As a long-time managing director at Merrill Lynch in Colorado, David Mullen hired and trained more than 500 advisors. His training program was considered superior to industry norms and his techniques have been adopted by managers and advisors throughout the country. He is known for his career in training, retaining and motivating financial advisors.
In his new book, The Million Dollar Financial Practice, Mullen culls what he’s learned and what he taught throughout his career in an easy-to-follow book aimed at both neophyte advisors entering the industry and veterans wanting to kick their business up a notch or two.
Mullen reveals the five characteristics of million-dollar producers:1. They set business and activity goals and track their progress.2. They are motivated.3. They market relentlessly.4. They manage their time effectively.5. They make establishing relationships with affluent individuals their first priority.
Indeed, he writes that million-dollar producers do not possess any extraordinary skills.
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 is about building the foundation, which happens in the first two years of the advisor’s career. “During this stage, the advisor should spend the majority of his time on marketing,” writes Mullen. Advisors should build a book of 50 client relationships and a prospect pipeline of 100. Seventy percent of the advisor’s time should be spent marketing.
Stage 2 runs from the third to fifth year of business when the advisor must balance client service with marketing. Mullen writes that the advisor should have 100 client relationships and 100 or more prospects. “The advisor should spend 50 percent of her time on marketing,” he writes.
Stage 3 is beyond five years. “The advisor should continue to upgrade the 100 client relationships throughout his career,” he writes. The advisor should spend 25 percent of his time on marketing and see at least one new prospect per week.