Buy, buy, buy. That’s what the sales pitches of most financial advisors were all about in the past. In 2022 and beyond, however, financial advisors are increasingly expected to be able to demonstrate competency in a variety of areas and earn their client’s trust — a much higher bar.
As a financial advisor, you need to be a problem solver. You need to be able to unlock an opportunity for a sale or at least present one in the best possible light.
That means having the analytical skills necessary to analyze and make recommendations based on that data.
You don’t have to be a math major (although it doesn’t hurt), but you need to understand basic financial concepts like return on investment (ROI), compound interest, and risk management.
As a financial advisor, you must be able to explain complex financial concepts and provide advice relevant to your clients’ needs. In addition, you must communicate clearly with your clients during meetings and phone calls.
Good communication involves listening carefully, speaking clearly and concisely, communicating in an appropriate tone (calm or enthusiastic), avoiding jargon or industry language that may confuse the listener(s), addressing questions directly, and so on.
Client management skill is essential to ensure that you and your clients stay on the same page.
It means building a relationship with clients, managing their expectations, and keeping them happy.
When it comes down to it, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. But some universally accepted ways work well for everyone involved:
● Be responsive. When your client reaches out, respond as soon as possible. It can be via email or phone, but don’t wait too long! If someone needs help today, they won’t wait three days for you to get back to them; they will go elsewhere for answers.
● Strive to build trust and rapport with them. Consider yourself a trusted adviser rather than a salesperson; clients will be more likely to listen to and follow your advice if they can trust you.
● Keep an eye on their goals and objectives — both short-term and long-term — and make sure you’re keeping them up-to-date on how their investments are doing versus those goals.
● Communicate often (but not too often). You should touch base with your clients regularly but not so repeatedly that they start feeling spammed by emails or phone calls.
● Take feedback seriously. Feedback from your clients is an invaluable tool that can help you improve on what you’re doing and learn from past mistakes. Don’t just brush off negative feedback — take it seriously, learn from it, and use it to improve things for everyone involved!
These include understanding different products available in the market, such as mutual funds or insurance plans; providing guidance on how these products can help meet clients’ financial goals; recommending suitable products according to the client’s risk profile.
You also need to know where applicable the various tax implications and retirement plans. If you understand these things well, you can give good advice that will benefit your clients.
The ability to plan and organize tasks, manage time effectively, prioritize tasks, stay focused on essential jobs, set goals and objectives, and plan for the future are vital to being a top financial advisor.
A good financial advisor knows how important it is to make sales; otherwise, there will be no paychecks at the month’s end!
Sadly, many advisors get sales wrong. Let me explain:
● They believe that sales and marketing are about being pushy and high-pressured. This approach is a big mistake. When an advisor acts like this, clients don’t trust them and will stop listening to what they have to say.
● They’re not comfortable asking for referrals from current clients, which means they’re missing out on some of their best opportunities for new business. A good financial advisor should always look for ways to grow their book of business through referrals from current clients.
● They don’t know how to close deals.
● They don’t know how to overcome objections or handle objections from prospects who say no or are slow to commit.
The good news is that anyone can learn to sell. Several sales training courses are available online for advisors to help you become a better salesman. You’ll learn how to prospect for quality clients, close more deals and make more sales quickly.
Researching is a crucial skill for a financial advisor. You will be required to research various aspects of the economy, industry, and companies within your job. For example:
● Researching financial markets
● Researching companies (including their earnings reports)
● Researching products/services (for example, whether they are suitable for a client’s portfolio)
● Researching trends in the market(s) or industry(ies) you serve
● Researching data such as tax code changes related to investment options available to clients
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Relationship-building skills are critical in any business, but they are significant for financial advisors because these types of advisors help people make major life decisions that affect their financial future. If a client feels you don’t understand their needs, they will be less likely to trust you.
You can empathize with your clients by trying to walk in their shoes and see things from their perspective. When you put yourself in their position, it becomes easier to understand where they are coming from and what they need from you as an advisor.
The demand for financial planning is high and growing in the future. By 2022, the baby boomers will reach their retirement age in this decade, so do not miss the opportunity to get your requirements (i.e., education, work experience, continuing education, and the likes) to get qualified to help clients plan for their financial future. The best way to prepare for a job in this field is to take advantage of the wide range of available resources.