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Old 04-10-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
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Interview.... Help!

Hi everyone,

I just got a call for an interview from Investors Group for a Financial Consultant.

I need advice! Have any of you been in this type of position? It involves very little cold calling, which I am happy about. I would be meeting with clients and prospects in my office the latter of the time, and in their home other times. I'm pretty sure that the training will be paid, then afterwards it is commission based.

I had a job shadow where I followed the CEO of a large financial company around for a day, and he told me alot of things about selling insurance and financial services. I'm proud that I got that job shadow, because he came to a luncheon with my classmates and other authority figures in the workforce and he was asked for job shadows from many people and turned them down.. then I asked him and he was impressed with my strategy in asking him, so I got it. I am a little nervous that little YOUNG me won't be able to do it.. A 23 year old selling insurance? I'm going to have a hard time getting people to trust me. :(

It's a huge step up from my last job where I was stuck at a desk all day taking orders over the phone from our business clients and doing clerical and office work. I have been trained in business to business sales and marketing and how to do sales calls, but I know that the financial industry is in its own class.

Anyways enough of my rambling.. if you can help me, HELP ME! lol!


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Old 04-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #2
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As the mother of a 23 year old, I would say it would depend on your confidence level and ability to communicate. If you can express yourself knowledgably to your clients and not sound like you are guessing would go a long way in my book. While you yourself may have limited experience in the field, from what little I know, anyone can look at the history of the market and come up with a plan. And a financial advisor does more than just sell insurance. You are helping people put their money where it will work for them. If this is really what you want to do then I say go for it. It will be a learning experience to interview even if you end up not getting or not accepting the offer.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice! I am pretty confident in my ability to help people and I genuinely do love helping people - I know that I would be one of the more honest ones in helping people put their money where it is most beneficial to them, not me. (when I get a job we will have two incomes in the house, so by no means will I have to get a sale to eat the next day).

What kind of qualities do you all look for in an investing consultant?
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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What kind of qualities do you all look for in an investing consultant?
Personally, I'd never consider using anyone who wasn't well-trained and professionally designated by a legitimate organization, like the American College. If you want this to be your profession, then it's well worth the time and effort.

There have been some very questionable practices here in the US involving the sales of investment products, generally annuities. The worst involve sales to senior citizens.

Dateline is doing an "expose" of it which will air this Sunday.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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My dad is a certified financial planner. If this is really what you want to do as a career, I would suggest looking for a course of study in your area to supplement the training the company gives you. There might be a certificate program available, and the professional organization for planners offers continuing education. My dad has been doing this for 20 years (second career) and still goes for training. It's one of those fields where conditions are always changing and keeping up is critical.

When you're interviewing, try to get a sense of how much pressure the company might put on you to get a sale. Are there incentives for more sales, or minimum quotas? It might not be your choice to do what's best for the customer if it means not getting a check if you don't make your quota.

For years, there has been a lot of debate in the financial consulting industry in the U.S. about fees vs. commissions. I believe many private consultants have switched to fees, charging a percentage of the client's assets that they manage, because then their compensation doesn't depend on selling any specific product. HTH.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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Well in Canada, Investors Group is a huge company. Bearing the name itself I'm sure has its own credentials, and I'm sure that they would not have wasted their time with an interview if they did not think I could be trained to do the job. They have an amazing training program and they provide at minimum, monthly training sessions for employees to stay up to date. This is an entry level position, so I'm sure that they will guide me on what I need to succeed - if they want success they need to help me to succeed as well.

They offer paid training (god knows how long its going to take), commission based compensation and rewards, amazing benefits, and the highest first year consultant income program in the industry (in Canada).

Of course I am hoping for the job, but I'm not going to put my eggs into just one basket. My job history and education will allow me to go into many different fields and because of this background I believe financial consulting would be a great start for my career.

I will ask them those questions, GG, thank you for your input. If you have any advice to throw my way or if your Father does please don't hesitate to send it! I need all the help I can get to ace this and figure out if its the career for me.

I know that in Canada there may be certain requirements for a consultant within a big company, but because of the nature of which Investors Group works (entrepreneur style with a huge company backing them) I believe that your own business is up to you.
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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So my interview is tomorrow.. I drove to see the place today and it took me 50 minutes. UGH! I hate living in a big city.

Wish me luck everyone.. any advice is appreciated to help calm down before I go in!
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #8
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Just keep your cool and don't do that nervous laugh or giggle thing
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:37 PM   #9
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Have as calm an evening as you can tonight. Take a nice relaxing bath and get a good night's sleep. Begin your day tomorrow with a nutritious breakfast and show up at your interview calm, refreshed and confident. The rest will fall into place.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
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I do tend to giggle when I am nervous, but I know I do it so I try and avoid it as much as possible. As I get older I learn to control little 'ticks' like that, but they are still there!

