, you will keep making the mistake until someone points it out for you!

If it can be measured, it can be improved, and you should be measuring everything you can. This includes your number of leads, number of contacts, number of follow ups, your ratios, and much more. When you have all of the data in front of your face, you can tweak your process to improve your results.

By the way, if you're not taking advantage of a CRM to track everything you do, read my article about the best CRM for financial advisors. 

7. Your outlook will be too short-sighted.

If you’re just looking for the next deal to put food on the table, you run the risk of cutting corners or making decisions that aren’t in your best interests for the long-term. Do the right thing all the time and you won’t have anything to worry about… even if it hurts in the short-term. 

James Pollard
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James Pollard is a marketing consultant who specializes in helping financial services professionals grow their business over at ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: May 22-26

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: May 22-26

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, May 22-26, 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Capturing the Attention of Millennials: Be Relevant and Digital

I know Gen Y are stereotyped as being transient, digital natives who are impossible to capture, but that is just the world we live in today. Technology has caused a proliferation of advancements and the financial services industry is (or should be) feeling the pressure ... — Missy Pohlig

2. Factor in a Smarter Approach to ETFs

Combining an alternatively-weighted index with a multi-factor stock screening process can diversify uncompensated risk, potentially leading to less volatility in down markets and an overall smoother experience for investors. But what are factors and why should they be a major consideration for every ETF investor? — J.P. Morgan Asset Management

3.  Don't MAKE the List ... DO the List

There is something gratifying about jotting down all the things you need to do. It quenches one’s thirst for being organized and for wanting some control over one’s life generally complicated by too many things to do with insufficient time and financial resources to do them. — Roy Osing

4. Smart Financial Advice for Those New College Graduates

College graduation is a time of celebration and pride. It’s also a time of significant financial transitions—for new graduates as well as their parents. As an advisor, this is a great opportunity to connect with your NextGen clients to help them make smart decisions that position them for greater financial success throughout their working lives and even into retirement. — Laura McCarron

5. Advisors: Why You Need to Show off Your Bench

Let your prospects see what working with you will be like, including exactly who will be holding their hand along the way. — Paul Kingsman

6. Why Investors Should Have Confidence in the Future of Investment Management

How should investors feel with all the advances in robotics and technology in our industry in the near future? — John Alshefski

7. 2 Things to Take Your Business From Startup Into A Great Business

Want to know how to grow your business fast? Discover here two things that you need to smash in order for you to take your business from startup to a great business. — Stewart Bell​​​​​​​

8. The #1 Marketing Asset Every Financial Advisor Should Hold in the Portfolio

Unlike many other industries, most people in finance confront the reality on a daily basis that a market downturn they have no control over could cast them out onto the street. — Sara Grillo

9. The Gutless Generation: How Risk Aversion Is Inhibiting Millennial Success

One year after I risked everything to launch my own venture, I penned a short article chronicling my journey up to that point. One commenter responded with near-vitriol, wondering how I could be so misguided as to influence – encourage, even – others of my generation to take on extensive levels of risk in order to successfully launch a new business. — Brian Hart

10. Are Your Marketing Priorities Out of Whack?

People are automating hellos and introductions instead of taking 3 seconds to personally do it. Folks are requiring followbacks if they give you one. Everyone believes that ads are the answer. And business owners think they know what’s best for their social channels. — Ahna Hendrix​​​​​​​

11. 10 Steps to Successful Strategic Alliances

Business growth doesn’t come from wishful thinking. As you know, it takes a lot of hard work. The growth of your business is not an option – it is a necessity. Coordinating the right mix of strategies to gain market share and improve client acquisition rates is essential to advance your firm in today’s economy. — Michelle Mosher

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio