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Starting a career as a new financial advisor is both exciting and daunting. Are you passionate about learning more, building your portfolio, and developing an impressive industry reputation, but do not know where to begin? Do you lack insight into self-marketing or growing your clientele?

In the competitive world of financial advisors, the line between failure and success is thin. Therefore, adhering to a few tips can help you start on the right track towards long-term success, profitability, and positive reputation.

1.  Do Not Stop

Decide at the start of your career to always be in a learning mindset. Never assume you know it all or are completely apprised of current events. As global financial markets evolve constantly, it is critical that financial advisors remain present on the changing financial atmosphere.

Additionally, emerging technologies provide unique opportunities to better manage client portfolios, improving returns. Beyond market and technological advances, financial advisors must continue learning the latest regulatory trends to avoid legal conflict.

What are the best ways to keep learning? Attend conferences, regularly read industry publications, take online training courses, and ask questions of successful professionals in your industry. If the opportunity arises, volunteer to mentor students or younger financial advisors to solidify basic concepts and build rapport.

Remaining up to date on global financial and regulatory changes while investing in your own professional growth will be invaluable to your career.

2.   Be Personable

Getting to know your clients personally will set you apart as an advisor. Even though it may appear outdated in a digitized world, send thoughtful birthday cards, holiday cards, and handwritten thank-you letters to every client. As you build your portfolio, take note of these important dates in your client relationship management software. Be careful to not let automation take the personal nature out of your work.

Joe Girard was the most successful salesman to walk the earth – and he took this piece of advice to the next level. Girard would send cards to his customers celebrating holidays that most people would not even think to get a card for, such as St. Patrick’s Day and the 4th of July.

Taking thirty seconds to write a personalized, sincere message – even on a post-it note – will go a long way to set you apart from your competitors. This strategy is proven to be highly rewarding, inexpensive, and easy to integrate into your overall marketing strategy from the beginning.

3.  Understand Your Clients’ Needs Clients often approach investing with a deeper motivation. Many seek to achieve a specific goal, extending beyond finances. As a financial advisor, it is your job to understand your clients’ true needs.

For example, some clients will approach you with the goal of, “taking care of family”. For these clients, investing symbolizes the desire to pay for weddings, college funds, and family vacations. Take the opportunity to learn about your clients’ family, kids, and favorite vacation destination. Share stories about your own family and successful experience working with families in the past.

Other clients may desire to invest but possess minimal knowledge of complicated financial terms or concepts. In this scenario, simplify your explanations and provide support.

During an initial meeting with your client, ask a few simple questions to understand their motivation behind investing.

- What goal would you like to achieve by investing?

- Do you want to be involved in the investing process? How involved?

Understanding your clients’ needs beyond the investment product and catering your services to these motivations will set you apart in your field.

4.  Set Goals

Before diving into your new field, set attainable goals. Perhaps you wish to further your learning about industry advances, grow your portfolio, and solidify long-term profitability. While these desires are good, they are not measurable. Setting measurable goals for your career is essential for success as a financial advisor.

For example, instead of simply “continued learning”, make it your goal to take one online investment class each month. To grow your portfolio, determine to make 25-50 outreach calls daily. Begin planning for long-term profitability by keeping track of clients’ birthdays and sending personalized notes.

Setting simple, measurable goals will allow you to gauge success and adjust objectives over time. Without goals defining direction, people often struggle to succeed.

5.  Determine a Target Market

Although it can be tempting to market to everyone as an attempt to rapidly grow your clientele, casing the widest net is not the answer. In fact, attempting to reach out to anyone and everyone can stunt portfolio growth.

Alternatively, define your ideal client and identify your target market. Outline demographics (age, gender, and profession) and psychographics (values, beliefs, and goals). Specializing in a specific niche allows you to better understand and serve your perfect client. For example, some financial advisors choose to work with entrepreneurs, widows, or company executives.

6.  Leave Voicemails

Prospective outreach is one of the most effective portfolio-building methods for new advisors. Effectively understanding the success of calling campaigns involves keeping track of the number of calls made, how many people you spoke with, and the quantity of resulting appointments.

During outreach, even incomplete calls (calls that went unanswered) can be transformed into opportunities. Always leave a voicemail. Most people assume that if an unknown number call is important, the person will leave a voicemail. Give prospective clients your name, somewhat vague pitch, and a simple hook, encouraging the prospect to call back.

Additional benefits of leaving a voicemail include:

- The prospect will call you back, eliminating the chance of being perceived as an interruption.

- Most people will listen to their voicemail when the opportunity arises.

- When the prospective client calls back, they already have an idea of your purpose and are calling with the intention of listing to what you have to offer.

Dunham: World-Class Trust and Investment Firm

At Dunham, we understand the importance of growing your portfolio by building long-lasting client relationships. We partner with financial advisors, providing time-tested investment options needed to create lasting financial success, and allowing advisorsto reinvest time into building positive client relationships.

For more information on how our team can help expertly manage your assets, give us a call at

858.964.0500 or via our online contact form! Our professionals are ready to take your call and answer any questions you have about beginning a journey with Dunham.

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