You may have heard that most small businesses fail within 5 years and financial advisors are not immune to this statistic. So, as a business owner and financial advisor, how can you avoid failure and increase your chances of success?

After helping hundreds of financial advisors generate leads, appointments and clients here are my top tips on what the top 20% of successful financial advisors do to avoid failure.

I call these the “Traits of successful financial advisors”.

10 Traits of Successful Financial Advisors

Here are the qualities most successful financial advisors have in common:

1. Focus on what gets results

Business choice

Many financial advisors that I speak to are very busy but sometimes busy doing the wrong kinds of things.

In business, there are only three things that really matter:

  • Generating leads
  • Converting leads into clients
  • Getting your clients incredible results
  • So, ask yourself:

‘Is the work I’m doing right now contributing to the most important parts of my business?’

If not, say “no” to the busy work and focus only on the activities that get results.

Always spend your time and energy in the most productive manner possible. This simple rule holds whether you apply it to online marketing, resilience management, finance, or any other industry.

For example, I get a lot of financial advisors who spend countless hours networking, posting on social media every day, relying on referrals, cold calling and things like that.

But this does very little to actually get any results!

Instead, focus ONLY on the marketing activities that get quality leads, appointments and clients. To learn what these are, see step 4 of my free Masterclass training here.

2. Always keep your pipeline full

Woman on phone with prospect

To avoid failing as a financial advisor, your new business pipeline must always be full. In other words, you always need a constant supply of new leads each month who are interested in your services.

The sales process for financial planners is longer than most other industries (because of how much trust you need to build), so it’s important you don’t start prospecting only when your pipeline is getting low.

Always be prospecting – even if you’re already really busy!

You never know what the future holds…

3. Define your goals


Without defined goals, it can be difficult to create and stick to a plan that will help you achieve them. Without a plan, it’s easy to get sidetracked and never achieve your goals.

Defined goals can help you stay on track.

I recommend making short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.

To be successful in achieving your goals, you need to stay disciplined with your time, money and resources.

4. Hone your craft

Getting the proper education and credentials before working as an advisor is a good start.

But even after you’ve started working, it’s important to constantly hone your craft by studying industry trends and keeping up with best practices.

5. Be different

Financial advisor in a meeting

There are thousands of financial advisors out there. So, it’s important to try and differentiate yourself from everyone else.

There are a few ways to be unique as a financial advisor. One way is to specialize in a certain area, such as retirement planning or estate planning.

Another way is to offer a unique service, such as providing financial advice to small businesses. You can also focus on helping clients build wealth over the long term, rather than trying to get them to make short-term investments.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done.

If you need help with crafting a uniquely powerful message to get leads, appointments and clients be sure to watch ‘Step 1’ of my free Masterclass training.

We’ve got a lot of experience helping financial advisors successfully craft a unique selling point (USP) with digital marketing.

6. Be yourself

Each financial advisor has their own style and approach.

As you get out there and promote your services, you’ll find that the kind of clients you attract are also similar to you in personality and values.

For example, in my business, I’m less about shouting on social media about how great you are, getting more likes and other vanity metrics. Instead, I prefer more of a scientific and logical approach to marketing which focuses relentlessly ONLY on the activities that get results.

In other words, get MORE by doing less.

And interestingly the kind of clients I attract seem to resonate with this and want to work with me.

If someone is interested in being a social media star rather than a real genuine business owner, that’s fine. They will probably find another marketing consultant to help them instead of me.

The point is: you will attract the kind of people you WANT to work with by being yourself.

7. Invest in Evergreen Marketing Strategies

While many marketing gimmicks may die out quickly, it’s important to focus on evergreen strategies that will last.

Evergreen marketing strategies are those that can be used for a long period of time and will continue to generate results. Some evergreen marketing strategies include SEO, content marketing, and email marketing.

  • SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results.
  • Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience.
  • Email marketing is the process of sending newsletters or other promotional material to your subscribers.

Each of these evergreen marketing strategies can help you generate leads, appointments, and clients each month.

Investing in evergreen marketing strategies is an important part of growing your business.

To learn the best evergreen strategies we use with our financial advisor clients to help them get quality leads & appointments each month, watch ‘step 4’ of my free training.

8. Be knowledgeable about financial planning

You might think you already ARE knowledgeable about financial planning, but there’s always more to learn. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest rules, regulations and what’s happening in the markets.

A financial advisor needs to be knowledgeable about not just one aspect of retirement planning but ALL aspects of financial planning because it is their job to help their clients reach their financial goals.

The better a financial advisor is knowledgeable about financial planning, the more they can help their clients create a plan that fits their unique needs and circumstances.

9. Have patience

Financial advisors need to have patience because the market can be unpredictable. Advisors need to be able to stay calm during market downturns and not make rash decisions that could end up costing their clients money.

Financial advisors also need to be patient in order to build trust with their clients.

It can take time for new clients to feel comfortable enough to share all of their financial information with their advisor, and it can take time for the advisor to develop a plan that meets the client’s needs.

10. Be proactive

A financial advisor’s job is to help clients save money and make wise investment choices.

To do this, they need to be proactive in monitoring the market and making suggestions to clients.

They also need to be prepared to act quickly when opportunities arise.

By being proactive, financial advisors can help their clients stay ahead of the curve and make the most of their money.

The bottom line

A good financial advisor will focus on what gets results for both their own firm and for their client’s money.

In other words, you need a solid marketing strategy that constantly brings in new prospective clients and a good financial plan to ensure clients are happy in retirement.

FAQs about successful financial advisors