10 ways advisors can stop holding themselves back

Finance professionals are always waiting for ‘the right moment’ to grow and attract HNW clients. Here are some steps to success

10 ways advisors can stop holding themselves back
Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc and provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. In this article for WP, he takes on the age-old problem of waiting for ‘the right moment’ and how advisors get in the way of their own success. Sanders' book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found on Amazon.

Everyone who becomes a financial advisor wants to be successful.  Managers who hire candidates want them to be successful advisors.  For some reason, we manage to do a great job holding ourselves back in our personal and professional lives.  We wait for “the right moment” that never comes.

1, It’s the wrong time to invest

When the market is high, we tend to think: “I missed the move.  I’ll wait for a pullback.  I won’t ask clients to buy now.”  The market can be volatile at times, but the money needs to go somewhere.  Indexes are made of sectors.  Sectors rotate.  Some companies pay dividends, so your client gets something while they own the stock, even if your timing was early.

Strategy:  Since there’s no guarantee, even if the market pulled back, your prospect would agree this is the right moment to invest, develop compelling reasons why it’s the right time to invest in certain ideas now.

2, I won’t join a gym until I get into better shape

Don’t laugh. There’s an urban legend in NYC about a gym that’s so exclusive, you join another gym, get buff and then you might dare to walk around the other gym!  Some people decide they will work out at home, then transition to a gym.  You need a gym that attracts all ages, sizes and shapes of people, one where everyone feels comfortable.

Strategy:  You are considering a gym because you want to get results.  Join a gym.  Hire a personal trainer.  Their business is keeping people to a discipline, yielding to results if they follow instructions.  You work under a similar logic as an advisor.  Getting to know people in the gym crowd may lead to a new pipeline of prospects as people ask: “What do you do?”

3, I won’t ask my client for a larger order until I’ve proved myself

You are thinking of yourself as one lone advisor instead of an advisor with a research department and awards on the wall.  The firm has proved itself. 

Strategy:  When you have a good idea, let the enthusiasm show in your voice and ask for an order significantly outside the client’s usual dollar amount.  The larger amount communicates confidence in the idea.  The client will likely be flattered you thought they could write a check that big!  Even if they say no, the order will likely be bigger than before.

4, I’m not getting involved in the community until I do something about my looks

This implies you think you are too heavy or are out of shape.  If you are considering a change of diet or lifestyle, the start of the New Year is a good time to take the first step.

Strategy:  You can change your appearance significantly through clothing. You’ve seen heavy people who look great!   Get some professional advice.  Consider having a tailor custom make a few pieces of clothing for you.  Remember the line from Werewolf of London?  “I’d like to meet his tailor.”  Tailors are experts at compensating for flaws in physical appearance.

5, I’m not going to network with HNW individuals until I have more money

When will that be?  How much is enough?  You’ve heard the expression “Old Money”.  Lots of those people aren’t that rich, but they have manners, good clothing and decorum.  Joining non-profits and attending charity events involves fitting in, being there for the right reasons.

Strategy:  Dress well.  Read some articles about fitting in with the wealthy.  Study up on who might be attending events.  The sponsor list is a good place to start.  Learn about them online beforehand.  Take the initiative.  Be complimentary.  Ask questions.  People love to talk about themselves.

6, I’m not asking for more support in the office until I have a really good year

When might that be?  What if everyone else has a good year too?  Your manager wants you to succeed.  They would like to know how they can help.

Strategy:  You have an idea.  It will take money.  You put together a business plan.  It includes milestones and contingencies.  What are the expected results?  You are putting some of your personal money behind it.  What additional help do you need?  This makes you different from advisors asking for money for a vague idea, not putting any of their own on the table.

7, I’m not taking a vacation until we know what the market will do

We will never know.  You need to take time off to recharge.  You need to go away, not have a staycation where you are calling the office and dropping in.

Strategy:  At the very least, take long weekends.  Go someplace interesting that won’t break the budget.  You want someplace you can talk about with prospects and clients.  They may have been there too.  They might want to go.  You can share your advice.  Meanwhile, you have recharged.  It’s been said we get our best ideas when we change environments completely.

8, I'm not prospecting until I find a really good system

Also, “I’ll wait until I can afford a coach”.  There is no silver bullet, or magic system.  It’s been said: “Everything works and nothing works”.  How much time will get wasted until you are ready to start?

Strategy:  People in the office are often reluctant to share their secrets.  Call your regional sales manager.  Ask who is having great success at prospecting.  How can you find out what they are doing?  They will likely call that office, laying the groundwork for you to talk to that advisor.

9, I’m not as good because I don’t have the right credentials

You see some advisors who have accounting or legal backgrounds.  Others are CFPs.  You think prospects will ask about your qualifications.

Strategy:  What are the certifications that really matter?  Help you do a better job for your clients?  Find out.  Start studying.  If you were out of the office and a client called, let them know you were away studying for an additional professional certification.  They probably do that too.

10, I don’t have enough time to get active on LinkedIn

What needs to happen?  Isn’t there extra time on evenings and weekends?  You can’t outsource posting, using a firm service to post pre-selected stories at set intervals, then expect results. 

Strategy:  You need to send personalized messages.  You need to invite people to connect, typing in why they should do it.  You need to review and respond to messages.  Then you start to build momentum.

There is never enough time.  There is plenty of lost time.


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