30 Sales Tips for Independent Financial Advisors

10 min read
February 05, 2024
Hey there, RIA owners! Ready to kick your sales strategy up a notch? Whether you're a seasoned pro or considering diving into entrepreneurship, we have 30 actionable tips to help you convert your prospects into clients! 

We understand the importance of removing the "sell" from Sales and utilizing those conversations instead as an opportunity to build stronger client relationships even before engagement. In this blog and accompanying video recording, we're bringing you a mix of savvy strategies and down-to-earth insights to help you steer your firm toward success.

From refining your pitch to creating an unforgettable client experience, these tips are your go-to guide for elevating your RIA's sales game. So let's dive in, demystify the process, and remove the “ick” from Sales!

If watching is more your style, view our on-demand event covering all 30 tips below. 

Please answer the following questions to watch this exclusive session

AimeeArnaudTips from Aimee Arnuad, XYPN Director of Sales

1. Define and Refine Your Niche:
Having a niche is not just a buzzword; it's a strategic move that shapes your entire sales process. Start by defining your niche, and then refine it to a granular level. For instance, if your niche is women, consider narrowing it down to women in tech with young children. The more specific, the better.

2. Get to Know Your Niche:
Understanding the language, pain points, and motivations of your niche is crucial. Conduct interviews, observe, and immerse yourself in the world of your ideal clients. This knowledge will empower you to market your niche as a financial advisor to meet the unique needs of clients.

3. Develop the Structure of Your Initial Conversation:
Be sure to focus your discovery call on the prospect’s needs, not your strengths. Focus on addressing the major pain points of your niche and showcasing how your services can provide solutions.

4. Be Honest with Yourself:
Identify the aspects of the sales process that make you nervous and work on them. Change your internal dialogue, practice with friends and family, and aim for warmth and confidence in your communication. 

5. Set Your Intent Each Time You Engage:
Rather than focusing solely on closing deals, concentrate on discovering if you and the prospect are the right fit for each other. Your goal is to bring value to their life and help them achieve their financial goals. This mindset will create a positive energy that resonates with your prospects.

6. Listen for Pain Points That Have Deadlines:
Pay attention to pain points with specific deadlines. Use this information to follow up organically, providing personalized resources and reminders of how your services can help them achieve their goals.

7. FORD: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams:
Build a personal connection with your clients by delving into their lives. Take notes in your CRM, remember important milestones, and make space for conversations beyond financial planning. This approach may not fit everyone, but for some, it can make a significant impact.

8. Be Responsive in a Meaningful Way:
Understand your niche's communication preferences and be responsive accordingly. Whether it's answering the phone for baby boomers or responding to DMs for social media influencers, connecting with prospects where they are is key.

9. Tell Your Prospects How to Shop for Your Services:
Educate your prospects on what questions to ask and what to look for when seeking financial planning services. Empower them to make informed decisions, even if it means guiding them toward a different solution.

10. Develop a Way to Obtain Feedback:
Losses are inevitable, but they provide valuable insights. Establish a system to gather feedback from lost deals. Use this information objectively to make improvements and informed decisions for future engagements.

ChrisJohnsonTips from Chris Johnson, XYPN Senior Business Development Manager

11. Make Your Sales Conversation as Collaborative as Possible:
Allow the prospect to become a part of the conversation. You want to make sales conversation as collaborative as possible by helping your buyer solve a problem. Don’t sell at people, have a conversation with them and create that synergy to make them feel a part of the buying process

12. Don’t Lead the Conversations with Capabilities Pitch, but Lead with Value:
Give your prospects confidence that you will be adding real value to their lives while also helping them realize you can help minimize risk. How are you going to help them reach their goals? Elaborate on the success stories of clients you’ve served before.

13. Meet Your Prospects Where They're At:
What I mean by that is, to try to gain a genuine understanding and perspective of where your prospect is in their buyer's journey. Try to see the world through their eyes by getting a sense of their fears and hesitations. Something that has helped me is assuming that I am in a lower position of power, without losing confidence with the value you’ll provide your client.

14. Show Empathy:
Gaining a real understanding of your clients' issues, goals, and fears creates a human element in your sales process. Be intentional and purposeful with every interaction you have with prospects (emails, calls, Zoom). Remember, sometimes potential clients could be having a tough week. WE ARE ALL HUMAN. Create that human element and help folks realize you are here to help.

15. Your Aim Should be to Educate the Prospect:
LISTEN FIRST. By really listening you’ll understand a person's pain points and can tailor your conversation to what’s important to them. Don’t come in too hot and heavy with your sales pitch and talk about everything you can do. Educate prospects on where they will get the most value you provide and how your services can help them reach their financial goals more effectively.

Ready to stop dreaming and start doing? Chat with a Success Strategist to find  out how.

16. Get a Head Start on the Objections!
Come prepared with responses to some of the more common objections you may encounter. These could be things like: “I am already using an advisor”, “I’m not sure if I need an advisor, I can do this on my own”, or “I don’t think I can afford your fees”. Let prospects know that their concerns are valid and are also important to you by responding with, “I really appreciate you sharing that concern with me, let's work through some of these together”

17. Follow-Up with Relevant Content & Resources:
Slip in a small nugget of info from your meeting notes based on what you talked about last time. Include a blog, newsletter, or video that may help them address an issue of theirs that might be lingering. Don’t information overload them either.

