What type of Financial Professional are you?

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

It is 2021 yet it somehow feels like 2020 has not ended. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, our lives, and the way we do business. There is a lot of discussion about the new normal and how this next normal will be different. Just as we use the terms “pre-independence” and “post-independence” to describe the 20th century, the future generations are likely to use terms Pre-COVID-19 and Post-COVID-19 eras.  We are today living in between these 2 eras and the decisions and actions that we take today will determine where we land. This is a period when the greatest lifetime opportunity has been presented to every financial professional regardless of size, and location. I am sure many would agree but if you disagree, let me give you a few points to think about.

There are a few types of financial professionals that I see these days:

  1. The ones who went all out, guided people, calmed nerves and acquired some of their best clients of their working lives (This financial professional segment is probably 1% or less of the population).
  2. The ones who stopped calling clients or prospects during the pandemic.
  3. The ones who allowed their clients to get out of the market and who are still out of the market.
  4. The ones who scream risk every time – before the pandemic, during the pandemic (including now) and even after the pandemic. For these folks, screaming risk is a sales tactic. All it takes is to lay a seed of doubt in someone’s mind “The markets are so expensive, and our research department is of the view”.
  5. There are some who are waiting for someone to escort them on a red carpet and give everything on a silver plate.
  6. Finally there are many who are simply busy hiding behind webinars, Market Commentaries and NFO presentations.

It is so unbelievable that even though there are millions of prospects who need our guidance, care and assistance; yet there are very few professionals and firms, who are ready to grab the opportunity. There are so many clients that have been let down by their financial professional in the last 1 year and many of them are really looking for a real financial professional who will guide them in an uncertain landscape.

Can you believe a firm signed up a client who will invest Rs.23 Crore? Yes, you might be surprised but this prospect was waiting for the right person to call and meet. An additional unbelievable thing for many. This sign up was done in 1 meeting. Yes 1 Meeting. I will not get into the details of the case here, but I have covered this process step by step in my up-coming book “The HappyRich Advisor”.

So why aren’t many acquiring clients if this is the greatest client acquisition opportunity ever? There are many reasons but some of the key ones are “Fear and Limiting Beliefs”.

There are questions and thoughts such as:

  • What do I tell the prospect?
  • Why will he invest now?
  • I believe they already have other advisors.
  • I do not think people will invest now and this noise keeps growing with the markets going up every 1000 points.
  • Let me wait till things are back to normal or let the markets correct.

This is nothing but our mind playing games with us. In short, we hide behind these reasons.

One of the cardinal rules is that you must understand that for every YES you get from a prospect, you are likely to get many NOs and you are likely to say NO to some. Thus, there is no magic bullet that every prospect you meet will sign up. This will never happen even if you have the world’s best solution. Like I have mentioned earlier, 30% of the people in this world will never become your client, 30% will wait until you are the only professional left in this world, so your audience is really the balance 40%. I will explain this concept someday but for now, understand that you cannot get everyone excited.

Now that you have understood this, the next step is to reach out to as many people as you can. The more people you meet, the better you get. There is very little prospecting or client acquisition that is really happening. In fact, many have lost sizable clients and there are millions who are looking for a real professional.

Finally, the question to ask yourself is “Which type of financial professional am I?

I hope the answer will be “the one who will go all out to make a real difference in the lives of people. Make 2021 the year where you obsess over your Client Experience, Client Acquisition and reaching out to people who are waiting for you.