7 self-sabotaging behaviors for financial advisors to banish

We’ve all heard the saying, “You’re your own worst enemy.” Unfortunately, at one time or another, this can be true for all of us. It’s all too easy to do things that go against our goals.

As a financial advisor, it makes sense to be careful not to undermine your goals. You have things you want to achieve and you would be smart not to stand in your own way.

When it comes to self-sabotaging behaviors, you might think of big things like not showing up for work or not returning client calls. Sometimes though, these behaviors can be smaller things. Sometimes, they can even be things that don’t seem so bad on the surface.

Below are seven self-sabotaging behaviors financial advisors should avoid. If you find yourself doing these behaviors, and you want to learn how to avoid them, you may consider looking into business coaching or Executive Coaching. It can have a powerful impact on your behaviors and your financial advisor business.

You might also consider reading a book like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  It can help you develop positive habits that can get you on the right track

1. Self-sabotage: Mistaking activity for productivity

This is an all too easy trap to fall into. Feeling busy and doing things can seem the same as getting things done. It isn’t though.

Often, as a financial advisor, you can spend a lot of time doing things, such as checking emails, going to meetings, and creating reports. These things feel like you are doing something, but sometimes they are a distraction from your goals.

When you think about the activities you do, try to think about what those activities accomplish in terms of your goals, not simply what they accomplish by themselves.

Why are you checking your email again? What is the information in that report really used for? Is there an actual productivity benefit to having that meeting?

Your answers to these questions can help you avoid work for work’s sake. Although you might find yourself doing less, you’ll find yourself getting more done.

2. Self-sabotage: Doing it all yourself

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Is this a saying you live by?

While this idea might be good in some situations, it can be self-sabotaging in others.

There are certain things that you do that are important. These are things that are either time sensitive, important to a client or other stakeholder, or both. These are things you should do yourself. These are things where, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

There are other things though. Things that aren’t so important either because they aren’t time sensitive or because there isn’t a stakeholder directly in need of having the thing done.

Should you be the one spending time mailing invitations to a client appreciation event? Should you be the one who makes fifty copies of a meeting packet?

There are lots of activities that you can delegate. Things that aren’t a priority that someone else can do as well as or maybe even better than you. Delegating tasks can help you to have more time for important work.

If you find that you’re doing everything yourself, and you’re in a position to hire someone you can delegate tasks to, you should consider hiring an assistant. An assistant can do work that can help free you up for more important things.

3. Self-sabotage: Not saying “no” as a financial advisor

As a financial advisor, you’re a people person. You want to make people happy. You work in a profession where you help people with their money goals and dreams.

This attribute though, can sometimes go too far. As a financial advisor, you only have so many hours in the day, and only so many things you can focus on. If you say yes to everything that comes your way, you won’t be able to do the things that are really important.

When someone, whether a client, colleague, superior, or someone else, asks you to do something, consider whether you really should be doing it.

When someone asks if you can plan the next company event or take on a research project or anything else, ask yourself if you really should be doing it. Although you want to help, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the other things you do.

Learn to say “no” when it’s appropriate and have more time to focus on the things you really need to do.

4. Self-sabotage: Not seeing your financial advisor practice as a business

Is being a financial advisor just a job? Is it something that you do simply to make ends meet? Is it something where you are completely focused on the tasks of being a financial advisor?

Whether you own your own financial advisor practice or you work for a larger company, you have to realize that what you do is a business. It isn’t just a job or even just a profession.

It helps to have a long term view of what you do. You should be able to plan for one, five, even ten years out. You ought to think about things like marketing and growing your number of clients. You can’t just be focused on today. You should think about tomorrow and look at tomorrow with a broad perspective.

5. Self-sabotage: Not knowing when to stop your financial advisor work

Sometimes, as a financial advisor, you’re going to have long hours. Some weeks will be fifty to sixty hours long. Sometimes you’ll be always on your phone or computer, even when you’re home or somewhere else.

While this is unavoidable in some circumstances, you have to be careful that it doesn’t become the norm. You can’t work and be available 24/7 and think you won’t get burned out. You have to know when to stop working.

Rest, relaxation, spending time with family, vacations, and just not thinking about work are important. You have to recuperate and refocus to be your best when you are working.

If you find you have your work following you home on a regular basis, you might have a problem with time management. Here’s an article that can help you find more time in your day.

6. Self-sabotage: Falling in love with technology without boundaries

Technology. It’s a pretty enticing thing. It’s something that promises to make everything easier and solve all your problems. But does it?

