Financial services is still a gold rush for those individuals hard working and savvy enough to make the industry pay. So the question becomes this: what do you need to do to separate yourself from the pack and enjoy a first-class livelihood?
Here are five tools for achieving success as a financial services professional, insurance advisor, or anyone responsible for helping people protect and grow their assets.
- Develop a niche.
We live in an era of specialists. If you had a heart issue, would you go to a general practitioner? If it’s true with health, it’s just as true with money. People want to know that they’re going to the individual most perfectly suited and qualified to meet their needs. So make clear in your marketing that you are primarily useful to people of a certain demographic range, age group, political background, or even spiritual values. Don’t be afraid to “fly your freak flag.” Your niche will make you rich.
2. Don’t ignore children and grandchildren.
I see this mistake over and over again—clients are in their 70s or 80s, slowly drawing down on their assets, and the financial advisor completely ignores creating relationships with the next generations. Failure to do so means that as soon as Mom or Dad dies, all that money under advisement will go away. Sometimes it’s hard for older advisors to reach out to the children and grandchildren of their clients. They feel awkward, and they may not be as tech-savvy. No excuse. Get with the younger generations, or prepare to see serious outflows in years to come.
3. Get tech savvy.
Nobody under 50 wants to sit in an office with a financial advisor in a suit and tie cradling a yellow pad in his lap. That’s just over. Instead, you’ve got to meet the younger generations of prospects and clients where they are—which is online. You’ve got to build out the communications tools that they expect.
Young investors want financial services to be as easy as ordering up an Uber. You may think that’s not possible, but your competitor is probably a step ahead. Not ideal. Don’t be afraid of technology—you’ve got to use it if you want to stay current.
Stop trying to be a one-man-army. The most successful financial advisors devote themselves to marketing, meeting new clients, getting a plan in place, and then turning them over to other people in the office. You can describe the business model as wash, rinse, repeat. There’s only one of you. You’ve only got so much time. You’ve got to make it acceptable and even desirable for your clients to meet people other than you and only you.
5. Have a book.
As a ghostwriter who has written close to 100 books for financial services professionals in all fields, I can assure you that nothing leaves an impact like a book. Financial advisors tend to have websites that are impossible to distinguish from the competition. The leave behind and white papers are turgid (that means boring.) It’s almost as though they are spending a ton of money just to blend into the background.
When you have a book, you stand out. When you’re an author, you’re an authority. If you don’t have a book, what are you waiting for?