This article was generously provided by Francis Pelletier, Business Development Manager, Financial Horizons Group, Quebec Region.
Entering the financial services industry can be intimidating. Along with the great contribution you can make to a client’s life as a financial advisor, there are also responsibilities, questions, and challenges that come with the role. (And not just early on in your career!)
I know this because I am a financial advisor too. And so, I made a choice.
I chose to seek advice from the advisors I serve as opposed to the other way around. The team here at FHG values partnership with our advisors, and wants to know their opinions and ideas.
I approached the experienced advisors and new recruits, and asked them this simple question: what advice would you give someone who wants to start in the business?
In order to ensure honest, direct answers, I asked this question without providing any further details. Here’s what they said:
- Find a mentor or work in partnership with an experienced advisor.
If you don’t know anyone, don’t hesitate to contact the Sales Manager at your local Financial Horizons Group office. We will be able to guide you through the process and suggest some options.
- Work hard and don’t get discouraged by mountains of paperwork.
Compliance and paperwork play a large and demanding role in the life of an advisor. It is therefore essential to have a logical framework as well as an effective and vigorous follow-up process. Financial Horizons Group can certainly assist you in these tasks.
- Surround yourself with competent people.
Don’t ever be afraid to surround yourself with champions – by doing so, you will become one yourself! Count on a network of various specialists who can help you. Talk to financial planners, tax experts, accountants, mortgage brokers, consulting services, and so on.
- Schedule seven to ten appointments per week.
Make a list of 50 people you know and update them about your work and the comprehensive offering of financial products and services they access through you. The general recommendation is that you make at least ten cold calls per day and ask for two to four references for each sale.
- Take relevant courses.
The possibility of accumulating Continuing Education Units (CEUs) should be nothing more than a minor detail; conversely, the information and skills that training brings are invaluable in the financial services industry. Be sure to leverage educational opportunities – it will make you a reference and an expert in the eyes of your clients!
- Find your niche in the market.
There are a number of advisors working in the market, but every one of them has their particular passions, skills, and abilities. Find your niche and stand out.
- Start with the mortgage insurance market.
Because clients are now better informed about the importance of having personal mortgage coverage, it’s very easy nowadays to reach out to them through this approach. Once that’s done, the door will be open for you to present more of your offering of financial products and services!
It’s always valuable to recall simple truths shared by your peers. They can have a significant impact on your current and future success.
As for me, the main takeaway is this: do not work alone! You will need help throughout your career. Those who succeed have learned to delegate and surround themselves with champions.
How about you? Do you work with others or do you feel isolated? If you do work with others, who are these people? Who is your mentor? What is your niche? For the sake of both your short-term and long-term success, I encourage you to find answers to these questions and to bring your actions into line with these observations.