Sometimes technology can be a hindrance. Think about all the times when something would have be easier “the old fashioned way”. Think about all the times you had to click through fifteen menus to do something that you used to do by hand.

Also, technology has a 24/7 quality about it. You can always be on your phone or computer. This though isn’t always good. Sometimes having your tech follow you around can make it harder to get anywhere.

Additionally, technology has a gadget quality to it. For example, you are doing something at work, such as managing customer information with something like notecards. Then, a vendor comes along with a software package they promise will make everything easier. They tell you how it will streamline your process and make everything more efficient and connected.

A few weeks in though, after you’ve gotten tired of being on hold with tech support and pulled all your hair out trying to move some data from one folder to another, you’ll wish you had your notecards back. Sometimes gadgets don’t live up to the hype.

You have to be careful with technology. While it can help, you shouldn’t fall in love with it to the point where you don’t see its flaws.

7. Self-sabotage: Procrastinating as a financial advisor

All right, that client needs that information, but before you get to it you need to check your email, make those copies, return that phone call, organize your desk … you get the idea. Is this ever you?

Procrastination is almost like a bright shiny coin. On the one side, you avoid doing something you might not want to do. Maybe the work is tedious or the situation is difficult. On the other side, it feels productive. Sure, you didn’t do what you needed to do, but you did all these other things.

There’ an old saying, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” It means don’t be fooled by something that looks real, but isn’t. That’s how you need to see the coin of procrastination. While it may look shiny, that’s just paint. It’s just wood underneath.

Find some real coins, get to work, and do the things you really need to do.


“You’re your own worst enemy.” We all know the saying. It’s time to change things though. It’s time to stop doing things that get in the way of your goals. When you do, you might find you’re your own best friend.

Financial advisor marketing strategy: market to corporate executives

market corporate executives financial advisors

One important thing for any financial advisor, is that they identify their target market or markets.

As a financial advisor, you may be thinking about targeting a variety of different groups. For example, you might consider retirees, potential clients in a geographic area, or clients with a net worth above a threshold amount.  Through business development coaching, you can learn to attract the right target markets for your financial advisor practice.

One group that you should consider targeting is corporate executives. Corporate executives are potentially great clients for financial advisors, if they are approached and treated the right way.

Why financial advisors should target corporate executives

There are at least four reasons why financial advisors should target corporate executives.

First, they are a well-defined group. They are limited in number, easy to identify, they share commonalities, and, depending on your approach, they can be reachable.

Second, they are typically wealthy. They have the ability to invest a large amount of money.

Third, they are knowledgeable. They know about investing, and therefore a variety of financial solutions can be presented to them.

Fourth, they are centers of influence. By reaching a corporate executive, you have the opportunity to reach many more potential clients.

Corporate executives have a lot of things in common with business owners.  The skills you develop serving business owners can be translated to serving corporate executives.

How financial advisors can directly meet corporate executives

Corporate executives, because of their high positions, might seem like a difficult group to reach directly. That isn’t necessarily the case though.

To reach a corporate executive, in some sense, you need an introduction. You need someone to say who you are and that you are someone the corporate executive should talk to. There are three ways you can get introduced.

Through networking

A great way to get an introduction is through networking. If you know someone who knows an executive, you can have an opportunity to meet them.

If you approach networking in a systematic and consistent way with a goal of reaching your target market, it can be very effective.

Through referrals

Referrals are networking taken to the next level. Having someone say they know you and like you is good. Having someone say they know you, like you, and you provided them with excellent service and results, is great.

Obtaining referrals, like networking, is something that you need to approach in a systematic and consistent way. You need to reach out to clients, provide great service, and ask for referrals. If you work on getting referrals, especially with a target market in mind, it can have wonderful results.

Through association

One way you can meet corporate executives is through association. You and executives might go to the same places and be involved in the same things. Some options might be golf clubs, charitable boards, and civic organizations. By being a member of these places, you can get an opportunity to be in the same room with the executives that you are trying to meet.

Effective marketing tactics for financial advisors to reach corporate executives

Although meeting a corporate executive through networking, referrals, and association, are the most effective ways, there are other ways you can reach corporate executives.


Although a high level corporate executive might not find your financial advisor practice through a search engine, having a good website is still a must. If you are not able to have your own website, then your wirehouse bio can be updated.

A good website is a given for any reputable business. If an executive, or any other potential client, searches for your name online or gets your website in some other way, and doesn’t find a good, professional looking website, you have a problem.

