Millennials have grown up striving for achievement and success, and they’ve carried that into adulthood. Indeed, more than half of the next generation aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization, according to a recent survey by consulting firm Deloitte Global.
However, when it comes to younger financial advisors, many feel that success has so far been elusive, with just half of the Breakthrough for Growth study participants reporting that they feel successful at their jobs. Still, they’re not unhappy: the vast majority say that they are satisfied with their work. They believe that they make a contribution to their firm, though they believe it’s bigger than their team leaders give them credit for.
This gap between job satisfaction and feeling successful is somewhat expected: These young advisors recognize that they’re learning the business, and still have much to achieve. However, if advisory firms want to retain their young advisors, they’ll need to help the next generation close that gap between success and satisfaction. If they don’t, these younger advisors will likely feel frustrated by their performance and perhaps consider leaving their firm or the field altogether.
When asked about their own effectiveness, the next generation notes that they struggle in a few key areas. For example, more than 30% of the respondents say they’re not effective at delivering their firm’s story. That ability to tell prospective clients about what their firm does and the value it can deliver is crucial component of business development.
Likely related, only 50% of the survey respondents say they’re effective at developing new business, though 93% cite that skill as highly important to their success. Many next gen advisors expressed frustration with their lack of ability to bring in substantial new business. They also indicated a willingness to learn and a strong desire to be shown how it’s done.
“I have proven very unsuccessful in bringing in new clients using traditional prospecting methods,” reported one next gen advisor. “I would like to see my senior partners demonstrate their prospecting/closing abilities rather than telling me how to do it.”
It’s not surprising that advisors just starting out have yet to hone their firm’s message or become rainmakers. However, they’ll need guidance, coaching and feedback from their team leaders in order to really make a meaningful contribution—and ultimately attain the success they want and expect.
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Breakthrough Growth, LLC is a joint venture between The Collaborative and Purpose Consulting Group. Established by two industry veterans to meet the need for effective hands-on resources to accelerate productivity of the next generation of advisors and their leaders.
Christine Gaze is president of Purpose Consulting Group, a practice management consulting firm that works with financial services leaders to develop strategies and thought leadership programs that engage and advance financial advisors. In the last 20 years, she has held a variety of leadership roles in practice management and human capital at firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AllianceBernstein and TD Ameritrade. She is a frequent speaker, avid researcher, and writer.
Beverly D. Flaxington (The Human Behavior Coach™) has spent more than 25 years in the investment industry as a sales and marketing expert, corporate consultant, college professor and Gold-award winning author She has been quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com and USA Today. Her latest bestselling book is titled Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior.
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