As you are preparing to offer more financial advisory services at your firm, there are opportunities to up your chances of success. Of course, being a total pro with your accounting skills is at the top of your list of assets!
What additional skills do good financial advisors need? The skills beyond the ability to prepare tax forms, manage the books, and create financial reports? Financial skills are only a tiny part of what it takes to be a successful advisor.
Soft Advisory Skills
Often called “soft skills,” these are the traits that are not financially related but extremely important to recognize. The ability to master them can make or break your career.
Improving these skills and incorporating them, along with your already knowledgeable financial skills, will make you unstoppable!
Understanding financial concepts and lingo isn’t going to get you too far. The ability to take complex financial information and communicate it to others is a vital skill.
Alan Greenspan, former Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States, once said
“To succeed, you will soon learn, as I did, the importance of a solid foundation in … communication skills.”
Along with communicating complex information to your clients, you will need excellent phone, email, and face-to-face communication skills. Without professional communication skills in these basic areas, you may not get far.
All industries and workplaces come with stressful situations. Being a financial advisor is no different. Advising clients on financial matters that affect monumental financial decisions comes with a whole different kind of stress.
The better you can learn to use the situation to your advantage and thrive under pressure, the better off you will be.
Nothing worthwhile in this life comes without loads of hard work. You have to be willing to put in the work to become a successful financial advisor.
Becoming a financial advisor is not for the faint of heart. It requires some long hours and possible late nights. Beyond just meeting and working with your clients, there is time spent studying the markets, the economy, and financial forecasts.
A problem-free life or career is not likely for any of us. Because of this, honing your problem-solving skills is vital. Becoming better at problem-solving starts with perspective. Don’t look at problems in a negative light. Look at it as an opportunity to solve a puzzle or learn something new.
Each client’s portfolio and scenario will be different. This will require you to think about each one, with no cookie-cutter approach for each client. Because of this, problem-solving and thinking outside the box are necessary.
Former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge said this;
“The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”
So when a problem arises, think “press on” and get to work finding the best answer possible for your clients.
A good manager has organizational skills. This trait will help utilize your time most efficiently. Keeping the details in check takes effort and practice.
American businessman James Cash Penney said, “No business can succeed in any great degree without being properly organized.”
Being organized will allow you to provide your undivided attention to the current client or project, increasing your clientele and income.
Marketing and Sales
Feeling comfortable “selling” yourself and your skills don’t come naturally to most people. As a financial advisor, bringing in your own clients is a must. Regardless of whether you work for yourself or a firm, finding new clients will grow your business and income.
If you are not advocating for yourself, no one else will. So practice a small pitch about your business and ask for referrals from current clients. Use social media to find new clients, and most importantly, open your mouth and be proud of what you do!
Above all, be honest in all your dealings. Always.
Integrity is the quality of having strong ethical or moral principles. A person with integrity follows these principles regardless of anyone who is watching. Acting with honesty, honor, and truthfulness.
When a client knows they can trust what you say, what you do, and how you do it your business will thrive. Most importantly, you feel good about how you gained your success.
Some of these “soft skills” may come more naturally to you than others. Spend time working on your weak spots to reach all your goals. By combining excellent financial expertise with these non-financial skills and you will become the financial advisor, you pictured yourself being.