10 tips for young advisors and associates

By Marcia McDougall | May 24, 2013 | Last updated on May 24, 2013
2 min read

This article originally appeared on benefitscanada.com.

Clients are demanding more attention, as well as more value-added services.

This means advisors have to be on top of their game at all times. They need additional support from colleagues and associates, who need to be smarter, more collaborative and increasingly focused on getting results as well as sales.

Read: Veteran’s advice for young advisors

Sarah J. Beech, president of Pal Benefits, offers these pointers to associates and assistants:

1. Do your research. Before going to a meeting, do a quick search for the latest industry news, and look over the client’s information to get a handle on their financials and situation.

Read: Offering your clients more

2. Be prepared. Bring your business cards. Have an extra set of printed materials in case an additional person is at the meeting. Make sure you have cash: you might need it for a parking meter or lunch in the client’s cafeteria.

Read: Step-by-step branding

3. Listen. You may not be the spokesperson, but you’re not at a meeting simply to fill a chair. Listen carefully to everything that’s said and learn from every experience. You may even get a chance to put forward an idea, and highlight your skills.

Read: How to encourage better ideas

4. Ask questions. Make sure you really understand a client’s or fellow co-worker’s request. Don’t simply take it at face value.

5. Gather feedback. You don’t have to wait until your annual performance review. Ask colleagues for their thoughts on how you presented yourself following a meeting or the conclusion of a project.

Read: Mentoring young advisors

6. Know your business. Be familiar with all your firm’s offers, even those outside your practice. Read press releases and marketing materials, attend company lunch-and-learns, and scan the company website.

7. Stay current and relevant. Clients are relying on you to bring new, appropriate ideas to them, so stay on top of trends.

Read: Teach young advisors to prospect

8. Communicate effectively and appropriately. If you get no response from an email, phone your client to ensure he received it. Keep business and personal emails separate—not everyone needs to know what you did on the weekend.

Read: 5 ways to boost client communication

9. Develop a team mentality. Listen for new challenges clients needs help with and bring in other consultants as needed.

10. Get involved. Volunteer to lead a project. Make suggestions for improvement and be part of the solution.


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Marcia McDougall