Adviser mentoring: A two-way relationship

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The AFA has been teaming the next generation of advisers up with those that have been in the game for a while to help them learn the ropes.

AFA National GenXt chair Fraser Jack says it’s good to see successful advisers that are happy to help out the next generation, but that it doesn’t just go one way.

Aspiring advisers have been teaching their older counterparts a thing or two when it comes to technology and social media. “That’s something that a lot of the senior advisers have never really anticipated in the past,” says Jack. “It’s something they like the sound of but are not quite sure how to go about it, and that’s something the aspirants can bring to the mentors.”

Giving tips to the next generation can also spark an idea for the mentor of something that used to work well for them but they stopped doing for whatever reason. They might find that getting back into an old process does wonders for their business.

The next generation still has a lot to learn though, according to financial adviser coach Tony Vidler. He says he has worked with some new advisers recently, and was amazed to find that nobody had taught them “business basics”.

“They are technically far more competent early in their careers than I ever was. As far as the basics are concerned for being able to learn quickly and to perform their jobs well, they are generally very capable indeed,” he says. “But it seems many of them are not learning how to build a business.”

He says it is in the sales context that there is a lack of knowledge. This may include:

  • generating leads or opportunities
  • qualifying those leads
  • sorting and prioritising the leads
  • managing leads information
  • arranging, and actually meeting, leads for the first time

"It is perhaps not surprising that some newer advisers with little "sales" training don't quite get some of the basics of prospecting then," says Vidler.

  • Michael Burton on 22/05/2013 1:04:02 PM

    Having been in the industry for 22 years, I agree that 'generally' the new breed of advisors have little knowledge on the 'soft skills' of building relationships with clients. Yes they are often better technically, have better social media and computing skills, but they seriously lack in networking (outside Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin) and the whole one on one engagement process essential in developing a client base. Congratulations to the mentors who are prepared to teach these skills to the next generation as these students will be more to their clients than a percentage return.

  • Innocent Observer on 22/05/2013 12:16:13 PM

    My observation is that younger advisers are generally more proficient in the technical aspects. Older advisers are better at "sales skills". This is probably in some part a reflection of the industry evolving (more focus on tech), though does leave a bit of a hole in client-facing / relationship aspects.

  • Andrew P on 22/05/2013 10:02:38 AM

    As a 61 year old adviser with 23 years experience in the industry having been an agent as well as running my own AFSL, I have experienced a lot of change in the industry but, as much as things change, a lot remains the same. As technically competent as the new advisers may be, most need to develop the skill of prospecting for new clients in a systematic and efficient way. They need to identify their ideal client and then actively ask existing clients to introduce them to people that they know who fit the profile of the ideal client. This to most advisers is a problem. "If you have a problem, make it a procedure and it won't be a problem any longer". The issue is how to develop a process that works for the adviser. This is where a mentor can be very beneficial.

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