March 31, 2023

Learn These 7 Skillsets to Be a Successful Financial Advisor

master the art of financial advisory

Mindy Wee
Customer Success @ Finberty
Mindy Wee

For the right person, working as a financial advisor in Singapore can be a fruitful career that’s both enjoyable and very profitable. If you lead a team or grow your own business, the earning potential can be practically uncapped, and it’s a career where you get to help others while continuing your professional development. However, it would be misleading to claim that anyone can waltz straight into a position and achieve success.

financial advisory skillsets

Financial advisory isn’t an easy ride, and you’ll need to possess a specific skillset to achieve success. We don’t say that to scare you off, but rather to encourage you to do your research and address any possible shortcomings beforehand.

Therefore, we’ll run through the top skillsets you need to master to become a successful insurance agent in Singapore.

1. Ability to make connections with others

Making connections is one of the most important aspects of being a financial advisor. When you give advice about topics as important as finances and insurance, nobody wants generic and impersonal advice — they want to feel that they’re talking to someone they can trust and who has their best interests at heart. For that, you need to develop connections with your clients.

Financial advisors making connection with clients

There are some cases when it will be effortless to create a genuine bond with people and treat them as if they were your friends. But a financial advisor needs to be able to create this kind of chemistry for people from all walks of life, even if they wouldn’t normally socialize with them.

2. Empathy and compassion

It’s not just about what you say, it’s about how you say it. Nobody wants to buy an insurance policy from a robot; they want someone who understands and sympathizes with their individual situation and who feels compelled to help them.

In many ways, being a financial advisor in Singapore is similar to working as a salesperson, because you’re primarily earning through commission; therefore, you have an incentive to sell as many policies as you can. But if people get the sense that you’re trying to sell to them rather than help them, they’ll instantly get turned off and struggle to trust you. The solution? Letting your empathy and compassion shine through to clients.

empathy and compassion build good relationships

All good salespeople know that selling is about listening rather than talking. Instead of focusing on developing the perfect sales pitch for your products, learn to listen to the needs of your clients and give recommendations based on the problems they’re facing. The more empathetically you can do it, the better.

Don’t be afraid to divert from the sales process as part of this relationship-building.

3. Simplification

Insurance agents need to know the ins and outs of various financial products and insurance policies, and have to pass various exams to qualify. Many prospective financial advisors are aware of the challenges of getting their heads around all this. But even once you understand the technicalities of the job, your work isn’t finished. You also need to be able to simplify everything so your clients understand the products too.

Most consumers don’t even know what they’re buying, and it’s your job to give them confidence about financial products so they understand how valuable they are and why they should want them.

This can be an important part in going beyond “selling” to have empathy for your clients and help them.

4. Systemic management of customer relationships

We’ve already mentioned “clients” numerous times in this article, so you should have a good picture of how crucial they are to working as a financial advisor by now. Good financial advisors are likely to have a high number of clients, some of whom they communicate with more often than others.

Not only do you have to stay on top of many long-term relationships, but you also have to be constantly on the look-out for new clients. Maybe you also have a referral system to encourage your current customers to recommend you to their friends. This all results in more work

having great system contribute to sustainable growth

To stay on top of your clients without going crazy, it’s essential to have a system that allows you to manage everything effectively. This might mean using software to give you automatic recommendations about when you check in with different people, or simply using pen and paper to keep track of who your clients are and what their needs are.

What you can’t do is play everything by ear, which can harm your professionalism.

5. Organization and time management

Managing relationships with all your clients is only a small part of the organization you’ll have to carry out as a financial advisor. You also need to juggle tasks like admin, reviewing financial plans periodically, and working on your own professional development and career advancement. This requires some serious organization.

Being punctual and reliable is also an essential part of winning the trust of your clients, so it’s essential to be able to manage your time carefully by ensuring you arrive at every meeting promptly and check in with clients when you promised.

Again, you need a proper system to ensure you don’t miss anything out.

6. Prioritization

An important part of mastering organization and time management is knowing what to prioritize. Although you can multi-task to a certain extent, it’s impossible to give your all to prospecting, studying, networking, and whatever else is on your plate at once. This is a fast-track to burnout, and often it’s downright impossible.

prioritisation for financial advisors

Instead, you need to learn to prioritize what matters the most at any given moment. Do you need some quick wins to keep your business going, or is it time to focus on long-time return on investment? Maybe something else entirely? You need to periodically reflect on where your career or business is heading and how to steer it in the right direction, which is something many people fail to realize.

7. Continuous learning

The insurance policies that are available today might not be the same ones that will be available tomorrow, so succeeding in this job is always going to involve continuous learning. Plus, the insurance industry is still very traditional, meaning products are complex and commoditized. To stand out and grow, you need to continually expand your knowledge base over time.

That means getting into the habit of continuous learning. Start to set some time aside each week (or maybe even more often) to educate yourself.

Even if you don’t possess any of the other skillsets on this list yet, if you’ve mastered continuous learning, you’ll at least have the foundation for how to learn everything else we’ve mentioned. This makes it arguably the most important skillset of all.

knowledge is power for financial adivosrs

Up to the challenge?

Some might read the skillsets required to become a financial advisor in Singapore and feel too daunted to give it a go due to the range of capabilities required. However, none of the skillsets outlined above are things you can’t learn and develop over time, even if they require some practice to get right.

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