Advisor Development: It’s Time to Make a Change

Just about every client we work with in the wealth management arena tells us that 20-30% of their advisors generate 60-80% of their revenue –meaning most advisors in the business are not meeting their production targets. Think of the lift to your revenue production if you could even get half of these underperforming advisors meeting their goals!

The Typical Solution

The remedy that most turn to is training – specifically “sales training,” a term that for some time has carried a very negative connotation with most advisors … and for good reason!

While the wealth management industry has been rapidly changing as it strives to meet the evolving needs, priorities and preferences of its target clients, the approach to training is, as we often say within our firm, “stuck in the 90’s.”

For years, advisors have come to expect the same tired approach to “sales training,” which looks something like this:

ALL advisors are expected to attend a 1-3 day instructor-led training session, sending a message to everyone that you need to improve and do things differently. (Do ALL your advisors really need training?)

They reluctantly attend, anxious about sacrificing production time and, having been through “sales training” before, with a mindset of “I just need to get through this and hopefully will leave with a good idea or two.”

They’re given a binder with information and sit in the classroom all day to listen to an instructor (who may or often may not have ever done what they do) present a methodology and some generic sales skills that if employed, are supposed to make them more effective.

At some point, they then engage in a few role-plays where peers, coaches, and trainers provide feedback which usually sounds like … “That was good. I really like that you said X. One thing you might consider is Y.”

Then they leave with their binder and a full stomach from food and refreshments, only to go back to what they were doing before the training, and maybe, just maybe incorporating something new that they liked from the training.

The Results? Study after study tell us that today’s sales training just doesn’t work as evidenced by these commonly known statistics:

Three Tragic Statistics about Traditional “Training”



It's Expensive: 94% of companies invest in some form of sales training. Nearly half spend up to $7K per year per rep.


Limited Impact: An ES Research study found that approximately 90% of all sales training has no lasting impact on professional behavior.


They Forget: Research conducted confirms that most sales professionals forget up to 87% of what they learned in training programs within 30 days.

Sources: The Brevet Group, Avoiding the Pitfalls of Sales Training, and the Sales Executive Council

I hesitate to be so cynical about such training, but this is what advisors tell us they expect anytime they are called on to attend a training.

There’s a Better Way

Professional development in today’s world needs to move beyond the traditional “training” mentality toward a more experiential process where advisors can assess their practice and develop the clearly defined goals they want to attain. And from that, engage with specialized content that helps them refine, enhance, and improve their skills in key areas of their practice to achieve those goals – not through instruction alone, but by learning best practices from other successful advisors, collaborating and sharing ideas with peers, and engaging in a process where they develop greater intentionality in their approach to their sales experience and how they deepen and expand client relationships.

Key Aspects for Enhanced Advisor Development

To maximize skill and practice development – and retention of that development – we’ve found a more transformative approach, different from the typical instructor-led process, is needed; one that incorporates five key tenets:


To help our clients maximize the impact of the sales results they achieve and the experience they deliver, we’ve developed the advisor2.0© Forum series, with three options depending on your needs:

The advisor2.0©Advanced Forum, designed to equip individual advisors who want to take their practice to the next level and have yet to achieve their full productivity potential.

The advisor2.0© Next Gen Forum, designed to accelerate the productivity potential of newer, emerging advisors.

The advisor2.0© Market Forum, designed to equip all members of a team, market or firm with the strategies, skills and practices that will lead to the consistent, intentional delivery of a differentiated client experience and enhanced productivity.