Having trained and coached over 20,000 three year and under Financial Advisors in the last 20 years, there are too many pitfalls to try to avoid early-on to mention. Here is a list of ten that are top-of-mind that you should anticipate, and have a plan to prevent before they come up.

Number one – It is going to be more difficult than you think.

Many people become a Financial Advisor and think it is going to be easy. It’s not. It’s hard work. From experience, talent may not be as important as grit. The graveyards are littered with talented people that don’t make it and the boardrooms are full of successful, gritty people. Get ready to test your perseverance. It is probably going to be harder than you think. Its not a sprint it’s a marathon.

Number two – It may take longer than you think to bring in clients.

The notion that a prospect will give you a meeting, hand over all of their information, be ready for the next meeting, say yes and consolidate all their assets with you in one shot, is not necessarily true. It doesn’t mean that it can’t happen, but in reality, life happens. A meeting gets pushed off, their kids have a ball game, a vacation occurs, etc. This is why there is a need to relentlessly put prospects in the top end of the pipeline every single day.

Number three – You may be disappointed or pleasantly surprised with how your personal network responds to your outreach.

Just because people know, like and trust you, doesn’t mean they will do business with you. Some may be concerned with your level of experience, your age, confidentiality, or may have some degree of discomfort in working with you that will remain unspoken. On the other hand, there are people that you know, who will at least meet with you, to test the waters.

Don’t make any assumptions either way on whether or not they are interested or disinterested. Just ask for the meeting and let it be their choice on whether or not they are willing to take the next step with you. Too many new Financial Advisors don’t make the ask because they make assumptions about what’s going on in people’s minds that could be inaccurate.

Number four – Prospects tend to work more on their timeframe than yours.

You may have hurdles or targets that you are looking to accomplish by certain timeframes. They may not match up with the pace that your prospects are moving. You can move things along a little quicker by summarizing important interactions and setting next steps from those conversations. At times, the power of documented action steps can move the process along a little quicker. Well developed follow up skills will really help you.

Number five – You may find yourself trying to avoid the word “no”. 

For many newer Financial Advisors, it is not “no” that is bad it is their emotional reaction to the word “no”. Sometimes to avoid “no,” Financial Advisors can major in the minors. They won’t focus on high priority activities like prospecting because that activity will put them in jeopardy of hearing “no”; Hiding in comfortable low impact tasks and lulling themselves into believing they are working on what matters most.

Remember you are in training for the rejection Olympics, and how you decide to cope with the word “no” will either lead you to a gold medal or a one-way ticket to your next opportunity. At some point you need to talk to people this is a business based on relationships.

Number six – Not doing three simple disciplines every day, which are goal setting, time blocking & activity tracking.

Believe it or not, there are Financial Advisors that show up to work without a daily goal. They don’t run the day the day runs them. Without the focus that goal setting gives them they are not spending their energy on their biggest priorities.

Secondarily they don’t time block activities in their calendar to achieve their daily goals and if they do, they typically lack the self-discipline to protect those time blocks at all cost.

Finally, they resist tracking their activity to measure their progress against their goals.

Most successful Financial Advisors have cultivated good habits. These are the three best habits to develop.

Number seven – Not using multiple prospecting methods everyday. 

Simply put, everything works and nothing works. A new Financial Advisor must have multiple prospecting methods going on at the same time, in an intentional and purposeful manner focused on a target market. A blended approach is the best approach. These activities should be blocked on a calendar.

For example:

  • 7:30 – 7:45 – 15-minute Daily LinkedIn routine:
    • Ask five people to connect
    • Ask five connections for a meeting
    • Ask one connection for an introduction
  • 9:00 – 10:30 – Make warm calls to my network to have five contacts
  • 12:30 – 2:00 Attend a networking event with a goal of making five quality contacts
  • 3:00 – 4:30 Contact business owners with a goal of five contacts

Number eight – Not constantly sourcing new prospects.

From all the work we have done with newer Financial Advisors the research indicates they typically run out of prospects to contact around 105 days into production. This is when most of them begin to get off target in terms of their goals. So, have a goal of sourcing at least twenty-five new prospects per week. Most new Financial Advisors have no real idea of the countless hours they should be spending on sourcing prospects. Nine times out of ten they are able but unwilling to put in the work!

Number nine – You will need more prospects in your pipeline than you think. 

  • If you are a solo practitioner your goal should be to make 300 asks for a meeting per month, which to you may sound like a lot, it is really 15 asks per day. It does not matter how you make the ask it only matters that you make the ask. It can happen on LinkedIn, email, text, voicemail, over the phone, face to face, at an event etc.
  • If you do this it should lead to 20 Connection Meetings a month, 8 Discovery Meetings, 4 Recommendation Meetings and 2 new households averaging over $900,000 in new assets per month and over $10,000,000 in new AUM over a year
  • The key is having enough prospects to contact each day to get 20 connection-meetings into the top end of your pipeline each month.

Number ten – Getting a fast start without well developed prospecting fundamentals

New Financial Advisors that are best equipped to make it over the long haul, are the ones with the most well-developed prospecting habits. The rising star that has poor prospecting fundamentals is in for a rude awakening. Make it a habit to spend no less than 50% of everyday prospecting.