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Cold calling is a difficult exercise. Forming relationships with your prospects in a timely and efficient manner is a perennial challenge for new advisors. Hearing the word ‘no,’ repeatedly, is another struggle every new recruit must learn to contend with.
All told, the first five to ten years of a new advisor’s career path is fraught with challenges as the struggle to make sales bumps up against your own efforts and expectations for career success.
An advisor’s number one job is to be in front of consumers. To survive in the business, this means that prospecting and finding ways to meet new people, interact with them and build trust is the most important thing you can do in any given day. It’s also the hardest thing for most new advisors to do.
Getting past paralysis is the first of a few challenges new recruits must overcome. “A lot of people new to the business feel they need to know everything in order to add value,” says HUB Financial’s vice president of sales, Andrew Fink. “In reality, however, after a short amount of high quality training they will know more than 90 per cent of the Canadian population. They’re really well equipped to change people’s lives.”
Have a raison d’etre
Successful advisors, he says, have a really strong reason for being in the business – a strong ‘why’ – which helps them through these early career growth challenges.
This reason for being is often solidified as advisors become more tenured. For those who’ve never handled the claims process for a client, however, that vision may still be somewhat unrefined or nebulous.
To come up with your own story, think about personal experience where a friend or family member passed away unexpectedly. What type of planning helped, or could’ve helped that person’s family? When a would-be client has a mortgage, three children and no insurance, it becomes easier to pick up the phone to speak with that prospect when you’re clear about the value you offer.
Get a mentor
Sometimes it takes a firm but friendly third party to help you understand what you don’t know about certain situations, to help celebrate your successful moments and to help keep the big picture in mind. A mentor will often offer the encouragement you need to make the next call.
“Mentorship is really important,” Fink says. “We need to remind advisors that the path to success is not a straight line. You are in a business where there’s variable income. You’re going to go through weeks and months that will not be easy. It helps to have someone with the ability to take a step back, look at the view from 30,000 feet and celebrate the successes.”
“Your mentor could be your boss. It could be the person who brought you into the business,” he adds. “It’s someone you look to for leadership, guidance and encouragement when things aren’t going smoothly.”
Keep at it
In addition to your work prospecting for new clients, remember that your existing clients need to hear from you too. A client’s circumstances are always changing. “If you’re not going to invest in regularly touching base with your current clients, you’re going to miss out on a lot of opportunities,” says Fink.
Sometimes one more call is all that’s needed to win the case which changes your mind about the value of financial planning too. Along the way however, you will still need to hear the word ‘no’ and still be confident enough to carry on.
“There are going to be people who already have their planning done, or who just won’t be receptive to the message you’re giving. And that’s ok,” he adds. “I think what our most successful new advisors are passionate about is giving Canadians the chance to say no. Too many Canadians, in my opinion, are not even given that opportunity. They haven’t been given an opportunity to make that informed decision.”