As some quick tips, your website should:

  • Have its own domain – i.e. www.mycompany.com instead of www.mycompany.webhost.com
  • Be uncluttered
  • Function properly – e.g. no broken links or forms that don’t work
  • Have no overt advertising, especially for third parties
  • Load quickly
  • Be free of errors

There are also other things you can do to have an effective website.


Sponsorship, for example sponsoring a charitable event or a golf tournament, can be a great way to market to corporate executives. In some ways, it works like reaching executives through association. You and your name are at a place that the executive goes. They can associate the positive view of the place or event with you and that can give you an opportunity to market your services to them.

Sponsorship, you must remember though, is more than just writing a check and putting your name on a banner. If you want it to be effective it has to be coordinated with other things.

You should attend the event. If appropriate, you should have a table at the event where your service can be discussed. You could give a speech at the opening or the close of the event. You should be involved with the development of the direct mail that goes into the event. These are just some of the things you should to do. When you do sponsorship, you should keep in mind that it needs to be holistic.


Events, in some way, are like sponsorship, but your company is the one actually putting on the event.

Events can be geared toward the community, clients, or a target market. Although you can meet a corporate executive at an event you put on, events can also be great for networking and getting referrals. The clients and potential clients you talk to at an event can direct you to the corporate executives you are looking for.

Client appreciation events are also a good way to ask your clients to bring corporate executives to your events.

How financial advisors should present their businesses to corporate executives

If you get a chance to meet a corporate executive, or even better, have a formal meeting with one, you need to apply four important Ps.


First, before you do anything, you need to have a positive attitude. If you don’t think you or your company can get an account, then you won’t. You need to believe in yourself, your company, and the service you provide. You need to have the confidence to know you can meet a corporate executive’s needs.

If you have a positive attitude, it will come through. If you don’t have a positive attitude, that will come through too.


When approaching a corporate executive, you need to be professional. Everything about you should be polished and give the impression of someone who is established and knowledgeable.

Professionalism applies to all points of contact. It applies to how you dress, how you speak, what your website looks like, how you write emails, how your receptionist answers the phone, what your office looks like, what your business cards look like, and everything else. It really is a mindset.

Corporate executives will expect their financial advisor to portray the same professionalism that they portray. If you don’t, you won’t get their business.


When you interact with a corporate executive, you need to be prepared.

You need to have an elevator speech prepared for when you encounter them at the events and so forth mentioned above.

You need to have your presentation and presentation materials prepared before you go to a meeting. You need to make sure you have everything, it is correct, and that anything you will show them electronically, functions properly.

You also need to research the company and the executive. You need to know about the business and the person.


When you meet or present to a corporate executive, you need to have the right presence. This goes along with being positive and professional, but takes things a step further.

You should come across as someone important, as being at the same level as the executive, and as knowledgeable and sophisticated. You need to be confident.

How a financial advisor should provide service to a corporate executive

When you get a corporate executive as a client, you need to make sure you keep them as a client. To do this, you have to provide them with three things.

Exceptional service

Although we all know the importance of providing good customer service, for a high level, high net worth client like a corporate executive, you need to take it to the next level. For what they are investing and paying, they will expect it.

Although many things are important to providing exceptional service, two you should focus on are responding to a corporate executive client in a timely manner and being flexible.

When a corporate executive client asks a question or voices a concern, it is necessary to address it right away. The longer you keep them waiting, the less they are going to value your service.

Since corporate executives have variable schedules, you need to be flexible to meet their needs. This might mean meeting them at their office or home. It could mean meeting with them in the evenings. To serve these clients to their expectations, you may have to be flexible and be able to provide them service when and where they need it.

Information and options

Because corporate executives have financial knowledge and potentially a high net worth, you need to be able to provide them information about financial products and services that other clients might not be able to understand or have the ability to invest in.

Additionally, you should provide them with a variety of options to meet their needs. A corporate executive could have a complex financial life as well as a variety of financial goals. To provide them service for this, you need to provide them with options regarding the services and products you offer.

Service, again

To keep a corporate executive client, they need great service, so this bears mentioning again. They will have expectations regarding how soon you return their calls. If these expectations aren’t being met by you, they could find someone else. You also need to work hard and keep on top of things, so that you meet their expectations.


Corporate executives make great clients for financial advisors for a number of reasons. Whether you meet them directly, or get their business through marketing efforts, you should present yourself in the right way, and provide them the service they expect. It will be worth the effort.

If you need help marketing to corporate executives, contact me.  I can help through marketing coaching.

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