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What Separates Successful Advisors From the Rest?

Ever wonder which best practices truly separate the good financial advisors from the really great ones?

“The more you learn, the more you earn.”

These words of wisdom from the great Warren Buffet certainly ring true as to what makes the most successful financial advisors rise above the rest.

Be sure to visit the Practice Management section to learn about more ways to grow your advisory practice.

Stay Relevant

Just like Buffet says, the more you continue to learn as a financial advisor, the more you will earn.

It might sound simple, but it takes significant time and effort. Elite financial advisors always stay relevant. They remain students of the business. Just because they are no longer rookie advisors, it doesn’t mean they stop learning. As a matter of fact, they constantly look for ways to learn and grow. They are always seeking to improve themselves and their business.

They remain relevant, they do not become stagnant and they adapt to industry changes. Change is constant in the financial services industry and advisors must evolve with the changes. Whether it is new technology, new ways to communicate with clients and prospects, or new products and services, advisors must continue to learn to grow both their practice and their revenue. Embracing change is crucial to future success in the industry.

Less Is More

When it comes to the clients they serve, less is more. Elite financial advisors focus on a smaller number of clients in comparison to average advisors.

According to “research”: conducted by CEG Worldwide, the most successful financial advisors serve fewer than 200 clients. They have an average of 179.1 clients.

Since they are not serving the masses, they are able to work with their clients in a more meaningful and intimate way. This leads to deeper connections, increased loyalty and greater trust.

CEG Worldwide’s research also shows that the most successful financial advisors focus on serving wealthier clients. Elite advisors work with an average of 83.3 clients that have at least $1 million in assets. In addition, elite financial advisors also implement client minimums into their practice.

They recognize that by implementing minimums and working with fewer clients with more assets, they have a more focused and manageable business. They acknowledge that they have to say “no” at times and that they cannot be all things to all people. This is a struggle for some advisors. Taking on every client, not saying “no” when necessary and trying to be all things to all clients can be a recipe for advisor burnout.

Always Put Clients First

The most successful advisors always put clients first and foremost. Strong client communication is key to this.

Returning phone calls, voicemails and emails in a timely manner has to be a priority. They do what they say they will do and they always follow up. They don’t make promises they can’t keep. Similarly, when they mess up, they fess up.

They also proactively and consistently communicate with their clients. The same research from CEG Worldwide indicates elite financial advisors contact their top 20 clients an average of 28 times per year. That equates to more than twice a month!

Build a Strong Team

Successful advisors know the importance of building and investing in a strong team. They surround themselves with a solid and talented team they trust to delegate to.

By delegating, they can focus on their most productive and most profitable tasks. In other words, they can spend more time with their very best clients.

Time Management

Going along with building a strong team, top advisors practice strict time management skills. They strive to be proactive and not reactive in nature.

They put the pre-planning into time blocking their days and weeks to achieve ultimate productivity. They chunk out their time every day for their most productive activities with zero interruptions.

Life Balance

The job of a financial advisor is not an easy one. While the job can be extremely fulfilling and lucrative, it is a very stressful and demanding career.

Elite advisors understand that they must emphasize life balance to be successful. They know that working countless hours without time to recharge is not sustainable.

Top financial advisors emphasize taking time to refuel to regain the energy and focus they need to stay successful. This imperative time to recharge is part of their time blocking. Whether it is scheduling a walk, run or workout every day, taking time to exercise is necessary to their overall well-being. Many top advisors also meditate and prioritize proper nutrition.

Finding a solid balance of personal and family time with professional time is the key to maintaining a healthy body, mind, soul and business.

The Bottom Line

If you are an advisor that has plateaued and you are striving to reach the elite level, nothing can replace hard work and dedication to your clients.

There are no shortcuts to greatness, but being a continuous learner, always putting your clients first, assembling a strong team and committing to a fierce focus on time management will help you on your journey to getting there.

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