Why Are Financial Advisor Training Programs So Broken?

Why do advisor training programs have low success rates?

There are a few different MAJOR reasons new trainees do not succeed in this field.

Most commonly, they are

There are several reasons why most financial advisor training programs fail. Employees need to be effectively trained and motivated to succeed.

Over half of all financial advisors fail the fiduciary test. Not only must participants be able to understand the contract of a fiduciary advisor, they need to be able to follow the detailed legal paperwork, billing statements and client contracts.

Employees are less likely to receive formal training when they are under the constant pressure to deliver. Therefore, a financial advisor training program that ensures an employee is given adequate training and allowed to focus on their craft will increase success rates.

The required size of the advisor/client base differs across firms and products.

How do firms find the best candidates for their programs?

The first step is to identify the problem. Whether this be through a focus group or research and interviews, it’s important to look at the reasons an advisor may not be successful.

Advisors may not understand their financial goals and how to implement the changes they want to make. Therefore, a training program might be more successful if they took a look at the firm and identified any glaring gaps that they can fill in order to identify success and overcome any current barriers to improving.

An example of this would be bringing on new advisors who are excited about the firm and do not have strong enough work ethic to fully execute on the programs the firm is providing.

What can be done to help advisors succeed?

There are many factors that go into a successful training program, but here are a few things financial advisors can do to help their program succeed:

• Trainers need to deliver the content – the content should be informative and self-paced, but also be engaging and provide actionable takeaways.

• Provide the accountability component – for training to be successful, you need to take accountability for it. But it also needs to be flexible, flexible enough to quickly scale or pivot to meet the needs of your team and clients.

• Ensure content and delivery is engaging – advisors can feel disconnected from their training and it can be too technical or theoretical.

Convey that this is primarily a sales position. Those that are not interested in sales or marketing will not pursue such a role. Determining a clear career path for advisors, including clear expectations about the roles advisors can be expected to play, is essential.

What are some ways that firms can improve this training program?

One of the main things that firms need to do to improve their training program’s success rate is to hire a seasoned, well-respected trainer who is known for his hard work ethic and mastery of the fundamentals.

Also, firms should try to limit the number of participants in their program so that they don’t end up having to spend too much money and time training those who don’t show promise or the willingness to commit to learning.

Another way that firms can improve their training program’s success rate is to put the focus on each individual’s needs. Rather than getting too busy with the various aspects of the program, let each advisor or team member take ownership of their specific learning and education goals.

Conclusion

Financial advisors can spend a significant portion of their time managing clients, much more than most of us realize. Unfortunately, they spend less time learning and developing the skills necessary to be successful.

In fact, the Advisor Center found that the majority of financial advisors spend only 11 hours per week on training, education and continuous learning. Financial advisors are role models.

People look to their advisors as having the right knowledge, experience and skills to provide the best possible advice. As advisors, you play an integral role in educating clients and building their confidence, which results in satisfied clients.