How a Financial Advisor’s Mistakes Can Have a Positive Effect on Their Business


Financial Advisor Mistakes

Are you a financial advisor who wants to keep clients satisfied? Here are three tips from Summit Brokerage.

Mistakes are inevitable – not only will we make mistakes throughout our life, but businessmen and women such as independent broker dealers also have to be on the lookout for mishaps from software, programs and even freelancers a financial advisor may work with. And since you know mistakes will happen at some point, the important thing to focus on is how you can positively turn an oversight around in order to keep your clients happy.

Errors in business are costly – not only to operations and productivity but they can cost you customers. It’s no secret that losing a customer, especially in the world of financial planning, can be expensive. When a customer feels he or she has been slighted or wronged, their first instinct may be to take their business elsewhere. In fact, the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that 91 percent of the time customers are unhappy, they will find a different company to do business with (if that option is available). So, when a slipup occurs, how can financial advisors keep their network of clients satisfied and turn a mistake into a positive interaction? Here are a few tips:

1. Jump into action…immediately

Want to turn a mistake involving a client into a complete meltdown? Do nothing and hope it goes away on its own. Or, save your reputation and business by jumping into action as soon as you know a blunder has been made. News travel fast, and social media is proving this more and more every day. It seems customers who are unhappy with products and services are taking to the social media accounts of companies around the world voicing their frustration or unique experience. And people are watching – does the company respond and how do they respond? Does the response seem sincere, and sufficiently rectify the problem? Potential customers are taking notice. And not just on social media. A gaffe with a client could lose you potential business in the future just through world of mouth from an unhappy person.

Sadly, evidence shows people are more likely to share a bad experience with others than randomly share a good experience from a product or company. If this occurs, whether in an online forum or in person, help turn it around immediately by correcting the mistake and working with the client to regain his or her trust.

2. Resolve the problem 

Whether your business is in financial planning or another aspect of finance, bad business occurs when the client feels like his or her issue isn’t being heard or taken seriously. Instead of explaining step by step what went wrong, or how the issue originated from an outside source (which will look like an excuse to a client), remember the old adage, “the customer is always right.” Be empathetic, apologize and make a concerted effort to find a resolution.

Please note, if you do receive a complaint, you should follow your Firm’s procedures for handling complaints.

3. Determine what went wrong

One way to keep a mishap from occurring in the future is determining what went wrong in the first place. Once you have figured out how the error transpired and put steps in place to prevent it, reach back out to your client. Thank him or her for bringing the issue to your attention and share your solution.

Companies large and small across the globe have made come backs from some monumental mistakes, e.g. Coca Cola and Dominoes. And while mishaps are bound to happen to every independent broker dealer, it is how you deal with them that can set your business apart from the rest.


To learn more tips on how to keep your financial advisor clients satisfied, explore our site: Summit Brokerage Services has been voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. Let us show you why! To experience the Summit difference, learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, and begin creating your financial planning documents, explore our site, or call us at (800) 354-5528.


About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.


About Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions.  Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.

Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations.  Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology.  For more information, visit

*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, and Summit Brokerage Services.


All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy.


Content created by Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.

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