Highly successful financial advisors say they are better at understanding clients’ needs and spend more time on client management, communication and service than other advisors, says a study by ByAllAccounts released Tuesday.
For the purposes of this study, highly successful advisors are defined as those with extremely satisfied clients, ByAllAccounts says. The definition was selected because the advisors themselves say client satisfaction is the best measure of success. The survey, Traits of Successful Financial Advisors, included responses from 442 advisors.
Eighty-six percent of the advisors surveyed say client satisfaction is the best measure of success, over assets under management (36 percent) and revenue (33 percent). Twenty percent of the advisors say they have extremely satisfied clients.
All those surveyed see understanding clients’ needs as their greatest skill, but 67 percent of the highly successful advisors gave themselves the highest rating for this skill compared twith 57 percent of all advisors.
The highly successful advisors also gave themselves good marks for analytical skills and sales skills. The highly successful advisors spend more time on client management, communication and service and on client acquisition and prospecting than the average advisor.
Forty-one percent of the highly successful advisors conduct regular client surveys to determine satisfaction levels, compared with 32 percent of all advisors.
When asked what the highest priority for the firm is, the majority of the advisors list client service as their primary goal. However, one quarter of the highly successful advisors also ranked holistic management as a top priority compared with 16 percent of all advisors.
Highly successful advisors had a greater growth rate for assets under management over the past two years, according to the survey. Fifty-eight percent of the highly successful advisors had an AUM growth rate of greater than 16 percent, while only 43 percent of all advisors had that level of growth.
Highly successful advisors also report more efficiency than advisors as a whole, with 25 percent saying they have extremely efficient back office operations compared to only 11 percent of all advisors.
The majority of all advisors want clients to see them as trustworthy and secondly as honest. Advisors also want to be thought of as experienced, best in class and dedicated, the survey says.