The Super IFAs

27 Apr 2015

What are the key success factors that enable some IFAs to leave the rest of the pack far behind and build large and successful businesses? How do some IFAs grow rapidly, irrespective of market conditions and regulatory changes? What makes them the “Super IFAs” in their cities? Brijesh Dalmia draws on his extensive interactions with over 15,000 IFAs across the country to distil 5 key characteristics that are common across all the “Super IFAs” he has met. These are the 5 traits he strongly advises every IFA to imbibe, to enable them to get onto the high growth path that “Super IFAs” have so successfully navigated.

I have been lucky to travel across India to conduct training programs and workshops for IFAs. Having covered over 100 locations and coming in contact with over 15,000 IFAs, I got a fair insight into the working of an IFA, like what they think? What they say? What they do?

In every trade there is a small percentage that does things differently. These are the people who look promising, achieve success and lead the pack. The same is true with the IFA community. I had the opportunity to meet some of the most successful and large IFAs in the industry and also an emerging set of IFAs who are going to achieve national fame in a few years from now. When I meet IFAs, I could clearly distinguish them in two categories; a) Average IFA & b) Super IFA. Super IFAs are those IFAs who have already made it to the top in their respective city, zone or even in the country or are in the process of getting there. I noticed that all across the country Super IFAs share some striking similarities. There are 5 key qualities of a Super IFA.

Humility

This tops the quality of Super IFAs. They are quite humble in their approach. They don’t talk much about themselves. They are more interested in the other person. They don’t talk about their own success. Rather, they take inspiration from their peers who have done better.

Integrity

Super IFAs rank very high on integrity. They don’t talk about it. They practice it. Client’s interest is on the top of their mind. Average IFAs talk a lot about integrity but their action is not very much in sync with it. Super IFAs starting point is integrity.

Motivated

Every industry has its ups & downs. Bad market conditions, regulatory issues, rationalisation of commissions, etc. With so much noise around the industry, it is easy to get de-motivated and the focus may shift elsewhere. Super IFAs are different. They are highly motivated about the prospect of the industry in the long run. They know that short term storm will give way to clear skies as they move ahead. While all are impacted with short term disturbances, Super IFAs keep their focus intact and have high conviction about the growth of the mutual fund business and that the distribution business will grow in sync with it.

Builders

Super IFAs are not in a hurry. They are in the game for the long term. They build their business, SIP by SIP. They know the power of SIPs – both for their client and themselves. While lump sum business is always welcome for them, they never take their eyes of SIPs. They understand the power of compounding and the value of recurring business. While average IFAs talk about SIPs but focus on onetime sales, Super IFAs spend a lot of their time in building their SIP book.

Learners

One of the key qualities of Super IFAs is their eagerness to learn. They find time to read, attend industry conferences and regularly interact with other Super IFAs. They believe in the power of knowledge. They have a lot of focus on sales but they are equally diligent about learning new skills and are open to new ideas.

Conclusion

While it may be difficult to chew but average IFAs should rate themselves on the above qualities and change themselves before it’s too late. As far as Super IFAs are concerned, they just need to keep their focus intact and continue the good work. Many of them are already in the top league and many will others will reach their in the near future.

For anything to become meaningful, it takes time. When this set of Super IFAs will explode with large volumes in the years to come, the rules of distribution business will change and our industry will see new heights.

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