Why Financial Advisors are Quitting the Industry (In 2024 )
The Reality Check: Why Many Financial Advisors Fail and How to Avoid Their Mistakes
Take a closer look here and learn about the gap between reality and the expectations of financial advisors. Discover why you might fail as a financial advisor.
Financial advisors come into the industry all fired up, thinking they're going to create this massive empire. They think they have everything they need to "make it."
Sadly, most of them don't. And quitting the industry is becoming a major trend, as many financial advisors say a hard goodbye and choose to pursue other career endeavors.
There is no comfort in the numbers:
- The retention rate is low: By the fifth year, only 15-16% of advisors will still be in business.
- Over 90% of financial advisors in the industry do not last three years. Putting it simply: 9 advisors out of 10 would fail!
What's shocking is that most of the advisors who quit checked all the appropriate boxes you'd think is "enough" - they had all the licenses they needed and a degree.
Before you get bummed out about the facts and figures above, the good news is that you're reading this guide, so I'll tell you the mistakes to avoid so you can stay in the game. Take a step further and sign up for our sales training to learn the proven strategies that will help you grow and succeed in the financial advisory industry.
Now, let's dive in and discover why financial advisors leave the industry and the common mistakes they make when it comes to generating leads and closing deals. We'll also explore the proven strategies that can help you succeed in the financial advisory industry and grow your business.
Reasons Why People Leave Their Jobs As Financial Advisors
I've been a financial adviser for over 22 years and have seen many colleagues leave the industry.
The reasons why they left are varied, but some common themes emerge:
Advisors Who Don't Have a System for Generating Leads and Closing Deals are in Trouble
The only thing harder than closing a deal is finding the right client in the first place.
I know that seems like a weird thing to say, but it's true!
You come into the office, and you sit at your desk. You stare blankly at the screen for a few minutes, unsure what to do. Then you open up your email, deciding to check it out. You look through hundreds of emails from clients and prospects. Some of them have questions about tax changes. One of them wants to schedule a meeting so that you can talk about their situation over dinner one night this week. Other prospects want investment advice without being able to pay for it—a complete waste of time. All the while, you haven’t made any outbound calls to prospective clients to book appointments.
This is the kind of day that many financial advisors regularly have. They are stuck in this rut because they don't know how to generate leads or close deals and waste their time on ineffective marketing strategies.
And you know how it plays out:
Without quality leads, you can't close deals. And without closing deals, there are no new clients to service — which means no revenue and career growth.
Eventually, these advisors quit.
But I'll tell you this:
Overcoming the failure to get clients shouldn't be a nightmare—it should feel natural, like muscle memory, and your client base doubles yearly! (seriously, if you follow the prospecting strategies laid out in the Taylor Method sales system, it's hard not to double.)
So why do so many financial advisors fail at getting clients? The reasons below explain all:
The Top 6 Reasons Why You'll Struggle To Get Clients And Fail As A Financial Advisor
Poor Prospecting Strategies
I always tell advisors who care to listen that the amount of money you make as an advisor depends on two factors: your ability to sell and your ability to prospect. One or both of these skills are weak if you're not making much money.
Unfortunately, more doesn't necessarily mean good. And this is where many advisors get it wrong. They spend too many resources on strategies like cold calling and buying a lead list, and they try every new tool that comes along — but they never actually get it. They keep doing this until they end up frustrated and quit. You don't have to be one of them - you can take advantage of the information in this post.
Maybe you're afraid of what the prospect might say or how they could react. You need to overcome that fear if you want to make sales!
You may be afraid of rejection because it is so common for financial advisors. However, rejection is a natural part of any business. You will not be able to overcome this fear unless you are willing to face it head-on.
Fear manifests itself in several ways:
- They simply won’t engage a prospective client at an event
- They don't ask enough questions during an initial conversation with prospects.
- They are intimidated to reach high-net-worth individuals (this is a huge one).
- They don't follow up after an initial meeting with prospects.
If you're struggling to get clients because you're afraid to approach people, I have good news: The fear is in your head!
It's not real and doesn't exist outside your mind.
