Tips for Helping a Junior Advisor Succeed
Bringing a junior partner into your financial planning firm can help you to grow your business, delegate important tasks to someone else and bring a fresh perspective into your office. And, of course you want to see your new partner succeed, as their success is also your success. But it’s hard getting started in this business, so here’s a list of things that you can do to help a newbie get off the ground as a financial planner. (For more, see:How Advisors Can Help Junior Partners Flourish .)
- Give them some time and space – The first year in the financial planning business can seem overwhelming to many starters. Licensing, compliance, sales training, product training and reams of paperwork all come on top of the pressure to succeed in the business. Allow them some time each day to study for their license and designation exams and then take them with you on a few appointments. This can help them to see how what they are learning can be applied in real situations.
- Give them a few clients to work with – This can help new partners understand how new accounts are set up and what paperwork needs to be done to open an account. Ideally you want them to learn this as quickly as possible so that they can bring in new business on their own. But handing them a few retail and retirement accounts they can play with will probably be the fastest way to teach them this.
- Help them find an effective avenue for prospecting – If your new partner has a military background, then they may be wise to go back and prospect some of their former associates in that field. Or, if they are starting a new career in financial planning in midlife and have entered the field from another background, they could go back to their old company and prospect their former coworkers.
This is of course one of the most important tasks to accomplish early on in their tenure, so that they have a way to bring in new business while they learn the ropes. (For more, see:5 Top Ways New Advisors Can Land Clients .)
- Pay them enough to survive – Working on straight commission can be hard on new partners, especially if they have families and are the sole breadwinners. If you plan on having them work on straight commission eventually, start them with at least a monthly draw against that commission or a nominal base salary that at least covers their vital expenses. This can allow them to concentrate more on their sales skills and remembering everything else they need to know instead of where their next meal is coming from.
- Provide them with extra incentives and rewards – Although your brokerage firm may pay them commissions or fees for business brought in, you may be able to buoy that with additional incentives such as buying their lunch for each new account they open or for placing a certain number of trades by lunch time. Little rewards can make a big motivational difference with some people, so take the time to find out what your partner would really like to get for doing the things you want them to do. This type of incentive can go a long way towards helping your partner to develop the right habits early on, which can pay big dividends for both of you going forward. (For more, see:Finding and Hiring New Financial Advisors for Your Practice .)
The Bottom Line
When you help junior partners get established, you can help your business to reach new heights of productivity and profitability. Don’t let your new partners get discouraged if they do not find success right away; this business often takes time to develop. (For more, see:How to Train Your New Financial Advisor .)