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How I'm making money in financial services.

Share Your Story: How To Make Money in Financial Services

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"Get to your desk early on Monday morning!"

You never know who's calling--don't lose a sale to a bright-eyed colleague.

"Know the names of the people you've prospected!"

You've prospected thousands of people. Put a name to a face when he visits.

"You're never too established to take prospect calls."

Tales of walk-in customers with securities certificates in tow are true.

"Understsand what your firm can do for the prospect."

If your customer needs a market maker, involve your manager to get the sale

Mike T. in Dallas, Texas

As a new stockbroker, I got a broker-of-the-day call on Monday morning. I was only in production about two weeks and my head was full of the details of how to succeed in business. I called a prospect who said he had $5 million of his company's stock available for sale. He was a telecom chief executive officer and said he needed to diversify the portfolio. Not really understanding what a restricted stock sale involved, I knew our compliance and restricted stock team could accomplish anything!

How I Did It

I'm still not sure how I did it. This was beginner's luck, according to some financial advisors in the office. The key to succeeding in financial services is "try everything." If your manager says "cold call," spend part of your day making cold calls. You'll learn how to face rejection if nothing else.

My advice to other financial advisors includes making a business plan. If you know what to do with every minute of each day, and you're using everything the firm just spent $50,000 teaching you, you're going to make money.

After my new client agreed to sell his restricted shares, I called in our portfolio evaluation team. My client needed a high quality portfolio of stocks and bonds after selling the stock. Reinvestment of the proceeds, dealing with tax issues and planning future stock sales was part of the plan.

My client didn't want hot stock tips. He needed financial planning advice. I didn't have my CFP then, but getting the CFP helps to guide the client. If you're a new financial advisor like I was, reach out to your manager first. Then call the departments of your firm necessary to convert the prospect to a customer.

Lessons Learned

  • We were told about the importance of keeping good records in training. I had no idea how easily I could lose a prospect to another advisor in the office. Let's say I got to the office after 8:30 a.m. that Monday morning. A colleague takes the incoming call. My prospect doesn't really remember my name. He's originally from France and says he's looking for "Michel." We don't have an advisor by that name, and the receptionist wants to help the prospect. Without knowing I've lost a sale, a colleague talks to the prospect and opens a new account. Good records are key to success! Know your prospect!

Donna Rodgers, About.com Financial Services, says:

Thanks Mike from Dallas! Your suggestions will help other financial advisors and stockbrokers make money!

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