AdvicePay Financial Advisor Community Blog

5 Common Sales Mistakes to Avoid as a Financial Advisor

April 23, 2021 By Isabelle McGrail
Isabelle McGrail

As a financial advisor, selling yourself is a considerable portion of your job. While selling yourself can sometimes feel daunting and involve continual shifts in strategy, you can expedite your journey to perfecting your sales approach by identifying your missteps as you refine and perfect your sales strategy. Here are 5 of the most common sales mistakes we see and ways you can avoid making them.

1. Not Taking the Time to Personalize Your Communications or Cater Your Approach to the Specific Prospect

We all get caught up in the everyday busyness of balancing the demands of work, family, and personal life. You might have hundreds of emails to reply to on top of back-to-back meetings, and while this can be daunting, it is crucial not to rush through things and to take the time to personalize your emails and follow-ups to clients. Many of us have been the recipient of a sloppy email from a salesperson where they call you by the incorrect name or forget to plug in a personalized sentiment in an email. This is the number one way to deter a prospective client. Take that extra minute or two to customize your emails and give each prospect the attentiveness that will turn them into a happy, paying client! 


2. Making False Promises or Saying Yes to Things You Aren’t Sure About

Be honest with your prospects and clients about the services you offer and what you can and can’t do for them. As salespeople, we always want to be positive and win over every prospect, but a crucial part of sales is knowing when to be truthful if something is not a good fit for someone. It is problematic to make false promises and will only result in a headache for both you and the client. If you are honest and let the client know that you are not the best fit for them or that you can’t offer a service they are specifically asking about, you’ll win in several other ways.

  • One) they will have more trust in you as a result of your honesty and might refer you to a friend or someone else who could be a good fit for your services.
  • Two) You won’t waste your time or their time in putting unnecessary work into a relationship that is bound to fail. If you have a client service team or have an assistant who helps you, you’ll also be saving them from dealing with a potentially angry or upset client who was misled about your services.
  • Three) They might not be a good fit for your services right now, but they might come back in the future! You’ll stand out against the competition due to the honesty and authenticity you showed in letting them know you weren’t a good fit for them at that time. 


3. Failing to Truly Listen and/or Overselling Your Services 

It is rare that every prospect you encounter will have the exact same issues or needs. Don’t try to fit prospects into a templated approach or use the same “sales pitch” for everyone. It is important to personalize your approach while genuinely listening to what the prospect is telling you. From there, focus solely on those issues and what you can specifically offer them based on their unique situation. Don’t overwhelm your prospect by telling them about all the other things you could help them with and the variety of other services you offer (unless they ask about this, then go for it)! For example, if a prospect lets you know they want to focus on tackling their college debt, don’t try to start selling them on creating a retirement plan or offer other unrelated planning advice. Maybe down the road, they will be interested in tackling other issues and will want to take advantage of more of your services. In the short term, giving them extraneous information will only overload them and likely deter them from working with you. 


4. Focusing Too Much on Cost/Price

Focus on the value you will provide for your prospects and clients instead of worrying about the cost. Be confident in what you are charging your clients. You know your value as a financial advisor, and if you strongly believe in the fees you are charging, you’ll give off an air of confidence that will help your prospect feel trusted and reassured in engaging in your services. Practice saying your fees out loud while looking in the mirror until you feel totally comfortable and poised enough to do it in a live meeting with a prospect. It is easy for a prospect (or anyone) to pick up on hesitations, and showing hesitation in terms of your fees will only hurt you. If you think you might not be charging suitable fees, AdvicePay has an incredible Fee Calculator tool that can assist you in formulating fees and experimenting with different fee calculations. You can even show your prospect or client the exact fee calculation breakdown to let them know exactly how you got to the value that you are charging.


5. Failing to Follow Up and Ask For a Decision 

This seems obvious but is likely one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make. It can feel awkward to outright ask a prospect for their decision or feedback; however, it is one of the most helpful things you can do. Before you ask for a decision, make sure you’ve been following up with the prospect to check in on any questions, concerns, or needs they might have before making a decision. Make yourself available to them during the sales process so they can get a glimpse of the first-class service they will receive if they become a client! 

Selling will always require A/B testing and pivoting of strategy in how you approach prospects, but if you avoid these common mistakes, you are sure to gain confidence when pitching yourself and outshine your competition.


Posted by Isabelle McGrail

As a Lead Business Development Associate, Isabelle is excited to help prospective users learn about how they can get the most out of the AdvicePay platform. Prior to joining our team, Isabelle worked for a video licensing company, giving her a unique perspective on sales and customer service. When she’s not helping prospective users see all the glory of AdvicePay, you can find Isabelle camping, spoiling her dog, and eating sushi while dreaming of her one-day vacation to Thailand.

Topics: Practice Management, Client Relationships, Sales