Knowledge Is Power In Todays Competitive Environment
Adapting to change is something every financial advisor must excel at to be successful. This has been demonstrated over the past couple of years like never before.
The historic bull market of the 1990s focused consumers on the amazing returns that asset-based investments were delivering. Caught up in this euphoria, investment performance became peoples sole buying criteria for most of the decade. It also became the primary competitive factor for financial services companies and financial advisors.
All that has changed, of course. Advisors can no longer be a “one-trick pony.” Your job now requires much broader and more sophisticated strategies than simply finding the highest return. You must understand the business, the clients, the marketplace and the multitude of increasingly complex issues that affect all three.
Going forward, your critical competitive advantage will lie in the knowledge and tools you possess to successfully address all of these issues and help your clients achieve their financial goals. In fact, the need for knowledge has never been greater. The best way for financial advisors to position themselves in this new environment is through continued education.
Take a minute to think about how prevalent change has become. You can start with consumers. The Internet has made consumers more knowledgeable and, as a result, youre dealing with a different customer than you were just a few years ago.
In addition to being better informed, people today are more self-assured and independent; they want to play a bigger role in managing their financial affairs. As a result, you must take a more sophisticated approach in how you speak with clients and prospects.
The products most advisors now sell have become more complex, and there is a much broader range to choose from. Technology is playing a growing role in prospecting, selling and managing your business. But while it can be a godsend, this technology requires an in-depth understanding to maximize its potential.
Add to all of this the growing number of legal, tax and compliance considerations that affect both your products and the sales process, and its easy to see that the road to success has gotten a lot more complicated.