There's a lot of chatter about the great generational wealth transfer and how advisors can win over the millennial clients who will inherit a big chunk of baby boomer assets.
But what about how millennial-aged advisors can attract clients and build a solid book of business? After speaking with financial advisors of all ages about what they have learned and what they wish they knew before, I assembled these five tips for today's brand-new advisors:
1. Be smart about social media use
When using social media, you don't want to be overly self-promotional. Your social media brethren are looking for information and conversation. On LinkedIn, consider writing blog posts on topics that speak to your specialty and liking, or commenting — in a positive way — on interesting articles that others write. On Twitter, you can favorite or retweet stories that speak to your investment philosophy or view on the markets. You can also pick up stories on product trends and educate yourself. Of course, the extent to which you participate actively in social media depends on the approval of your compliance department.
2. Plan to bump into prospective clients
This is about networking with people who have similar interests as you — people who might also become clients. If you are a member of an upscale health club, consider hitting the gym at off hours, say 10 a.m., when there’s a better chance that executives who have the freedom to set their own schedules will be there, too. This can also be your excuse to splurge on a fancy golf, tennis or country club membership. You may soon find that you never again eat lunch by yourself.
3. Own your relationships
Often, new financial advisors will bring in a senior advisor to help them land a client. The senior advisor is, of course, compensated for doing this. You need to be sure to communicate up front with that advisor what his or her role will be — not just in that client meeting but afterwards — as well as your desire to control or own the client relationship as you move forward. Otherwise, you may have just helped your more experienced colleague land a new client.
4. Manage your time wisely
You need to plan so that you spend your time on activities that will lead to your greatest success. A common distraction for new advisors is constantly checking on the performance of their clients' investments. If you know and understand the products you recommended to your clients, then you should have the confidence to not check performance daily. Take the long view — isn't that what you tell your clients?
Once the term “emerging markets” was used in benchmarks, it was stuck for all eternity. But how has reality evolved?
5. Know your elevator pitch (aka value proposition)
This is about being able to define in a succinct way what you do for clients that differs from your competition. Be specific and truthful. Example: "I specialize in working with young families to help them achieve their financial goals of saving for retirement and their children's college educations. I can help you allocate your IRA and select 529 college savings plans. When your child is in high school, I can even tell you which standardized test prep courses are worth the price and help you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid."
Success with clients is one thing; being able to communicate that value to prospective clients is priceless.
Jon Lagerstedt is director of Internal Sales for Wells Fargo Asset Management.