Here are three ways to overcome fear:
1. Don't be afraid to fail; instead, be afraid not to succeed!
2. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want; instead, be afraid that you'll never get it if you don't ask!
3. Be afraid (in a good way) of what you can achieve when you develop confidence in your process and language—sign-up for the Taylor Method.
Failure To Invest In Learning
Many advisors believe they can get by with a few sales tactics, a book of business, and a little luck. This is completely false, especially in a field like finance, where things can change very quickly. You need to always keep up with the latest trends so that you can be on top of your game. A lack of knowledge will make it difficult for you to attract and retain clients. Over time these advisors end up doing what they know, which can lead to a lack of confidence when results dwindle. At this point it becomes much harder to recalibrate your process if you haven’t been investing in yourself throughout your career. Think of all the new opportunities and ways to grow your business that were lost by not investing!
Take time every so often to learn something new from a mentor or take a course you can use in your business. It gives you more tools to use when prospecting, helps build your confidence, and gives you new ideas for marketing yourself.
They Easily Get Discouraged
If you want to succeed as a financial advisor, you need to be able to push yourself through the hard times. You'll have days where it feels like no one is interested in what you have to offer and that the world will end if you don't find a new client immediately. It's easy to give up on yourself and your business when things like this happen, but if you reach your lofty goals in this line of business, then you need to learn how to keep going even when things get tough. Another important thing you can also do is join a "tribe" of fellow advisors. This way, you'll be able to talk about your challenges with other colleagues who are all about what you're doing. Plus, they can encourage you and help keep you motivated!
Failure To Be A Value Add
Another reason why many financial advisors fail is that they don't provide value to their clients. Clients want to know that they are investing in something worthwhile, and if they feel like they are wasting their money, they won't bother returning. If you want to succeed as a financial advisor, then you need to learn to become a facilitator of solutions and not another salesperson. I know this sounds contrary to what I normally say about being a salesperson, but when you become a “facilitator of solutions”, you’re not just trying to sell someone products. You’re looking at their whole picture and identifying gaps that require a solution - whether you can provide that solution or not! This is the only way to unlock juicy opportunities for a sale.
If you want to learn how to become a “facilitator of solutions” and grow a sustained insurance and financial services practice, you must sign up for the Taylor Method.
They Fail To Handle Objections
Prospects will most likely have objections when they hear about your services and products, especially if you are not a “facilitator of solutions”. It gets worse: most prospects won't tell you what their objections are directly, so being able to squash them effectively before they arise will help improve your chances of closing the deal.
When your intention is to sell a product, you tend to steer the conversations toward those sales, and in the process, miss out on asking critical questions to find every gap in their planning. This creates holes in your recommendations, and holes create objections.
Avoid holes in your recommendations and start implementing our ‘objections-free sales process.”
Being A Financial Advisor Wasn't All They Thought It Would Be
Many people assumed that being a financial advisor was just about selling products and making lots of money. Being a financial advisor is quite hard work — you have to learn about all sorts of different products, stay up-to-date on changes in the industry, keep your clients happy and learn how to talk to them about money in ways they understand and trust. Plus, there's little room for error — if you don't give good advice, your clients may leave you for someone else who can help them better meet their goals.
Given all of these, it's no wonder why so many advisors decide to quit their jobs every year.
Pressure To Meet (Unrealistic) Targets And Burnout
As the financial advisor market has become more competitive and technology has made it easier for customers to shop around for advice, financial advisors have found themselves under pressure to meet sales targets.
While most advisors want to believe that they are doing this job because they love it, there are times when they feel forced into the situation and cannot get out of it. It is especially true for those with bosses who are always breathing down their necks.
And it's not just about convincing people—it's about convincing yourself.
The world of big-firm financial advising can be a pressure-cooker filled with long hours, sleepless nights, and always tight deadlines. For many advisors, perfectionism is part of the problem. Eventually, they can't push themselves any further - they've had enough and throw in the towel!
That's not all:
Working in an adversarial environment can affect an advisor's mental health. If you spend all day trying to convince people, it's hard not to take things personally when they prove you wrong or refuse your advice entirely.
