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Category: Sales · 5 min read

8 Tips for Those New to the Financial Services Industry

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on August 13, 2019

author profile photo

on August 13, 2019

Group of professionals huddled together in an office

Hey, you. Yes, you. The new financial professional that’s just starting out in the industry. It can be tough out there. There’s a lot to learn in a short amount of time, and it can feel overwhelming at times. That’s why I want to share some tips with you. There are things you should know that can help as you grow your business and meet with clients and prospects. These are lessons that I’ve learned over my career, and I hope they help you, too.  

Here are eight key lessons to live by as you navigate the financial industry.   


1. Prospect Nonstop 

Prospecting can seem like a never-ending process. It’s a hustle and it’s tiring. But it’s still one of the most effective ways to grow and gain new clients, despite the hard work it takes. So, prospect as much as you can. Be hungry for more business, and try new ways to land more leads, whether that’s through trying different marketing efforts or going to networking opportunities in your community. Don’t become complacent. Instead, get involved in your community, look for speaking engagements, host a seminar, ask for referrals, send emails, or get active on social media. There are a lot of options to land more prospects, so mix it up and find what works.  


2. Find a Mentor 

The truth is, running a business can’t be done alone. You need people around you to help you, guide you, and challenge you. That’s where mentors can come in and be the voice of reason and growth in your professional life. A mentor is a helping hand, offering quality advice that’s honest and constructive. In other words, they share knowledge and provide a perspective you may not have, and can be a powerful and trustworthy resource. 

So, find your mentors. Identify the types of mentors you need in your life, and then think about your existing relationships and acquaintances. Would any of them be a good fit for mentorship? If not, then it’s time to look for someone that you admire or that’s successful and ask them. They don’t have to be in your industry, and you don’t have to know them well already, but the important thing is that you take the initiative to start a mentoring relationship.  

Be hungry for more business, and try new ways to land more leads, whether that’s through trying different marketing efforts or going to networking opportunities in your community.

3. Always Tell the Truth 

Sometimes, there may be a temptation to twist the truth or not tell a client or prospect about a certain feature or penalty, because you think it might deter them from buying the product. Don’t give in to this. Clearly explain all of the fees, penalties, and features of each product that your prospects are interested in purchasing, so there aren’t any surprises in the future. Always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You can earn clients for life, who view you as credible, when you operate with integrity and honesty. 


4. Don’t do Anything Illegal 

Seriously, don’t. In order to have a long and successful career as a financial professional, you must obey the law. That means not signing a client’s name on documents, not doing anything in their accounts without their permission, or writing checks in their name. The repercussions can be severe: you can be hit with large fines and penalties, you can lose your license or ability to sell insurance products, and your reputation can be irreversibly damaged.   

At the same time, you should also stay compliant with state and federal regulations, and make sure your marketing and sales tactics are legal and within the boundaries. Our compliance team can partner with you to help ensure you remain compliant.  


5. Don’t Steal Clients or Prospects 

Just like it’s illegal to steal property from others, it’s also not okay to steal clients or prospects from colleagues or other financial professionals. Would you want them to steal from you? No. Plus, it’s a small industry and word gets around. You don’t want this to come back and affect you later on in your career. Instead, collect leads and prospects the natural, legal way, and succeed by developing a solid brand, finding your niche, and doing business better than your competitors.  


6. Don’t Stop Learning 

This is the part where I remind you that you still have a lot to learn about the industry, the products, and the way people operate. You may come in with the latest and greatest ideas and strategies, and that’s awesome. Those innovations are needed! But there’s always room to grow and expand your knowledge. Regulations and products change and update frequently, and it can be challenging to keep up with everything, so it takes a motivated, disciplined and open-minded approach to continually learn. Be humble in the fact that you don’t know everything, and be eager to soak up everything that you can. Read books, go to classes or seminars, or take some training. Be a life-learner. I’ve been in the industry for more than 20 years, and I’m still learning.  


7. Avoid Negative People 

There are a lot of negative people in the world. They complain, they groan, they become lazy. Stay away from them. Don’t let them corrupt you or disrupt your positivity. Instead, stay focused on growing your business and achieving your goals. Surround yourself with positive people that build you up and cheer you on, not pull you down with them.   


8. Abide by Your CRM 

Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software is your friend. A CRM allows you to keep all of your client data in one easily accessible place so nothing gets lost or overlooked. This reduces errors and missing customer information. That way, you don’t have to rely on your memory. Plus, when you need to add new data or information, you only have to update it in one place, saving you time and effort.  

If you don’t have a CRM, consider getting one. They can even alert you when client milestones occur, so you know when to follow up with them or send them a card or email.

In a recent Broker World article, Barry Slocum from Gryphon Financial & Insurance Services, Inc., shared how a CRM can improve processes: “A CRM system can help keep you organized and automate a variety of marketing and management processes, including client and prospect mailings (such as drip email campaigns and monthly e-newsletters) and annual reviews.”1 

Collect leads and prospects the natural, legal way, and succeed by developing a solid brand, finding your niche, and doing business better than your competitors.  

Just because you’re new to the industry, doesn’t mean you get a hall pass. There’s a lot to learn and it can be hard to find your footing, but you’ll get there. Helping clients with their retirement and finances isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it. It’s rewarding work, and I hope these tips will help you experience that on a daily basis.  



Cicchetti, Elizabeth. “How Top Agencies Use IT To Help Boost Business.” Broker World. Nov. 2018. 


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Written By

Kelly McCarty

Executive Vice President

Kelly McCarty is the Executive Vice President of Brokers International. Kelly has a passion for educating, retaining, recruiting, and helping IMOs/FMOs build their agencies, and is committed to building and retaining strong relationships with producers, agencies, and carriers. Kelly also serves as a Member of the Brokers International Board of Directors and was designated as the organization's Ambassador in 2016.

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