From the August 2008 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

August 1, 2008

Room to Improve

Every financial advisor comes to the business with a different mix of personal strengths and weaknesses. Top producers aren't necessarily worthier than those who are less successful. Luck is a big factor in life. Some people start their careers at propitious times, others in ideal places and others get strikes in both these categories. Some people are endowed with a natural charm that enhances relationships with clients and prospects, while others have been blessed with the intellect to develop deep and helpful insight into personal finance. Again, some have both of these qualities, and some neither.

These natural endowments cannot be underestimated for the simple reason that these are the qualities you bring to the starting gate of your career: the formative time that powerfully shapes your sense of yourself. Nevertheless, it is a serious error to dwell too much on disadvantages you may have in comparison with others. The unalterable fact that we come to the marketplace on unequal footings only reinforces the imperative that we take active practical steps toward our self-improvement.

And to do that, one must continually amass greater knowledge, perspective and skills. That's why our readers read Research, and look particularly each month to Bill Good's Sales Seminar column. Bill has been writing his column for Research for more than 17 years now and he has never tired of offering his unique blend of insight and practical advice.

It is therefore a distinct pleasure for me to inform readers of the publication this month of Bill Good's new book, Hot Prospects, by Simon & Schuster. To celebrate this industry milestone, we are previewing in these pages two brief excerpts on the subjects of lead classification and lead development. Readers ready to hunker down to improve their businesses can pre-order Bill's book from his website www.hotprospectsbook.com or major booksellers such as Amazon.

And while considering ways to sharpen your edge in business, in this issue we focus on a perennial but neglected area of the life of a financial advisor: working with wholesalers. Ellen Uzelac's cover story tells us that the days of golf balls, steak dinners and time-wasting meetings are starting to fade from the scene as a shrewder crop of financial advisors improves its abilities to extract genuine added value. And Patricia Abram, with her characteristic logic and strategic approach, adds her thoughts on making this neglected relationship work for you.

The key is to make every effort possible to advance your situation. There is always room for improvement, and we will continue to make every resource we can available to our readers.

Robert TyndallPublisherrtyndall@researchmag.com

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