How we do our jobs (and conduct our careers) is based almost entirely on our mindset.  Creative people such as actors and writers tend to think of their jobs as their ‘craft’ and are consistently finding ways to improve, learn, grow and hone that craft into the best it can possibly be.  However, those in other industries (including financial advising) often make the mistake of viewing their job as that of a salesperson as opposed to that of an advisor who should be constantly improving their craft in order to be the best resource for their clients they can be. 

In our financial advisor course, we talk a lot about shifting the way you think about your business in order to improve and grow.  Here we will discuss five tips on how to make that switch and turn your financial advisor job into a fulfilling career.

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1.      Shift Your Mindset Do you see yourself as a salesperson?  Maybe even refer to yourself as a salesperson when people ask what you do?  If your mindset is stuck in ‘sales’ mode, you can’t properly advise your clients because you’ll always be trying to make that next sale (whether it’s good for the client or not).  Shift your thinking and start referring to yourself as a business owner.  When you own the business, you’re focused on much more than the next sale: you’re putting pieces in place to grow a company that will sustain you for the foreseeable future and is a source of pride.

2.     Learn to Teach and Guide Your Clients As a financial advisor (and business owner), your job is not to sell your clients products: it’s to educate them.  Your clients will come from all walks of life and be knowledgeable in their own areas of expertise.  They’ve come to you for your expertise and it’s your duty to guide them in making the best financial decisions for their unique situation. 

3.     Effectively Communicate the Value of Your Work Do your clients really know everything you do to stay on top of the market?  To learn about products?  To dive into their financial situation, ask questions, request records and make calls to make sure your advice is on point?  If you don’t effectively communicate with your clients about your process, it’s easy for them to take it (and you) for granted. 

4.     Don’t Get Trapped Selling to Clients’ Wants Your clients may come to you with a long list of ‘wants’, thinking they are ‘needs’.  Your job is not to fulfill their wish list.  You’re an advisor, not Santa Clause!  Your job is to go through that list and focus on what’s really important for their financial future.  When you give your clients what they want all the time, you may have some short-term success, but you (and your clients) will lose out in the long run.

5.     Don’t Become an Order Taker We established the fact that you aren’t Santa Clause, right?  You’re also not working the drive-through at McDonald’s.  Your job is not to take orders for financial products from your clients.  They are (or should be) clients of yours because they trust your judgment and expertise.  If they want a specific financial product, do some research and due diligence, then explains to them why you agree or disagree with the request.

Many advisors have taken courses on how to become a financial advisor or related CFP programs.  The problem is, they often focus on the technical details of the job, rather than the broader mindsets that need to be in place before they begin advising clients and building their business.  By focusing on the above five tips and keeping in mind the values around which you want to build your career, you can ensure your business is built on sound principles that will enhance success.