Once hired by a firm, you’ll be provided sufficient training that can last for a decent amount of time (typically four months).
During that period you’ll take licensing exams to be able to buy and sell stocks.
However, once that’s over it’ll be up to you to build a client base.
When it comes to building a client base, it’s important to market yourself as someone who can successfully recommend which securities are best suited for an individual client.
Some common strategies that’ll allow you to do that are listed below:
1 – Cold Calling
This is one of the most effective ways to building a client base. When finally licensed, you’ll have to meet a sales quota (which can be quite difficult) or else your career may be short lived. So gaining clients fast is preferred.
You can spend long hours running through a phone book or view prospects from a calling list obtained by your firm and hope for the best. However, to get the optimal results, you’ll need to inspire potential clients that investing with you is the best way.
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One method of inspiring people includes performing basic market research and explaining to potential clients where you feel certain stocks will head (select 2 or 3). Once your projections are found to be correct, call them back to discuss whether they’d like to become a client.
This should help improve your success rate in addition to instilling confidence for future calls.
Additionally, when cold calling, it’s important to keep in mind that you may run into objections from those you call. That’s where you’ll need a rebuttal strategy that will efficiently counter any negative responses from prospects. Some are as follows:
- Objection: If a prospective client you know has a high net worth yet claims is uninterested in investing, it may simply be he’s not interested in investing with you. Nothing personal, of course, they just might already have a broker and feel they’re doing well.
- Rebuttal: If that’s the case, simply asking if and who they invest with then offering to call back with a position that outperforms their highest investment might bring them over to your side.
- Objection: After introducing yourself and giving a reason for the call, if the prospective client claims he/she has no money to invest, do not count that as a total loss.
- Rebuttal: It’s a good idea to still offer to send your business card, a brochure in addition to a call-back request with an investment opportunity that fits their current financial situation. The truth is, many people who feel they have nothing to invest, really just need help discovering an affordable investment strategy.
2 – Increase Education
Once you’ve passed a Series 7 Exam and have obtained the license, FINRA requires that you maintain that license in order to remain a knowledgeable registered representative.
This is why all license holders must take a computer-based continuing education (CE) program called Regulatory Element within 120 days of their 2-year anniversary of obtaining the license.
However, to increase your marketability, seeking further CE and obtaining designations like Certified Financial Planner (CFP) will allow you to provide more services to your clients and build your credibility.
You’ll be able to help them in a wide range of investment options as opposed to just buying and selling securities.
In order to become a CFP you must:
(1) – Take college level courses that cover Estate, Investment, Insurance, Tax and Retirement planning. Also classes in Interpersonal Communication, Fiduciary and Professional Conduct Responsibilities, and finally a CFP® Capstone Financial Plan Development course.
(2) – You must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a regionally-accredited institution (no specific degree program requirement). And you can take the CFP® Certification Exam without a degree. You’ll just need to obtain a degree within 5 years of passing the examination.
(3) – Pass the CFP® Certification Exam. This exam is only available to take in March, July and November. It’s a 170 multiple choice test that you’re allowed to complete in 6 hours with a 40 minute break half-way through.
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3 – Networking
Networking is another great marketing strategy to help build clientele. You can start off by contacting family, friends or other known acquaintances to begin the process.
Also, social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are other great networking tools that will allow you to connect with people/groups in your similar situation.
Read More: What’s an Investment Club? – A Networking Opportunity.
Operating your own website that has all the information an investor would want to know about a stock broker would help as well. Be sure to list all the educational achievements and designations you hold as well as maintaining a blog that visitors can interact with you on.
Attending Professional Conferences
Signing up for Conferences, Expo’s and Conventions offers another opportunity for brokers to network. Here are a few Organizations/Associations that provide these:
Security Traders Association
- Cambridge House International
- The International Trader’s Expo From MoneyShow.com
- The New York Society of Securities Analysts
During these events you can build a contact list with people you feel will provide a mutually beneficial relationship. Hopefully, of course, you’ll find an individual that can elevate your career as a stock broker to a new level.
Once you’ve obtained a sufficient number of clientele that’ll allow you to meet the stringent sales quotas (which can change often), you can now focus on providing adequate service in hopes of retaining them.
And after becoming more comfortable with your level of market research and have maintained a decent success rate, you can host seminars that’ll greatly enhance your marketability and help you build an even larger client base.