By: RAO GARUDA
The inevitable market shift from the product commission model toward fee-based consulting will test advisors’ capacity for survival and success. In order to thrive in the change, advisors must exhibit strength, smarts and adaptability, and compound the improvements to keep practices profitable without sacrificing quality.
Draw On Strength For Power
In order to succeed, advisors need emotional, ethical and professional strength and personal resolve. This strength is built up by confidence and stems from competence, professional experience and access to resources like mentors and best practices. More ethical and successful advisors who are motivated by client satisfaction and well-being rather than commission will have no problem achieving success in the new structure. They understand that clients come first and the rest will take care of itself.
Turn Experience Into Smarts
Advisors need to draw on smarts – experience, successes and failures – rather than education to succeed. Experience is more impactful because it flows from first-hand knowledge and ties emotions to the lessons learned. The highs and lows of trial, error and perseverance are more effective and immediate instructors than a lecturer or an article.
Without adaptability, advisors may exhaust strength and smarts only to excel at obsolete tactics. Advisors must react to some regulatory shifts, like pay structure, but the next step is to select when to change. Advisors must learn to refuse adaptation if it doesn’t make sense for them to avoid fads and trends that dilute their service.
Fee-based advising is the latest in a long line of challenges advisors have had to overcome on the path to success. In order to remain indispensable to clients and avoid irrelevance, advisors must focus on clients’ well-being as an end goal. Nothing lasts forever in business, even indispensability. Stay adaptable and keep up with your skills by learning best practices from fellow advisors and mentors.
Rao Garuda, ChFC®, CLU® is a 35-year MDRT member, with 24 Top of the Table and 24 Court of the table qualifications. He is the author of several books, including The Meaning of Money: Creating Not Just Wealth on Your Balance Sheet But Significance in Your Life.