A stockbroker needs to give good advice -- bottom line. But to be successful, get referrals and build a solid clientele base, you need to know how to manage people too. As a salesperson selling investments, you have to know which buttons to push and when to push them. You also need to know your markets unequivocally.
You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in finance or economics to land an entry-level job at a securities firm, though an MBA will prepare you better for the job. You’ll also need a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to even begin your career. In addition to the finance degree, you can boost your reputation and your resume by earning additional credentials, such as the chartered financial agent certification.
When your clients make money, they consider you a good stockbroker. When you keep them informed of emerging markets and help them take advantage of foreign investments as much as you do U.S. company trades, you’ll help them reach the diversity they hear about all the time. Since global corporations account for half the world’s equity, you’ll develop a reputation of being a good stockbroker by being familiar with many markets and providing your clients with the information they need to make informed trades and diversity their portfolios.
Develop Sales Techniques
Being a successful stockbroker boils down to being an effective salesperson. As such, you’ve got to master the techniques employed by the general sales profession. When pitching a stock to a client, for example, be ready with a quick comeback to overcome the inevitable objections you’re going to hear. For example, if a client says she needs to discuss a trade with her husband first, remind her how she makes big decisions every day at work and thinks nothing of it. Close deals to make money as a stockbroker by making trades. The median income for stockbrokers in 2010 was $70,190, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since that represents the median talent in the industry, you should do much better as you become a good salesperson.
Build Soft Skills
Soft skills are those abilities that are difficult to quantify because you can’t take a test to prove your abilities, but customers and employers know them when they see them. Build on those soft skills by paying close attention to details, being extremely organized and being a self-starter who doesn’t need prodding to make extra cold calls or learn about a new public offering in the works. Show your enthusiasm for your career and you'll be able to land the primo gigs and move up in your firm.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."