In today’s age of social distancing brought about by COVID-19, the business landscape for financial advisors has changed significantly. Many clients and prospects no longer feel comfortable with personal interaction; they prefer to interact and conduct essential business virtually or over the phone.
As with anything of a competitive nature, which our business certainly is, those who are able to adapt to changing conditions will improve their chances of success in this “new normal”, as Mohamed El-Erian, a frequent guest on my national TV show, The Income Generation, likes to say.
How to Grow your Financial Advisor Business
One of the first things you can do to grow your business is to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. It’s an important step that is often overlooked by those just starting out. What is it about you and your practice that will make a prospective client want to do business with you?
For myself, and the hundreds of advisors I coach and mentor through my firm Advisors’ Academy, it’s our specialization in non-common stock, income generating investments. We realize that as individuals near retirement age, there’s a critical shift they need to make. During my 30 years in the industry, I would say about 90% of investors fail to make this important shift on time.
The shift I’m talking about is changing their focus from investing for growth to investing for income. In simple terms, they need to shift their focus from offense to defense once they’re within 10 years of retirement. That’s what the advisors who are part of The Retirement Income Store® specialize in—helping our clients reduce their exposure to stock market risk, so they can use their retirement savings to generate lasting income for retirement.
By carving out this niche, we are able to stop fighting for business in a red ocean of rivals and are able to thrive in a blue ocean of opportunity. So, that would be my first piece of advice on how to grow your financial advisory business: find a way to separate yourself from your competition.
How Do Financial Advisors Get More Clients?
One of the best things you can do to get more clients is to find a way to attract new business, so you won’t have to chase it. I know it sounds easier said than done, but it works. It’s important for your clients and prospects to see you as a trusted financial professional who is knowledgeable about the financial markets and truly has their best interests in mind.
Perhaps you can host a Social Security webinar where you can explain the best time for your prospects to claim their benefits. Or, perhaps you can teach a financial education course in your community. By doing so, you will be postured as a knowledgeable financial professional interested in helping people achieve their financial goals.
How to Grow Your Client Base as a Financial Advisor
Of course, one of the best ways to attract new business is through effective marketing and public relations efforts—like appearing as a guest on a local radio or TV show. Once you get a few local appearances under your belt, perhaps you can step up to the national spotlight and create a sizzle reel with clips of your appearances that you can play in the lobby of your office.
These are just a few examples of how a good PR program can help to posture you in a manner that will allow you to attract new business, so you won’t have to chase it. Other examples include hosting your own radio or TV show.
These types of things can be difficult to accomplish on your own, and it’s a reason why I started Advisors’ Academy—to provide independent advisors with the opportunity to expose themselves to these types of marketing and PR tools. It’s also why every financial advisor who joins The Retirement Income Store receives full access to the services available through Advisors’ Academy.
Financial Advisor Advertising Ideas
One of the questions I’m frequently asked by the advisors I mentor and coach is, “How do I advertise myself as a financial advisor?” Another question I get often is How to Generate Leads for Financial Advisors.
Well, one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to get the word out as a financial advisor is though referrals from existing clients. Many advisors feel a little bit reluctant to ask for a referral, but getting over that reluctance can help you grow your practice. It can be as easy as letting your existing clients know you would be willing to take some time to speak with any friends or family who they think might benefit from your services.
Other methods that can help you get the word out in a cost-effective manner during this time of social distancing involves maximizing your digital marketing efforts. Things like hosting live webinars and marketing them through Facebook and Google ads have been shown to be effective prospecting tools without breaking the bank.
What Makes a Financial Advisor Successful?
In order to last in this industry, I believe that first and foremost, you need to keep your clients’ interests top of mind. By always placing your clients’ interest ahead of your own, you’ll be able to establish long-term meaningful relationships with your clients who will be more than willing to recommend you to their friends and family.
Second, I believe it is important to maintain a willingness to learn and to be coachable. You must make a commitment to learning and keeping yourself informed with what’s going on in the financial markets and overall economy. That way, when you speak to clients and prospects, you can have meaningful conversations that position you as a trusted financial professional, opposed to a financial salesperson.
First Year Financial Advisor Goals
Realize that the first year of being a financial advisor can be the most difficult. However, if you can survive the first year, the rewards can be great. Here a few goals to help you along:
Establish a business plan: Will you focus on stock market-based investments or fixed income investments, or maybe a blend of both? Your goals of what you hope to achieve within your first year and beyond should be integrated into your plan.
Measure: How will you know if you are on track to meet your goals if you don’t keep track of your daily and weekly progress? Keep it simple at first. Perhaps you can start by keeping track of the number of calls you make each day, the number of 1st appointments with prospects, number of follow up appointments, number of new clients, and closing ratios.
Network: Establish a group of experienced financial advisors who you can turn to for guidance. When a problem comes up, it can be much more efficient, and less painful, to learn from someone else’s experience than having to learn as you go.
Establish your own website: Invest some money into establishing a web presence where your prospects and clients can visit to learn more about you and your firm.
Make a commitment to keep learning: One of the best things you can do is to invest some time and money into self-development. It is important to not only keep yourself informed about what’s happening in the financial markets, but also to invest in things like sales training and professional level coaching.
Financial Advisor Franchise Opportunities
The Retirement Income Store® is always on the lookout for qualified Investment Advisors who want to become Income Specialists that embrace our philosophy of “defensive” retirement planning and are interested in a Franchise Opportunity to partner with us.
By doing so, you could enjoy many of the benefits of being independent—without much of the cost and risk.
In addition to the possibility of getting you a guest appearance on my national TV show, The Income Generation—broadcast to 70 million households each week—we can also help you get guest appearances on leading financial news show like Opening Bell, Varney & Co., Cavuto Live, Worldwide Exchange, and Mornings with Maria—like we’ve done for many of our top advisors.
By working with The Retirement Income Store, you could also gain access to:
- Warm Qualified Leads in Your Area—so you can build your practice at no out-of-pocket cost
- Active-Management Investment Strategies—the CFAs at our RIA, Sound Income Strategies ($1.25 billion+ in AUM), can handle most of the heavy lifting when it comes to your clients’ fixed-income needs, so you can remain focused on what generates the most revenue for your practice
- An Exit Strategy, or Succession Plan—to ensure your family and clients are taken care of when it comes time to retire, or if the unthinkable should happen
I’ve dedicated my life to personally mentoring and coaching financial advisors that are ambitious and motivated to grow their practices. I am so confident in our franchises, that I personally guarantee any advisor accepted into our national network will increase their business by at least 33% in their first year with us, or we will pay up to 1% additional compensation on any business they write with us!
Click here to learn more about this potentially life changing business opportunity.
David J. Scranton
Founder of Advisors’ Academy, Sound Income Strategies, and The Retirement Income Store