1. Show confidence
I first entered the industry as a client-facing adviser when I was 20 and I was worried that the older generation of clients would think I was too young to advise them. While I was still in training, each of my meetings had to be observed by a senior member of staff, normally the head of financial planning (mid 40s).
One day when I was undertaking a review for a client she said to me “A young man looks like a young man to me, whether they are 40 or 20.” This gave me a lot of confidence and I started to see that clients liked that I was new to the industry and in particular that I had taken my qualifications based on new legislation.
2. Be prepared
As new advisers we inevitably lack experience in certain areas. It really is true that 'we don’t know what we don’t know' and as such, I've found that preparation is key. If you are adequately prepared, you cannot be caught out - so never be afraid to ask questions.
3. Develop soft skills
There is so much more to financial planning than just exams and technical knowledge. What we do not know and have to develop very quickly are engagement and communicational skills. I've read various books that have helped me to consciously think about my body language and how I interact with others in order to provide the most comfortable and engaging experience for my clients. I would also recommend shadowing other advisers as we all have different styles, and you can take the best attributes from each adviser and use them to improve your engagement with clients.
4. Play to your strengths
There is a huge market of entrepreneurs and young professionals that need advice and more often than not when we are interacting socially we will be engaging with these types of people. Play to your strengths and remain proactive to attract clients who you can work with over the long term.Read more