With 15 years in the industry and $44 million in total sales in 2013, our 2014 Advisor of the Year, Jason Jenkins, knows a thing or two about building a successful business. Here, he offers his top tips on becoming the best advisor not just for today, but for the years to come.

1. Prepare.

All great advisors prepare to be successful before a prospect ever walks through their door. To do this, you’ll need: 

1) Education: The best advisors work to develop skills and understand all aspects of financial planning.

2) Policy & procedures: When I implemented strategic and disciplined policy and procedures, it took my practice to the next level.

3) A great team: View your staff as an investment, and only hire the best. The better you compensate them, the more productive they will be. I also subscribe to the saying, “Hire slow and fire fast.”

 

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2. Investigate.

The following are key elements to win the client and become their trusted advisor:

1) Smart intake form: Often, these forms simply gather information, rather than trying to discover more about who the prospect really is. Always start off with key questions that spark a deep and emotional conversation.

2) Comprehensive analysis: Find what their risk, fees and current estate structure looks like. Take this technical data and try to understand what this information means to your prospect.

 

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3. Teach.

Help your prospects answer the two most important questions: “How much risk can I afford to take?” and “How much risk am I willing to take?” There are great tools to help you, the advisor, discover the answers.

1) Planning tools: There are two key aspects to making a financial planning tool complete. First, the tool must take into consideration inflation, income sources with the proper COLAs, expense adjustments and many other factors. The second key factor is the ability to translate this into the client’s language.

2) Presentation tools: You want your prospects to leave your office impressed by the total experience. When they leave with a plan that represents their financial future, it must be bound in the best presentation possible.

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4. Cultivate.

Successful relationships don’t happen overnight. I am a big fan of having a balance of human interaction and technology in my practice. There some wonderful tools out there that can allow you to scale your business, put it on autopilot and help your clients feel that you are watching over their money like never before.

 

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5. Help.

Many financial advisors forget that they are in the business of helping others achieve their financial dreams. It’s about having a spirit of servanthood in all that you do. I strongly believe that when you embrace this attitude, it will naturally expose itself through your practice and you will watch your business go to the next level.