5 Toughest Challenges Younger Advisors Face

As a young advisor, you regularly face challenges in your work that can cause blocks, problems and prevent progress. Getting trained often weeds out the disinterested and less inclined as it can take just over a year to become licensed to sell. That is your first obstacle to overcome. After that however, you now face 5 tough challenges that younger advisors face.

#1 A solid plan to prospect

You need a plan for prospecting or getting in new sales. Who are your clients going to be? Where will you find them? How will you connect? How long of an engagement do you think you can have with each client? What is the financial value of this client in the present and over the lifetime? Are there people who can refer you business? Your plan for prospecting has to include answers to these fundamental questions so that you know how to bring in new business. You also need to have your sales pitch mastered and able to present your firm and your method to new prospects.

#2 Being held accountable

When you get licensed to sell, you learn the ins and outs of the business. You also know the limits and the legal requirements. It is essential that you follow them and you hold yourself accountable always. Then in the instance you are questioned or your client needs further proof, you can demonstrate your accountability directly and easily.

#3 Being truthful

Your clients are trusting you with their money. Of course you have to be truthful. What are you selling and to whom? Being truthful involves knowing what you want to sell to people and being direct about it without any hidden agenda or false promises. Part of being truthful is also educating your client. It is always better to not make assumptions of knowledge or expertise, but instead to walk your client through every process and explain aspects of their portfolio as necessary. Be always willing to answer questions and provide additional information or insight on any aspect of their portfolios. You don’t have to teach your clients everything that you know, but you do want them to have a thorough understanding of the choices available to them, and the possible consequences of each choice that they could make.

#4 Managing expectations

By far the golden rule in this career (and probably others too), is to treat others the way that you would like to be treated. This is simple yet very powerful advice that rings true in every situation that you will face. Your client trusts you. It is up to you to fulfill that promise of trust every single time. Hence it is important that your word is accurate and that what you are saying adds up to what you are doing and the results you are showing for your client. Hence managing expectations is essential. You want to offer your client expectations that are reasonable and in line with what can be achieved.

#5 People taking you seriously because of lack of experience

This is a challenged faced by any newcomer to any industry. Instead of being stumped by a client’s disdain for your lack of ‘veteran’ experience, you can and must demonstrate your expertise. Expertise combined with caring, far outweigh experience. You have to care about your clients. You can demonstrate your expertise through your sales pitch, your interaction with your client, your website and related online brand presence, your marketing material and your messaging. While you must show eagerness and enthusiasm for your clients, you also want to clearly demonstrate what you can do within a framework or set boundaries. Your prospects will become your future clients when they feel that they can trust you with their money, their plans, their hopes and their dreams for the future because you are the best, most qualified and caring advisor for the role.

John Watkins