Can I start this thing over again

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Oct 18, 2010 8:51 pm

Couple of things I wish I knew when I started. Just throwing these out for the sake of conversation.

1. Specialize. Sell index annuities. Be the municipal bond expert. Only take on veterinarians, or retired women, or Iranian grocery store owners. I know an advsior who has 10 key clients -- all of them trophy wives buying insurance on their ancient husbands. .... Specializing means you can do the same thing over and over again; also means you can become an expert, also makes referrals easier because muni buyers know other muni buyers.

2. Have a strong opinion. 'You should never own stocks.' Or, 'Stocks have never been a better opportunity.' Whatever. It has to be something to believe and you will find clients who buy in. Read and make up your own mind about what is going on in the financial world.

3. Do not take on somebody unless they fit your good client model. Bad clients drain you.

4. Most people are idiots. You can tell pretty quickly which ones are idiots. Run from them.

5. It doesn't take 10 contacts to make a client. After two or three contacts, you will know.

6. For EJ newbies, doorknocking works, but you become a generalist, and that is bad. If you must doorknock, doorknock businesses. Even better, doorknock specific businesses. (See Rule No. 1).

7. Keep your investment recommendations limited. Use one fund family or a basket of five or six funds. Use a pool of 20 stocks that you can follow until you get more knowledgable and aren't prospecting all the time.. Find an insurance company with a good back office and stick with their annuity.

8. Put together a good questionaire and use it on every first appointment. Ask non-financial questions about family and goals and hobbies and family. Listen. They will tell you what they want.

9. Get a good assistant or train her up. Most important thing is someone who will work hard.

10. You are your own boss.

Oct 19, 2010 9:59 am

I can agree with a lot of that.

I would like to add on.

11. Don't sell all A shares or front load products, you have to build a business for the future.

12. Don't listen to anyone at meetings.

Oct 19, 2010 11:00 am

13. Individuals that were born in or have decended from the country of Iran are known as PERSIANS.

Oct 19, 2010 11:15 am

I agree with just about all of that, but I think that using the same investments for all clients, fund family, annuity company is actually a very bad idea. If all your accounts, products are the same, you run the risk of death by product. And that happens more than you think, every bear market has some product that is poison. And again, often times, it is a company that was a leader in sales before the downfall. 

One thing you don't have listed, that I strongly believe is a crucial element to success, is "pay your customer". If you are the largest source of income for a client, it leads to more deposits, and better client retention.

The part about profiling and questionairre documents is something I think you're absolutely right about, has been very big for me. Those documents I've created for myself by taking the best of everyone elses, then applying my experience to them as well.

Oct 19, 2010 11:58 am

14. The more people you speak with the more money you make.

15. Celebrate big wins - Celebrate small wins

16. Find a mentor that will be candid and helpful

17. Make sure you explain just what the fee/cost of everything you do is. 

18. Ask for referrals from day one

Oct 21, 2010 11:55 pm

19.  Never assume your pipeline is big enough.

20. No one else determines how successful you are.

21. Set a firm minimum you will not work below and never accept an account with assets below that minimum. Even track what you say no to.  It will help you avoid becoming an expert at small account problems. (In other words, don't become an expert at 72T utilizations for IRA accounts under 100k. You'll be an advisor with outflows greater than inflows and make about $30k a year!) 

[quote=JumpMan]

14. The more people you speak with the more money you make.

15. Celebrate big wins - Celebrate small wins

16. Find a mentor that will be candid and helpful

17. Make sure you explain just what the fee/cost of everything you do is. 

18. Ask for referrals from day one

[/quote]