7 Reasons You'll Fail As A Financial Advisor
NOTE: If you’re a new financial advisor, make sure you check out Your First Year As A Financial Advisor, where I reveal several things every new financial advisor ought to know.
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 seven reasons which 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 on cold 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.
Also, according to InsideSales.com, half of all sales happen after the fifth follow-up attempt. Which means that financial advisors who aren't willing to follow up at least five times are leaving half of their potential income on the table. And according to Scripted.com, 44% of people give up after one follow-up attempt. This means if you can follow up just ONE time, you can place yourself in the top half of financial advisors.
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.
ALSO READ: A Day In The Life of a Financial Advisor
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 of reasons why you’ll buy into this false belief…
6. You'll 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.
I’ve worked with countless financial advisors over the years and while there are lots of reasons why they fail, these are seven of the most common.
A lot of failure within the financial advisor industry comes down to either not knowing or not practicing the fundamentals. For example, every financial advisor should prospect and follow up - that’s a fundamental thing. However, when advisors don’t prospect, they put themselves in danger of failing.
I talked about this in the first episode of my “Financial Advisor Marketing” podcast, which was called “Rules for Successful Financial Advisors”. Because just like with anything in life, there are rules you have to follow and if you want to increase your odds of being a successful financial advisor, you should learn and follow the basics.
If you want to subscribe to the podcast, simply search “Financial Advisor Marketing” wherever you listen to podcasts. New episodes go live every Monday.
Remember that nothing happens until you set an appointment. Also, new advisors often fail because they’re impatient and want to get immediate results. Yet, in order to succeed you need to develop a predictable and repeatable process you can use to set appointments and get clients.
P.S. If you're a financial advisor who wants to get more clients from LinkedIn, make sure you check out How to Get Clients With LinkedIn: How Financial Advisors Can Set Appointments and Convert Prospects With LinkedIn