Great idea Katie! I hate baths (unless its one of those jacuzzi type ones), but a nice relaxing magic bag on my neck and a book before bed will do the trick. Breakfast is always great here (as I'm sure that it is in many of your homes too, if you're on DC!) and will probably consist of toast, a grapefruit, some cereal and juice.

Guh, it took me an hour to drive there today to check the place out so I don't get lost (Montreal is hugeeee). It was a bit crowded on the roads because it was almost rush hour, but gosh it's going to be **** if I get the job to commute lol.
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:13 PM   #11
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Guh, it took me an hour to drive there today to check the place out so I don't get lost (Montreal is hugeeee). It was a bit crowded on the roads because it was almost rush hour, but gosh it's going to be **** if I get the job to commute lol.
Ah, but darlin', you did your homework and checked out the territory. Tomorrow you'll allow sufficient+ time for your travel. You'll be just fine. Sleep well. Sweet dreams.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:52 AM   #12
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Alright, typing up my notes for the interview then doing my nails and getting ready.. I'm starting to feel nervous!

Time to start... I'm going to put some feel good music and sing all morning while I get ready.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #13
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OK - we're all waiting on the edge of our seats and we're starting to bite each OTHER'S nails.....do tell us how it went!
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:30 PM   #14
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I just got back. The interview went well and I was asked back for the second out of three.

I discovered some things that I will have to talk to DH about. The basic jist of it is that I would be working as my own boss and business owner, backed by a huge company with training materials and a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips.

I'd be paying a fee of 400-500 dollars a month for office and things. Kind of like real estate, except its financial planning.

What do you guys think about this? If any of you are in the type of entrepreneurial position I could use some advice.

For the next interview I have to bring a 1-2 page write up on how I would generate new clientele.

Help! I need to talk to DH about this as I am not sure myself. The income is great if you can do it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:45 PM   #15
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I was going to warn you that I thought it was this type of arrangement.

Having worked in the financial services/insurance industry all my life, basically, I would recommend against it unless you have some serious $$ to back yourself up, as it usually takes quite a long time to make any money. Remember you are talking about income potential -- there is potential to make good money only if things go your way. If not, the losses are all yours. And though some people do, in fact, make a lot of money as an agent, most don't.

Also, you need to be a great salesperson and confidant in that skill. You also need to be very knowledgeable about the products you are selling.

Just a few things to consider:

What products are you selling?

Where do your leads come from?

Do you have a designated market?

What's the commission structure?

Do they give you liability insurance?

If you are interested in this kind of work, I would suggest getting a real full time job within the company, as an employee, perhaps in one of their product areas or in marketing. You'd learn about the products that you one day may be selling as well as learning about what makes salespeople successful without the financial pressure of having to learn on the job.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:54 PM   #16
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I agree strongly with Jennyema. In general, if you are interviewing for a job, they will pay you and not the reverse. These people are selling a service, which is fine but they didn't make this clear up front. Would you have even gone on the "interview" if they had told you on the phone that this would cost you $400-500/mo.? Better to put that money toward some classes or certifications in this area, IMHO.
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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This is the same as the real estate companies - many charge a desk fee, give some service to help with the final paperwork, offer general training, generally informal by informal trainers if you can follow that. Commissions are the way everyone is paid, starting with a 50-50 split with the company and then as you become more valuable and they have to relax, your split goes up or they lose you and they know it. Yes, it is your business to build, finding customers, advertising yourself, getting the real training, etc. etc. A tiny number in the field really make it - about 20% really do generate about 80% of the sales. It is a sales business and you better understand that going in. Lots of people love helping people - my daughter is a great nurse and loves it but ain't no way she could be a sales professional.

People do make some realy money but you better first believe that you are truly star material and know why with a plan. Bet you they have you list a hundred people you know to some degree, family, friends, acquaintances, bank teller, clerk where you buy gas, and on. You start with family first and go from there. Referals are your life blood.

Best of luck - whatever your decision hit it hard!
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:45 PM   #18
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Thanks for the advice.. I had a funny feeling when I left the interview and you all confirmed it. I won't be going to the second interview for this, and my search continues.

I really appreciate all of your advice.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:07 PM   #19
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Thanks for the advice.. I had a funny feeling when I left the interview and you all confirmed it. I won't be going to the second interview for this, and my search continues.

I really appreciate all of your advice.
Don't get discouraged. You're smart and witty and well-spoken - there will be the perfect job out there for you! Keep us up on your search.
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Old 04-15-2008, 03:09 PM   #20
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Thanks FM! I will keep you all posted :)
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