7 Things Successful Financial Advisors Don’t Do

There are a lot of articles out there that talk about what you need to do to become a successful advisor. I’ve studied the characteristics and habits of those advisors, it’s clear that there are also 7 things successful financial advisors don’t do.

1. They Don’t Ignore The Non-Financial Spouse

You’ve probably seen it with your married clients. Usually one is much more involved in their financial life than the other. We naturally tend to focus just on that person during our meetings and that’s where most of the interaction is. But making the mistake of focusing all your attention on just that spouse is a great way to make the other one feel left out.

Successful advisors know that even if one spouse is more financially savvy, husband and wife are playing team ball. They may not contribute much to the meeting but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion. What you don’t want happening is them slowly starting to resent you because you don’t acknowledge them as much during the meeting.

Make them feel valued by asking for their opinion when discussing strategies or changes in their financial life. Asking a simple “ Do you agree with that?" question may be all that’s needed for them to feel good about the decisions being made.

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2. They Don’t Focus On More Than Two Niches

It’s common for advisors to work with all sorts of clients in the beginning of their career. The hard part is focusing your practice into 1 or 2 niches. Oddly enough, we see that when advisors start to narrow the kind of client that they help is when they start to see impressive growth start to happen. When you can specialize in 1 to 2 niches, things will actually become easier. There’s less variation in your planning and more opportunity for referrals.

If you don’t know what you’re niche would be, try writing down your top 10 clients. What do they have in common? Are they pre-retirees focused on income or in their 70s thinking about legacy? Maybe their younger very busy executives? Are a majority in a certain career?  If you can identify a commonality, then think about what specific value they all get from you. Why is there this commonality between them?

Getting new clients will actually become easier in terms of having the ability to identify who’s a good fit for you and who’s not. You’ll waste less time talking to unqualified prospects are you’ll have more time for those who will get the greatest help from you.

3. They Don’t Focus Only On Investments

Investment management is extremely important for every financial advisor, but great advisors know this is only a part of what makes up great financial advice.

Successful advisors will actually focus more time on things they can control. They continually prepare their clients for swings in the market and uncertainty. By focusing more on the process of planning over performance helps clients see their value even when the market doesn’t cooperate.

If you only focus on investments, you’re putting the value to your clients in something you have no control over and that’s a risky move.

4. They Don’t Forget Client’s CPAs and Attorneys

Great advisors make it a point to find out who their clients CPAs and attorneys are and create a relationship with them.

Successful Financial Advisors

The more CPAs you know, the better. This helps you in 2 ways. #1 is that your clients will recognize the value you’re giving them by trying to coordinate the different parts of their financial life. #2 is that CPAs will see the value you’re providing their client. If you can stay top of mind for a CPA, there’s a greater chance of referral in the future.

So the next time you’re making a change that will affect your client’s taxes, tell them it’s a good idea that their CPA is in the loop too. And ask if you can contact their CPA to update them what’s happening. Keep track of these CPAs and try to keep in regular contact with them.

5. They Don’t Do It All Themselves

Successful advisors know the things they do that bring the greatest result to their business. They make it a priority to have a support team that can handle the trivial many so that they can focus on their vital few. They are experts at multiplying their time. The advisors who don’t learn to delegate effectively end up hitting plateaus in their business because they can never find enough time in the day to do everything they need to.

Spending your time and money on finding capable people to work for you is one of the best investments you can make. And the results of less stress, more money, and free time are seen very shortly after you begin to delegate properly.

If you have difficulty delegating, try making a Do Not Do List. During the week, write down all the tasks you’re doing that take up the most time but provide the least result for your business. Calculate how much time you would save if someone else was doing those things for you.

Want to Learn How To Explain What You Do So That People Immediately Want to Work With You?

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6. They Don’t Educate Clients & Prospects Using The Curse of Knowledge

The Curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that advisors get when they communicate with their clients. They unknowingly assume that their clients have the financial background to understand what they’re talking about.

Great advisors don’t forget that many of their clients have a 5th-grade education level when it comes to financial planning. The jargon we use is a normal part of our day, but not for our clients. Successful advisors continually put themselves in their client’s shoes when they are explaining concepts to them. They know that the more their client understands, the more likely they will want to take the advice being given.

7. They Don’t Say Yes To Everything

Warren Buffet said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

Saying no is a hard word for advisors to say. Whether it’s to prospect who’s not an ideal fit, or a request of their time.

Great advisors practice the power of focus. They understand what’s most important and they spend their time only on that. They can quickly identify if something is a valuable activity from one that’s not. Saying no more often Is the single most effective way to increase your productivity and effectiveness.

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