1. Get really good at what you do. Do the ordinary things extraordinarily well.

2. Always ask for a commitment. There are only two ways you can gather assets: either you wait until someone offers or you ask. 

3. Don't run and hide if a recommendation doesn’t work out. Your clients deserve better. You're allowed to say you made a mistake. Nobody expects you to be right all the time unless you say that you're going to be right all the time. When you know in your heart that you did your best, you don’t need to run and hide.

4. Make a commitment to succeed. People get successful on purpose, not by accident. You can’t become great until you decide to be great.

5. Confidently voice your opinion. The more uncertain the times, the more certainty clients will demand from you. Passion, enthusiasm and self-confidence are drawing cards. Form an opinion and voice it assertively. There are a lot of undecided investors looking for a leader.

6. Become a great storyteller. Then learn two or three great stories and stick with them.

7. Don’t focus on what changes. Focus on what doesn’t change. Your clients always have goals. Markets may change but the reasons they invest don’t change. Secondly, you've got to make a living. Keep your eye on these two simple facts and everything else becomes white noise.

8. Become a great listener. You have to listen to people in order to get to know them. It’s impossible to learn anything while you are talking. As well, you can’t talk people into trusting you. The more you let the other person talk, the more that person will like you for listening. The more that person likes you, the more he or she will begin to trust you. The more people trust you, the more apt they are to do business with you. 

9. Create a repeatable process. The more successful we become, the further we get away from the basics that made us successful in the first place. Once you get away from the basics, you begin to accept sub-standard behavior as the norm.

10. Don’t do business with just anyone. The decision to open the account is yours as well as the other person’s. Make it a point to do business with people you like and with people who like you. You don’t deserve trying relationships.

11. Always remember what business you're in. You’re not in the financial planning, ETF, mutual fund or annuity business. Those things make up your inventory. You’re in the peace of mind business. Your purpose is not to create financial plans. Your purpose is to get clients retired and get their children educated. Market yourself accordingly.

12. Get proactive. You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Too many advisors are content with hanging an “open” sign in the window and waiting for someone’s curiosity to get the better of them. That is no way to run a business. I suggest instead that you get out on the street and get people to come in.

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