Overcoming Career Plateaus: Strategies for Growth In Your Financial Advising Career

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Career plateaus are not unique to a career in financial advising. There comes a time, for even the most seasoned advisor, when the path forward seems uncertain, and progression feels stagnant. 

However, these plateaus don’t have to be roadblocks—they can be pivotal moments for growth and transformation.

Here at Consolidated Planning, we strive to provide a clear path for all advisors to build a thriving, mission-based practice by focusing on their clients.

In this article, we’ll help you recognize the potential signs of career stagnation, tips to overcome this growth plateau, and how the right firm for you can make all the difference in building your practice.


Why Is Your Career Plateauing?

When you’re in a plateau phase, it probably feels like you’re spinning your wheels for one, or a few reasons.


You’re Struggling To Find New Clients

Think back to when you first started building your practice. As hard as it may have been, the world felt like your oyster. Even the most experienced advisor knows the gut wrenching feeling of not having any new prospects in the pipeline. And in order to continually grow your practice, it’s important that you essentially replace every name on your list – whether that name became a client, or not.

Struggling to find new clients is a sure-fire sign of career stagnation. As an advisor, your goal should be to build a referral based practice. According to a study by The Brevet Group, 91% of customers say they’d give referrals and only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. So where do you fall?

It’s safe to say that if you’re not asking for or receiving referrals is due to a few reasons:

  • You don’t prioritize it
  • You don’t know how or what to ask for
  • You are lacking in your client service model

While referrals should be the backbone of your practice, building and maintaining these networks takes time and a concerted effort.

As soon as you stop working to find new clients, stagnation begins.


Slow Growing Income

In addition to your struggle to find new clients, it’s likely that your income is slow growing. We know the two may seem to go hand-in-hand but that’s not always the case, especially if you’re working to build a consultative, not transactional, practice.

In a perfect world, your income would trend upward, steadily at least, but we all know that’s not always the case. Whether it’s economic factors, competition, unexpected expenditures, or stagnation in your career, slow growing income can create a sense of worry for advisors.

But slow growing income doesn’t need to be your reality. Ask yourself this, “Am I able to offer all that my client needs?” Sometimes it’s as simple as reevaluating the foundations of your career.

  • Are you focused on just insurance?
  • Are you focused on just investments?
  • Are you focused on what’s best for your client?
  • Are you given the tools and resources to spend more time on your clients?

With a firm that focuses on providing a consultative experience to its clients, you CAN be all things to your clients. This is a win for you and a win for your clients.

Talk with a team member


Tips To Overcome The Growth Plateau In Your Financial Advising Career

The good news is, it IS possible to overcome your growth plateau with the right focus.


#1 Get Back To Your Ideal Client

Your ideal client is just that, ideal. Ideal for your experience, business model, and personal preferences. Really knowing your ideal client can take time. But, here are a few aspects you should keep in mind when trying to pinpoint this group:

  • Do their financial goals align with your services?
  • Does their communication style resonate for a smooth exchange of information?
  • Do they demonstrate financial responsibility?
  • What is their long-term perspective?
  • Are they willing to follow advice?
  • Do their assets or income demonstrate a sustainable relationship?
  • Are you overall compatible with one another?

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can better work towards understanding your ideal client profile. This enables you to target individuals who not only benefit from your services but also contribute to a thriving and long-lasting professional partnership. This makes good sense for the trajectory of your practice.


#2 Reevaluate Your Client Service Model

A client service model is a process you create to provide adequate customer service to your clients. Your client service model should create a workflow from the time you onboard new clients to proactively and consistently engaging those clients.

Whatever touchpoints your client service model includes, it’s all about putting repeatable processes in place and communicating that to your clients. 

  • When can they expect to hear from you?
  • What will you meet about?
  • What ongoing education will you provide?
  • What additional touch points can you offer to keep them engaged?

Not only does defining your client service model KEEP your clients part of your practice, but it gives them confidence to refer their friends and family to you.

These processes help you hold yourself accountable and make all the difference between your intention of doing something and actually doing something. Establishing your client service model makes your practice more efficient from a client retention and client acquisition standpoint.

The planning philosophy in place at Consolidated Planning, makes building repeatable processes second nature to advisors at Consolidated Planning.


#3 Expand Your Network

Oftentimes, more experienced advisors tend to avoid networking events at all costs. HOWEVER, it’s important to shift your perspective when it comes to networking events, whether they are traditional or not.

Are networking and development events where you go to find your clients? Likely not. But, they ARE where you go to network with other advisors and centers of influence (COI’s).

When you take the time to get involved with local networking groups or events, you can further position yourself as an experienced professional in your industry. This leads to finding both COI’s for your practice and its clients as well as positioning yourself as a COI when it comes to other industries.

Sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective to see the value of doing something.

We know time is money but this effort can be considered a revenue generating activity.


Find A Firm To Support Your Growth

With the resources to focus more of your time on revenue generating activities and less time on non-revenue generating activities, you can overcome your growth plateau.

You just need the right firm to get you there.

Maybe that firm is Consolidated Planning, but maybe it’s not. What’s important is you recognize the signs of your career plateau and, more importantly, you begin to offset that plateau by implementing:

  • Your ideal client
  • Your client service model, and
  • Find new ways to expand your network

To discover if Consolidated Planning’s resources will help grow your practice, talk with a team member about how we support practice building.

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2024-172571 Exp. 4/2026

Published:  April 22, 2024