You may remember that ByAllAccounts conducted a nationwide online survey last year to identify the traits of successful financial advisors.
Due to the very positive response we received, we opted to conduct a similar survey again this year. We surveyed more than 400 financial professionals in May, comprising broker-dealers, independent RIAs, financial planners and others.
In general, financial advisors told us they were motivated by improving themselves and others / and achieving high standards of perfection (24%). Working hard and succeeding (19%) was also an important motivator.
Click here to read a summary of the survey results.
Client Satisfaction is a Key Business Measure
Given these somewhat altruistic motivations it may not come as a surprise that respondents overwhelming (86%) considered “Client Satisfaction” as their most important measure of business success. This far surpassed assets under management (36%), revenue (33%), and investment performance (28%).
Using this satisfaction yardstick to measure business success we found that one in five respondents was “Highly Successful” by this definition. In this 2013 study “Highly Successful Advisors” are defined as having “Extremely Satisfied” clients, 20% of all respondents.
Unfortunately, the industry overall could do a better job at evaluating client satisfaction. Most use their client retention rate as a guide to how satisfied their clients are. And, while many have some formal way to measure client satisfaction 29% of all respondents did not.
What Highly Successful Advisors do Better than Peers
So the question becomes what makes an advisor highly successful (i.e., have extremely satisfied clients)? While we can’t be sure, the survey does give us some tantalizing insights into traits of highly successful advisors that differentiate them from their peers.
Highly Successful Advisors:
- Are more likely to conduct regular client surveys to measure satisfaction than other advisors
- Are more skilled at understanding client needs and spend more time on client management, communication & service
- Place a higher priority on holistic wealth management than other advisors
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