In the early days of financial planning, most advisers needed just one skill for success: salesmanship. When advisers were solely compensated by commissions, if you couldn’t find new prospects to sell to — and actually sell something to them — your income would summarily go to zero.
As advisers have shifted to the AUM model, though, the requisite entry-level skillset has shifted. Now, for many advisers, the key abilities are technical competency to give the right advice, and empathy skills to form and deepen client relationships. Sales- and business-development acumen come later, if at all. And as advisory firms have grown, a skills gap is emerging in the area of business management, which impacts training and developing staff members, as well as the overall execution of the business itself.
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