I work with and am friends with a number of financial advisors. In a recent conversation with a veteran in the business we discussed the main reasons new advisors don’t make it. Truthfully your odds of making it in the business are pretty slim if you just do what they tell you do to, but your actions determine your results and your future.

Lots of people enter the industry and only are rare few are still in the business after five years, and even fewer are successful. As we spoke we shared our experiences as to why so many people with so much potential fail from the perspective of the veteran who has seen people come and go like a revolving door, and the coach who works with the elite few who are committed to making it. By the end of our conversation we had a list of 9 mistakes those new to the business make that lead to their failure:

  1. you still have a wage earner mind-set and lack the entrepreneurial drive to make it work no matter what
  2. you think you’re selling products
  3. you don’t understand that it’s all about the relationships you’re able to start and build
  4. you lack focus, direction, and commitment causing you to get off track going in the wrong direction changing directions to chase the next great idea
  5. you think you’re different that you’re a super star, but you’re actions don’t back up your bravado
  6. you have a scarcity mentality and you’re afraid to invest in yourself to develop the skills you need to succeed
  7. you think you know what to do, but you don’t know how to do it
  8. you don’t know what you don’t know and you aren’t trying to figure out what you don’t know or how to know it
  9. you confuse activity with results and burn out with little to show for your tremendous efforts.

Did you recognize any of those fatal mistakes in yourself, or are you thinking you aren’t making those mistakes but you know others who are? I know the list is pretty harsh, but review it again and be harshly honest with yourself. If you aren’t headed where you want to be it’s pretty likely that one or more of those mistakes are getting in your way.

So what do you do if you confess that one of those mistakes is making things difficult for you? Congratulate yourself because the first step to removing any challenge or obstacle is recognizing it exists. You have the opportunity to both strengthen your sales skills and your sales results.

If you were sitting with a potential client and they identified a problem how would you proceed? Would you get them to identify all the problems or challenges they face, and then help them to prioritize the top three? After you agreed on the most important problems wouldn’t you help them to choose one of perhaps three solutions? Then wouldn’t you help them to take action(s) based on the selected solution? Hmmm, do you suppose that would work for you too?

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