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10 Commandments for Newbie Agents and Advisors

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People new to the business often feel like they are drinking from a fire hose.

There’s so much to learn and the advice they receive is often conflicting.

Is social media the new cold call? Should I be diving into social prospecting? Why must I attend so many meetings?

You might have already read: The 10 Commandments of Prospecting.

If there were 10 commandments for newbies, here’s how they might look:

  1. Thou shalt prospect, prospect and prospect some more. Success in this business is largely about ringing the cash register. You need to open new accounts and deepen those relationships. This should occupy almost all of your time. You need a plan. Ask for help from your sales manager.
  2. Thou shalt find a mentor. This business is hard, but you are helping people and the payoffs can be incredible. Find a successful advisor with an outgoing personality. They often enjoy helping newer people succeed. Have lunch with them often. Be humble. Learn from them. Ask insightful questions. Follow their advice. Don’t waste their time.
  3. Thou shalt honor thy firm. They’ve likely been around forever. You work in a big building with their name outside. The firm has won awards. It advertises on TV and in print. All this builds up a brand reputation. Your firm is likely a household name. Use this to your advantage. Be proud of your firm.
  4. Thou shalt follow thy firm’s strategy. After much research, the firm has determined which market segments to target and the client needs to fulfill. The firm has certain products that made them famous. They probably play a central role in your compensation plan. These are your products most familiar to the general public. Learn about client needs and recommend solutions the firm feels are most appropriate.
  5. Thou shall not kill thy career by doing something illegal. Don’t sign a client’s name to documents. Don’t accept orders in accounts other than theirs without a power of attorney on file. Don’t accept cash and write a check to the firm on their behalf. Don’t become complicit in a crime.
  6. Thou shalt not lie. This involves sins of commission, like telling them they can pull out all their money anytime without market risk or sins of omission, like not explaining fees and penalties thoroughly. The firm sends plenty of client documentation with lots of bold type. They will know.
  7. Thou shalt not steal fellow agent’s clients or leads. Remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Don’t poach clients from your peers while covering their phone, claiming they are neighbors. Don’t go through their desk drawers or guess at their computer password, looking for leads.
  8. Thou shalt not stop learning. As a newer agent or advisor, you have a big advantage. You know about the latest products and strategies. They are fresh in your mind. The office will have sales training and product rollout meetings. Attend them all with an open mind. Ask yourself: “Where would this fit into my business?”
  9. Thou shalt avoid negative co-workers. Many newer people don’t make it. You might find your peers complaining “I have no business” or established agents saying “I wouldn’t advise my kids to get into the business.” They will bring you down. Stay away from them. Seek out your mentor instead.
  10. Thou shalt not ignore thy client contact system. You might think you can retain client conversations in your head. Maybe, but you can’t recall everything at once. Your CRM system can keep track of client interests, when they said they have money coming in and the general conversations you have along the way. The system can prompt you when a significant event occurs, giving you a reason to get in touch. These records are also valuable in the case of client disputes.

Are there other rules to should follow? Of course. These ten cover most of the important stuff. Your mentor can tell you the rest.

— Read 10 Ways to Tactfully Get Your Point Acrosson ThinkAdvisor.

Bryce SandersBryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.