18. Create Lifecycle Stages for your Sales Pipeline:
This will help you define where your prospects are at in their sales lifecycle before converting to clients. This is going to help you plan out your capacity, how many clients you can serve, and maybe even alert you of when to hire. If you know that someone is a few months away from committing, you can temper your follow-ups with them.

19. Stay Close to your Pipeline:
“Scrub” or review your sales pipeline at least once a month to ensure that each client is classified correctly in their sales lifecycle. This will also allow you to tailor your follow-ups accordingly by either pushing them back or moving them up based on the prospect's activity with your emails/website.

20. Be Open, Honest, and Transparent:
We live in a day and age where prospective clients can also come to a meeting with as much info on your services as you have. Be a good person by working in the client's best interest and not just trying to make a sale. Genuinely want the best for the people you’re serving.

EliRickertTips from Eli Rickert, XYPN Manager of Business Development

21. Your Passion Shines Through!
Your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) in your work is noticeable to clients, and in the professional world, building relationships is key. People prefer collaborating with those they know, like, and trust. If someone senses disinterest in your work, it may impact the trust they have in you.

22. Don’t Get Bitter, Get Better! 
Keep tabs on both missed and converted prospects. Learn from mistakes; dwelling won't alter the past, but embracing lessons strengthens your future. Analyze your process, adapt from missteps, and grow stronger. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make you a better person and advisor, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice is yours. 

23. Marry the Process and Divorce the Outcome: 
Success lies in dedicating yourself to the journey, not fixating on results. Trust the process, and let go of outcome-driven stress. That’s why it’s so important to build a solid foundation for your firm to ensure you stay focused on what is important. 

24. Slow the Process Down: 
When you find a prospective client who seems like a perfect fit, it's natural to feel excited and eager to move forward. However, taking a moment to slow down can make all the difference. Asking important questions and following your established processes ensures that the client is genuinely the right match for you. Rushing through a deal may lead to overlooking crucial details. There's nothing worse than reaching the end of a sale only to realize the client isn't the perfect fit. By slowing things down, you not only avoid missing any important details but also set the stage for effective follow-up

25. Ask Open-Ended Questions: 
Discovering your client's pain points is key! Use open-ended questions to turn conversations into collaborations, building rapport for long-lasting relationships. Keep this tip handy for those moments when the conversation feels a bit dull – it's your secret weapon for sparking engaging small talk!

26. The Fortune is in the Follow-Up! 
Here's a golden sales tip: the fortune is in the follow-up! Whether your clients are on the brink of a decision or taking their time, staying connected is the magic touch. Cultivate lasting connections by keeping the follow-up game strong. It's the secret sauce to nurturing enduring relationships and uncovering opportunities down the line.

27. SIT: Share services, Invite collaboration, Teach expertise to empower: 
Elevate your sales game with SIT: Share services, Invite collaboration, Teach expertise to empower. When you share what you offer, invite collaboration, and impart knowledge, you're not just strengthening your approach – you're empowering your clients. This winning formula builds confidence in their choices, making every sale a success. The more confident they are, the better the outcome! 

28. Know Who You Want to Work With:
Now that you're the boss of your firm, you get to choose your dream clients! Knowing exactly who you want to work with not only makes you an expert for them but also guides your RIA marketing strategy. Focusing on a specific group AKA a niche, is way easier than trying to reach everyone under the sun. It's your time, your expertise, and your choice!

29. Set Goals, and Know Where You’re Going at All Times:
Whether you're closing deals or building relationships, having a target keeps you focused, motivated, and on track. Plus, it's your personal progress tracker—showing how far you've come and guiding you on the areas to shine even brighter. Goals: your trusty companions in the journey to success!

30. Keep Learning: 
As your practice continues to flourish, remember not to let things get rusty! The world is constantly evolving, and communication skills are changing too. Stay updated within your niche, refine your communication skills, and keep an eye on your marketing endeavors.

Sales mastery is an ongoing journey and incorporating these tips into your strategy is a step in the right direction. Stay adaptable, keep refining your approach, and most importantly, build those authentic connections with your clients.

As you implement these insights, watch how your RIA not only grows but thrives. Success is about more than just numbers – it's about creating meaningful relationships and providing value that lasts.

Cheers to your continued success as an RIA owner! Here's to turning leads into loyal clients and navigating the exciting path ahead.

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Aimee Arnaud

Aimee Arnaud is the Director of Sales at XYPN, where her experience in the financial services industry drives her passion for helping financial advisors live their best life.



Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson is XYPN's Senior Manager of Business Development. With an unparalleled understanding of the XYPN network, Chris guides financial advisors in discovering the value of membership and learning how XYPN can help them live their best life. His expertise and commitment empower advisors to thrive in their professional journey.

EliRickertEli Rickert

I'm Eli Rickert, a Success Strategist at XYPN, and I help folks embark on their journey toward their very own independent firm with a big ol' dose of confidence. Here's how I roll: I'll jump right into where you're at, where you wanna go, and we'll hatch a plan to get there. It's like having a safe space where you can hash things out. Launching your own business can feel like a whirlwind of complexity, but I'm here to make sure the process is not just doable, but downright enjoyable. We'll take it step by step, no hurries, no worries!

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