In the end, it all adds up:
Those who have worked in this environment for a long time may feel like nothing will ever change, and all hope is lost, driving them to leave their jobs.
Lack Of Fulfillment
Most advisors start their businesses to leave a legacy they can be proud of. They wanted to own their time, work in the markets they liked, and solve problems with people they valued.
Unfortunately, most advisors are stuck in traditional financial planning and portfolio management firms that often don't align with their values or goals. They are required to spend their days selling products and services they don't believe in. Far too many advisors find themselves working 9-5 (or worse) at a job that doesn't fulfill them or make them happy.
When we pursue a profession, our intention is not only that we are compensated well but that it inspires us and fulfills our need to make the world a better place. If you feel like your job is not where you want to be, either financially or adding value, it's time to make a change.
Don't be afraid to leave your job if it's not fulfilling you. It took me several years after leaving my job to realize that I had finally made the right decision. At first, it felt like it was all downhill from there: no more salary, no more health benefits, and other perks! However, in hindsight, those were just superficial benefits that didn't mean much in the long run. What mattered most was finally doing what I loved – helping people get on track for financial freedom!
You can be like me - feel free to get in touch, and I'll be glad to help you start your path to building a successful insurance and financial service practice.
Failure of the Financial Advisor Education System
Financial advisors are leaving the industry for all sorts of reasons, but in most cases, the root cause can be traced to the same origin: failed training programs.
The result is that many advisors struggle to build an enduring practice.
Because they lack the tools, resources, and support needed to become successful financial advisors.
Don't get me wrong:
Yes, they could explain concepts like asset allocation, portfolio theory, and risk management — but they don't have a clear vision of integrating these concepts into their daily business activities or making them relevant to their clients.
Here is the thing:
Without specialized training as an advisor:
- You won't discover high percentage prospecting strategies that bring in the money you want to make. Instead, you'll be frustrated doing low percentage activities like cold calling.
- You can easily become intimidated by high-net-worth individuals who want more than just a "cookie cutter" approach to investing.
- You'll struggle to understand personality types; therefore, you can't "Fact Find" more effectively.
- It becomes nearly impossible to uncover juicy sales opportunities with each "Fact Find."
- When it comes time for you to discuss fees with clients, chances are high that it won't always go well because you've been made to believe a myth that you must "sell" hard or go home. The problem with "selling hard" is you might come across as pushing your services on the client, which can get them to feel they're being manipulated, which in turn causes them to put up their defenses.
It's no surprise that many of these advisors who have been trained in this way leave the profession within a few years - often citing frustration with what they perceive as a lack of ability to help their clients.
What Financial Advisors Who Quit Wish They knew When They Started
Like many of you, I started my career as a financial advisor, working from the bottom up. Work hard and climb the ladder was the formula for success in the world I knew. Man, was I wrong!
Little did I know, when it came down to it, that what mattered was leveraging a tried and trusted sales process. A proven process saves you time and helps you drive more revenue for your business — without which you will have a very tough time making it in this business.
No matter how much experience you have or how well-educated you are (and believe me, there's no shortage of either on this blog), your chances of success are slim if you don't have sales coaching and mentoring.
Hear me out:
The problem is that many advisors assume selling means pushing products on their clients. To be successful in this business, you need to understand the entire sales cycle and how your potential prospects/ clients think, feel and behave to position yourself as a trusted advisor who understands their needs and wants.
In short: You need to stop selling and become a "problem solver."
And that and more is what proper sales training for advisors is about.
And that brings us to…
How Not To Quit As A Financial Advisor
There's no getting around the fact: that life is an adventure, and if you're sitting at a cubicle, reading this, you need to get more out of life. And the only thing that can accurately describe what The Taylor Method does for financial advisors is "life-changing."
The Taylor Method has helped thousands of financial advisors realize their full potential by providing them with the sales system - including tools, languages, and support they need to reach their financial goals faster than they ever thought possible. We invite you to begin your journey today!
But seriously, do you want to be in the same shoes as those who have failed as financial advisors? Their failures are not yours to share. The road ahead is long and rough, but you can make a good living as an advisor if you decide to take this advice and sign up for the Taylor Method today!