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: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, April 17-21, 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge

Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising

The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor

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. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client

How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?

According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources

I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps

Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation

Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?

The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?

Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals

Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS 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 to ... Click for full bio